So here I am again, it’s 3 am in the morning and my thoughts seem to coagulate at this hour and somehow wake me out of my sleep. As the title of this blog claims, I am always searching for good light. A reference to my love for photography intertwined with my general life long practice of seeking some kind of knowledge and inspiration. I read quite a bit, or should I say, I am read too quite a bit. Big fan of audiobooks here. I spend a lot of time driving so audiobooks tend to make a great companion for me.
This week however I felt like maybe going off the proverbial grid may not be such a bad idea. A couple of events in the news, maybe they really happened in the world, who knows, have seriously left me feeling disappointed and fed-up quite honestly. So it stands to argue that we are humans with an unalienable right to free speech and the ability to choose. We have free will and all that mumbo-jumbo etc. And today we have no shortage of avenues to express those, filtered or unfiltered. Whether right or wrong, researched or just opined, we take these platforms and parcel out to the world our opinions. Sort of what I’m doing here. We shoot from the hip so often that it appear that rarely we stop to think and analyze some of the garbage we’re being fed. We jump on bandwagons at a moments notice. And please pardon those last two Wild West references. I actually speak like that sometimes and hold no affinity to that period, except for the few historically lop-sided movies I have seen. On a side note, I have just started making coffee the “cowboy” way. I “Googled” it because I don’t have a coffee maker, but I have some pretty good Jamaican coffee that begged to be drank. So now I’m drinking good coffee.
Nonetheless, this messy deluge of information and “news”‘that we are fed daily, primarily on social media platforms rouse too many of us to a thoughtless frenzy and quite frankly brainless responses and action. All it takes is a carefully edited snippet of inflammatory information, shared to the right demographic of social media users and bam, a viral and virulent string of opinions flood the Internet. It takes seconds and a person’s word can become a sword on which they impale themselves. Granted the snippet may suggest that they did impale themselves and not the whole thing in the correct context. But we live and respond to the snippets, like brainless drones being guided to a place where eventually we will no longer be able to differentiate between our own thoughts and ideas and those carefully planted there. Snippets. That’s all it takes. Millions of snippets daily, carefully creating our thoughtless world view. We look to celebrities and “fake news”, and no, I’m not borrowing this from our current President, never would, as if they have inside intimate knowledge of some of these events. We take their inflammatory statements and make them our own. We jump on the damn band wagon without even asking where it’s going and who’s leading it. People have agendas, we all do and some opinions will align with our beliefs and feelings about things, events, people, but we owe ourselves a little more research. Just gather a little more information from as good a source as possible before spewing the dribble that keeps the snippet engine running.
The response to the Gayle King interview of Lisa Leslie, completely blew my mind. Place emoji here. 🤯
I was totally floored by the vicious responses that were flooding my timelines. This quickly made me realize that I may be following a number of wrong people. Not because I disagreed with their opinion, but more so because the viciousness attributed to what seemed like a journalist doing her job, asking the tough questions, was too easily meted out without the full story. The rush to hate is a problem. The rush to belittle and drag down is a problem. The unwillingness to stop and think and research is a problem. We become part of the sensational movement without even realizing that we are the fuel to the fires that oftentimes burn our own. Like Malcolm have said, hoodwinked.
And on that topic of being hoodwinked and bamboozled, because we were all certainly made clowns of. The impeachment farce played us all like a fiddle. Fooled us into believing that these processes work and are fair and ethical. The most glaring and insulting display of political arrogance was given to us this week. We were shown clearly how much power our vote really has. So nicely wrapped up in the overly complicated and largely disingenuous political system that simply boiled down to an old boys club protecting one of their own. And we were taken along for the ride, with many of us believing that we may see the process actually work. This impeachment was talked to death on every media outlet, by every political expert, every layman with an opinion, for months on end. It played like a movie with an anti-climatic end, that left many deflated and disenchanted. Disenchanted, because many of us want to believe that these processes work. That this life is fair and honest and ethical. That our vote entitles us a seat at that table. That the information we are being fed paints the entire picture. So our hopes are raised, until they are crushed, and we are left wondering how is all this possible.
It is possible because we have been fed the ideal without all of the information. This is my op-ed.
Thanks for reading if you got this far.