Thoughts At Large

Passionate thoughts on random topics

Category: fear

Simplicity Fatigue

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There must be a term to describe simplicity fatigue, that feeling you get when your Uncle Know-it-all posts something on Facebook or Twitter which stuns you into open-mouthed disbelief at their lack of a fundamental understanding of a situation or their simplistic, childlike solution to the problem. Fatigue occurs after seeing “solutions” like this posted repeatedly by simplistic, linear-thinking people. Let us face facts. The problems facing our state, country and world are not simple. There are no more low-hanging fruit. To assume that there is a simple solution to a complex situation should invite derision. The mind-numbingly simplistic solutions I hear to these complex issues make me shake my head and fear for my children’s future. I’m not saying I have the solution, but I know enough to look beyond the basic. Politicians, who, with access to intelligence and reporting should know better, play to the simple-minded in the public for support of dangerous, short-sighted solutions.

Gun violence prevention is not an easy problem to solve. ISIS is not an easy development to understand. Neither is Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, or Israel. Or race relations, curing cancer, or parsing different religions. But to assume that there is a simple solution to all of the myriad complications within a given issue is feeble minded at best and dangerous at worst. The inability of most of the public to see more than one chess move ahead is frightening. I would worry about these people moving more than one Twister move ahead without causing bodily injury to themselves. Some of them should wear helmets.

But there is a fatigue that builds up over time reading comments to news articles online or in some cases the news article itself, never mind trying to follow the logic some display on Facebook, Twitter or some other social media. In some cases, they would be hysterically funny if they weren’t so deadly serious. And I’m not talking about grammar. That’s a discussion for an entirely different day. I’m talking about the rabid, linear “thinker” who cannot possibly understand the nuances of a given situation enough to rationally attempt to apply Occam’s razor.

Perhaps it is the fact that I’m still grieving the loss of my wife and father. Perhaps it is the downcast mindset I wake with each day because of this. But the social media fatigue I feel right now because of these linear thinking people makes me want to walk away from the computer, turn off the television and go read a book. And then I think of my children. If I walk away, who will fight for them? If I take a step back from any activism I engage in, are there those who will take up the slack? If decisions are made by those who show up, what right do I have to abstain and then complain? I need a way to regroup, recharge, and replenish in order to keep engaged. Perhaps turning away from it all for a while is the solution. I just hope there are enough like-minded people to carry on without me for a while.

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Fear

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My heart aches for my country. My heart aches for my world. Most importantly, my heart aches for my children. I fear, more than at any time in my lifetime that we are slipping ever closer to both civil war and world war.

As demographic changes overwhelm the status quo and economic “norms” succumb to new paradigms, the old majorities cling to their crumbling precipice and make preposterous threats to those “below” them until a boiling point is reached and the pressure cooker explodes. Every year we see dynamic shifts in socioeconomic or civil right standards that only a few short years before seemed impossible. Consider gay marriage or the removal of the confederate flag from the state house in South Carolina. Now consider a woman president or gun legislation. One seems a fait accompli while the other still engenders violent arguments on both sides of the struggle. And while the former still garners consternation from a small quarter of the public, it is the latter that causes me the most consternation. Because while the flag came down in South Carolina, and it seemed to be common sense, there is a deep seated racist backlash, coupled with a gun culture which has already lent itself to secession once, where I fear a second civil war may erupt. There has already been talk from politicians, politicians running for high national office (Rick Perry) regarding secession. This talk and the armament that these people hold is disturbing to say the least. And there is nothing well regulated about this militia.

Internationally, antisemitism, always the go-to for the disgruntled, has been resurrected in many parts of the world. And this at a time when more countries than ever have a nuclear capability. Greece’s insolvency threatens the Euro and the financial stability of the European community while Germany is left holding the financial burden. Japan has converted to an offensive capability for the first time since World War II and Russia is pushing everyone’s buttons to see just how far they can go before someone pushes back, going so far as to fly bombers off the coast of California. We’ve essentially already acted as a modern day Neville Chamberlain and conceded Crimea to Russia as a modern day Sudetenland minus the Munich Agreement by not challenging Putin. Of course, then some other country will “send troops into Russia forcing Putin to respond.” Or perhaps we’ll just skip the pretense and a President Cruz or Bush or Huckabee or some other hawk will preemptively bomb Russia leading to a retaliatory nuclear attack ending in our nuclear response and earth’s ultimate destruction. Boom boom, bang bang, lie down, you’re dead.

What ever happened to debate? To discussion? To negotiation? Why cannot today’s majority see the writing on the wall and accept that tomorrow will be different? Why cannot we accept that change is inevitable? That we must accept change or perish?  Of course, if we could do that, none of these issues would be issues. Climate change would be the fact that it is we would be well underway in dealing with it instead of holding snowballs in the well of the United States Senate as if weather and climate were interchangeable terms. Gun violence prevention would be common sense rather than code words for confiscation from the paranoid few who control the political elite, racism would be an anachronism left to the dustbin of history instead of the last vestige of dominance for whites watching their majority slip into fear of retribution.

I fear for my country. I fear for my world. I fear for my children. Tell me I’m wrong.