On the night of July 7, I was one of the many thousands of people watching live footage of cops in Dallas being slaughtered …
On the night of July 7, before turning out the lights, I was one of the many thousands of people watching live footage of cops in Dallas being slaughtered by a sniper for no reason other than the choice of a career they chose to pay bills with. That’s it. Wrong profession, wrong place, wrong time, wrong color of skin.
Except, there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with any of that. Unless we’re talking about a freak natural occurrence — like say when a tidal wave pulverizes coastal villages — being ‘wrong’ about an area, or a time, doesn’t exist. The victims in an Aurora movie theater didn’t choose the wrong movie, the community dancing in a club in Orlando didn’t pick the wrong night to go out.
Or selling CDs in front of a convenience store, or loose cigarettes on the street, or walking home after getting Skittles, or any of this — nothing here merits a loss of life. None of it is wrong, no matter whose definition of it we use.
At this point, everything that happens now is starting to make less sense as time goes on.
I guess, much like many of you all probably are, I’m fucking fed up. I’ve been fed up. I’ve got no more feds to up.
The Internet doesn’t make this shit any easier, either. Here we are, living through an insane period of time with communication capabilities that far surpass anything Back to the Future Part II could have ever imagined. When that movie was released in 1989, video telephones were the ultimate vision, a perfect future. Yet now we play video games with the other side of the nation, lurk at pretty profiles of strangers from across the pond and have access to the greatest library of knowledge mankind has ever had. It’s incredible.
But we use it to bicker and fight about petty bullshit. It’s the worst thing that’s ever going to happen to us.
Why? Because it isn’t being used in any meaningful way. We’re not tweaking resources to learn about perspective, to acknowledge other cultures’ benefits to humanity, to realize we can’t all abide by the same customs and rules — all while respecting personal choices and realizing we’re in this thing together.
No, the Internet isn’t being used for any of that. It’s used for rage, violence, harassment and bullying.
And when people are being murdered for the entirety to witness (even though we’re all still statistically going to live long, healthy lives), we use it to fuel personal conquests, fear, as if any of us have any fucking answers to any of it. We don’t. We won’t.
None of this is really surprising, though. Our media corporations are built on the ideology that there should be lines in the sand, with toes being completely away from where the indentation lies. You’re either in or you’re out, with us or against us. Left, or Right. Black, or White.
And we fall for it. We allow ourselves to build a conceptual army of supporters with strangers we don’t even know. The only thing we have in common is what either of us ‘like’ online, and who we trust as an ultimate source versus who we think is completely full of shit.
In reality, we’re all sitting in a dark room built around mirrors, with billowing smoke filling in any gaps of a clear view. We’re doomed because we allow ourselves to be doomed. We’re doomed because we allow a structured game of delivery tell us what we should and should not be choosing everyday of our lives.
It’s what the Internet’s doing. Surrounding us with only what we choose to acknowledge as fact instead of modifying our narrative to see the other side. It’s building a fortress instead of lengthening the horizon. We’re being distributed evenly as dead weights to either side of the coin.
What good does that do? Who in their right mind has ever gone on to Facebook and looked for an opposing opinion to better their own perspective? It’s arguably nobody, zero. That’s not what socializing online is for. It’s to try and manipulate others atop a straw pillar of ego, to try and categorize and legitimize and proclaim a simplistic reality as the world’s only way.
But that’s shit.
And it’s always going to be shit.
Because until we’re able to get past these miniscule differences, these lowest common denominators, and realize that we’re just not going to be the same person anytime soon, then we’re screwed — flossing away remnants of the lowest hanging fruit.
We’re in a time where violent crime is down (surprisingly, even though the news is so depressing), kids are championing equality at miraculous rates, social interaction and understanding is at an all time high and we’re opening up doors for oppressed minorities faster than we can come up with names for what those people actually are. It isn’t a half bad time to be alive, considering.
Only we can fuck that up. Us. Everyone. Every stranger on the Internet, every ‘friend’ in the loop, every sharer and liker and commenter — we’re either going to use this thing for a rapid succession into a peaceful existence, or we’re going to bury ourselves in an archive spilling over the sides with incoherent hate.
We’re all going to look pretty fucking stupid when the future looks back to read what we've all been posting.