Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Black Mirror Reality

There was a sign at the Women's March on January 21st that read, "This episode of 'Black Mirror' sucks."

The "Black Mirror" TV series tends to have a twist and a depressing ending in each episode, and I'm assuming people consider Trump winning the election to be that big twist they didn't see coming. I think it goes even further than that, and I find the statement on that protest sign to be even more accurate than people probably realize.

Think about all the social media posts and issues that went on over the past three years. Slate called 2014 the "Year of Outrage". The AV Club posted an article called "24 times 2015 totally lost its shit. Daily outrage was the norm, and we also had backlash against outrage that was just as self-righteous and loud. It seemed like many of us lost our perspective on how good things actually were comparatively. There were of course real issues to address...but we seemed to focus on trivial matters that really didn't mean anything. "I can't believe some random celebrity said something I feel is insensitive. Let's go to Twitter, everyone! Public shamers unite!"

If you read Facebook and Twitter, you would've thought the world was ending every single day.

But then, after all the faux activism and snark and preaching from a high horse and telling each other why they're wrong (often people on the same side), it culminated in progressives losing the election. And now...finally...last week...there are serious issues to be outraged about. It is no longer "Trump said this, omg", but it is now "Trump DID this, holy fuck", and our outrage falls on deaf ears because we've been yelling at our social media circle and into the air for years.

And now here's the actual twist at the end of our Black Mirror episode. Instead of collectively realizing our error of unsolicited opinions over discussions...of wanting to be right over actual truth...instead of working towards a new strategy (or any strategy), everyone seems to be doing the same thing they were doing before...faux activism and snark and preaching from a high horse and telling each other why they're wrong.

The response to criticism is usually "at least I'm doing something" or "do you have a better idea". My gut tells me that it's possible your poster and marker budget would be more effective in the hands of organizations fighting this administration in the courts. Keep marching and protesting, but in addition we either need to use lobbyists and lawyers in our corrupt system or we need to revolt.

The media needs to quit trying to "get" or "take down" Trump and just report the facts and lies as level headed and objectively as possible. Quit being baited by the troll(s), because they feed off of your outrage.

Breathe. We can't rationally discuss solutions and game plans when we're worked up into an emotional frenzy.

I'm not right about anything. Neither are you. Let's quit trying to be right and seek real truth.