The Era of Erraticism

In the age of perpetual media, one has to be in a soundless sleep to avoid the saturation of news and opinions. In light of this acceleration of technology in a post- modern society I have found that many citizens are reflecting the divisive political tactics taken by media demagogues both progressive and conservative. We have become media acolytes and this underlying paradigm shift is self-evident in the manner we treat one another in our daily lives.

This entertaining reflection of division was demonstrated perfectly on my Facebook wall upon the release of the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death. Many assigned praise to former President George W. Bush. Just as many lauded President Obama for “getting the job done.” Some were sensitive enough to honor our brothers and sisters overseas for their service to the United States. Then a strange sociological twist occurred within a few days. My more progressive friends began circulating a Martin Luther King quote making the point that no one should celebrate a death. My conservative friends began pointing fingers and claiming that the progressive’s were not genuine patriots, one in particular saying; “I would have pulled the trigger myself”.

These individual reactions are quintessential of the current trend of sound-byte politics. We only receive a spoonful of the actual informational meal and due to professional demands move quickly forward with a formed opinion. The manner the consistent news cycle disseminates information is detrimental to the cohesiveness of our society. A singular manipulated sound-byte can act as a catalyst for a passionate and well-meant argument, that in the end leave two individuals with a chasm in their relationship. Some even prefer the more passive aggressive modern approach of ranting or un-friending on Facebook. We each have an individual responsibility to ourselves and to others to understand like Paul Harvey says, “the rest of the story.”

Most of us find ourselves perpetually drenched in media, desperately wading through,hoping we’ll somehow come upon shore having created a better life. Yet the process to get there has become incredibly divisive, vengeful and unsympathetic to one another. This can very well be characterized by the “birther” contention that arose under President Obama’s presidency by conservatives and the ”stupid” jokes hurled at President Bush by liberals. In focusing on these factious views, we have made little strides to correct the social, economic or environmental discord that has befallen us within these past few years. With all of these problems we still find sport in placing blame and chucking insults rather than working towards credible and widespread beneficial change that will move us towards a goal for the greater good.

On a local level here in Utah, this type of vitriolic attitude has been seen by both Democrats and Republicans. Both posturing or fabricating situations to promote an agenda, and Republicans have gone as far breaking Reagan’s “Eleventh commandment” ‘thou shall not speak ill of other Republicans’. All of this has caused political in-fighting, territorial grabs by activists, and a general and egregious disregard of each other’s humanity. It is as if we have all secured a focus so solidly on a goal that it has become impossible to see past our respective principled rigidity to compromise, or more optimally to create an environment of understanding and good-will while at the same time remaining convicted.

There are very few of us that are genuinely “bad” people. There are opportunists, there are the vengeful, the self-interested, the vain… but absolutely none of these independent qualities quantify a thoroughly “bad” person. What does constitute a bad person is someone that is violent or forces someone to do something against their will. Now that we understand that few of us are bad then why in politics do we treat each other so badly?

How did we each become so tethered to mass media, that we began reflecting the divisive behavior of media icons and politicians towards one another? I was shocked to the core, when I overheard a vocal activist belittle the civil disobedience tactic of this well-known activist. There were hopes by this activist, that the other activist would be given a steep jail sentence and proceeded to protest at his trial in order to see a greater punishment handed towards this person. Now to be clear. I am not warm to the idea of what this individual did, but he is a feeling human being who I have trouble believing wanted to sacrifice the joys of being a free human and be subjected to incarceration for the sake of garnering attention.

I am still taken aback by the efforts and vocal demonizing of us activist/politicos engage in. I am still shaken by the psychological violence easily unleashed on one another by such innocent things as having a divergent position or method. Rather than taking the more harmonious path of respecting one another and coming together to thoroughly discuss issues and foster one another’s intelligence. We find it easier to follow suit with radicals such as Glenn Beck and openly disagree and attempt to change a mind then if we are unsuccessful we discount one another and move on with the mentality that everyone in the world that doesn’t agree with our personal position is “crazy.” Attitudes such as this damage the soul of our country and are taking us into a spiral of negativity that will serve no one. Furthermore if we continue on this path we will not only continue in this era of erraticism but so will our children.

The media, at least, has an excuse. They need to protect their jobs by raking in the ratings to ensure the flow of capital. You and I have no excuse…and I dare say we have a responsibility to our society, to create a more gentle, kind and understanding environment in spite of oppositional ideologies over the state of political affairs in our nation and the world. This example we set will resonate locally and globally. I embolden you to follow suit and treat your fellow divergent thinker with the upmost respect and understanding, without losing yourself in the process.

  1. #1 by Larry Bergan on May 7, 2011 - 9:04 am

    Interesting video:

    But I still don’t know how anybody could call themselves a republican these days.

    Sorry.

  2. #2 by Larry Bergan on May 7, 2011 - 9:13 am

    Thanks for a VERY well written post!

    Obviously, I’m still struggling.

  3. #3 by Wendell Jay Jefferson. on May 7, 2011 - 9:44 am

    It is hard to see how anyone ascribes to any of the two party duopoly. Real progressives had hope in Obama..and were screwed. The republicans are straight jerks without deception. I have to say it easier to see them coming and prepare than to have faith in the faux progressive democrats and get hung out to dry as a real progressive. Everybody think for themselves would be nice.

  4. #4 by cav on May 7, 2011 - 9:55 am

    Really makes me yearn for the ‘good old daze’.

    Don’t think simple cell division is not without it trauma. Incivility even!

  5. #5 by Wendell Jay Jefferson. on May 7, 2011 - 9:57 am

    You mean the good old daze when the American public was just unsuspecting, trusting, and ignorant?

  6. #6 by Larry Bergan on May 7, 2011 - 10:11 am

    good old daze

    McCarthyism = perfection

  7. #7 by Wendell Jay Jefferson. on May 7, 2011 - 10:17 am

  8. #8 by Wendell Jay Jefferson. on May 7, 2011 - 10:23 am

  9. #9 by Larry Bergan on May 7, 2011 - 10:36 am

    I’m overwhelmed by Jesus Christ, and now Venona?

    Can anybody stop this?

  10. #10 by Cliff Lyon on May 7, 2011 - 12:40 pm

    Thanks for this Melodia. There is only one explanation for the shocking personal attacks you have endured for your brave activism.

    I think there may be some mental health issues. Smells like bi-polar with some paranoia and megalomania often gives rise to jealousy. Jealousy can trigger the paranoia.

    For example, Wendell Jay Jefferson is an former friend named Glenn Hoefer. He suffers inexplicable, self destructive bouts of “every is stupid except me.”

    When one begins questioning one’s sanity, the need for self-validation can reach pathological intensity.

    To wit, following this comment Wendell (Glenn H.) will attack me personally, intellectually and cast me into a giant imagined pool of fools who cannot see the obvious conspiracy at hand.

    Perhaps it the narcissism that stems from the onset of schizophrenia that demands confirmation that everyone else is deluded. I’ve seen it before.

  11. #11 by Melodia on May 7, 2011 - 3:03 pm

    Cliff, I want to study at your uncommonly logical feet. ;)

  12. #12 by Wendell Jay Jefferson. on May 7, 2011 - 3:52 pm

    What happened to Melodia?

    What happened to all our sanities Cliff? Aren’t you the person who believes George Bush and Dick Cheney are responsible for 911? In that regard, Osama, who denied being involved with the event becomes the object of what can only be called a conspiracy you have long believed in. The great pool of fools has often been described by you, while you stand aside and look at the factions.Must you be reminded of things like this?

    The interesting part is that you may be correct in your belief in conspiracy, but this is rubbing up against your support of Obama who is merely following in W’s footsteps, and not very well at that.

    Cliff I will leave you not with what I think, but what others do. I concur with the authors’ assessment, and it is amusing to have your like accuse others of narcissism and schizophrenia, when you could well suffer from it in spades.

    http://mydd.com/users/jackjack/posts/cliff-lyon-lying-liar

    PS. Happy to satisfy your continuing delusion.

  13. #13 by Wendell Jay Jefferson. on May 7, 2011 - 3:55 pm

    P.S. I see now an edit feature, yay. You would do well to use it Cliff, and I happily will.

  14. #14 by Cliff Lyon on May 7, 2011 - 4:33 pm

    Glenn, I love it when you post that JackJack post. At least there is something out there that shows I was here, that I try, and that I am willing to suffer the costs of SHOWING UP!

  15. #15 by Cliff on May 7, 2011 - 4:35 pm

    Wendell (Glenn Hoefer),

    What do you think of what Tim DeChristopher did?

  16. #16 by Melodia on May 7, 2011 - 10:59 pm

    Wendell,

    Why after reading my post would you choose to exemplify the political terror that is pervading our society? What is your reasoning? What is your benefit?

  17. #17 by Wendell Jay Jefferson. on May 8, 2011 - 6:19 pm

    As hard as it is to imagine Cliff, nobody much cares what you are doing. “that I try”…I have seen how you “try” and have watched the manner in which you attempt to manipulate, with the lowest of ethical standards, the political debate.

    You really have a bit of an elevated opinion of how you view yourself and any contributions. Are you proud? What is interesting is that it is the known useful idiots who are the first to go when the fascism takes hold of a nation.

    Is Dechristopher in jail yet? As a gesture it was his play to make, as an effective action, well, it isn’t that is it?

    Give us break Melodia. What political terror? This is plain old politics, and by now long lived players are used to it. We listened to “political terror” from the democrats all through the Bush years. Case in point would be Cliff’s steady support for the idea that our government set up 911. I can only imagine what progressives would be saying if Bush were still pres and he violated a nations sovereignty and then continued on with an extra-judicial killing, for which there is no evidence to show really it happened. Referring to the OBL nonsense we are now living through.

    I don’t know who has attacked you for your activism, though the very word connotes you are going to attacked by those you attack. The life of an activist. Basic rules of realpolitik. Your enemies don’t believe in what you do and will fight any way they please. That is why they are called enemies. You need to know, there will be no compromise with those who cannot stomach your politics. You lose or they do.

    Perhaps read The Prince again. I posted in this thread that no matter who runs our government it is very wise choice to not trust anything that is done or said coming from it, from anyone. I simply do not find much value in a large government of any stripe with an all too twitchy trigger finger having it’s invasive effect in our lives.

    Prepare yourself for political combat, as the oligarchy has created and fosters the division of people in the nation to enable greater control. As you may have noticed, there might be people out there with a bit more zeal than you or I.

    The benefit of knowing the truth is its own reward there Melodia. We are basically in an as yet political civil war. Standard operating procedure for the oligarchy to enable this.

  18. #18 by Melodia on May 9, 2011 - 3:01 pm

    Wendell,

    We are the only species with the gift of this advanced form of intelligence. Do you not believe we can evolve to the point where we can in good spirits and with a good nature come to an understanding with those we disagree with?

    I appreciate your point about basically: grow up and get used to this. However, I have to believe that I can leave this life a better place than how I was born into. If I don’t I would see no point in existing.

    I too deplore the oligarchal system but I believe we can change it?

    But perhaps it is time I allow everyone to change me and abandond this uphill struggle for equality, equanimity, and evolution.

    No I can’t I have to believe that a better life is possible. I have to believe the process can be better and I will work towards it for all.

  19. #19 by cav on May 9, 2011 - 11:33 pm

    A better life is possible. Actors need to toughen up so’s not be be pushed around by the likes of those Wendell so well describes. They’ve always been among us, just like the socially forward=thinking. The struggle will continue, so long as we don’t allow too great a backward slide.

    Wendell Whoever will definitely get the brain motor operating – I think it’s a very good thing. Onward.

  20. #20 by cav on May 10, 2011 - 1:00 pm

    Era of erratacism wouldn’t be quite so, if the application aspiring pols had to sign off on weren’t so qualitative, ie: are you willing to lie, cheat, steal and suck up wads of corporate cash to get elected.

    Signed_______ Dated______

    …and their oath upon taking office, a mere gesture.

  21. #21 by Wendell Jay Jefferson. on May 10, 2011 - 1:04 pm

    Nope, I don’t Melodia, we are programmed Melodia. Even if you raised your kids under the best of motives and intentions some of them simply find out hoo to get what they want in this world by any means. This has always existed, those that would safeguard the better nature of humanity do so with weapons.

    There is at least 6 thousand years of history describing the nature of men. Th dream is nice, preparing for the reality is a wiser choice.

    If you want to change the oligarchical system, be sure to bring more than pieces of paper and words to the event. Be sure to maintain an armed populace as a primary premise, or live the eventuality of dictatorship and enslavement.

    You keep your way up, others will keep their way up, and wait for it as the backstop.

    In the entropy based world of consumption which characterizes humanity, and from which there is simply no escape but death, there really is no point to existence, you make of it what you want and give it any meaning.

    For a purpose driven life for which you will most certainly encounter cretins prone to destruction of your efforts, read Machiavelli’s, The Prince, and for the short read it is, Sun Tzu’s, Art of War is insightful. No more than 200 pages between the two of them.

  22. #22 by Wendell Jay Jefferson. on May 10, 2011 - 1:09 pm

    Truly Melodia, we don’t know squat from other creatures intelligence. I have had some experiences with killer whales, highly ordered, extremely intelligent, uh, killers. A crocodile and a shark have their ways, and have been here on Earth a whole longer than us. Intelligence is just a word. It is all about the merry go round of energy and entropy, of which we were made, from which we can not escape at this time in our existence as a species.

  23. #23 by cav on May 10, 2011 - 1:29 pm

    Just a quick note in passing: I don’t know if the two are related but it seems the ability to vent on the internet has, to a large extent, replaced public demonstration. If true I don’t see it as a positive.

  24. #24 by Wendell Jay Jefferson. on May 10, 2011 - 3:52 pm

    The oligarchy utilizing the Hegelian dialectic gives an divided angry populace a place to vent that has no impact in real terms. Sure cuts down on political placarding and saves trees, and bothersome and expensive policing.

  25. #25 by Peggy Wilson on May 24, 2011 - 8:14 am

    @ Melody: “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” Albert Einstein

  26. #26 by Melodía on June 27, 2011 - 9:57 am

    Wendell,

    What happened to your comment? Entitled “What Happened to Melodia?” I received the comment last night as I was checking my email and now I do not see it here on the thread?

    First, let me thank you for respecting the name my family gave me and saying it correctly. Next, here is what I received in my mailbox:

    “What happened to all our sanities Cliff? Aren’t you the person who believes George Bush and Dick Cheney are responsible for 911? In that regard, Osama, who denied being involved with the event becomes the object of what can only be called a conspiracy you have long believed in. The great pool of fools has often been described by you, while you stand aside and look at the factions.Must you be reminded of things like this?

    The interesting part is that you may be correct in your belief in conspiracy, but this is rubbing up against your support of Obama who is merely following in W’s footsteps, and not very well at that.

    Cliff I will leave you not with what I think, but what others do. I concur with the authors’ assessment, and it is amusing to have your like accuse others of narcissism and schizophrenia, when you could well suffer from it in spades.”

    I do believe we all are in search of a better manner in which to exist. A manner that doesn’t result in atrocious human rights violations and that respects the sanctity of life and democracy. There are many vehicles that will take us on a path towards a better existence and the point of this blog I wrote was merely making the point that we need to be somewhat impervious to granting main stream media the right to shape our perspectives. We all fail while simultaneously in a perpetuate state of growth therefore we are desitned from birth to disagree and make mistakes but my question is why do we have to do it with such overwhelming toxicity. For example, if you do not agree with Cliff (whom I have great respect for) why not raise the objections you raise above in a more polite manner that seeks to uncover the truth rather than fighting to make an impression with your perspective? I agree with you to a certain extent regarding Obama he has not been as forward as I hoped with beneficial policy changes in regards to immigration, the Wars on Terror and Drugs, Guantanamo. However, rather than fight amongst others about whodunnit, whose not doin it and we need to find a collective platform in which to organize so that we may have policies that benefit the majority rather than a select few. As we can see income disparities since Reagan have increased and are as you noted being perpetuated through this current administration. Rather than blame the leader why not take a look at the system itself? Our governmetnal bureaucracy is excrutiatingly flawed and fraught with iron triangles, we do not have proportional representation in our electoral system, the electoral system itself is flawed, career politicians, being a global power, political apathy among the masses all contribute to this paradoxical situation we currently find ourselves in. All I’m saying is we’d gain more ground if we discussed and explored theories and organized for solutions rather than fighting amongst ourselves… its too Machivellian…. a character in a movie once said “you can always get one half of the masses to destroy the other half with a little money and bad information.”

    Oscar Wilde notes:

    Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only beauty.

    and

    Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault.

    Ultimately, as I stated in the blog, we aren’t bad people few of us are, so why then do we treat each other so badly? It’s a self-defeating behavior that doesn’t advance our interest as a population. Wendell, if you made it this far through thanks :) You got my brain churning. Anyhow, take care and if I wasn’t up to my ears with classes this summer I’d have more time to post another blog and make sure this time to edit ;) Take care, enjoy the sunshine.

  27. #27 by Daniel on November 9, 2011 - 6:05 am

    “We each have an individual responsibility to ourselves and to others to understand like Paul Harvey says, “the rest of the story.””

    Most don’t want the rest of the story. They hear something they dont like and put up a wall and until makind is willing to look at its heart condition the polarity between Liberalism and Conservatism will never change. This conflict isnt about politics but rather one of religion and sex cloaked in politics. There is a reason most Liberals are aithiest and it has nothing to do with being intellectually enlighted. While the left throw out names like moron, racist and my favorite… politically correct slure “intellectually challenged”, the right see the left as being selfish, bed hopping pleasure seekers, that follow any social or politically correct ideal as long as it gets them what they want and allows them to remain guilt free.

    Trying to reason intellectually is great but sooner or later you have to get to the heart of the issue and thats where people become rigid. They see their polical views as an extension of their moral and philisophical principles. Until both sides are willing to accept the validity of those views you’re just going to be spinning your wheels and Liberals are just as guilty as Conservatives when it comes to being respectful of other’s veiw points, especially when its in conflict with their own. In the end its all semantics. Liberals speak of intellect and ethics, Conservatives of wisdom and morals, you need both to be balanced. Wisdom is nothing more then the filtering of intellect through ones heart and if that heart is corrupt then so too is the wisdom it posseses. Increasing the amount of knowledge and intellect one has will do nothing to better mankinds future if its based on toxic ideals. This is where your problem lies.

    Your logic is sound but until the hearts of men change your utopian dream of a world without boundaries can never exist. As long as there is greed, lust and vanity in the world, there will always be those that use power for selfish gain. If you want to change the world, do it with kindness, even our enemies suffer.

  28. #28 by Melodía on November 9, 2011 - 10:08 am

    Thank you for your insightful and profound response. You have certainly given me, along with Ellen (a long-time community activist who explained similar things to me last night) alot to consider and alot from which to grow positively from. Thank you.

  29. #29 by San Juan Bautista on November 9, 2011 - 12:54 pm

    “The poor will always be with you” Jesus Christ.

  30. #30 by Wendell Jay Jefferson on November 9, 2011 - 1:04 pm

    Melodia in answer to your question, perhaps he is reformed, but the cliff I know, is nothing what he appears to be.

    As for the fight, you seem to be a consensus based person and willing to compromise. Others are not, and take pleasure in the fight. Not me personally, but that is the litany of history. If you want to compete with those who rule the world, petitioning is a long disappointing road.

    Melodia what have you been looking at these days in this system that appears beautiful? Even the protest is a dirty bum.

  31. #31 by Daniel on November 24, 2011 - 8:23 am

    Moral Politics is one the best books I have found at explaining the duality of morality between the left and right and the formative assessment of each worldview. If you want answers, its a good place to start. I hope you find what you’re looking for mel, just remember, truth exists in everyone’s heart, but to find it we have to look past our selfish desires.

    http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/467716.html

(will not be published)


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