Sentiment and stupidity

They no longer read newspapers. Partly it was because there were very few facts and lots of opinion. They like that because all they had to do was read the comments online and then click an arrow and they had agreed. They generally agreed since they were only looking to confirm what they thought. They needn’t have worried. Their point of view was the same as most people, well most people who were correct in the way they saw life.  Basically there was no need for dissent. People who disrupted the flow of agreement by dissenting just didn’t get it. They were told to leave.

They read Harry Potter, Dan Brown, 50 Shades of Grey and something by an economist they didn’t understand but they thought they should read. They made sure people saw them reading these books on trains and buses, by not buying the electronic versions. Otherwise it would mean they had not read them.

They went to charity concerts, bought wristbands, chanted volubly against poverty and war and then went home and forgot about it.  They were part of everything and nothing.

They liked everything on Facebook that their friends liked. Their friends liked everything they liked. They had lots of friends but nobody who understood them.

They would never step in to help a person in need but agreed on Social Media where everyone could see them, that people who did were GOOD and more people should be GOOD but not them, not right now.

They swallowed trivia, lies and gossip while registering their disgust at the media who responded to their appetite for it.

They were disgusted at nasty trolls on social media and took the opportunity to be even nastier to them to show them how much nastier they could be.

They made heroes out of people who in the past would have just been, well, people. They made heroes out of sentiment and thin air.

Ah sentiment. Wasn’t it wonderful? It had long taken the place of compassion though many confused the two and if they’d stopped to think about it (which of course they hadn’t , they would have known. 1 person getting killed was very bad. Sometimes 3000 getting killed wasn’t noticed because that one who got killed was more important in the media. They got angry at the Media sometimes, kind of  like a child does with a parent but then, like good children, they fell into line and did what was right. Sometimes they were brave and signed petitions but only if 100,000 other people had signed them first. They wanted to be sure.

What was interesting was that most of them were not five, ten or twenty. They were thirty, forty, fifty years of age and more. And now they were less sure than they had ever been.

 

4 comments for “Sentiment and stupidity

  1. June 2, 2013 at 21:55

    Well isn’t that just the most accurate overview of modern society I have read in recent times. AS I see it, all the important stuff is boiled down and delivered in the same tidy 140 character package as the unimportant stuff. And we consume it. We don’t actually understand much.
    On the flip side – and there always is one – modern communication allows us to see real time video of what happens in far away places, like Turkey and Lebanon and we are forced to comprehend it viscerally. Anonymous is the new media, and world police, and we hope people will get and stay angry when real issues are on the table. Or we just flip to TMZ and check on the Kardashians.

  2. June 3, 2013 at 16:20

    I won’t go into the reasons for this–you know them as well as I do… well, perhaps one:

    There isn’t necessarily more life and information to deal with and process daily, but it is more disjointed. Presentation is vital, and very few of us have experienced good presentation. Whether this was intentional or not, it has happened. We’re all suffering from cognitive dissonance. This post is a perfect example of it.

    Examples… that 100,000th signature could be from the person who had been dealing with radiation therapy and could not get to a computer until that point. History has always memorialized the one or two it considered noteworthy as opposed to the masses (how many Greek and Roman soldiers do you know from the legions that attacked Troy or rode the Mediterranean with Marcus to Egypt?).

    It feels empowering to write about the present “problems” in the world and society–wow, I’m doing something–I’m making a statement! I’m waking people up!

    Thing is, that approach is self-defeating. We don’t know, and we never did. We just do the best we can, as we can, and keep plugging on trying a little hard each time.

  3. woe
    June 3, 2013 at 17:12

    Magnolia, thanks and as I will stress to Eden (Below) I am (and perhaps it should have stated this up front) more concerned with the fact that nobody is thinking for themselves or allowing themselves to feel. Instead they are acquiring thinking and feeling through others without questioning it.

    Eden, I think this was open to interpretation and you response confirms that. I don’t think this is so much a ‘problem’ and I am certainly not waking people up. My style is to comment on an aspect of the bigger picture and my comment is that a significant amount of people appear to be sucked into the vortex of adopting whatever seems to be the party line and following blindly. So my aside here…and that is what I think it is…is that people do not choose for themselves.

    Ironically in a life that offers access to greater choice at greater speed, people are choosing to follow the crowd. And you know the implications. Now we could discuss whether that is because of a whole lot of other factors….

  4. woe
    June 3, 2013 at 17:16

    PS: Eden, “Empowered’ is one of those meaningless words I hate to use. But stick around. I like that you commented the way you did. Though I can be utterly frivolous. Best, WOE

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