Despite the fact that for the first time, we have a President of the United States of color, and despite the fact that in this last election people actually voted, even those that had not voted before, there seem to be SO MANY people who just wallow around in their ignorance and apathy. The dissenting neoconservative voices trying to bring all of us down and keep us thinking on an animalistic level are louder than ever. Now is not just the time for hope, but also a time for awareness. Its also a time for VIGILANCE. Those of us who consider ourselves liberal thinkers, and I emphasize the word THINKERS, know that we have not won the war. We've won A battle but more battles still lie ahead.
For the one person (Stormy!) that has read this before, I did a little editing to it but it remains essentially the same.
But first. WARNING: tl;dr ahead!
So here's a question someone asked me recently that I answered in depth:
Why do people hate thinking? Is it because as a society, we teach people that learning and paying attention is a chore? Is it because we're spoiled? Both? Some other reason? Is this necessarily a bad thing?
Here's my answer:
I am of the opinion that these days, we've become so inundated with mass media and its messages that people no longer like to "live" life, they want to "watch" it. Life is a spectacle. This is why so many people love reality shows, because it's supposed to be "real". But the truth of the matter is, your Average Joe LCD is going to want to watch things he can TALK about, (ohmigosh Desperate Housewives!) rather than THINK about, much like a congregation of some sort of dim witted bird - chickens and pigeons. The LCD these days wants their life to be more than the mundane, tedious wretched form of life that they live now.
Learning and paying attention? Forget about it. The overabundance of ADD in children these days is absolutely astounding. As much as I like to watch my two television shows, I have to admit that it's an oversaturation of television and movies today that creates ADD. Kids expect life to move as quickly as it does on TV or in the movies they watch, because that's all they know and are surrounded with all the time. Parents plunk their kids in front of the television to shut them up, and it does...for the rest of their lives, probably. And you know what else? ADD in children, for the most part, is NORMAL in children. When I wanted to be an elementary school teacher, I took a lot of Early Childhood Education classes, and I learned that for most young children, (oh, say between the ages of 4-10) their attention span for the most part is about 15 minutes. So, when I taught martial arts in my father's studio, I taught the children's classes and changed activities every 15 minutes, and it worked. No kids running around and screaming because they were bored. But kids these days are so overexposed to multimedia that they don't have to think, all they have to do is absorb.
And speaking of thinking, people are NOT encouraged to think these days. Sitcoms and reality shows like "American Idol" are so popular because they don't require much thought or attention. The sheep out there can just sit in front of their televisions after their 9-5 job that they hate, with their mouths open and just absorb everything. Do people read these days? No way. Most people constantly make fun of me for reading as voraciously as I do. For some reason, people that read books are almost snubbed in our society. Most people that do read these days even snub me for not wanting a Kindle. I love reading, and I love reading actual BOOKS. I like the feel of a new book, turning pages by hand, and being able to read it whenever I want and not having to worry about low battery or technical failures.
I think all of these things are awful. How fucking pathetic is it, that more people voted in the American Idol polls than ever made it to the fucking voter booths when it was time to pick our Fearless Leader in the previous elections? People are numb and apathetic to almost everything these days. All they want to do is sit back and watch life pass them by, or some sort of televised approximation of life. (I'm looking at you, reality shows.) After all, who is it that controls all the media conglomerates? Pretty much the conservative right. Rupert Murdoch, Michael Eisner (up until late '05 when he was replaced by a known liberal) and AOL Time Warner's current president had affiliations with Bush's administration.
People need to really LIVE life, actually take a willing and active part in their own life. But will it happen? I doubt it. Most people could care less about what's going on in today's world. There have been genocides of millions of people in recent history, in the last 10-15 years that people could care less about, in Rwanda, of the Bosnians, and in Sudan right now. But do we care? Of course not. It's not happening to US, right?
The questions to ask yourselves in the end is this: How many of you have thought about these things? How many of you have done anything about it? And I don't mean trying to take on the world. I mean in your everyday lives. Don't parrot the thoughts and beliefs of others. Find out what's going on in the world. Educate yourselves. If you have children, do THEM the service of thinking and passing along the propensity for original thought onto them. Encourage them in questioning everything. Don't get mad when they ask "why?". Probably one of the most tragic things that happen to us when we become "mature adults" is that we cease to ask questions. Our curiosity has been eliminated. Your minds are occupied, but they can be reactivated. Do yourselves a favor and THINK.