Friday, February 12, 2016

The White Knight is Talking Backwards

What a world we have created, eh?

Thanks to our online lives, we now are a click away from "doing something" - which in reality is nothing at all. It's all garbage.

For example, I don't understand how these "So many people suffer from ... so paste this to support them" posts actually supports anybody (speaking as someone who suffers from some of these maladies, as regular readers may recall). 

I could understand it if it said, "so send a check to ..." whatever agency is working to cure the ailment, or even had a link to a website that offered information. But they don't. They're just posts that are meant to make the poster feel good. They do nothing for the poor ailment sufferer.

Do I feel supported when I see these posts? No. I feel annoyed. If you want to support me, call me. Send me a private message and tell me you're thinking of me. That's support. These silly posts aren't support. They draw attention, perhaps in some general way, to certain ailments, but they are not support. I personally find them irritating, just a confirmation that no one really has time for real support.

Just like we have no time for community, for volunteering, or for dinner. No time for sitting on the porch making home-made ice cream, or feeling the breeze and smelling the freshly cut grass. No time to talk, to listen, or to love.

No time. Hurry, hurry! Always late, always running, always on the move. Even if we're standing still for hours, we're not there, because now our minds are on those damned smart phones. Click. Click.

And what does this device, this White Knight that has changed our world, tell you? My mother used to have a saying that she'd repeat to me when she caught me reading one of her trashy magazines: garbage in, garbage out, she'd say (and I did not dare say, but Mom, you're reading it . . .).

That is what the White Knight has become, a monster that regurgitates to us the things we want to hear. Disagree with the so-called "liberal" media? Ok, I'll only get my news from conservative media only. Disagree with conservatives? I'll only visit the so-called liberal media channels. I won't listen to anything I don't want to hear, because I might learn something or have my opinion changed by something that resembles a fact.

So we have this monstrosity in our back pocket or our pocket book, this thing that was supposed to open up our lives to massive amounts of educational opportunities, give us the Encyclopedia Britannica at our fingertips and allow us to move forward at warp speed.

But we've gone backwards instead. Warp speed has reversed itself, and the White Knight has sent us spiraling down, like Luke Skywalker slipping down the garbage compactor of the Death Star, into an abyss of information overload. Now we don't know what to believe or who to believe.

We don't know what is fact and what is opinion. We take opinions and call them facts. We believe in angels but not in science, because apparently we have no room for both faith and science. The online world is one of either/or and black and white - there's no middle room for the gray. This is, this isn't. Here we are, here we aren't. This is fact but it's a conspiracy by the government and it didn't really happen. Nobody actually died but there they are, coffins lined up and funeral arrangements filled with tears. We were attacked on 9/11 or maybe the towers fell because of this or that and some other thing and the reasoning goes around in circles and there is nothing there, no truth or fact, and even though all of the details are caught on tape and like they say on the X-Files, the truth is out there, nobody can remember what happened yesterday, much less a decade ago.

The recession started under Bush but Obama came in at the tail-end of it so it's his bag of mashed potatoes now, and blame lies where? On Wall Street but they're too big to fail so let's ignore those Occupying the landscape and move on to something else, the next white girl killed or the black man gunned down or the abortion issue or something - anything to keep moving in that direction, that backwards that is not forward, so we're spinning, all of us, because no one now has the time to stop, review, and investigate to see what is really going on. No one cares anyway, that doesn't sell the news - the big story, not the facts, sells the news - so move on and move along, keep going keep spitting out the Facebook posts and the tweets on Twitter, sending the garbage spiraling into outer space and in the minds of the many, the minds so melded now to their White Knight of a device that they can't even add 2+2 without looking it up.

We listen to the likes of the two Bills (O'Reilly and Maher) and wonder who to believe when neither of them is absolutely right, though we might agree with the opinion of one or the other, forgetting again that's only opinion that they spout, because we haven't investigated and we don't know if they have investigated and even if they did, Truth is dead. The White Knight killed it, ran a lance straight through it, and Truth flopped over to be replaced by the giant called Opinion. And there it sits, laughing, Opinion and the White Knight, having beer together and slapping one another on the back because Truth has died and nobody even noticed the blood.

The White Knight is not moving us forward. Technology has stopped us. It is not elevating, it is devaluing. The White Knight only values those zeros and ones that make up its language. It's turned writing into clay, oil painting into watercolors. With the click of a button, the White Knight can bring up a brilliant picture of the Mona Lisa, all while we sit in our comfortable chair in our safe, warm home. No need to visit Paris to see the Louvre, so the White Knight has killed travel, which is just as well because Americans in particular hate to leave their country. If they leave this place they might learn a real fact, like we're not the best or the brightest, maybe never were, and other countries actually have cities and electricity and aren't made of mud and cardboard - but some cities are actually made of just that, and we should be ashamed but that would hurt, so let's not go there.

Spinning and whirling we go on about our days, gasping at the latest headline - two shot in a school in Arizona, the presidential candidate accidentally hired a porn star for his commercial, the other candidate uses email; the other two both need combs for their weird hair. And the White Knight (who is stylish and slick, all smooth and comfy, fitting right there in the palm of your hand, just laying there bringing you joy with its little dings and tones) laughs and laughs. Because the White Knight knows he is passing off garbage - that he is little more than a trash compactor, and we, every single one of us, are fools.

One of those FB posts, for the one or two of my readers who may not
 be on FB. Change "Cancer" to depression or angina or anything else,
 and you'll see some version of this all over FB. How does this support anybody?


1 comment:

  1. Well said! No one should ever copy and paste FB messages like the one you used as an example. Sometimes doing so adds malware to your computer. Ditto for adding "Amen" to various messages. And don't get me started on click-farming. . . .


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