You people better just watch it

I was thinking about the differences between life on and off the web, passing through some boring line or another in my endless quest for goods and consumables. It might have been a grocery mart, or a super-saver-super-store. It may have been the local quikie stop or gas bar. A particular rude remark which I don't remember now caught my attention and I remember thinking "you people better just watch it, or I'll put you on my blog…"

What a silly thing to think. Has the art of onanistic conversation reached such a stature in my world that the web has become a righter of wrongs? Can it possibly serve as an arbiter of trivial justice, a champion of the inconsequential annoyance? Oh pshaw.

And yet… In my country we are entering a season of near total verbal warfare as our election cycle approaches its zenith. People for and against virtually any concept that can be named in the political arena can vomit their thoughts into the ether at the speed of light, while another segment (or is it the same segment? I can't tell) of the population seeks out these nuggets of litter-box treasure for the purpose of amplification. It's almost as if what this particular medium does best is to turn up the volume on every possible absurdity. Look at me! Look! Isn't this outrageous!

But I don't remember what got me started thinking this way. It was minor and it is gone now. There was no need to document it was there? Blessed forgetfulness is the fuel of civilization. If you turn down the volume you turn up the dignity and usefulness of the thought. But someone is watching right now, waiting.

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5 Responses to You people better just watch it

  1. jaklumen says:

    I believe it is a sign of the times: people's missteps and blunders are posted to YouTube, and people seek to shame each other on the blogosphere– how different is this from prophetic words that say secrets shall be shouted from the rooftops?I realize saying so is normally out of character for me: I'm generally not comfy putting forth religion into everyday discussion. But it *is* a curious phenomenon, and I am sure it is worthy of such theological discussion, as well as much, much more philosophical and sociological discussion.For example: some have discussed an increasing narcissism in succeeding generations, particularly, the Boomer, the Generation X'er, and the Generation Y/Next'er. That seems to be the heart of what I see in what you are saying: people seem to have a desire to say: "Look at me! I'm important! Look what I can do! You'd better look!" Journals used to be private– and now, there is so much to encourage them to be quite open. And yet… it is done with the idea that since people cannot behold your presence in the flesh, it is somewhat anonymous.Blessed forgetfulness is the fuel of civilization.It definitely fuels nostalgia– "the good ol' days". Some might argue that filtering out the best to remember is a distortion of how it really was, but I think it is good for human sanity, provided it is balanced with similar views of the present and future. Forgetfulness also seems to drive the ability to pardon and forgive… if you can let go long enough, it seems to me, long enough to forget, then bygones truly are bygones.

  2. Doug says:

    I think the trend toward narcissism is largely media driven, and so weblogs are a natural extension of that. But media wouldn't be successful if people didn't have a natural tendency to "show off". It's hard to say what the consequences of it will be, but we're all on the same carnival ride. Probably anonymity will become a rare luxury.Or maybe we'll learn to live as the Japanese did in paper houses, learning not to notice things too much.

  3. jaklumen says:

    I think the trend toward narcissism is largely media driven, and so weblogs are a natural extension of that.That could be

  4. Aubrey says:

    I believe in letting bygones be bygones. To a certain extent. It's not in me to bear a grudge, and there have been times when it would have done me good to harbor a little resentment. What I believe in is forgiving but not forgetting.
    Then again, I am the person who once – jokingly – remarked: "I have a blog and I know how to use it."

  5. Doug says:

    It seems to me harder to let things go by when they are so thoroughly documented, but a gracious person manages to do it doesn't she? Thanks!

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