The Thinning Veneer of Civility

The threshold of what is or isn’t a civil society appears before us. Tolerance of differing ideas is ebbing. The incarceration of individuals who are suspected of wrong think is  a notion I’ve heard as is limiting free speech.

If ideas, good and bad, cannot be discussed, they will still find their way into action, perhaps in less appropriate venues and in even less savory forms. I’d much rather be offended by free speech than suffer the consequences of an Orwellian society.

“Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”

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Folks is Crazy

It don’t matter who it is, folks can figure out a way to sabotage even family members and close friends. The certainty of our beliefs allows us to demonize and alienate them. Sick.

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Evergreen State College?

The venom has surfaced and ignited. A substantial reserve of anger looms. The chaos, fueled and fanned by incompetent administrators make accommodation unlikely.

Will this stop at this scorching or is complete meltdown inevitable. What, if anything will rise from the cinders?

Instinct would have us steer clear of the billowing smoke or abandon a vessel set ablaze. The way forward eludes me.

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Social Order

The riots in Berkley last Saturday expose the continued erosion of what is socially acceptable now. “Rumbling” is protest. The seeds were sown long ago and the current societal landscape is fertile for those inclined to violence, regardless of affiliation, to flourish.

The fringes are unchained. How far that will continue to unravel inward remains to be seen. I suspect the peak is a ways off yet.

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Beyond the Fray

The clarity is substantially improved by stepping outside of the putrid haze of what is the currently practiced form of political discourse. One can breath more deeply when not coughing up the feet we stuff in our mouths. The sky can be seen again, the clouds of fear, hate and despair float over the horizon. The reverberation of shouts and screams fade and my heartbeat can be heard again.

The alarm of those now politically activated is healthy. They recognize the danger government power, at least when their candidate isn’t holding the whip. My prayer is that it will lead to greater checks to that power, not to a stronger substitute.

Granting or surrendering power to anyone is a dangerous avenue to travel. The scale of the folly corresponds directly to the totality of the control. Without a leash we get Mao, Stalin, Hitler… and the sharp end of the bayonet.

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it always to be kept alive. –Thomas Jefferson

I couldn’t agree more.

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Poison

The FB environment is toxic. Enough of my friends and family who align with one of the “two” major parties feel the need to vent their political frustrations there cluttering up my feed to the point I could no longer ignore it. The stink was overwhelming.

I left. I’ll miss the neighborhood news and pictures of the kiddlets.  Everything else, good riddance.

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The Vestigial Mass Media

The “news” up to this point was supplied largely via the lens of the mass media. That is changing. Smart phones have us so interconnected that more and more “news” is recorded and distributed though social media platforms. The corporate legacy media is using that independently created content frequently as part of their broadcasts and it is frequently better and a more accurate depiction of the story than the crap the media giants produce/spin.

It appears this trend has reached escape velocity and cannot be contained. Those corporate gatekeepers have had the curtain pulled back and their agendas, biases and corruption have been exposed. The self proclaimed  “fourth estate” has show itself to be nothing more than the propaganda bureau for the politically connected. Their attempts to discredit these alternative content producers has backfired and grown the audiences of those independents. The numerous examples of the “very fake” corporate news’ incompetence and dishonesty further accelerates their demise.

This new media is far more diverse in the spectrum of ideas and issues it presents. It is also rarely filtered, occasionally shocking and disturbing as well. I’m not able to quantify its reach or even define exactly what it is. I fully expect that it will find a niche to inhabit and flourish within that realm instead of the restrictive FB or YT platforms.

For the curious minded this new media rattles and breaks the windows out of one’s own cognitive bias reinforcement “safe spaces.” My Cringe-factor gauge and offended meter have regularly pegged in the red zone. I believe it is good to go outside of your comfort zone to try to better understand others, even if that means I find it offensive.

Those corporate haircut / hairdos are in the rear view mirror, at best they’ll remain as a vestigial tail on the beast now unleashed.

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