I’m no shrinking violet. And I’m certainly not someone afraid to call anyone out on truly unacceptable behaviour, no matter what it is.
But I am starting to think that society is spending a lot of time freaking out, admonishing individuals and being voyeurs, while missing the big picture.
If I’m offended by something someone did, or said, I’ll talk to them. To their face and in private, if possible. We can go from there depending on what the problem was and how we get along while resolving it. But I find my stomach turning a bit these days at how easy it is to get people to Rage Against the Machine. Readers attack authors, movie fans bash directors, celebrity watchers search for the most unflattering news and pics of entertainers, just to make fun of people who already spend most of their day trying to look and act perfect in the hope that they’ll be allowed to work and pay their bills.
And it’s not just the internet. If all this stuff was just on the internet, I’d be okay with it, but the media seems bent on promoting this nonsense as well. Growing up, the news was about local, foreign and sports. You found out about the important stuff that had happened that day to change the world, for better or worse. Now, the news is sports and a bunch of celebrity and human interest stories squashed in between local crime reports and 5 mins of foreign headlines.
That’s ridiculous. The world is changing before our very eyes, morphing into something brand new that we don’t understand yet. There are wars on almost every continent and governments making huge decisions every day that will change the very nature of our society. We have economic inequality and poverty even though we have more than enough money and food to feed everyone. It’s 2015 and most people don’t trust their police or their politicians. And we still live in a world where despite being in the majority in terms of global populatio, people of colour are referred to as ‘minorities’. In short, it’s chaos and confusion and a struggle for growth and order every day.
Can we really afford to take our focus and our anger and our frustration and need for solutions and waste them fretting over whether a TV show reflects a book enough or not? Or whether our favourite author shares our political views? Or whether someone who made a sexist comment is really sexist or just considered their words badly? Is that really where our rage and desire for change should be directed?
Because I believe we’re allowing our petty minds and our profit-driven media to distract us from what really matters while the world around us is shaped by those who may or may not have our best interests in mind.
Maybe I’m being naive here, but I can’t help thinking about how much real, positive change we could effect if we decided to freak out over the big things the way we do over the little things.
My two cents and worth what you paid for it.