Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Can We At Least Pretend To Be Civilized?

Can we at least pretend to be civilized?

Can we at least put in the piss-ant minimal self-involved effort required to fake it the way they used to when it was still legal to beat your wife and hang black men?

Can we make believe for a few moments that such a thing as class, decency, pride, and a mature sense of self-worth isn't just a long ago forgotten anachronism in our loud obnoxious society too crammed and clogged with snap chats, instagrams, iphones, and fleeting spectacle?

See, when you made that tasteless joke objectifying a fellow human being you brought shame to yourself and our entire gender. It was my own personal failure that I didn't tell you this. It was easier to up the ante and make an even less tasteful jab of my own degrading both myself and another innocent not present to slap my guilty mouth for allowing such ignorant filth to spill from it in the first place. I tried to tell myself that you're from a different generation. That you meant well. You're just socially stilted and terribly lonely and so desperate for control and comradery that you're perfectly willing (it would seem) to make an unabashed misogynistic ass of yourself.

When you asked to see nude photos of my girlfriend whom I dearly love body and soul, I suddenly found I could no longer stomach your insipid presence and that vacating my home for the night was the only option outside of stabbing you to death with your son's largest Ginsu kitchen knife. The mess would have been unspeakable. Not to mention the smell.

I didn't commit this murder. Because I can pretend. I can feign civility because I was raised to do so by people who were interested enough to put some effort into the job. Because the ever-loving definition of the word, formal politeness and courtesy in behavior and speech used to be an essential part of the upbringing for every little boy and girl. Before the days of MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter- the three headed hound guarding the gates to Planet Fuck-Me. A monster has been unleashed growing larger by the day. Be on the look out for those with regular broadband connection creating their own personal alter, a kind of shrine to themselves. They won't beg for your blood or devotion, they won't even demand it, they'll simply sit back and expect it. And when your tribute isn't received, be prepared for their wrath.

This publicly sanctioned narcissism, this socially supported wave. A kind of shitnami comprised of equal parts ignorance, passion, and entitlement that has engulfed each subsequent generation more deeply and fully than the one that came before soaking their feeds with loud, shameless, asinine garbage about religion, politics, sports, real TV, reality TV, TV news, the environment, human rights, and other meaningless drivel.

These neophytes masquerading as Gods to be worshiped have found a consequence free playground in the internet spreading gossip, filth, and self-serving bullshit twenty-four/seven until the invisible intangible bombast is jammed twenty feet thick separating, insulating us all with so much marshmallow-like foam rubber forbidding us from seeing the person inside the shrine. This lack of connection and sense of self-importance leads them to more easily label, more efficiently objectify. Consumerism and decadence do a devilish cha-cha as they point and click their way to some kind of deluded sense of fulfillment. Misogyny joins in with a caustic lack of concern for consequences and the dance continues spilling into our discourse and our lives infecting people everywhere with the notion that the mainline unfiltered them is the best version to present to the world.

It's a helluva lot easier than considering the feelings of others or the repercussions of my actions. And I must be great- I've got nearly fourteen hundred friends and over three thousand followers...

And buy and large this is normal. That's why I'm asking, can we at least pretend to be civilized? We don't have to be civilized. Humanity has never been civilized. Not when they were hurling their own shit at each other and painting on walls, not when they waged war with sticks and clubs over much-desired piles of dirt, not when they systematically enslaved fill in the blank race of people, not when they systematically exterminated another, not when they split the atom, or journeyed into space, or wrote Hamlet or even the Constitution. Humanity has never been civilized. But we used to at least pretend. -JN