Sometimes, I find myself astounded at the news that I read on a daily basis. I mean, honestly, real people, living real lives, take themselves seriously while they live their lives doing the most ridiculousness shit I’ve ever seen. Some congressman tweets naked pics of himself to constituents in hopes of scoring with hot young woman while his wife is in the middle of announcing her pregnancy with his child. Another politician reveals her blatant ignorance of history while members of her flock try to justify her stupidity with even more stupidity rather than just chalk it up to yet another stupid moment in political punditry. And practically every other nationally elected representative in the country can’t come to a consensus long enough to decide whether or not the country should default, fold or just sell itself to China. Then we have teenagers whose claim to fame is that they played someone in some movie, who are offered million dollar writing contracts to publish books about ideas that they may one day write, as if anyone can write a book, and all you need is a “good idea”. Banks are arguing with retailers over who gets to charge fees for credit cards, oil companies are arguing over how much profit they should be able to receive, while OPEC countries try to convince the rest of the world that they’re not charging too much for oil, even though they’re realizing they need to lower prices or people will get smart enough to stop buying oil and start looking for other sources of energy.
Every day, I read the newspaper, and I basically learn nothing newer than I learned the day before. Very rich people cheat everyone else, and when they get caught, they use the illegal money they received to hire very wealthy lawyers who defend them for outrageous prices (which are obviously paid for by the outrageous amounts of money the crooks stole in the first place). Because the government really never actually “gets” any of the money back to the people, the victims are made to pay the price of the cheating, although sometimes through outrageous price hikes from the companies that never really lost any money in the first place, and more rich crooks keep making more money.
And every day, people who hate other people kill them, justifying it because the day before the other guys killed their people first. If you think about it, international politics is essentially school yard politics, where grudges from recess are carried over into lunch time. And sometimes, some of the kids gang up on the other kids after school. And tomorrow, it all repeats itself. It’s amazing how little we haven’t learned from simple elementary school politics.
Yet, when it comes to racism, hatred and anger for the sake of being angry, we are no different than when we were a bunch of Vikings with spears. We like to think of ourselves as enlightened, but we’re really only slightly politically correct, based on how much we answer to the people around us. In reality, we get away with as much as we think we can get away with, and when we’re called on our stupidity, we might apologize. If we’re more powerful, we might pay off the people we beat up, but we won’t actually apologize but instead will take no responsibility for our actions but “want to get the matter behind us.” Somewhere in the background, someone will act all sanctimonious and uppity, and that’s about all of the rationalization we’ll allow ourselves. But we’ll continue to tell ourselves that we are doing what is best, and that we’re really good people, although often misunderstood or misinterpreted.
And current events just don’t change. If you really want to boil down current events to simplicity, it can be said that people will do whatever they think they can get away with, basically taking responsibility for as much as they have to, mainly because there might be witnesses. I’d like to think there’s a moral foundation, or even a moral authority, but when our moral authority relies on religion, and our religion relies on hating other people because they’re not the same religion (translation: Anyone who disagrees with our Word is worthy of any punishment we see fit and thus, no longer privy to our best behavior).
Every day, I experience so much that is wrong with the world, so much that is wrong with individuals who think themselves “above” that sort of thing, and I’m bothered because I can’t even guarantee I’m above the same behavior I want to demand from everyone else. And if you can’t demand it from yourself, and I’m almost to the point where I believe no one can, then what’s really left to pursue? Perhaps the solution is to crawl under a rock and ignore the rest of the world. I’m starting to think it couldn’t be that much worse than the alternative.