(I revised this so many times, thought I published this last week … sigh … And here I was planning to write a blog post tomorrow. Apologies!!!)
Highlights of To be hopeFULL or hopeLESS – Internet Adversity Leads to Amity
On Christmas Day – I was writing a response to a former adversary on the internet … Discussing politics can do that. I am wondering if the American taboo to avoid speaking about politics or religion in everyday conversation actually creates the very sort of political polarization we see in America. People don’t have the opportunity to thoughtfully consider politics amongst friends, family, neighbors … because this type of conversation is socially forbidden. So it seems that internet forums are now addressing this vacuüm. It is pretty ironic that we have the political right to freedom of speech and peaceful political action, but socially we pay a price. Look at what happened in New York – the citizenry dared to challenge the police brutality/lack of indictment in the case of Eric Garner’s death/murder with weeks of peaceful protests, and then one nutjob murders two policemen. And Mayor Bill De Blasio and thousands of peaceful protesters in a city of 10 million plus are blamed for the action of one sociopath. If we were able to rationally consider the political complexities involved on a daily basis, we wouldn’t be vulnerable to the mainstream media’s actions to inflame an already tragic situation.
Below is a “Reader’s Digest” version of a comment thread/conversation concerning the Democratic Presidential campaign in 2016. Before the back and forth aforementioned … a cacophany of venting from various folks sets the stage.
Guy 1 (Ready to Blow it all to hell) – Giving special concessions to people based on the amount of money they have is not equality. Allowing police to murder a person for just playing with a toy gun or selling a cigarette but doing nothing to imprison bankers who steal trillions of dollars, causing the poverty & homelessness & deaths of millions, is not equality. That kind of fascism deserves only one thing: blowing the fucking brains out of anyone (cop, judge, politician, voter) who supports it. And honoring the hero who blows their brains out just like righties demand everyone honor soldiers.
Me (attempting to talk Guy 1 – off the edge of going Postal) – I believe that Revolution is inevitable, but for the People to win it – they need to revolt smart rather than stupid – there are ALL sorts of political tools available that are peaceful and used over time are very effective – strikes; boycotts; petitions; protests; sit-ins; die-ins – but first of all – before these are truly effective people need to have conversations – people need to inform themselves and others and start having conversations with diverse groups on ALL sides … because unless one is of the 1 per cent or a corporate stooge … the truth is actually a uniting force. And this is why people can no longer rely on the corporate-controlled media for their MAIN information … listen to it, read it with skepticism ALWAYS!!! One should always have this question in their mind – What is their angle? And does that serve me or go against my interests.
Guy 2 – (Feeling hopeful about Elizabeth Warren’s fight against the Banksters) – This isn’t rare for the majority of Democratic supporters. This has been our stance for years! What I find humorous is that I’m convinced that most of us in this country are now and have been for a very long time on the same page at heart in what we want. I think we’ve allowed ourselves to become confused and manipulated against one another.
Me – (Yay! Guy 2) Absolutely, it is time we hold ALL our politicians’ feet to the fire. I am lucky because my Representative and both of my Senators, who happen to be Democratic are very well-informed and consistently vote progressively. But I wouldn’t necessarily say this is the case of all Democrats … I would say the majority are in the deep pockets of corporations and swimming in their money.
Gal 1 – (Challenging the idea that Democrats are “better” than Republicans) – maybe you don’t look hard enough. they both serve corporate interests.
Me – (defending the “good” Dems) … on certain issues Dems are better, environment; women’s issues; discrimination; labor rights; government regulation; education, gun-control. I have 2 Democratic Senators and 1 Democratic representative in the state of Washington, and I would be hard-pressed to find better representatives on a whole slew of issues. Certainly there are plenty of fake Dems, but there are a few that stick to the program. Sadly, until our election campaign system is changed where so much money is needed to get elected, it is inevitable that politicians will have to seek for great funds from some wealthy interests or millions of individuals in order to get elected. How far the politician will back pedal on their morality in order to keep cozy with their wealthy constituents is always the ultimate determinant of who is worthy to lead or not.
Guy 3 (My “Wake me up” Troll) – Please, wake up! Like you even said, the game is rigged! The idea of Democrats and Republicans is only a well crafted illusion to polarize the people. A clever trap created by the truly powerful to divide and distract. By using the age-old battle between good and evil as their tool. It’s really quite brilliant. People like you have the evil Republicans to blame and mostly old white people have the socialist Democrats to blame. It’s brilliant because that’s all people really want, someone other than themselves to blame for their shitty life. ….. Your average citizen doesn’t give a shit or have the time or the capability to grasp the magnitude of the new world order. They have a game to watch or a celebrity to follow. Examples of micro polarization. Team against team, whore against slut. Americans are now so uninformed they can’t even see the cliff they just walked off of. Shit, American’s have handed over almost all of their rights and freedoms during the past decade. Now with this bill’s passing, they are now officially bank-corrupt too.
And the cherry on top of this shit sundae, we torture people now So please, wake up and get ready to fight or run..Thank God they didn’t get the guns!
Me – ( Feeling insulted and feisty) I am not asleep, thanks very much. Please don’t take me for an idiot. For all your agonizing about the end of the world .. do you realize that since the beginning of time people have been saying it has been the end of time? I am not so deluded that Elizabeth Warren will turn things around entirely. But she is sure-shooting better than the stick-in-the-eye choice we would have with Jeb Bush vs. Hilary Clinton. I think those who like to paint all things as hunky-dorey or as total gloom and doom just refuse to realize that we don’t know WTF is going to happen in the future … there are so many variables and complexities going on in the world, that really all sorts of things could happen, good or bad. No one can control the future. All we can do is the best we can NOW…. Two guys are at the bottom of a hole, one sits at the bottom and whines about how it isn’t worth trying to crawl out. The other strategizes how to climb out of the hole, tries and fails numerous times, but each time gains knowledge of what may or may not work … till he finally climbs out, no help from the first one. Meanwhile the first guy is still whining at the bottom. There is NO perfect solution to answer all of life’s questions, but that doesn’t mean you don’t keep refining the equation again and again getting as close as you can to the answer. Unless of course you are just lazy in life.
Guy 3 – (Defends his cause for Hopelessness in regards to politics via Mark Twain)
“No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.” “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” “Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”
“God created war so that Americans would learn geography.”
“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re mis-informed.”
“Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.”
Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”
“If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.”
“In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.”
Me – (Frustrated that this very intelligent man will encourage other intelligent folk NOT to participate politically because it is hopeless feeding our main weakness in the U.S. – political apathy) I have been knowledgeable of the rigged system of our government since I was 15. But at the same time, no system that has human beings running it can be static or unchanging. And not EVERYTHING our government accomplishes is against the people. And it will be a lot less so if the people get more involved. I don’t know if you are a white male, but most likely you are … things have been good for the white males in the world … pretty much for forever … but for women, for people of color, for gays … there have been quite a few gains in the last century …. But at the same time, innocent Black men are killed by cops; single mothers make up the largest percentage of the poor; and Gays are discriminated against in the workplace … yet – what has changed … is that there is legislation addressing these issues when 50 or more years there was none. And rigged or not, the politicians know that the 99 per cent when incensed can cripple the country if they choose to do so. Intelligent organization and unity is what is necessary.You seem to be an intelligent man, why don’t you educate yourself on the variety of political tools that can be used to challenge or change things? Rather than calling Fire in a crowded theatre. What you are doing is NOT at ALL HELPFUL. Unless you want to wallow in depression. I have had enough depression in my life to indulge in nursing at the teat of negativity. Enjoy your milk of despair. I am having none of it.
Guy 3(Getting closer to his real truth) – You know what the funny thing is? I’m not even an American, my vote don’t count… but my voice might. I’m a north American but not American. I am Canadian, eh. 33 years ago I took my first breath in a socialist hospital in Alberta Canada. I can only hope to intrigue or to piss one of you off enough that you “wake up” and go out there and actually make a difference for me. I feel so strongly about your political system because I see it as the last hope for humanity. You are the last group of free people to roam the earth with any real, tangible power left. And most of you have no idea how close to losing it you really are.
Like in StarWars, your once great republic is falling. It has almost been taken over completely by the truly evil corporate Empire.(Darth Cheney) There are a small group of people though, the rebels, fighting to take it back. Trying desperately to wake everyone up before it is too late.
The only reason other countries like mine still have even a modicum of freedom is because of the American revolution and the American dream, both of which I’m afraid to say if you asked the majority of Americans to explain they would respond, “Those were like reality shows or something, right?”
Me – (Encouraging)
You are a decent writer – Start a blog and start educating people about what is going on … I know all these things … As I said, just because you know you are at the bottom of the hole doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t figure out a way to get out.
And my brief response touches a nerve –
Guy 3 – Thank you Liza, I am honored to receive your unwarranted encouragement and advise for I must confess I deserve neither. The diatribe I instigated was born purely and solely from my ignorance to the situation of your previous conversation and I owe you an apology.
I basically threw a rock at a bird flying by only because the rock was in my hand. My original post was actually written for someone else entirely. Someone I felt needed to get hit by a rock. So, after throwing said rock at my intended target and feeling quite, not tentative at all and bullshit proof, I strutted along eagerly perusing posts when I happened upon the “Dems are better at” in your post and bam,,, I threw the rock. With out any further investigation I hit “paste”, I quickly deleted the tasteless opening sentence from the prior post, thankfully, leaving only the “wake up” and re-posted…. Unwittingly painting myself green and building a bridge over my head. All with one click of the mouse.
My journey into troll-dom has been an interesting adventure and gratefully proved to be what every mistake can only hope to be, educational.
Thank you for shining a light under my bridge instead of just dodging my rock and flying on by 🙂Funny I had never posted anything online before last week. Getting a tattoo seemed like less of a permanent commitment.
Like you had assumed earlier, I am a depressed privileged white devil. My depression is for the world more than because of my my place in it though, even considering I’m more privileged to be alive than silver spoon type. I was raised on the poverty line by my very frugal single mother. Since I was 12 I have battled with addiction. In my youth I was repeatedly told I was stupid so believing I was I eventually dropped out of high school. I worked labor jobs, mostly painting oil rig equipment where I made good money for a guy with no education. When I was 25 a car crash landed me in the hospital for 9 weeks and 7 surgeries. Unable to labor after I took a secretary type job at a limousine company for a 1/3 the pay I made earlier. I went bankrupt. I eventually became the operations manager there where I had to compose a lot of emails. Some strange twists and turns later, here we are today.
Pure ignorance was bliss, I’m depressed now because my eyes were opened to the Matrix like evil in the world early this year, scaring me into looking at what was actually important. I have been sober since May and recently was able to pack up and move way up to middle of nowhere northern Alberta. (The northern lights have been pretty amazing past couple nights) I now live 100% debt free in a old carpenters house with my Italian sheep dog puppy named Angelo on 13 acres of banana-belt farm land with 5 acres of woods and 2 large ponds. I will be acquiring sheep, chickens, rabbits and a couple pigs in the spring. My goal is to be completely off grid self sufficient for next winter. I am truly blessed to be able to do this.
As you can probably imagine I have recently found myself with a lot of time on my hands. I’ve never considered writing seriously but may begin to blog soon.
Me – (Final Response – several days later) –
Merry Christmas – If you observe it at all. That is the least I can say considering you poured your heart out in your post, and I didn’t take the time to read it earlier than this. Truthfully, I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I think I was putting it off. I have had my share of dealing with Trolls and there is no way I would have expected this particularly human response from you. Thanks for the time you took to explain your story. It is very late at night here, or early in the morning, and I need to go to bed so that I don’t sleep through Christmas and disappoint my family.As I said, and after reading your post, you have confirmed it even more so – you are a good writer with a strong voice … and I have found that my participation in the blogging community has been a very positive experience. Check out Wordpress.com‘s — The Daily Post – This is where any blogger can elicit comments about their blog from a supportive community of peers. It always helps to visit other people’s blogs and give comments about them as well. I find this a far more productive social internet experience than YouTube comment threads. Also, it sounds like you deeply care about the world and the mess that it is in, while at the same time taking active measures to create a better life for yourself. I applaud your decision to go off the grid. More people should do this! Anyway, if you are looking for another more uplifting internet environment, check out En*theos, it is a very supportive community of people working toward bettering their own lives and supporting others to do the same … in health, mindset, spirit, etc … I have found it to be a great place to go to balance out all the negative influences in the media. For myself, I am very selective in the way I ingest media. Certain sources, I find to be incredibly toxic – Fox News, Rush Limbaugh … the combination of manipulative fear-mongering and promulgation of an ignorant, hateful mindset makes my blood boil … so I avoid them like the plague … but their nasty messages reach me through other sources, so I don’t need to go to the original fount. I know how profoundly disturbing taking in too much of the world’s despair without a strong sense of my own peace can be … so at times when I have felt the most vulnerable, I have found it best to immerse myself in positive aspects of existence … focusing on doing positive things and thinking positive things — just to get to some sort of balance. Anyway – Merry Christmas to you and your puppy : ) And take good care of yourself : )