Monday, June 14, 2010

"Caring"

Today has been a strange day at the office.  My day job (the name and nature of the place shall continue to go unspecified) hurled yet more contradiction, aggravation, and inanity at us in a way that has further convinced me that I live in an augmented reality program.  I told a co-worker that I just don't care anymore.  He said that is the wrong way to live.  I replied, "it is remarkably easy,"   to which he retorted that "easy living" is usually a sign that you're doing something wrong (paraphrase).
Of course I see his point.  Caring is perhaps the most critical action to undertake in order to bring meaning to existence.  It can be that one nice thing you do a day, that cause you devote even a modicum of time to that just might make the world a better place. 
But it seems to be just as easy to "care" as to not care.  I have a few favorite examples of this.  One of them is the glut of magnetic yellow "support our troops" ribbons that emerged on cars everywhere after the invasion of Iraq.  Now I certainly have nothing against the act of supporting our armed services.  Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have always been a strong supporter of the military and that one of my closest friends is a veteran.  My problem with the ribbons is twofold.  First off, as an English scholar, I can tell there is an unspoken, understood phrase that goes before "support our troops" and that is "you had better."  This makes the caring and support for our service men and women into a purely political statement.  Secondly, I wonder just how the driver of the car in front of me chooses to support the troops?  I mean, aside from slapping that ribbon on their car?  Do they write letters?  Have they adopted a unit to send care packages to?  Have they gone to a funeral for a fallen soldier that they didn't know but were somehow connected to by extension?  I'm not saying that they haven't.  I just have my doubts.
You can just easily see the same kind of principle at work on the other side of the political fence.  Take your average "peace protest."  How many of those people consider themselves to be "politically and socially active" just by showing up to one of those things?  I once was in an art supply store. Two college age kids staffed the place while chatting with a few of their friends.  One of the visitors said, "Hey there's a protest rally in Washington D.C. this weekend.  Want to go?"  "What's it for?" the kid behind the counter asked.  "To free Leonard Pelltier," he was told.  "Yeah, sure," was the decision.  The college kid took maybe a beat to think about it.  The tone of his response sounded like one of "guess there could be a few awesome tailgate parties and cute girls."  
Finally, I'm just as guilty as anybody.  I am a supporter of Bono's One Campaign.  I wear a white bracelet from time to time, I bought a Red t-shirt from the Gap, I donated to get antiviral drugs to HIV patients in Africa, and I have written a couple letters to Congress to supporter thrid world debt cancellation.  Have I been to Africa to get my hands in the dirt and help?  No.  Even if I had the means I'm still not so sure that I would do it.  I am outraged by what BP has done to the Gulf of Mexico.  What have I done?  I added a "boycott BP" logo to my Twitter feed, signed an online petition against further drilling, and I avoid BP gas stations like the plague.  Do I do anything positive?  I am down in Louisiana, scrubbing oil off of pelicans?  No.
Apathy is a contagion.  It hops from person to person like any germ.  It spreads from brain to brain like any viral video on the Net.  It can start with a bad customer service experience at a store, be reinforced by an overall sense of futility at your stupid day job, and really explode after taking a look at the overwhelming amount of problems our world faces.  It might even be part of a larger plan, a subroutine in a larger control mechanism.  The superimposition of a rigid societal and religious framework is enough to make most free-thinkers feel like they're up against it and that to act contrary to expectations is tantamount to ramming your head into a concrete wall.  So why do it?  Because if enough people don't care, it will be easier to push forward certain agendas.  So hands up.  What do you do?
"I don't care" comes very easy to me.  Yet if that is too frequent of a response, what will be left to care about?  The only way to halt the cycle, to "break free of the matrix" as it were, seems to be through tiny, altruistic acts. That and staying educated about what's going on.  That kind of education is one of my goals here with Strange Horizons and it is an education for myself as much as anybody.  I hope that you, dear visitor, may find it as such also.

Speaking of caring, President Obama is to address the nation one of these nights on the status of things in the Gulf.  Here's to hoping he actually does "kick the ass" of BP.

Thought I'd add my playlist from "Nothing Left But The Cockroaches:"

"Wild Boys," Duran Duran
"The Playboy Mansion," U2
"Zeroes and Ones," Jesus Jones
"Zero," The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
"American Idiot," Green Day

Follow me on Twitter: @Jntweets

5 comments:

  1. First, I'm totally ready to go to Africa. Like flipping Michael Palin ready.

    I do think you care somewhat. Like Sartre said, if you were completely despondent, you wouldn't even be able to express your despondency. So there may be a little room there before you bottom up.

    So at least you have that going for you.

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  2. It’s amazing how, even the seemingly enlightened people of the world, find the thought of giving up the everyday common practices of the 3D world as extreme. This is but another example of the hypnotic MATRIX illusion, where even the wise are not. There are no numbers or language systems in the awareness state.

    When these ‘teachers’ say that learned knowledge will set us free, understand that this a complete lack of awareness. It is, of course, learned knowledge that placed us in this circumstance we now find ourselves in. Wisdom knows nothing. Knowledge THINKS… it knows something. The Serpent in the fable of the Garden of Eden story said (as it pretended to speak with some authority) that Adam and Eve could eat of all of the fruit in the garden but not of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil,…” or they would die. What a twist on reality. This is a perfect example of seeming to say something wise, when in fact, it’s laced with deceit.

    We are our own worst enemy!

    There’s nothing missing in the centre of our being. In reality, WE HAVE NO CENTRE! The only concept that suggests a CENTRE, that’s conjured up the Light particle, with its divisive and duality nature, that has a CENTRE. This Light particle is the Zodiac Circle, and that Circle has a Centre.

    Constantly, we here the instruction of so-called Enlightened Teachers, instructing their followers to be CENTRED and in the MOMENT. When in reality, what they’re suggesting, in an extremely subliminal and deceptive manner, (even to themselves, the teachers) is to stay in the Trance where there is no eternal Moment.

    In Reality, we are not to be CENTRED, simply because being centred is to be controlled. We are not the CENTRE of anything, because to be the CENTRE is to be of the EGO, which is what conjured up this whole illusory life experience in the first place. We are more than to be simply CENTRED, we are the Wisdom that know’s no boundaries, is liberated and free, … and this All Knowing Freedom is present, only outside the Trance State.

    To reclaim this invincible Paradise, there has to be an awareness of what’s transpiring in the 3 dimensional plane. Becoming aware, and breaking out of the Trance State, is to break out of the CENTRE, out of the LIMITS of INTELLECTUALISM, which is the Thought Process, and is to reclaim and reconnect to the Eternal Paradise State.

    Within the Centre there’s only the constant hammering away at Our Eternal Wisdom State, through subliminal messaging, where we experience deceit and lies, and are told to believe that we are in fact, corrupt and corruptible, and in need of a saviour or guide.

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  3. There are far too many things to care about in this world for any one person. Hunger, disease, war, pollution, crime, health care, poverty, education (or lack there of) are large issues which affect millions (or billions) of people. People do care but an individual's resources are limited. The key is deciding where to direct your caring in the most beneficial way for you.

    First, you must take care of yourself. If you do not take care of yourself you cannot care for others. If you have a family, you take care of them next. They are dependent on you. Then with whatever resources you have left you can start helping/caring for others, the environment, free speech, religion or whatever you care about the most. Unless you are fabulously wealthy and can finance a foundation to help you, your contributions to what you care about will be meager but will have an impact nonetheless.

    Jon, you obviously care about blogging, writing, and sharing of ideas. You also obviously care about your family as you go to work every day even though you clearly wish for a different day job. Since I know that you are not Superman and cannot single-handedly plug an oilspill, discover a cure for AIDS, or achieve world peace, I would suggest that you focus your efforts on yourself, your family, your blog/writing, and then pick a few things that you can both care about and donate a little time/money to. That way you know that you are making an impact, even if it seems relatively small in a world of billions of people.

    Care. Just don't try to lift the whole world on your shoulders.

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  4. As always, gentlemen...fine discussion points.
    Thanks very much!

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  5. From Facebook:

    Yohanna said "Love reading what u write it's so great :)"

    I don't make this stuff up, folks. If you are incredulous, friend me on Facebook and see.

    ReplyDelete