June 26, 2016 § Leave a comment
Whenever there is a debate of national importance, the madness is so potent, it seeps through people’s pores. Unfortunately they’re not as ashamed of it as they are of their own body odor, for instance. With BO, a passing whiff and a grumble, and it’s forgotten. A national referendum? Now there’s a stench I can’t get out from under my nose. Not that I mind—it’s given people a break from their usual talk of last night’s dinner or gardening techniques. It’s creating friendships on a basis of similar political beliefs. And I’m hardly joking: if social media is to represent the unfortunate state of affairs, then there seem to be only two political camps nowadays: the open-minded, progressive youth (who are all still really into the whole shabby-chic Marxist thing) and the bigoted, racist, fascist, evil, hatemongering xenophobes, usually old and decrepit, or poor and hopeful.
Don’t ever mention their poverty, though, or that would go against the progressive open-minded youth’s ideal world where every single village idiot has potential and just needs to be given a chance, and how dare any bigoted, racist, fascist, evil, hatemongering xenophobe suggest otherwise?
Oh, but when the simple-minded lower classes start opening their mouth and voting despite their lack of education and knowledge, then they are just part of the whole fucking issue, man. Fuckin’ British idiots, everyone else in the world is smarter than them, especially Muslims, or whoever is currently the hot topic in the bigoted, racist, fascist, evil, hatemongering xenophobe world. There can only be one way: either you’re a white supremacist moron or a self-righteous left-wing sheep.
Funny how Hollywood and social media have shaped our culture into a nice, easily controlled Cold-War-era battlefield: left-wingers on one side, snapping their beaks in agreement with each other in uncontrolled rage about the peskiness of world affairs not going their way; right-wingers on the other, doing quite the same thing. You might think the Internet would have led to a universalisation of knowledge, a cultural and societal pot-pourri, so to speak, but you would be so sadly wrong. On my facebook wall, not one single post was in support of Brexit. My friend has a facebook too, but it represents his football pub and not himself. This pub is frequented by working class people with great allegiance to the UK and British football and not much awareness of economic structures. All he saw on his wall was Brexiters galore, spewing the same hate back at their opponents, both blind to each other’s blows, separated by the undeniable iron curtain that stands between every individual’s social media account.
The Internet started out as an all-inclusive platform, where user-based websites would accept anyone and mix everyone in the same forums, open source websites like Wikipedia were really setting the trend for cooperative learning. Social media detracted from all this with its enticing appeal of reeeaal peeeooople. Aren’t you sick of getting stalked by odd strangers whom you idiotically gave your full name to online? Tired of not knowing whether your interlocutor is a man or a woman, human or child? Well why don’t you close yourself into your own little bubble of friends—REAL friends, cause you’ve seen them, they exist, they’re there on the other side of the screen and they’re agreeing with you! So catch ’em all, as many as possible, even, hell, ones you may never have seen (as long as someone real can vouch for them). Then narrow it down when it gets out of control and people start stating opinions (on YOUR wall!) that differ from yours. Soon you will have a network of yes-people at your command, delivering the goods at a flick of the touch screen, enraged at exactly the same thing you’re enraged about. Tentatively, you might start participating in these rants, warning everyone that you’re new to this (they’re real, they might judge you!). Carefully you’ll say the right thing more and more often and get more and more snarky debates and replies in relation to your timid observations, often not really based on anything but what the others on your wall have taught you! And soon, maybe, you’ll be one of the really confident ones, the ones no one can shoot down because others will come to their rescue if anything gets too dirty. They’re the opinionated royalty, and for some reason everyone is striving towards this social status.
There’s nothing to be proud of in flaunting your unsolicited opinion, even if you’ve done a bit of research to solidify it. When I said above that there seem to be two camps, I’m actually part of a third one, a little less populated, and much quieter. We’re the ones who think we’re even more clever than the rest of them for not having an opinion, or rather, being open to all camps. We may lean more to one side than the other, even get passionate about a couple of topics, but ultimately people of either side are not afraid to tell us their dark opinionated secrets. We’re not more educated than the rest of them; really, we just accept that nothing is for certain, and nothing’s gone so wrong for us yet, so why get so passionate about it?