Activism and the Media

I have been reading various blogs lately which are written by folks who I do not identify with in any way at all.  

Why would I bother, you ask?

I showed up to work yesterday, and mentioned to the (mostly conservative) guys that “CNN really p*ssed me off this morning”–it was relative to a story they “reported” about this idiot homophobe pastor guy–but I didn’t even get that far in the story.  One guy cut me off and said simply, “CNN should p*ss you off every morning.”  I asked him why, and he said something in response along the lines of CNN being a liberal newscast, and rattled off a few conservative talking points.  (This guy also has a tattoo of an eagle which reads, “Never Forget 9/11,” and says openly that he doesn’t like anyone who is Muslim because of the “feeling” he gets from them.)  You see now the kinds of people I work with.

No, the reason I have been watching CNN and MSNBC lately, and reading blogs by people who are focused on spreading feminism, anti Wall Street sentiments, anti [insert race/creed/sexual orientation here] sentiments, or any other activism is simply because I believe it opens doors into empathy for me.  If I have access to an open discussion among a crowd of people who are exploring a topic that I have already formed opinions on, I can begin to see why they do what they do, and how the “cause of their cause” came about.

I do not make a very good conservative.

Is this you?

I think gays should be able to get married, and I feel that way because I really don’t care what they do.  It just doesn’t affect me.  I do not think a woman must subscribe to a particular role in a marriage–I think whatever that role happens to be should be left up to the people in the relationship to figure out on their own.  My wife makes more money than I do, and I have no problem with that.  When folks like feminists discuss among themselves at length just exactly how they are living, and if things are a “feminist” thing to do, I sit in disbelief that someone needs a cause that badly.  My wife would be a really great role model for any feminist, actually–she is stronger than she knows, extremely intelligent, and sticks firmly to her opinions…but she doesn’t go around advertising that she is those things.  She just is those things.  She’s a female version of this.

But I make a terrible liberal, too.

These groups, these causes are a religion, like any other.  They all are.  Ever the activists.  What is the point?  Why do people feel the need to take their collective opinions and literally force others to be exposed to them?  What chemical is released in their head when they get on a soapbox about their cause?  Why can’t they just live how they want to live, and let me live how I see fit for me?

Why do these people think in their heads and in their hearts that making everything “fair” will solve all of our problems?  It makes me *facepalm* my own forehead when I come across people who cannot see past the myopia of their lives and recognize that a rising tide lifts all ships.  When free markets are allowed to work (and the government stays out of them), everyone prospers.  The beauty of this country is that if you are angry that someone is richer than you, you can find a way to change that on your own.  You don’t need permission to do so, either.

I have gained a greater understanding of the way many people think by seeing and reading the things that make me want to throw things at my TV, but I am better off for it.  The more opinions you hear, the better you will be at understanding (and relating) to people.  You may not have a clue how to relate to someone, but I am sure that they have a clue how to relate to you.    You need to get good at it, because soon, those who prefer to stay within their own little tribe and shun the outside community will be the proverbial rock in the river.

The truth is that no matter who the media tells you to be, or how to act, or what to think, you are culpable for yourself.  Killing someone because [insert cause here] told you to doesn’t let you off the hook.  Robbing the rich to pay the poor makes you a thief, no matter how you choose to extrapolate it.

You should ignore the media’s messages, and create one of your own.  Read as much of others’ opinions as you can, and filter them into your view.

I guess, on some level, I am telling you to be a feminist, or a masculinist (is that a word?), or any kind of activist that suits you…just don’t get in my face about it.  Let me choose to find it on my own.  (The irony of my message, and the way in which I am delivering it, by the way, is not lost on me.)

Ciao!

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  1. People share their ideas because they believe they will save you. They aren’t forcing you to sit there and listen but they do believe they are opening your ears to new ideas that may enlighten your path to enlightenment. People get on their soapbox because they are tired of thinking and not acting. Why experience something that can be prevented with cognitive understanding? I would hope you listened to your parents when they told you not to touch the stove because it was hot. I do understand your point, when I am in the train station listening to my music and hear someone in the background spewing religion (I am not religious), it interrupts my entertainment, but it also allows me to see belief in its purest form. They believe so therefore it’s their fact. What do we do with fact? Educated the world with them. Remember people don’t “force” their beliefs on you; they challenge you to reconfirm your belief systems. Show me a silent person in a room full of people debating and I will show you a control freak wanting to stand alone instead of coming together. Welcome to the many, blogging views to influence Ideas!!!!

    • Canadian Performer’s Money
    • May 26th, 2012

    Love the post! I never trust people that belong to a group, because no group should have 100% the same views as you. Any free thinker will have some aspects that are conservative, some that are liberal and everything in between…

  2. Thanks guys…I really do appreciate it. @ AmazinglyBrash, I have to say that I think it annoys me so much that those who think they are “opening my ears to new ideas” p*ss me off the most. I don’t need to be force-fed ideas (opinions). I don’t need to be saved. I’ll find my own way, the same way that everyone else does. I will tell you that not everyone learns the same way–I was not the type of kid who would listen to my parents saying, “That’s hot, don’t touch it.” I was the type of kid who, for whatever reason, had to figure it out for himself. I also have to disagree with your statement that “belief in its purest form” is effectively that person’s “fact,” and here’s why: A fact is a fact. If it isn’t, it’s an opinion, plain and simple. The same peoples’ “facts” hold to be true that every Mexican is a criminal, or every Muslim is out to destroy the US, or that it’s unfair to have people who are far more wealthy than the majority. Those “facts” are completely subjective opinions. I also think you miss the mark on silent people…I draw on my experience with my wife in this case. If she is silent in a room full of debaters, it’s because she’s actually listening to what they have to say before she ever thinks about mentioning her own opinions. Most of the time, she never mentions her own opinions. As the quote goes, “It is better to let people think that you are stupid than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

    Also, you’re wrong, Brash…people DO force their beliefs on you. I already have my belief systems organized–I don’t need these idiots puking their beliefs on me. I can’t even get on a plane anymore without being confronted by some religious nutball in line telling me to “get saved,” or somebody getting butthurt that I ate a steak on my layover. I don’t care if you are a feminist, a racist, a homophobe, a liberal or conservative, or a vegan…I didn’t ask for your overzealous message, so don’t force me to politely tell you to leave me alone. Don’t force me to weigh the productivity of calling you out or keeping the peace in a public space. It’s nothing more than an annoyance, and gets you nowhere with me. If I want to learn more about feminism, veganism, racism, whatever, I’ll seek out those who champion the message on my own terms, on my own time. Until then, any other group’s message is nothing more than noise to me, and provokes the possibility of an ugly response.

    I’m glad you guys commented…as I mentioned before, debate is a healthy thing to help us learn about what we actually feel. @CandianMoney, I completely agree that free thinkers will have a little of both sides…but I firmly believe that that’s because the normal pulse of the people is a solid mix of liberal vs conservative. Have a great weekend. Cheers!

  1. September 11th, 2013

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