Save me from tomorrow,
I don't want to sail with this ship of fools...
from Ship of Fools by World Party
I've shut off the swear filters again.
That nine people are dead and we're focused on a flag instead of the real issues of gun control and racism is embarrassing.
That a local mayor (in my one time home town) blames those around him for his lack of attention to detail and protocol is embarrassing.
That an argument about little Johnny's school grades degrades to an argument about who did what to whom three years ago last Tuesday is embarrassing.
That the President of the United States uses the “N” word to accentuate his point that bigotry and racism go far beyond the usage of a word and media are focused on the word is embarrassing.
I am not going to use the “N” word obviously. That would be disrespectful to people I give a shit about. I find the word offensive to the point of physical illness. However, if Potus decides to use the word in its full form, I will trust his judgment due principally to my respect for the man, my respect for why he used it and because he intended it that way for a reason.
If you believe President Obama did not put significant, careful thought into whether to use the word or not, I will tell you are flat out wrong.
The news media has gone berserk over the past few days since the radio interview was released. They're focused on the use of the word by the most powerful man in the United States. “How could he have used such an offensive word so... flippantly?” The entire media frenzy surrounding that one word has overridden the incredibly important message contained in the monologue. That is, the lack of use of the “N” word in public does not determine whether racism exists or not. Racism exists despite the use or avoidance of any particular linguistic unit. Racism needs to be dealt with at a much deeper, educated, inclusive level.
Similarly, the windstorm of meaningless rhetoric surrounding the confederate flag has steered the public away (once again) from the bigger issues: gun control and racism. Should the flag be removed? In my opinion, yes. The sooner the better. What it ultimately represents is abhorrent. And, let's deal with the other issues on the table first. We'll get back to the fucking flag when it's time.
Some would say dealing with the flag is important... and it is. It's also far less important than the underlying issue though. Does it occur to no-one they'll just make another fucking flag to worship?
We often become separated from real issues by those who wish to divert our attention. Why do news outlets alter our view? Because they know we are too fucking scared to deal with the real problem. They know we are uneducated about the issues. They keep us uneducated on purpose by over dramatizing meaningless drivel so we will ignore the bigger problem.
The media outlets also know we will avoid the hard work and scramble toward an easy out.
This sort of obdurate behaviour doesn't happen only in the States. Don't kid yourself.
While listening to a taped, public conversation of a small town council meeting here in Ontario, I heard more than one vacuous sidebar meant, intentionally, to divert conversation from the real issue. The real issue, in this case, was whether the meeting had been called using proper protocol. Instead the participants took a hard turn into who was doing what to whom for what purpose. Clearly, the conversation was flipped by the mayor who had called the meeting without the proper protocol. The rest of council followed along like sugar addicts scrambling to get at the last existing bag of Oreo cookies. Why the deviation by the mayor? Because he didn't wish to deal with the actual issue that he had royally and undeniably fucked up.
Why do we divert attention from the real topic so easily? Because the main topic up for discussion is painful and difficult for one or more of the participants so they (we) divert as quickly as possible to ease the angst. It's human nature to deflect and find a back door, particularly when we feel cornered into something we would rather avoid.
And it's not just media or government where this lack of focus occurs.
The next time your having a “discussion” with your significant other, check out how quickly the conversation degrades into “you did this” and “you did that” when those issues aren't even the topic up for discourse. The only way to relieve the angst of a topic is to deal with it head on. If an issue isn't dealt with up front and immediately, it simmers in the background until the next straw.
And then, wonder of wonders, we can't figure out why nothing is being accomplished and the same shit reoccurs ad nauseum.
Distraction has become an inherent part of our lives: smart phones, television, booze, drugs, sex, internet, movies, self-help etc, etc. Anything to distract ourselves from the underlying problems we face. The unwavering truth is, day in and day out, we're mucking up our brains with distraction whilst the issues and problems are waiting on the sidelines to get back into our life. And they will. Over and over and over.
Shit doesn't go away because you ignore it. Shit goes away because you deal with it. Period.
The only way we resolve the issues of violence, gun control, racism, protocol and why little Johnny is flunking out of first grade is to talk about violence, gun control, racism, protocol and why little Johnny is flunking out of first grade. That's it. It's that simple.
Our job in any discussion is to bring those we are having an argument with back on point.
The rest is a windstorm of insignificant clutter.