Sunday, September 15, 2013

sunday morning reflections

sunday morning finds me leisurely looking through pinterest, facebook, my flipboard blog feed and the new york times on my li'l iPad. husband always gets up and makes tea and delivers a cup, milky and sweetened with honey, so i don't have to leave the warmth of the quilts. the cats curl up next to me, purring and jockeying for position and it's pretty much my favorite hour or so of the week.

if i view the world through the lens of my various feeds, i have learned that vladimir putin has some canny editorial writers, we can no longer use the words lame, crazy or insane, disney has been infiltrated by the illuminati, the reason that time magazine didn't put putin on the cover in the US this week (he was on the cover everywhere else) was because the media is controlled by 6 corporations, sweden is awesome, there are a lot of injured, homeless animals in need of homes, iowa beat iowa state (i surmised this more from the silence of certain iowa state folks in my feed), people think it's homemade if you combine 4-5 premade ingredients (cake mixes, oreos, cool whip, jello and tortilla chips), eating the resulting sweet dessert will likely bring you closer to jesus, there is major flooding in colorado, berlin is where all the cool stuff takes place, triangles are the new circle, autumn is upon us, the latest trend in photographing food is to place it against a dark background, which serves to make it more moody and poetic and according to my myers-briggs profile (ENTP), i am sirius black from harry potter. 

i do wonder what effect this melange of input has on me? does it connect new synapses in my brain or reinforce the old ones? are my horizons expanded or narrowed? do i end up feeling helpless about my ability to do anything about the state of the world? do I even have the first clue about what state the world is in? does it take away my desire to argue against the madness before i even begin? am I even allowed to call it madness (that illuminati thing is pretty out there)? is it all a load of bullshit?

i listened to a pretentious panel of "experts" yesterday on P1 (our NPR equivalent, only even better) debate the ability of individuals to live more sustainably in practice. they justified their purchases of non-organic food, designer bags, frequent airplane travels, long showers and wasting of energy with homes filled with electronics they never turn off and ended up concluding that we as individuals cannot do anything about living more sustainably. we might as well load our grocery cart with cheap chicken and sit in front of our enormous flat screen televisions, clad in prada, planning our next holiday in bali. they decided that we should wait for governments to wake up and regulate us, since we were too lazy to take steps ourselves.

and while that's a pretty dire and cynical conclusion, and it rather pissed me off when i heard it (as i was driving instead of biking, no less) upon reflection, i don't think it's that illogical in light of the input we feed in to our brains. a lot of what we read and expose ourselves to points to individuals not being able to make one iota of difference (after all, the illuminati and those 6 corporations are controlling everything). and i'd like to say that it's lame and crazy of us, but apparently that avenue is now closed as well.

also in my various feeds, i came across a guardian piece by jonathan franzen about our frustrating way of conducting ourselves in the modern world. he harkens back to an austrian intellectual, karl kraus, who was  blogging in a journal called the torch, before blogging was invented. maybe we need to do as kraus did, and spend a lot of time reading stuff we hate, so as to be able to hate it with authority. i'll admit i'm not good at that, as i blogged the other day, i've been turning off those who post the most objectionable stuff on my facebook feed, because i don't want their vitriol polluting my mind or messing up the steady stream of photos of kittens and lego minifigures. 

i think i've said it before, but we have to start fighting back. we've been slacktivists long enough. it's time to start arguing against the madness. because not doing so clearly isn't working.


Molly said...

Hmmm, I have some problems with that article as a linguist, not an ableist.
Wrt some words, she's perfectly right - 'retard' etc have no place in our language anymore.
But to lump the 'misuse' of deaf, blind, schizophrenic into the same category is narrow-minded. These words have other actual definitions in the dictionary and should be able to be used like that.
To be 'blind' to an issue is proper English useage that has existed for hundreds of years and can't be blackened (do African people find that offensive?) with the same brush as 'moron' or 'imbecile'.
I'd also like to retain the free use of crazy please - I regularly use it as a compliment.

julochka said...

molly, i couldn't agree with you more. it's taking it WAY too far. tho' i am trying not to use retard, like you, i can agree with that one. but sometimes crazy is just insane.

Veronica Roth said...

Well that was fun. So far I feel quite lucky that my children didn't turn out to be raving sexual addicts despite naked women, devils and other penises, using my catch phrase "mad as a box of frogs" will probably land me on some Save The Frogs watchdog's hate list, and, next time I inadvertently end up on the wrong express train out of Geneva to Berlin instead of Prague, everyone will probably just look at me and say, "It's ok, she's Luna Lovegood". I'm so glad I found out what's wrong with the modern