Change we don’t believe in
It’s pretty easy to tell what people like these days. For one, everyone is dying to tell you – I can read the bumpers of cars going down the street and find out who likes Alabama, hunting and Duck Dynasty (often on the same car), and Facebook is so aggressive in trying to expose and then exploit your ‘likes’ that the website often feels like a big ad spread around pictures of kitties.
More often, people are compelled to tell you what they are passionate about. And in 2013, it’s gotten ridiculously easy to do that. Any asshat with a computer and a telephone line (or a smart phone, which seems to be a contradiction given the buffoonery of many who use one) can spew brain-vomit into the universe and there’s not a damn thing anyone can do about it.
I bring this up because my timeline has devolved into a battleground. Pro-gun. Anti-Obama. Pro-children. Anti-puppies (an admittedly small contingent). And the deeper the feelings go, the more pissed off people become.
(The big ‘HYPOCRITE’ sign in my office is flashing neon blue right now. Yes I do this. It’s human nature, and I am only human. I’m talking to myself as much as I’m talking to anyone else. I try to be better than most about my intentions, and at least present both sides of a given argument, which usually fails because nobody can actually present both sides of an argument with any real conviction. I know I’m a failure at that – I can only hope that being somewhat self-aware puts me a step ahead in the game.)
Of course it’s fun to wear your emotions on your sleeve, and it seems important and makes people feel like they’re contributing to society (I HAVE OPINIONS ABOUT THINGS YOU GUYS), even when the only society they participate in exists through computer screens. But what’s with the anger? If someone disagrees with you in the real world, you have a disagreement. If someone disagrees with someone on Facebook, the swear words and radical opinions start tumbling out and that’s when someone says unkind things about someone else’s momma.
And what does it fix? Nothing.
The NRA isn’t suddenly going to have a change of policy because of the heart-rending thing you and 1,982 other bleeding hearts found and shared on Facebook. The President and Congress aren’t suddenly going to come to an accord about how to fix the economy based on what a mechanic in Ft. Wayne tweets out, especially since he spelled ‘economy’ wrong. We aren’t making a difference. We don’t know how to anymore.
We just like to complain. It’s fun! I can personally vouch for that – I’m only happy when I have something to gripe about. But if we’re serious about ‘needing a change’ – funny how that whole ‘change’ thing has really blown back at President Obama; deserved or not, it’s probably not a solid idea to base your legacy on such a fluid, far-ranging idea – why don’t we try writing a Congressman or taking some actual action? Not to put too fine a point on the whole thing, but if you really want to change something, why don’t you grow a pair and do it?
Because it’s really hard. It’s easy to link an article you skimmed on Facebook, and it’s easy for me to write biting missives while making generalizations about humanity (told you it was fun). It’s really hard to actually go out and do something about it. Our forefathers – the guys that freed us from tyrannical rule and actually changed some things in this world – would probably be ashamed of our lack of drive.