Over the past few weeks, I've checked out of most media and entertainment sources due to the ongoing Covid pandemic. I've grown annoyed with the repeated fear-mongering on various news companies, the lack of intelligent commentary from the federal government, and an even slower uptake of facts and science from my state government. All of the commercials and PSAs about "Together Apart" and "Alone Together" serve only to remind me of how far from a factual response to this pandemic this country has traveled. Instead, debate on when and how to reopen has landed firmly in the trenches of emotional sensationalism and political divides. There is no common sense or reasoned logic to be found among the media or any of its sources or followers when it comes to the Covid discussion.
So I'm going to get a little political this week due to some events over on Twitter. Apologies to those of you who avoid these sorts of posts, but for me, it does relate back to writing and freedom of expression. The cliff-notes version of the story is that an accidental misgendering of a transperson occurred in the midst of an unrelated and not-quite-heated debate. The transperson became upset because the debate opponent did not apologize in a "sincere" fashion. The entire thing was blown out of proportion from there and numerous side-debates, attacks, threats, and bullying transpired.
I started listening to another lecture series last week, this one on essay writing. And within the first two lectures, the professor had already rubbed me the wrong way. She spoke about a trip she took where she deliberately did not take a camera with her, because she wished to experience her destination using all of her senses rather than focusing it through the framework of a lens. While this is a position I can respect, the way she referred to photography as the editing of the world to show only what the photographer wants the audience to see is not how I personally go about my photo trips. And it set me off for a while. I really wanted to stop listening to the lecture series after that second lesson, but I have decided to continue on to see what else the professor has to offer that may prove useful to me. I will listen, although I disagree.
Many people will not understand how engaging in a true debate could be relaxing in any sense of the word, but for me, debates offer a great distraction that keep my mind in a healthy state of exercise and contemplation. I don't have time to dwell on negative thoughts or frustrations brought on by other people whom I cannot avoid or address.
I'm betting it's safe to assume that the average American is looking forward to Tuesday night/Wednesday morning when the midterm elections will finally be over and political advertisements will cease for a while. I certainly won't miss the influx of junk mail and robo-calls. However, I doubt that things will calm down once the results are in and the winners announced. A month ago I posted an entry entitled “Us Versus Them” Helps No One. The feelings behind that post are still strong, but the results of these elections I feel will continue to divide us.
So for anyone who frequents social media, the past few weeks have probably been rough. Now, I will not downplay the trauma any person has felt as a result of assaults or honest discrimination, but there is a major problem if someone decides to demonize half the human race due to the actions of one or several individual(s). Not only is it unjust to hold someone accountable for something that they did not even bare witness to, but you will exhaust yourself doing it.
Regardless of what political views or moral codes you subscribe to, most people hold an idealized concept of how they think the world would work if everyone held the same beliefs and lived by the same rules. Some people strive to make those ideals a reality. They engage in protests. They participate in letter-writing campaigns. They attempt to teach as many people as they can about their philosophies. These can be good things that bring about positive changes in our world, and yet we often see in the media how these actions polarize people into "us v them."
I had originally wanted to reboot this blog last October/November (2017), but just as I was finding time to devote to it, the Las Vegas shooting occurred. I didn't want to start uploading posts during such a time of political and social chaos. Now when I've found time once again, we've had the Florida school shooting... Please, click to read more.