Sunday, October 11, 2015

Blogging and the echo chamber


Oh, long lost blog.

My wife has started blogging at Weer All Crazee Now, the parenting blog I started for us a while back, as well as starting a food blog, YummyTummyTime, which got me thinking about blogging. I suppose that's most of why I wrote Clickbait opinions, although the thoughts have been crawling around my brain for a few weeks now.

I've meant to keep a little active in critical thinking on Letterboxd and when I started, I always wrote at least something about every entry, but I've allowed myself to get lazier and lazier even on writing a couple of quick sentences. I do still enjoy maintaining it as a record, though.

The thing is, I'm tired of opinions these days.

It all feels like calling into the echo chamber these days.

Politically, what sets this off for me is gun control. I'm really ambivalent about this issue, at least to the extent I'm concerned over it specifically, and nothing anyone says about it in the public debate is at all helpful in resolving that. In fact, quite the contrary, as I've stated elsewhere, the vast majority of what is said on both sides is utter malarkey that makes me want to disagree with them on principle.

And I basically do. My ambivalence is not borne of two sides making excellent points and me struggling to find a place where I can choose on set of logical principles over the other. My ambivalence is due to two groups of utterly brainless buffoonery shouting bullshit that means something only to them, and me staring blankly at the inanity of it all.

But, looking through those eyes, I see that's what nearly all of the public discussion is. Not just on politics, but music and movies, manners, parenting.

On some of those we choose sides in cases where sides don't matter. I love this band, so I hate this band, because somehow no one can like two bands that sound different from one another or it makes one morally superior to take either side.

We follow politics like sports, in which one "team" winning is goal, rather than all of us coming together to build a safe, prosperous community together and disagreeing on how best to go about that goal. We state our opinions not to invite people who haven't decided or who disagree to better understand our view of the world, but to swing our dicks around proudly for the people who already agree with us.

I know, one can pull the insane, divisive comments from any time period, so perhaps we are, perhaps we aren't in a worse time than any other, regardless of how it seems.

I mostly don't care. I talk like this, because I'm middle aged and that's the way we talk.

If public debate used to be better, let's try to get back to that.

If public debate has always been this uselessly shitty, let's make that one of those things we believe the world should improve on, like life expectancy and work conditions. If we're not finding a way to build safe, prosperous communities together, why would we even give a fuck if we're right or not?

That's what 5-year-olds do. They choose for nobody gets a cookie over their brother getting the bigger half.

And in that world, I'm not that interested.

If your takeaway from me offering my opinions on art, commerce and the bigger questions is only to find a list of ways I'm right and ways I'm wrong and formulate the discussion from there. If none of us are inviting each other to try to understand our views and find ways to understand the views of everyone else, then we don't really deserve safety, prosperity or community.

And I'm bored of trying right now.

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