Nestled between social media posts about emails, the FBI, sexism, racism, social tension and Cubs fans I find memes that wish me a happy week filled with good thoughts, kind people and a multitude of blessings. It’s enough to make me walk away from every electronic device and go outside. Just for five minutes, to give my stress level a chance to dissipate before I go in and try to do my job effectively, all while avoiding any discussion about any kind of current event.
I don’t know about anyone else, but it’s becoming overwhelmingly difficult to “remain positive” in this climate. The media has gone completely bi-polar. One minute it’s a report about the coming war with Russia, the next it’s a heartwarming video on Youtube of a baby and a dog who are best friends. “Stay afraid America! But while you’re afraid, take comfort in the small things you can afford to be happy about. Before the Russians kill us all! And then give everyone a new pet hamster.”
The wall I’ve built to prevent myself from losing my cool over some of the most insane news I’ve seen in my lifetime is steadily crumbling against the weight of the information overload of our time. I say “our” time, but I guess I really mean the time of the U.S. I refuse to believe the majority of the rest of the world is as closely self-obsessed as we’ve become. Even those, typically elder, individuals that have struggled to avoid it all together are getting left behind and laughed at for allowing themselves to become obsolete. “You don’t even own a smartphone!”
Smartphone. Ha. They should rename them to make-you-dumb phones. (Which is really kind of funny, considering “dumb” means that you aren’t able to speak.) It is both a blessing and a curse to have unlimited information at your fingertips. But we seem more satisfied passing around dick pics and updating the urban dictionary than accessing the web for what it is, free education. We’re faced with endless choices every day. Some immediate, some long term. Most of them are missed opportunities because we can’t process the information in time to make a choice in the first place. The onslaught of political banter that is poisoning the airwaves now is so irritating I’m at a loss for words to describe how it truly makes me feel. Stressed out doesn’t quite cover it. I know I’m not the only one.
To watch a group of indigenous people stand up for their rights to their own sacred land, only to be met with over-militarized police forces is heartbreaking. To see a group of white, gun-toting, self-described patriots stand up for their “land rights” by taking over federal property with no real repurcussions, and met with NO resistance is asinine. What does that say to the rest of us?! For a country that loves to make a shit-load of rules that will never be followed by the people with the money who can afford an over-priced attorney, we sure don’t seem interested in setting guidelines for the real problems. Have you ever read V for Vendetta? What about The Matrix? From Hell? Surely you’ve read 1984. I feel like I’m starting to sound paranoid, but what option is there?
I try to find reliable sources that should be providing objective, fact-based information about what’s taking place in my city, my country and around the world. Sifting through the “news” to find the accurate information. Determining whether or not the information you’ve found is indeed “accurate” is still more difficult. There’s a reason I’d rather be outside chopping wood or digging in my garden. It’s not apathy, it’s not nihilism. I just want to get back to basics. I’m so tired of feeling like the dam is going to break and that we’re headed for the end. My wall is crumbling. Like most, I’m sure, I’m skating dangerously close to the edge of the opinion that maybe a collapse of the wall is what needs to happen.