This Isn't a 'Deeply Polarized Era' — We Are Just 'Aggressively Agreeing' With O
An NBC news story this week about an Arizona veterans group that found a homeless camp, fueling “a new pizzagate-style conspiracy,” included a really interesting line: “The speed at which these accusations have spread is yet another example of how fringe beliefs, nurtured in dark corners of the internet, can blossom in a deeply polarized era.”
Although this appears to be a “deeply polarized era,” I don’t think it really is. I actually think it’s actually an era in which we are all just "aggressively agreeing" with one another.
What do we agree on?
This illusion around us is not real.
We know it and we see it. What we want now, more than anything, is to prevent this unreality from congealing into a physicality that appears real.
Does anyone believe what most politicians say, or do we just expect them to lie to us in a glossy way that hides their condescension and sounds compassionate? Does anyone really believe big companies like Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook are there to “help” the people when they invade our privacy and sell our personal data like we are abstractions, numbers? Does anyone actually believe the government is being honest with the people it is intended to serve, or do we just assume those elected to represent us are simply lying to us while they play sophisticated power games?
We have become acclimated to this world of erudite lies from professional liars like a bunch of frogs in a pot of water on the stove. These professional liars turned up the heat on us slowly, over a long period of time, and now it’s reached a boiling point. Some of us are realizing we must jump out before the boiling water kills us, and many of our resulting behaviors and expressions are correspondingly erratic and unpredictable. But who can blame us for not being graceful as we attempt to scramble out of a boiling pot of water before it kills us?
Just today Dennis Rodman announced he will join Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Singapore for their historic summit next week. He credited PotCoin, a cryptocurrency for the legal weed industry, for making the trip happen. This news all but broke Twitter.
It’s as if the fabric of this insane unreality we have lived in for so long is literally coming apart at the seams, and what’s breaking loose in the process is so bizarre we have no frame of reference for it. But rather than seeing what’s actually insane is the very fabric that once held things together in some tight-knit hologram, we are focused on watching the cartoon shrapnel of crazy that’s flying about us.
If only we could see it’s only a paper moon, sailing over a cardboard sea. Yes, it’s only a canvas sky, hanging over a muslin tree.
Isn’t it interesting to think Yip Harburg and Billy Rose wrote these lyrics back in the 1930s?
Some of us are trying to cope by fixating on distracting minutia and myopic dramas within our lives, to distract us from the world at large. Others are retreating into wine and cheese parties, in the secret hope they’ll wake up tomorrow to a new reality with no hangover. But the intensity, pressure and chaos of these times is truly getting to many: An increasing number of us are taking our own lives.
Tragically, suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death in the United States and just this week celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain killed himself and designer Kate Spade hanged herself at the age of 55.
Suicide rates have increased in nearly every state in the United States, and 25 states saw a more than 30 percent rise in their suicide rate from 1999 to 2016, says a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Thursday.
Much of this chaos is framed to be the fault of the “other side."
For those who identify with the left, the chaos appears to be the fault of the fake news-consuming alt-right that’s constantly on the hunt for another baseless conspiracy, which is ultimately rotting America’s collective intelligence.
For those who identify with the non-left—which now encompasses anyone who refuses to cling to the left’s solidarity of thought, which casts out all non-believers with a fervor once synonymous with religious fanaticism—the chaos seems to be the fault of these party line pushers who refuse to acknowledge the mainstream news is being used by sinister forces for mind control.
And now we’ve looped back around to blaming conspiracy theorists, even if we don’t really trust the 8,500 vampires who are running this world of illusion. But these vampires aren’t identifiable enough to blame, even if we intuitively know they’re at fault, so it’s just easier to claim that red necks and Trump supporters are the architects of this madness.
(And around and around the poop-slinging merry-go-round we go.)
This raging of the battle at outer levels is so convincing, even if the lack of vision in the world is so glaringly apparent. It is garish with muddied colors. It is dissonant with the drumbeats of a murderous urban jungle. It is crass with inanity and absurdity. It is shattering with discord and hopelessness. It is putrid with human filth and degradation. It is vile with the stench of unreasoning minds, fidgeting in darkness.
This is why the shame and blame game must end. Now.
The time for cold hearts and unreasoning minds fidgeting in darkness is done.
It is time for those with ears to hear, eyes to see and hearts that beat to become as shining suns of reality in the midst of this human wretchedness.
It is time to be an example of brotherliness. It is time to be an example of the power of goodwill. It is time to be an example of divine grace, which exceeds all the expectations of material science and the intricacies of human thought and reason.
The call to come up higher has never been louder than it is today. There is a divine draft going on, calling for those who will fight to save this planet from the liars and their lies. It is calling those who will be an example of all that is good rather than find fault with so many others who are still flailing about in the same putrid filth, confusion and degradation we must all escape or be consumed by.
I cannot promise you I will not look like a half-dead frog rediscovering its reflexes as I escape from this inanity and absurdity. But I can promise you I will try to be as graceful and forgiving as I can, and I will fight for you until the end.
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