Venting on the state of things

Every time I participate in, or even spectate, a conversation about the “state” of “things”, it drops me into an imediate downward spiral of instant depression. We are such ridiculous RIDICULOUS people in this country. And sure enough, when I say that, people whole-heartedly agree, thinking only of how stupid the part of the population is that has opposing world views to their own. It is so very very very VERY FRUSTRATING.

You browse around on people’s personal opinions wherever they may pop up in various forms of media, and you may see blatant ignorance in one form and say “oh they are so bad” and immediately turn around and see blatant ignorance on the other side. Vehement, hate-filled mirth about opposing culture on one side and childish vandalism and misinformation on the other. And quite likely both of these things can be criss-crossed across the board.

The only use of reading these very hurtful things in one field or another is to keep me from drifting too far into an extreme mindset myself.

I used to think trying to be moderate was a cop-out, but someone I consider to be an extremely wise and a fine example of a human being changed my mind when he spoke about how difficult it is to do just that. It’s HARD to walk the middle line, in any situation, not just politics. It makes sense, it’s much less work to be an extremist on one side or the other, because you have a whole half of a spectrum to dismiss as wrong, and don’t really need to research farther than gaining enough to back your particular stand. Being in the middle is a ton of work, having to take in both sides to make any sort of opinion, with your only reward being called a leftist by the rightists and a rightist by the leftists, or perhaps being accused by both of “changing sides” when the need arises. I really don’t know if there are any true moderates, but if there are they deserve cookies. Lots and lots of cookies. Endless supply.

At any rate, realizing things about the state of the world and the horrors of what is going on and how divided people are is very depressing to me. It makes me feel very helpless, and if I do anything to try and cheer myself up, I immediately feel guilty for ignoring such a pressing world-problem. The worst of it is, there are not many to talk to who are not easily worked up in emotion over one issue or another, in spite of being very good listeners.

EDIT: On the other hand, brighter news shows that at least everyone appears to be happy about Spaceship 1

10 thoughts on “Venting on the state of things”

  1. Amen, and hang tough, and I will make you cookies next time you’re in town.

    I confess to extremism on a couple of counts (first amendment rights, copyright reform, blah blah blah), but on the whole you’re right: moderation is both difficult and worthwhile. Think about the root of the word. “Moderate” doesn’t just mean “not extreme;” it also means “to guide, watch over, or lead.”

    1. I’d never thought about the word moderate in such a sense. You are awesome Brendan 🙂

      And alas, I am undeserving of cookies, for I am an extremist in some things…for example, my dislike of the Adkins diet….but I guess that’s different from politics. ¬_¬;

      But we should still bake cookies regardless.

      1. And have pie, you deserve pie.

        You are well above extremist, because you have the ability to think things out – a device that is removed from your mind once you go into politics or even think about politics too much.

        I’ve noticed that the more you tend toward one side, the less words you can use to describe your beliefs.

  2. The main problem is the internet has grown and matured faster then your media and education in the USA. I don’t care what anyone said and how much of a world-aware saint people think themselves are, your media is laughable when it comes to world affairs and from some of the crap some people spout, I often don’t rank some of the education much better.

    It is all too easy to light up an example. Terrorism is a good one. When a US embassy is bombed is like international headlines. Yet when one of our embassies is bombed by the SAME terror group every American I ask is like “Huh? Where is Bali?”. I won’t even go in to the time someone who was apparently majoring in history told me Australia has never fought in any war before so we don’t need a war memorial. Now outside the fact I have lost 3 people my family to war or military related mishaps, that alone really worries me about your country, if not the world…

    Why am I bringing this up? Quite simple. For anyone to be much of a contribution to any debate or “side” one must be informed. Unfortunately this is where I see the problem. It is not the average American’s fault they are woefully misinformed with the events in the world; it’s the institution around you. However with the internet, that excuse is melting away. Now the responsibility for informing ones self with the happenings of their fellow man lies in their hands.

    Personally speaking, though when it comes to any issue, I MUCH rather someone have enough will to pick a side. I much rather someone be directly opposed to my opinion then sit on the fence. I see this a lot even in something as trivial as DT chat. People know there has been a “splinter” driven between two groups but rather then show some spine and pick a side, a fair group of people much rather play both sides. An odd example perhaps I am not like that nor never want to be that. “There are only two sides in a mutiny” as the saying goes. At least when someone opposes you, you know where you stand. When someone will not make such a commitment, they are a random element…And one cannot trust the flip of a coin for long.

    1. I agree with you about the poor skills of our media. I heard on the news recently that in some poll or another given to the American public, %47 of the people thought that Iraq was responsible for the 9/11 bombings. %47!!!! Now, I don’t know if there was some sort of bias in the polling audience, but still, holy crap. I don’t think that statistic has anything to do with being adamently supportive of the war or being adamently opposed to it, just knowing who did what when in the world.

      I was just having a conversation last night with my boyfriend’s mother, who has a teaching position, and she says it still amazes her not only how uneducated we are in the matter of world events, but how little of a desire to learn anything. Forcing people to do research on current events using foreign media by dangling a grade over their head only motivates them for as long as the class, unfortunately 🙁

      Regarding the other stuff, I don’t think being a moderate is the same thing as sitting on the fence or not making a commitment to a side. One still has to make decisions regarding stances, but they definately have to do a lot more work to make that decision than to just pick a side and oppose the rest whatever the circumstances.

  3. You’ve got a lot of friends already making good points about being ‘in the middle’, so I won’t say much on that; it’s all mostly been said. I personally like to think I’m not an extremist, though some days I’m proven wrong on some issues. All the same, I try to keep an open mind.

    But what I wanted to address was this bit you said: “It makes me feel very helpless, and if I do anything to try and cheer myself up, I immediately feel guilty for ignoring such a pressing world-problem.” For pete’s sake, don’t feel guilty! Your own feelings are just as important as a concern for the world around you. If anything, it’s more important that you let yourself be happy than anything else, because it directly affects your well-being.

    Besides, if you never let yourself be happy… aren’t you being an extremist on the side of world pessimism?

    Food for thought. (:

    1. That is true, and I was exaggerating a bit there ^_^ I guess I just meant it’s the sort of thing that keeps me up at night. I feel signifcantly cheered this morning! Hehe

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