Monday, September 19, 2016

The Social (Media) Disease v1.0

I need to preface this sprawling, sometimes disconnected composite post with a considerate warning: this is a bit of a slightly cynical purge that's a work-in-progress. And, as always, I reserve the right to tweak and edit it. I'll change the "v" numbers as I do. It's something I just need to begin working on because chronic, habitual, cynicism can be just as delusional and self-destructive as any ideology or religion. It destroys any perception and sense of possibility. And, nothing good has ever been achieved without that. Being immersed in the social media tar pit has ignited a toxic level of cynicism that’s counter productive, especially considering where my latest, obscure Internet outpost hopes to go. This is an effort to eliminate the poisonous goo to make room for that which really matters. If you choose to stay on this page, brace yourself. You’re about to get hit with a supercharged truth bomb. One that has an eventual counterbalanced punchline, but one you won’t read in this particular post.

Hey, it’s my way. Just go with it, fuckers.

***

So, what triggered a fourth blog? Glad you asked. And, by clicking over here…you asked. There were a few things.

Last week, I had a friend I totally respect and absolutely adore fully deactivate her Facebook account. Her reasons had to do with being fed up with Facebook’s general stupidity and another event sounding vaguely stalkerish; something I’ve experienced myself.

She messaged me beforehand to make sure we could stay in touch. That made me realize, again, something quite important and something that "should" be painfully obvious: At it’s very BEST, Facebook cheapens almost everything. Not the least of all, the notion of "friendship". Of course, I’ve found some real gems in Facebook’s steaming pile of humanity’s worst but, scrolling thru my list, I STILL mostly had a collection of faces and names who, unless I found ways to entertain them, would make no tangible effort whatsoever to maintain our "friendship" or "relationship". And, quite honestly, to a great degree, vice versa. Too many were there because of what they used to mean. Or, what I hoped they’d mean later on. Silly.

I’m sure there’s some very special “psychology” at play here, and I could articulate most of it, but I, for one, demand authentic “friends”. Having someone in your feed offering nothing more than "likes" or an occasional comment, isn't "friendship". That this notion is so widely accepted is relatively new.

I'm still not really interested in defining what it "is", but I decided to follow Amber's lead and force folks to earn the title. It’s simple: Want to keep up with what's going on with me? Cool. Make some basic effort. I'm not going to spoon feed you via Facebook any longer. If you don't? I'll try to think fondly of your ghost. Really. I will. No hard feelings.

Something has become clear since Facebook exploded 8-years ago and we stopped “wondering what happened” to everyone: Not everyone was meant to cross life's epochs with us. Personally? After wallowing in this slop for nearly a decade?  I'm perfectly fine with that. BETTER than fine! I can't say the attempt has been successful, anyhow. Ive lost count how many fond memories were tainted or even destroyed by Facebook’s political, social, and general ignorance megaphone; the constant mindless displays of idiocy by people I used to respect. Used to. From here, it’s a simple realization: Email, phone calls, and these goofy blogs worked perfectly well once upon a time! Even better, actually.

From my perspective, Facebook must be treated like a ridiculously exclusive VIP room with a draconian behavioral policy. Start spewing your filth all over my page, or toward people I care about and respect more than you, like you’re in the Newsmax comment section? Out the air lock with you! (Thanks, Jim Wright.) “*But, what about all the times we got drunk and hunted questionable beaver in 1994*?!?!” Exactly. What about it? And yes, Billy Bob. I’m aware this is a two-way street. That only strengthens the argument. VIP Room now! VIP Room forever!

For the most part, I quit participating on other people's Facebook pages two years ago. I’ve also brutally purged then put my own page on lock down. In addition, I have a few who remain on double secret probation. Why? For the same reason I have "comments" set to "moderate" on this page. Genetic idiots and willfully ignorant trolls aren't just entitled to an unmoderated voice. It’s not covered by the 1st Amendment. Sure, everyone’s entitled to have one, but all opinions are NOT created equal.  Not in my world. And I'm certainly not going to provide a virtual open-mic to every random, drunken, retarded star spangled wombat staggering forth from all corners of the internet’s nether regions armed with piles of second-hand batshit propaganda.

Unless, of course, it’s controlled and exploited with of savage mockery and ridicule.

Random online interactions are risky and should be treated like 2AM bar whores. Kept at a safe distance lest you risk developing an embarrassing, unwanted, very public intellectual rash creeping down on your cyber-groin. One that itches every 10-minutes and just won't go away. We all know that person. In fact, I’d wager that “that guy” is reading this right now. And sometimes you're shocked to learn this metaphorical bar whore is someone you've known 20-years!


THE COUCHED MOB

When I returned from Peru in February, it was becoming clear that my predictions in South America were prophetic: The belching Orange Baboon could actually win! Not just the nomination. The election! It also became clear that the question, “How is this even remotely possible?” had a familiar sound. Germany. Late 1920’s and early 30’s. Since Im a kid, I always asked, “How the hell could people let that happen?” Now, we’re seeing it before our own eyes, in our own back yard.

So, I tore into my bookshelf. Biographies, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Knowing he has a special place in his heart for Hitler’s public rhetoric, I devoured it all looking for similarities and connections. It didn’t take long, and it had to do with Freud, of all people. One of the books Hitler loved most was one he found while in prison following the Beer Hall Putsch: Freud’s book exploring the group mind. Mob mentality.

So, I downloaded Freud’s work (for free) from Google Books and a lightbulb went off, one that tied in to something I had noticed in August & September of 2014 while I was podcasting. The thing that led directly to my first purge and sequestering of random fucktardery. Not only are we isolating ourselves off in idea-proof echo chambers, there’s a mob mentality effect that’s glaringly obvious. What’s bizarre is that the Internet has made it possible to cultivate and exploit the Group Mind without gathering anyone into an actual physical gathering. Versions of the infamous Beer Hall rallies are being held on Facebook and other pages 24/7. These meetings are silently attended by White Walkers sitting on sweat-filled couches in dirty underwear. I mean, I assume they're dirty. I've not researched it.

As I said in the prophetic podcast next no one heard: go check these pages out! DO NOT ENGAGE ANYONE! Lurk. Lurk only! But, you’ll have your answer to the question of “how”. The mob will lead otherwise reasonable people to commit atrocities. There are examples stretching back thru Hitler and Napoleon to Caesar. There were community-minded family men who were vicious Nazis; in their normal lives they weren’t monsters. That’s the group mind and mob mentality doing its dirty work. And it’s in overdrive. Right here. Right now.

One of the beauties of hitchhiking is that I get people in single doses. Something I took away from it is that ”individuals" are smart. Often thoughtful. However, ”people" (too often your other "friends", family, and un-vetted random contacts), when they dress in their “ism” costumes are mobs of rhetorically drooling buffoons eager to take whatever social media disease they've contracted in their tiny intellectually incestuous bubbles and unleash it, literally, on the entire world. An individual 21st century mob-cell stalking the streets.

Mobs are groups of individuals who’ve gelled together into a singular mass of rationalized, primitive, willful ignorance. And, there's no functional distinction between the willfully ignorant and clinically retarded. Except for spelling and grammar, the interpersonal experiences are identical. And only an egocentric fool who's feasting on the sound of his own voice would attempt social, political, or even existential "discourse" at "the home". Therefore, online Mob Control is an essential practice.

There wouldn't be the need if we lived in a sophisticated, enlightened society both capable of, and willing to, critically examine their informational sources and check their own tendency toward ideological bias. We don't. We live in a collection of blissfully engorged, sloppy, Idiocratic mobs that have lost all connection, let alone commitment, to basic fundamental fact.

Want another metaphor? Cool!

“The People” are living in competing, incompatible alternate informational universes. Ones with completely different laws of intellectual physics. And, here’s the sobering part: it’s going to turn violent. Therefore, at some point the FCC, or even Congress, will likely need to address the explosion of fake, unaccountable media. There's a difference between a free press and a free-for-all tabloid orgy; for-profit conspiratorial fiction and extremist propaganda masquerading as "news". Right now, there's absolutely no distinction being made and we're suffering the results.

And, like it or not, the Internet as a whole probably needs to be regulated at some point. You're OBVIOUSLY woefully ill-equipped to simultaneously roam free in an informational jungle and choose your own leaders. You're basically being feasted upon as irrational psychological prey. Theres’s a Toddzillaism™ for that: Fleecing the Fucktards.

This is what makes my Cynicism Vein throb and almost burst. There's no treatment or cure for willful ignorance. Political and social discourse are only a temporary symptom of disease that’s about to go Stage 4.

Beyond the political vulnerability, our small simian brains can’t even begin to conceive of our own existence. But, we also can’t help but try. So, we fill in the blanks with staggering degrees of mythical, religious, and “spiritual” egocentric bullshit. Collectively, we delude ourselves into thinking we're divinely created little critters who are meant to run free. The functional reality is something closer to a mangy intellectual jackal that endangers everything nearby when it gets out of its pen.

Trump is incredibly revealing in that context. He recently added a Breitbart executive to RUN HIS CAMPAIGN. What happened? His numbers rose! He’s gone full-frontal batshit, and it's probably only going to get worse. People keep asking, “Why? How can this possibly be??” Because that’s what “the people” want. The guy who rhetorically puts their “threatened” tribe at the Center of the Universe and high atop the imaginary food chain? Complete with convenient scapegoats? Yeah, the mob will love it. It’s called fascism. There’s a precedent or two. And why the Founding Deities worked to thwart mob rule.

And how wise they were. People keep saying Trump is a "national embarrassment". Nope. He's a brand; an expert media whore. The fact that his Political Reality Show was even a temporary thing is the embarrassment. He didn't achieve that in a vacuum. Our shame doesn't lie in one ridiculous individual; he "should" have been taken about as seriously as Mama June.

No, the "national embarrassment" lies in the millions of fucking idiots, racists, and willfully ignorant fools who rationalize then eagerly gobble up his slop and support him through feats of "mental" gymnastics & verbal incontinence. Not to mention the bouts of uncontrollable public rhetorical-masturbation fits.

Wipe the "intellectual" goo from your stomach, fuckers. Have you lost all dignity? Did you have any to begin with? And, don't give yourself a lazy reach around by blaming Clinton. Trump didn't defeat fifteen Hillary clones in the Republican primaries.

To put a bow on the political aspect, I hope you're not seeing 11/8 as the finish line; the day "sanity" and civil "discourse" returns. You may vanquish Trump, but while you're basking in the self-righteous afterglow of victory--congratulating yourselves for winning an election against a babbling, poorly crafted Mussolini knockoff & reality TV star--the White Walkers are only getting angrier. And dumber. It's. The. Stupid. People. Stupid. Winter is coming.


DELUSIONS & PERSONAL NARRATIVES: QUIXOTE PERSONALIZED

About seven years ago this month, I had an external realization that rocked my internal core and sent me reeling. It was one of the most difficult things I've ever even tried to personally reconcile and manage. To date, I have failed miserably. At least functionally. I dubbed it my Don Quixote Insight. Examples are shown above, but in an oversimplified nutshell, it's the idea that human beings are corrupted and enslaved by their egocentric need and reliance upon self-created comfortable delusions. Our willingness and/or need to abandon reality for happy internal narratives. Or to be snookered by someone, anyone, who provides them for us.

That little insight threw me into what I mentioned repeatedly my first post: I dubbed it (borrowing from Nietzsche) "The Abyss". I looked Quixote's Demon in the eye and, while the idea began as an observation of others, it quickly turned on me and ravaged a previously useful foundation and metaphysical engine. I've never really recovered and in many ways I've been wobbling along ever since searching for a sense of authentic replacement purpose. That's meant chasing money again so, again, it's little surprise I've had little success in finding that!

I've tried to put my spiritual genie back in the bottle but, of course, that's impossible. You can't "unlearn" something. But, in the process--usually out of desperate self-interest-- I've frequently searched for cracks in Quixote hoping to prove myself wrong so that maybe I could reclaim some of the lost audacity that came from believing "The Universe" was obsessed with my existence and happy to be my personal little bitch.

I've also spent increasingly short phases of the last few years almost bending over backwards trying to execute the mental gymnastics required to give humanity a sympathetic, merciful benefit of the doubt. But at every turn Quixote is left standing even stronger as my futile hope in resurrecting the Divine Noble Species Theology is savagely bludgeoned. I wish I still had the ability to freely delude myself. But I've recognized that the maiden was imaginary and the windmill is, and always has been, just a windmill!

Tonight it's crystal clear to me that our willfully ignorant, gleeful insistence on abandoning fact and reality for the drug of self-delusion is humanity's curse. And will likely be its downfall. I'd like to get melodramatic and tearfully tell you how tragic that is. I can't.

If you want to envision ”The Universe" as an entity, it surely isn't a benevolent "Sky Daddy" benefactor looking out for your well being and best interest. The reality is closer to a cold-blooded fucking reptile that doesn't care if we live or die. Individually or collectively. "The Universe" gives nothing; we get what we give. And deserve. And, if it's incapable of even basic collective introspection, a tribal species that's so helplessly self-destructive and murderously addicted to fantasy deserves to be squished and meet its demise as Carlin put it: as a failed mutation. A destructive bug stomped out on an evolutionary cul-de-sac and quickly forgotten.


Why hasn’t Hallmark called? I can't figure it out. Must be reverse racism. Wait. If I claim "gender fluidity" can I start blaming misogyny?