I have to be honest here, this post is one of those long winded rants where I talk about everything and nothing at the same time. Where I tie in all the issues plaguing an entire country, world, and bitch about something I can’t ever fix on my own.
Where I also become a hypocrite, doing the same thing I’m questioning about society. Sigh.
After all, a blog is supposed to be nothing more than a marketing tool, right? Stuffed with all the things people search for on Google so it wins in page rank. Nothing about the actual words matter other than their ability to drive traffic.
Then somewhere near the end is where I’m supposed to tell you all what to do next – subscribe to my newsletter, buy my book, be a better human by being more like me by supporting my career!
Isn’t that what all of us online business people are trying to say, after all?
I mean, without selling books I don’t have much of a career and, these days, it’s all but impossible to sell unless you have a full online presence. And so I do. Just like everyone else, trying desperately to convince you and the rest of the world just how very awesome we all are so you read our stuff, invest in our coaching, buy our books…
Buy into our “unique” perspective.
The one that happens to sound as generic as every band to come out during the Everclear/Third Eye Blind/Gin Blossoms/Goo Goo Dolls/Better than Ezra years. I sometimes get all of those bands from the ‘90’s confused with each other because they all sound pretty similar.
Ah yes, the music of my bitter, jaded, cynical generation is there to point out one very important fact – everyone is exactly the same. Nobody has a unique twist. But, these days, as long as you’re loud and in-your-face enough, masses of people will listen to everything you have to say. As if somehow that one opinion is the one we should all adopt, you know, to be different.
Aren’t we supposed to be authentic? Unique snowflakes of personality so when the people come they will know who we are in an instant?
How can any of us do that when we’re all trying to be authentic in the exact same way?
These days, anyone with a cell phone and an internet connection can record and share anything they like. When we listen to all of it there’s nothing but a big line of white noise ringing in our brains.
Listen/read then, just as quickly as we found and raved about the thing, forget it and move on. Never to return to the original again.
I’ve decided this is the “SQUIRREL!!!!!!!!!!!!!” theory of modern society.
The question, of course, is this: at what point does it depart from snark to outright bitter and devolve into a spiral of fear mongering, anger, uninformed “opinion based fact” because in truth nobody seems to take the time to look anything up anymore. At least, not past the first page of Google.
For one thing, the Republican presidential candidate has now done all the same shit that the Republican party chastised others for doing back in 2003. Back then, one single sentence was enough to almost kill the career of a band. Today, a man is revered, celebrated, encouraged, to question the President and more.
It’s easy to become a candidate for President these days, just refuse to release your tax returns, negatively stereotype everyone to prove how awesome you are, prove that being a hypocrite is an asset in modern politics, and you’re in!
Let’s make America the nation it used to be? Which time? The time we complained that foreigners were taking all our jobs, or, the time all the companies started taking the jobs away from Americans and outsourcing them to foreign lands without most of us even noticing it happened?
A quote from that article I just linked really got me thinking:
“It is essentially capitalism versus socialism in disguise – the government needs to keep the capitalists happy because they bring in the money and drive the economy, but it needs to keep the people happy because, after all, thats what governance is about.”
Is it? I mean, the tiny point missed in all of those words, the between-the-lines if you will, is that capitalists are bringing in money from other places, Americans aren’t making enough so they can run around spending all theirs, and the economy is a disaster because the people definitely aren’t happy.
Is 13 years too long ago to remember how an entire political party has flip-flopped? I guess it is when the majority of people clamoring for their ten seconds of fame were too young to pay attention when all that went down with the Chicks.
I mean, hell, the internet meme world basically got started by using just 2 little words:
Because, after all, the entire world’s problems are obviously the fault of just one man.
The “real world” is so real these days that it has gone full circle back to fantasy.
You know what I mean?
“Real” housewives. Random people posting their moment-to-moment experiences on any given social media platform. Check out my perfect life! The one that’s so hard because I just don’t know how to spend all this money I have. I think the entire world should see just how fucked up I am and why my problems should mean more than someone else’s who can’t afford a TV crew to film their life.
When did educating yourself to facts take a backseat to scripted reality? And since when did wardrobe take a front seat over talent and ability?
Even the Olympics are steeped in the drama that everyone seems to need in order to keep them interested in anything anymore. Why aren’t there any stories about how long shot put has been practiced as an Olympic sport, the years of training it takes to compete at that level, etc.?
Why? Because that shit is bo-ring to society. There’s no tooth in shot put. But the rise and fall of people? For instance, discovering a shot put competitor flipping the bird to a paparazzi? Bring on the negative reporting!
We like to set up gods with the full intention of toppling them. And they gladly fill the role even though they know what's coming. Controversy sells. Controversy keeps people talking. You have to be somebody before they can decide to turn you into someone else. And by “they” I mean the internet.
Test the theory. Next time you’re at a party strike up one of these two conversations:
The men’s Olympic shot put record hasn’t been broken since 1988.
Did you get a look at Michelle Jenneke’s boobs this week? I hear she might run track or something.
Which one of those conversations do you think is going to last longer?
Another case in point, there are countless people commenting on the Democratic candidate’s wardrobe. Which you know makes me mental because, really? That’s the takeaway? Her pant suits are too, something?
Don’t dress like a man because people will think you’re an uptight bitch, but don’t wear something that shows your body, you slut. Boys can’t concentrate in school when your shoulders are showing so cover up or the men won’t learn enough about how to make all the decisions from the teacher who just spent half of her paycheck on supplies you’ll squander.
I personally care about her wardrobe as much as I care if the Republican candidate’s hair and tan are real. Neither of those things has anything to do with being the figurehead of one of the (quote) most powerful countries in the world (end quote).
But these are the things people focus on. These are the things that make someone a “good” candidate for President. Because nobody wants facts anymore. Nobody knows how to research. Our snap judgements are based on the shit we read in social media. Online. In the “real” world.
It stinks that sources and resources are so skewed and biased even when they claim not to be. Because getting informed ends up meaning reinforcing an already existing opinion as opposed to opening up room for understanding and acceptance of the opposition.
And as most of you probably know by now, I will never claim to be unbiased. I have my opinions and just as I’m not likely to change yours, you’re not likely to change mine.
And so it goes, which I’m sure is a direct factor in why we care about the meme worthy events over other more poignant moments that define character, not caricature.
So I’m going to stick to fiction from now on. Books. Movies. Television. Because the truth is that I was shaped by a bitter, jaded, cynical generation. And I’d rather spend my escape time in an actual land of imagination and fantasy.
Sure beats “reality.”
Title quote from Matchbox 20 Bent.
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In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.