Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Unplugged

I've been thinking about this post for a few days now.

Even as I type I am not sure if I will hit the "publish post" button at the lower left.

I've written many times before about how tough it is to see the world as it is and *know* that it is meant for something better. Greater than the shyte we seem to always find ourselves in.

I have a confession: I have never read 1984.

Yes, I just got my doctorate in English (but with my primary area in Rhetoric and Composition) and I have never read this book or seen the movie.

I'll wait while you gasp......

Still here?

Here's what I've been thinking about (and I promise I didn't just throw that confession in for drama) and I know I am not the first person to think about this or write about it.

It seems we are given only so much sunlight in our days (figuratively speaking). Everywhere I look I see people hurting each other. Reports of neighbors killing neighbors. Mothers killing children. Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera.

I even recently read an article (I'll have to look for it in the mound of papers on my desk) arguing that studies are beginning to show the people distrust *kind* people. They want something... they're trying to fool me... they think this or this about me.

Seriously? Kind people?

Even the "entertainment" we see is so fraught with violent images that the lack of light is inescapable even there. Case in point; we saw the new X-Men movie a few weeks ago and I tried to count the number of times someone died, how many times the camera shows a close up of a firing weapon or just a weapon-- you get the gist. I lost count at 65; and that was within just the first 10 minutes of the movie.

Did you know that six (6) companies control 90% of the world's media? This small clan of companies (who also have their tentacles deeply entwined with food production, pharmaceuticals, and advertising) controls 90% of what movies get made. What music gets produced and promoted. What we see on TV, listen to on the radio, read in newspapers and magazines.

Those same companies pretty much dictate what kinds of *good* things get promoted, too. Usually to a disproportionately lesser degree. Want to feel better? See this movie. Read this here book. Take this pill. Want to get laid? Drink this beer. Use this hair product.

It seems like every part of our emotions are somehow plugged into this machine (okay, I am not talking Matrix here either).

I started to think about the basic messages these types of "input" tell us about ourselves and each other, and again, I realize this is nothing new or earth-shattering:

A) You are not good enough as you are. You smell wrong. You're too fat. You need the right car. The right clothes. The right [insert pretty much everything here].

B) You are not to trust anyone who is unlike you. Our media constantly focuses on the evil of others, on the barbarity of cultures different from ours.

C) You are not smart enough to make your own decisions about things because I know this, this and this about it and you're *wrong*.

I am not naive. I understand that bad news and dark stuff sells.

I am not going to go into the psychology of it either. But humans have sublimated the notion that we *need* these distinctions in order to be *better than*...

It's an old argument.

When I was talking to Tom about this on Monday, he said: "Oh, that's right. You've never read 1984."

Apparently I don't need to.

So back to the whole sunlight thing.

To a large extent, wherever we live, no matter how hard we may try, there are a small group of people who decide how much light we get to see.

Is it any wonder that people are scared?

Yeah, frightened people are easy to control, right?

This isn't about buying stuff. This isn't about not supporting certain political agendas.

It's about you. And me. And every other human and living thing on this planet.

We were born into a world where a filter was placed over everything we see, think, and hear from the moment we could see, think, and hear.

That filter prevents a lot of the light from getting through.

This here internety thingamabobber is stripping away some of the power of that filter.

We are talking to and seeing and hearing each other.

Right from the source.

Pure as the driven snow.

This is me. I want peace. I want a world where trust is the norm. I want you to have the kind of life *you* want to live. And I don't want us to destroy ourselves [insert chosen doomsday scenario here] because we aren't allowed to know the truth about the world.

Take away every person on the planet.

Where is evil?

Remember, no people.

If you answered nowhere, you get a gold star.

It's manufactured by us like everything else, whether it's people committing atrocities or people who are not moral.

The thing that's really been frustrating me though is that the same can be said about good.

Maybe, just maybe, neither one of these things are "real."

The world is what it is. A world. Among millions of billions of others flying around other stars, in other galaxies, in parts of the vastness of space that we can't even see. Not even when we squint or use the latest, greatest, newest, improved telescope from whatever company makes them.

The world is so filled with information and noise that the truth is kept silent.

Anyone who seeks to expose it is fruity, conspiratorial, coo-coo.

If you never return to this blog, I understand. But I am convinced that we (you and me) can scrape off that grime that clutters our senses and thoughts. Because our problems aren't about *things* they are about how we treat each other.

It all starts with one person. We even have derogatory terms for positive people: tree-hugger, bleeding heart, Pollyanna. And I am not going to believe I can change the world.

Just how I see it. And see you. And see the bigger picture. And the amount of time I keep my eyes trained on the sunshine and not the clouds.

That's it. I'm done.

Not sure how to end this other than to say, "Light up the darkness."

16 comments:

James May 27, 2009 at 12:15 PM  

Like you said, nothing new about any of this, but it is good to be reminded of it. Life gets pretty hectic sometimes and we forget that we are the ones living our lives, not the other way around.

Seeing Eye Chick May 27, 2009 at 1:50 PM  

You are right, there is an almost visceral distrust of kind people.

I know, I am a kind person. It might be hard to imagine that reading my blog that barely contains the plethora of F-bombs but there it is.

And when they decide that they don't trust your kindness, they decide that you are a bad little bug that needs to be squashed.

I am now a hermit. I am still kind. I won't let idiot zombies take that from me. But there it is.

The loss of critical thinking skills and empathy are killing the human race, and quite specifically the American Dream.

I haven't read 1984 either.

Grandpa Eddie May 27, 2009 at 3:06 PM  

For someone who has never read "1984" you sure got the point Orwell was trying to make.

The internet IS the only way, right now, to get to the truth about most everything....all we need to do is dig.

We need to accept people for who they are, not who we are told they are. We need to find out for ourselves and stop relying on the MSM and others to tell us, because they won't tell us the whole truth....only what they want us to know.

I'm glad you decided to post this, skyewriter. Really, really glad.

Ralph Loizzo May 27, 2009 at 8:39 PM  

While you may never have read 1984, I think you've done quite a good job of summarizing it. Although you do have something different in your post, and that is a calling for hope and trust. I've often battled with living in an idealistic reality or having realistic ideals.

It begins with truth and hope. Only then can we build trust and make the world not as we see it, but as what we belie e it can be.

Oh yeah. Btw. I'll be back. You can't get rid of me that easily. In fact it's because of posts like this that keep me returning.

Riot Kitty May 27, 2009 at 9:39 PM  

Thank god for independent media. I'm saying that as a former reporter and current editor of an indie blog.

I didn't read 1984 until I was 28. It made me want to sleep with the lights on.

PENolan May 27, 2009 at 11:29 PM  

Being a treehugging cuckoo myself, you reminded me of the full cast of Hair singing "Let the sun shine in."

And once we find each other out here in the ether, it's a little less isolating to be an optimist, believing that somehow, the spirit will prevail.

Love and Light
T

Arlene May 28, 2009 at 2:52 AM  

There are no problems in the present moment if we are truly immersed in it. The only thing we can actually control is ourselves. We can control our feelings, and I don't mean by suppressing them, but by acknowledging them and then letting them go. Otherwise, we give power to others to control us and it stops us from seeing things and people as they really are.
I have given up on reading the newspapers. It is all yesterdays bad news and I choose to live in the moment. What good does it do me to know the bad things that people do to each other?
Unless I have control or influence with or over something, leave me out of it.
Instead of fighting against war, fight for peace instead.
Instead of putting people down, focus on what you are doing instead. Get the picture?
I will never stop being kind to others. If people don't like it, then they can buzz off. I'm a Jersey girl and don't care what other people think. I make my own decisions. I know the difference between right and wrong. I live my life the way I want to and am much happier that way. People wonder why I don't live in the USA anymore. Well, what do you think? Sometimes I wonder if it isn't really that much better in the UK.
Too bad we can't use the delete button in real life.
Keep saying it as it is Skye and don't let it get you down.

mikeb302000 May 28, 2009 at 8:53 AM  

I only read 1984 fairly recently too, maybe four or five years ago. Even thinking about it disturbs me because I have a personal dilemma with hating too much government interference yet wanting more gun control. So, I just try to call 'em like I see 'em.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher May 28, 2009 at 10:07 PM  

How far will the pendulum swing before it starts heading back in the other direction?

Will it EVER pause in the center?

I suppose it all starts with each person focusing on his or her own center. His or her own light. Then trying to spread that light as much as possible and to bring it into the darkness.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher May 28, 2009 at 10:09 PM  

BTW Extremely impressed by the PhD in R & C. We could use you at the district level over here to help all the dipshits who are trying to implement a writing across the curriculum agenda.

Shady Lady May 29, 2009 at 2:08 AM  

I am one of those freaky positive people. I choose to filter certain things in my life. I don't watch the news. I don't read the paper. If there is something important that I should know my husband tells me about it or hands me the paper to read it.

I believe in the law of attraction. It's real. It works. I see it in action every day. And if people keep focusing on the negative that is what they will attract. Me? I'll keep focusing on the positive and watch my life go that way.

The Celestine Prophecy is a powerful book. It talks about the interactions with people and what we do to each other energetically. Give it a read. You might be surprised how it effects you.

Yes, I am a tree hugging dirt worshiper and an atheist and a Jew. And you all probably think I'm a little bit (or maybe a lot) nuts by now. But I like living in my little naive world. It's a nice place to be. Won't you join me?

skyewriter May 29, 2009 at 10:29 AM  

I am sorry I don't have time to address each of you, but *thank you* for all of the thoughtful and thought-provoking comments...

I got a temporary job scoring, get this, Biology exams for a testing corporation. Yeah, biology.

Anywho, I am busy getting used to that full-time schedule... I promise to be more hospitable when I get my feet under me again.

Chris May 29, 2009 at 11:36 AM  

You always give us something to think about!

Sidhe May 29, 2009 at 12:42 PM  

You are one of the kindest people that I have ever met and a ray of light shining into my world.

Enjoy the biology exams!

LeftLeaningLady May 30, 2009 at 6:15 PM  

I can't imagine anyone who has visited your blog never coming back. You certainly open my eyes everytime I come here to a new post.

I haven't read 1984 either. I will put it on my list. I didn't watch the movie, because of the rat scene. Gross.

itdawnedonme June 1, 2009 at 11:44 PM  

I love what you said. This shining light is similar to what I was trying to say in my post on not turning away from the darkness in the world...that we can change it by being the light.

I believe change begins inside each and every one of us. When we decide to stop contributing to the pettiness, the drama, the cruelty, etc., we begin to lighten the collective heaviness and ugliness in the world.

It starts with me...and you...every moment choosing to be the light and to be kind. One by one we begin to change the world.

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