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Steellover

Random thoughts. Some of them will be erotic and kink-related, but some of them won't be, and as such people might find them boring. Some will be related to personal fantasies, but some to personal experiences as well.
7 months ago. June 7, 2022 at 1:56 AM

I am, thankfully, not in a dark place at the moment, at least  not me, personally. I would not say that my life is perfect or that everything is perfect all the time.  I am actually filled with grave concern for the future, and where as a society we are headed.  But right now I think I am doing okay, which will make this easier to write and hopefully not come across as too angry or whiny.

Because I think most of us may be in the same boat, to some degree.  2020 was a very dark place, for the world, for everyone.  2021 got off to a bad start and was a little better, but still dark in many ways.  But the long days and months of isolation, boredom, loneliness, and despair have taken their toll on people in ways that may be visible but maybe not as evident. I know that, living alone, I suffered greatly from despair, as what I had thought would be a few short weeks of lockdown stretched into months, and then those months stretched into well over a year, nearly two:  No social events, no family gatherings, no concerts, carnivals, events, everything cancelled, and all those things that keep us all connected, bring us joy, keep us human, were gone.  Perhaps even living with someone in your own bubble would be difficult after a while, without those connections, save as intermittent squares on a computer screen.

I think in a way, many people, in fact this whole country, is still in a dark place. I don't want to get super political, lest I come across as some kind of partisan hack.  But I get concerned when I see ideas which, just a few years ago would have been considered irrational and even worse, highly toxic to a free and civilized society, gain legitimacy.  I get concerned when I see people who are at best, narcissistic bullies, and at worse, toxic, hateful, spiteful and ignorant people- the types who would have been dismissed as angry crackpots only a few years ago, being elected to public office despite openly spouting these toxic and hateful opinions. 

I am not pointing fingers at only one side here, so I will deliberately avoid mentioning any specific names and/or political parties; because I am sure there is plenty on both sides. Instead, I will focus on how we got here.

How did our once civilized dialogue become so toxic and irrational?  

Through Teams.  Okay, maybe not through the meeting application called Teams, but well, I won't say that wasn't a part of it, in a sort of aside kind of way.  But when people are forced into silos, disconnected from everyone else, and normal human interaction can no longer take place, people withdraw into these silos.  And so they go online, chasing their own rabbits down rabbit holes, looking for like-minded people.  And online, they find them.  But  they quickly come across people who are even more extreme, and more disconnected from reality, and so eventually they themselves become disconnected from reality.  Websites sprout up, claiming to be "The News," or "The Truth" but these sites really serve to make money off this appetite for increasingly extreme propaganda. To the point where it is no longer even a requirement to tell the truth.  During quarantine, I remember coming across so much blatant disinformation online- about the pandemic, the vaccines, the 2020 election- that I was driven to despair.  Because these online sites not only feed on paranoia and the baser impulses of human nature, but also seek to rally people to action.

So then "Truth" becomes subjective, no longer absolute.  How many times, for example, can an obvious falsehood be debunked through repeated investigations, before people finally accept it as false?  An infinite number of times, and not only that, people who are caught in these rabbit-hole silos will even commit acts of violence to defend that falsehood.

And now, people look at civil society as "my team" versus "your team." Ideas are not so much constructive, as much as designed to "Own the Libs" or "Piss off the Right Wingers."  Now, tolerance and acceptance has become a dirty word, "Woke," and compromise and cooperation is weakness.  Because it's all about "Support your team."  Lets go fly our flags with our politician's name on them, and drive up and down Main Street annoying our neighbors, like a bunch of Raiders fans driving through downtown Denver honking their horns. (Or Packers fans doing the same in the waterfront district of Chicago.) 

I believe much of this incivility stems from people simply being too isolated, too unable (as much as unwilling) to sit and have real face to face conversations with our neighbors, un-masked, and have real, rational discussions where we respect each other. Real conversations, not on Teams, not on Zoom.  Instead, with too much time on our hands, we chased our rabbit holes and found only darkness, people all too willing to prey on fear and base emotions, and capitalize on them.  The websites did it, now our politicians are doing it too.  And so here we are.

The way out of this is- get off line and actually start having conversations again.  Become engaged again.  Learn to recognize when people are planting the seeds of fear and paranoia, and resist. Fight back and counter the disinformation and blatant non-truths with logic and reason.  And learn compassion and respect again. Stand up against hate and discrimination, but that is not enough; learn to recognize when you are being manipulated to think that way; being controlled by fear, or controlled by a sense of "Join our team and help us own the libs/right wingers."

Stay out of rabbit holes, and rejoin the bright sunshine world.

I don't mean to make this too political so sorry if it is.  It's really part of a larger thing I've witnessed over the past two years.


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