Every so often I have an epiphany. Each epiphany is brought on by a confluence of events in my life that impact on me in such a way as to cause a certain type turmoil in my brain.
I used to fear this turmoil because when it first started happening I thought it might turn me into some kind of monster or crazy. But, of course, it didn’t. And after a while, the turmoil became less frightening and even something I could have a modicum of control over.
When you live in your own head and everything you manufacture comes from there, you start to realize just how sensitive a place it really is.
Everything goes in. Everything. What comes out are ideas and insights and conversations and little philosophical essays like this one.
Sometimes they come out as brilliantly humanitarian. Other times they come out as little fire-breathing dragons of rage. It doesn’t matter which to me because they are always the end product of what goes in in the first place. And that changes from day to day.
Today’s output is little dragons. Breathing fire on the Internet.
How The Internet Is Not A Good Thing
While a lot of people will argue that the Internet has been a boon to humanity in a lot of ways, in terms of convenience, bridging distance and bringing people together without the cumbersome necessity of travel. These are all good things and there are probably more.
But today is little fire-breathing dragon day, so I should also point out the following:
The Internet has turned billions of people into junkies, with its tranquilizing videos of pets being cute and assholes fucking up and people creating amazing music that nobody buys and art that everybody admires but nobody would really purchase
The Internet has turned countless millions into exhibitionist desperadoes who will do anything, no matter how stupid, personally embarrassing or dangerous, for a thousand likes.
The Internet has turned many of us into creatures who would rather connect virtually as opposed to in person. This is great for introverts, but for the rest of us, not so much.
The Internet, by virtue of the convenience it offers in areas like retail, is isolating us from an important tactile social experience which shopping and actually holding in your hands or physically trying out the things you want to purchase represents.
The Internet, especially social media, claims to be a wellspring of ideas and interaction, but for the most part, very little of substance seems to come from it.
The Internet has forced a lot of people who are anything but to become writers, and as such has created a content glut of mediocrity
that frustrates the hell out of both the seekers of knowledge and insight and a those who actually have genuine knowledge and insights to share.
The Internet is a huge dangling carrot, designed to get you to reveal all kinds of stuff about yourself so enterprising marketers can collect that info, package it and sell it to advertisers, who, in turn, attack you with focused advertising that, despite being based on all your preferences and habits, is still mind numbing in the extreme.
And what is the end game? What is the purpose of all this? Nothing more than to create Internet millionaires and keep the gears of industry lubricated, and not in a very efficient way at that if the truth be told.
And yet people by the billions log on every day and cruise around, mostly in darkened rooms, trading their precious time for whatever they feel is worth the exchange.
The Value Question
But the question you have to ask yourself is this: Are you getting more out of the Internet than you are giving? I believe a lot of people, if they were really honest with themselves, would conclude that they are not.
It’s a pretty damn crazy world out there. People, even the not-so-bright ones, have to be aware that bullshit is everywhere.
Don’t they? Or are they just in denial. Are they afraid to face the reality that the world in three dimensions represents to them right now? Are they hiding in social media and chat room cocoons, assuring each other that this is the reality and the rest of it is all an illusion. Or are they just hoping it will all blow over some day?
I’m Probably Not Very Popular Today
This is the kind of post that only a relatively few will read. Not because anything I have said goes over their heads. But because the essence of what I’m saying here is WAKE THE FUCK UP. And a lot of people are afraid to.
After years of being here and spitting out these little essays, I have come to realize that living in an artificially constructed world of illusion has become an easy thing to do for people, myself included.
Whatever the controlling forces in society might be, they obviously want it this way.
Maybe because it makes us malleable and much more open to suggestion.
Maybe it’s a narcotic of sorts that is pleasant and much more desirable than whatever passes for three-dimensional reality these days.
Or maybe it’s a form of bondage that the majority of us will never be able to break free from.
I don’t know for sure. But I do know something in my brain is changing.
Maybe I have just swallowed too much bullshit. Maybe we all have.
Maybe we all need to grab onto a branch and pull ourselves out of this intellectual and spiritual quagmire for a while and get our perspective back.
Maybe we should get pissed off and yell and scream and break something.
Or maybe we should just go down to Tim Hortons or Starbucks or wherever and have a coffee together. Maybe we should try touching each other instead of just fondling keyboard keys.
Maybe that’s my way forward. It sure feels like it could be doable. But who knows. It’s just something that popped out of my head while I was out riding.
It’s always going to be a question of balance. Find something you like to do off line and do a lot of it. That way when you get on line you’ll have more interesting stuff to share.
But you will also be spending less time online and more time in the real world. And when you do that, which is something I have been working on lately, you inevitably find that it’s not so bad.
It’s colourful. The sun shines most of the time. Things grow. People move around. There are all kinds of pleasant noises. And the view is different every time you turn your head.