Thursday, August 27, 2015

INDEPENDENT THINKING


I have been thinking of leaving Facebook. The recent use of the medium to advertise a Facebooker's assassination of coworkers in Virginia further soured my already souring opinion of Facebook's role in American culture as I experience it. While Americans are increasingly describing themselves as politically independent from the two-party system, two major camps seem quite obvious in media like Facebook: Sniping conformists and enraged reactionaries. Neither group appeals to me.

Facebook is a lure to the voyeurs and exhibitionists in us. But voyeurism and exhibitionism, while quite human, are not the best human qualities. "Look at me." is quite different from "This is what I think after mulling this over." Trying to play to an audience which you already know will agree with you is not a contribution to any subject. Self-consciously presenting a persona which is not real is simply fake and hypocritical. 

Perhaps Twitter is a more honest medium. That may account for the frequent stories of chastened celebrities who get caught being honest in their Tweets. Twitter is certainly no less narcissistic in its general landscape. I find it hard to comprehend what motivates someone to Tweet his/her grocery shopping from a supermarket. Worse than boring. 

I began writing a blog in 2005 to help me develop my mind. It entailed research, consideration and sometimes original artwork to illustrate my process. I was amused by fellow bloggers who chose to write blogs about the latest gay porn stars and their contributions to erotica. Frankly, in retrospect, those folks were more intelligent and creative than people who do nothing but post cat videos on Youtube or videos about their daily angst. 

Being one of a species of billions is not really mitigated by celebrity. The planet is still being polluted beyond habitability. There is no space hotel for refuge. Perhaps this is the underpinning of the sudden outpouring of sympathy for migrants who have ruined their own countries through insane religiosity and are attempting to invade countries who haven't yet been ruined by that ideology. All human beings may be helpless victims of their own folly and destructive overpopulation all too soon. 

Independent thinking is not worry-free. It never has been. "It's all good." was not the mentality which spurred on Gandhi to starve himself. Political correctness of one era is the fascism of another. Conformity does not improve the human condition, it erodes the quality of life for everyone equally. Facebook may be just another phony cocktail party without the food and drinks. How tawdry is that? 

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