Tuesday, September 30, 2014

YOU DON'T NEED TO YELL (I'm sitting right here)

I have to admit another reason I haven't been blogging so much is that frankly I feel like there's opinion overload going on and I have a lot of ambivalence about contributing to it.  98% of the time when I read something online my honest reaction is "So what?"  It seems like EVERYONE needs to weigh in on everything and the truth is, USUALLY their grasp of the facts of what their weighing in on is tenuous to say the least.  There is an awful lot of gut reaction opining with little evidence of any critical thinking or even just junior high school level reasoning.  Remember back then when we were taught to write response essays in which we were encouraged to lay out FACTS supporting our opinion?  If you do, no one else seems to.

Don't get me started on click bait videos.  But now that I mention it...  UGH.  My Facebook feed is flooded with videos claiming I "won't believe what happens next" or that the person is "left speechless" or "crying" their "eyes out".  And most of the time it's only mildly interesting. I have ALWAYS believed what happened next.  It's the "Upworthy Who Cried Wolf".  You've run out of chances, Upworthy.  And there may be that one amazing video that's posted that I won't bother to look at now because I just don't trust you anymore.

The video of the developmentally challenged guy wearing a bear suit and hugging people on the street?  The description claims no one would have hugged him if he wasn't wearing the bear suit.  Yes.  Correct.  No one would have hugged that guy if he hadn't been wearing that bear suit.  But not because he's developmentally challenged.  No one would have hugged him because we don't hug strangers for no reason.  Ever.  It doesn't matter your level of mental development (unless you are LITERALLY a child), if you come up to me and try to hug me I will knee you in the crotch.  I don't know you.  Get out of my personal space.  That video does NOTHING but wastes two minutes of our lives.

That Ted Talk from the kid with Progeria telling us to seize the day?  Listen kid, I'm sorry you have that awful disease.  That truly sucks.  But here's the thing: You are going to die in your mid-twenties tops (which he acknowledges in the talk, so don't get your feather's ruffled.).  You don't have to worry about paying rent, feeding yourself, shouldering a crippling amount of student loan debt, saving for retirement, or, really anything.  Do you really think you're in a position to tell other people how to live their lives?  Any video with a terminally ill person telling me to seize the day is USELESS to me.  All it does is make me feel guilty that I'm not "living every moment to the fullest" or stopping to smell every rose that I see.  I CAN'T do that because I have to assume that I'm going to live another, what? 50 years? and I don't want to saddle my son with my debt.  I'd like for him to eat and have a roof over his head and that means I have to work.  And sometimes that means I have to do things I really don't like doing.  And your video telling me life is precious just makes those times when I have to do things I don't like doing so that I can, you know, live my life, even worse.

The video of the woman beating the shit out of her daughter for sexting (or whatever)?  Nope.  Never needed to see that.  I already know people are awful.  I'm already trying to make choices in my life to combat that at both micro and macro levels.  Watching a psychotic person beat the daylights out of a child does nothing for me but make me almost too upset to continue on with my day.  Are there REALLY people out there that don't know that shit is going on?  And if they don't, really, how is seeing a video like that going to change it?

Also?  Comments like, "Obama is taking down this country single-handedly."  I mean.  It's just dumb.  On so many levels.  And yes, I can just ignore it, but it just seems to be going on everywhere.  It seems like everywhere I go people are yelling stupid shit in my face.  I stopped listening to the news in February.  I just couldn't take it anymore.  I made the mistake of turning it on one evening a couple months ago and the first thing I heard was a story about some women in India getting raped and hung in trees.  Nope.

I don't want to be another person yelling.  On the other hand, there are things to yell about.  (I saw a shirt in a thrift shop from a pro-choice rally in 1994 with the words "We will never go back!"  IN NINETEEN NINETY FOUR.  And here was are 20 years later and womens' rights are being rolled back at an astonishing rate all over the country (You can read up on some of that here).  We STILL get paid 78 cents to every dollar a man gets paid for the same work.  And it's even worse for women of color.)  It's just that a lot of the yelling is about stuff that is truly unimportant or just plain incorrect.  And I'm telling you, guys, it's going to make us all stupider.

It's too loud.  And I have some ambivalence about adding to the din.  So, yes, that has contributed to my silence.  But, whatever.  If you want to hear my opinion, great.  If not, great.  I'll just be over here in this corner telling my stories.  I'm going to try not to make you stupider.

Here is something to counteract my frustration:

That's for tonight.  I am beat.  It turns out I vowed to start blogging more often at the same exact time I have to learn a song and two plays!  Hahahahaha.