No one can deny that the internet has been a truly amazing advancement in human communication, anyone can instantly have a conversation with virtually anyone on earth, at any time. It has totally transformed how humans interact with one another. Obviously, that is both a good and a bad thing, it has enabled us to have face to face contact anywhere via phone, or computer, but it has also turned some of us into a bunch of anonymous, bitching trolls,
Lately I’ve been watching re-runs of the T.V. show N.C.I.S., the original with Mark Harmon. One of the things that’s very interesting to me is the technological development that happens during the time frame of the show, which began airing in 2003. You see all the advances in cell phones and computers, the burgeoning of social media and a snap shot of the political arena of the time. It makes me think back to a far simpler time, before the internet, before cell phones, before social media. We didn’t have instant communication, you actually had to answer the phone to find out who was on the other line, (I admit, I absolutely love caller I.D.). There were no telemarketers calling you at all times of the day and night, so answering the phone was cool, you never knew who was on the other end. You were tied to the phone by an umbilical cord, so escaping the ears of attentive parents wasn’t exactly an easy thing to do. (Yes, I am so old that I remember using a rotary dial phone). There was no such thing as social media, you actually had to meet people face to face. The instantaneous information we rely on today was a distant dream. If you needed to find out something you went to the library, where there were actual books. Before search engines, there were these books called encyclopedias that were filled with the accumulated knowledge of man. There was still fake news, like the C.I.A.’s “Operation Mockingbird” media infiltration program, that placed agents in various media outlets in an attempt to control the narrative, and I remember the lies the military told during Vietnam, but for the most part the mainstream media actually reported the news, instead of their own opinions or the opinions of their employers. There was division amongst different groups of Americans, there was racism, but the divisions that existed then, are nothing in comparison to the divisions we are dealing with now in America.
My wife wrote out a couple of thoughts about this whole mess of mass communications that I thought were very compelling. After I was laid off from work, I ditched social media, Facebook and Instagram being the ones that I used most often. When I decided that I was going to try and write a blog, I realized that I would have to get back on that particular bike. I opened up a new Facebook page, along with Instagram and Twitter. I HATE THESE PLATFORMS, THEY ARE EVIL, there is no other way to say it, and my wife’s thoughts directly deal with that hatred. My wife makes jewelry, very nice, beautiful, hand-crafted pieces. She posts pictures of them on Instagram, which is her main social media platform, because there are a lot of artists showing their wares on the pages she visits. She is constantly complaining about how some of these artists will make comments about current events, instead of talking about making jewelry. Her opinion is that artists should be trying to help each other out, share ideas to help people get better at their craft, a novel thought I know, people actually helping people, instead of bitching about politics. The BLM riots and the whole “Evil Orange Man” Trump tirades were the two most popular issues that constantly polluted her Instagram pages, and still do for that matter. Her point is very valid, which is, when did it become ok, to sit behind a keyboard and denigrate someone by making snide remarks about their political beliefs, or their art for that matter. Her dad would always say, “if it makes you feel big, to make me feel small…”, or the old axiom “if you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” These are as long gone as the rotary phone. Why do people think it’s ok to post something on social media, that they would not say to that person, if they were face to face? For her the golden rule is sacrosanct, treat others like you would like to be treated. That is why on my blog page I say that I welcome ALL opinions, left or right, as long as it’s done respectfully with no ad hominem attacks.
Social media has provided a cover for cowards who most certainly would never have the guts to say the things they post if they had to confront that person face to face. This cowardice applies to both ends of the political arena, I’ve read some pretty mean, spiteful, petty comments on some of the conservative pages I read. The vitriol from the left, however, far exceeds what we see on the conservative side. For example, when Trump was diagnosed with the Wu-Flu, you had people on social media and cable news, hoping that he would die, that it would serve him right for all the perceived ills he had done. Remember Kathy Griffith, with a picture of her holding Trumps decapitated head? On and on the hatred for all things Trump was and still is, intense and vile. The Wu-flu vaccine controversy is another example of this insanity. You have Jimmy Kimmel saying “let the unvaccinated die”. When Joe Rogan, certainly no friend of the right, came out and said how he treated his case of Covid, you would have thought he was a mass murderer from the reaction he got from the left, people wishing he would die. Now you have the hip-hop rapper, Nicki Minaj simply asking questions, telling people not to be bullied into taking the jab, and she is excoriated on cable news and social media. When did this become acceptable behavior? Where has simple common decency gone? I may disagree with progressives vehemently, but I would never wish any of them dead, just because of a difference in politics, or religion, it’s absurd. The difference is not the name calling, of which I admit I am guilty of from time to time, but the actual wishing of someone to die. I may think that Joe Biden is a traitorous puppet that is leading America into subservience to the CCP, but I’ve NEVER said that I wished he would die. I’ve criticized his wife, and family for even allowing him to run, with his obvious mental issues, I believe it truly amounts to elder abuse, but I don’t wish death on him or his family, just accountability for their actions.
Twitter is the worst, worse even than Facebook. I’ve tried to use Twitter, I’ve posted my blogs there, and made some tweets, but since I’m new to the twitter-sphere I don’t get a lot of traction or responses. The Twitter-threads I’ve read are filled with some of the most ignorant, hate filled, stupid comments I’ve EVER seen. I understand that there are “trolls” out there that do nothing but try and stir the pot, my question is why? Just to get clicks? Just to make people hate their neighbor or their fellow countryman, or their fellow human? It’s all so disgusting.
Twitter and the other Big Tech social media platforms, Facebook and YouTube actively censor anything they consider misinformation, putting themselves as judge and jury over the first amendment. Trump is banned, but not the Taliban, they print the bogus Russia Hoax dossier, but censor the true story of Hunter Biden’s laptop. All of this is done purposely to create division. For them, the division in America is the best thing that could happen for them. Clicks and trends, usually instigated by fringe elements or A.I. algorithms are what is most important. It doesn’t matter if there is no connection to reality, no connection to the average American.
Like Facebook and any of the big social media platforms, Twitter is addictive, it feeds the hate and the perceived injustices of that segment of the people that seemingly have nothing better to do then troll the Twitter feeds. It has brought about the development of “influencers”, where someone can become famous just by being able to influence people’s thoughts and opinions one way or another. (Here’s a clue, if you have to rely on someone else’s opinion for your world view, instead of relying on our own intelligence, you may be in danger of becoming a “sheeple”). When I first started going on Facebook years ago, I would get into political arguments with the “friends” I had on there. I naively thought that I could change someone’s mind by arguing facts against propaganda. What a mistake that was! I had to “un-friend” a couple of people, because they fell back on the usual leftist tactic of ad hominem attacks, I was a racist, a Nazi, you name it, I was called it. Nowadays I don’t argue politics on social media, I’ll post my blogs, and if anyone wants to comment that’s fine, I have no problem with that, but I’m not going to engage in a social media political war with anyone, I simply won’t respond. Not very many people read them anyway, (although thanks to “The Rumor Mill”, I’ve had a nice uptick in people reading my blogs, so thank you VERY much Rumor Mill), but it might be because I’ve been very selective of who I make friends with on my new accounts.
It’s a very sad commentary on our times. As humans we tend to get locked into a groove, a habit that’s hard to break. People wear blinders, call it stubbornness or, at least in my case, maybe a certain laziness that blinds us to different perspectives. We see or hear only what we want to see or hear, so we can’t, or won’t, see both sides of any issue. As I was discussing this blog with my wife, we got on the subject of all these kids wearing their masks, outside in the bright sunshine. I remarked that I couldn’t believe the ignorance of these kids, how could they just simply hide their heads in the sand and not realize what is being done to them. My wife speculated that they probably do realize what’s going on, but it’s that these kids have been conditioned in anonymity. They have become so accustomed to hiding behind a smart-phone’s keyboard, that the thought of hiding behind a mask is actually very natural to them. It made me look at the issue from another perspective. I think the thought of actual personal, face to face interaction probably scares the hell out of a lot of our youth these days. They are, for all intents and purposes, wearing blinders of anonymity, unable and unwilling to see the benefit of actual human interaction. I see it all the time, students walking around Sonoma State University with a friend, but they aren’t talking to each other, they’re totally absorbed into whatever is on the hypnotic blue screen of the smart-phone. It reminds me of the stupidly funny movie “Zoolander”, people are being hypnotized and mind-controlled by a media that DOES NOT have our best interests at heart. It’s a media that thrives on division and hate. A great example of this is an episode from the original “Star-Trek” series, entitled “The Day Of The Dove”. In the episode an alien entity sneaks aboard the Enterprise, as Kirk beams up a bunch of Klingons. It then manipulates the ship so that both sides are equal in number. It also manipulates the crew and the Klingons, preying off their prejudices and hatreds for each other, intensifying them. The entity transforms their phasers into swords, and if anyone is injured, they heal miraculously. It feeds on the energy from the hate and fighting between the two combatants generate. (My favorite Captain Kirk line “…in the heart, in the head, I won’t stay dead”). Exactly like what is happening today, social media, all media for that matter, is thriving on the hate and division they are purposely causing, they ARE the alien entity. In the end, the humans and Klingons get together and use good will, and good feelings to defeat the alien intruder. Hmm, sounds like a great idea to me. I know I am being manipulated by what I hear and see going on around me. When I see a car with a Biden Harris, or a BLM bumper sticker, I feel an almost overwhelming urge to go over and slap them. That is exactly what they, the media, the alien entity, want us to do, so I resist the temptation.
We can’t give into hate, we have to resist the manipulating liars that want us, that need us to strike out against each another. That enables us to needlessly denigrate someone, or to wish that person would die, just because we disagree with them. The bible tells us we have to forgive others for their transgressions against us if we are to be forgiven for ours, it also says that a house divided against itself cannot stand. There are evil people in government, in business and media that want to tear America apart, but in my heart of hearts I truly believe that the vast majority of Americans, from both sides, just want to get along. Lies and narratives are being foisted on the people on purpose, disinformation and manipulations that are designed to keep us from staying united. Remember after 9-11 how both sides came together? We can do that again. I know that the smart-phone, social media and internet are not going away, but we don’t have to allow them to feed on the hate they generate for their own existence. A pipe dream I know, but I believe peace and love, and respect for our fellow humans IS POSSIBLE!
SO, PEACE AND LOVE, MY BOTHERS AND SISTERS AND AS ALWAYS ROCK ON Y’ ALL.