Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, society pumps garbage into the heads of impressionables who have neither the mental capacity nor the physical maturity to handle the onslaught in a reasoned, rational manner.
Hence, consequential fantasies are prone to being acted out at the expense of innocents. The recent catastrophes in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, prove the point.
Rather than dealing with the cause and effect head on (social media, violent videos and movie fare appear largely untouchable), the knee-jerk reaction of politicians and pundits is always to attack the Second Amendment. That’s easily more convenient, you see, than is confronting the devil in the details —given our reluctance to look for answers from within.
Which brings to mind an apropos quote from Julius Caesar: “The fault, Dear Brutus, lies not in the stars but in ourselves ...” My translation? WHAT DRIVES PEOPLE TO THEIR DECISIONS AND ACTIONS IS THE HUMAN CONDITION MOLDED BY THE ENVIRONMENT WE OURSELVES CREATED. There it is — pure and (not so) simple! Own it or not!
Ask yourself this! Why didn’t the atrocities that are all too common nowadays repeat themselves with regularity in decades past? What’s changed exactly — relative to the means (really not much comparatively)? And the motive? Ah, there’s the rub — recognizing that today’s milieu (not to exclude education and politics) provides spurs aplenty to inhumane acts.
Hate speech, cyber bullying and rampant drug use are commonplace. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter addictions proliferate. Google and Yahoo are subversive. Tolerance and compassion are passe. Hollywood and the product it produces is valueless (blood and gore everywhere).
Neighborliness is outdated. Common sense has taken leave. In its entirety, it’s a societal evolution gone awry.
Many moons ago my Arizona cousin predicted with amazing clarity that the internet would become the pathway to civil discord — the tombstone marking the graves of crucial traditions put to untimely death, if you will. To this day he refuses to carry a cellphone — choosing personal control over the manner in which his day unfolds. Well, good for him.
In contrast, most of us lack the wherewithal (cognitive resources, not money) to chart our own course. Demanding immediate attention the smartphone rings or dings — whether we’re out to dinner, behind the wheel, at the grocery store, or even in the bathroom. Hour after hour we’re at its beck and call. Not a moment of uninterrupted peace. Ergo, our daily lives evolve accordingly.
Which hints of an altogether unhealthy dependency. Gone are the days when spending time in our own company was pleasing and rewarding in itself — sans the need to have others constantly propping us up and dictating our schedule. These days, however, privacy either by choice or circumstance spells trouble — given the smorgasbord of influential options at our fingertips.
Potential evildoers (not unlike those in Texas and Ohio) lurk at the junction of good and bad — literally leaving it up to society to decide which route they take!