I’ve been neglecting these more introspective postings for a while. Namely because it’s unclear to me if anyone reads them. I like to imagine there is someone out there who might.
To be alive today involves a constant negotiation with the superficial appearance of any given moment. Twitter replies, IG stories, news feeds, etc. To participate in the narrative of events, you must devote your attention to these ephemeral moments of pride, outrage and disgust. Most interactions with close friends seem to boil back down to this narrative at play, blurring the lines of distinction to whether independent ideas can still be tangible. If the human race was a television show, the ratings would be at an all-time high. We navel-gaze at our own follies and/or fortunes. We’re capable of being dramatic, hilarious, complex, disgusting, ill-fated - and watching it all unravel is wildly addictive.
We can set limits on how much access we will allow ourselves to use these services but it might only deepen the craving for what becomes forbidden. We love to hear ourselves complain much more than we do trying to devise a solution.
And if we’re making broad generalizations, Americans love to gripe about rising tax rates as if it’s an imposition of Satanic forces leeching off of their hard-earned livelihoods. To some, lower taxes means more money to spend freely as an individual, and therefore mitigating excess spending by a large inefficient government. I understand the intention. While that’s all good and well, we Americans still pay some amount of money to Uncle Sam. Taxes still exist. And right now, I don’t feel good about where any of my tax dollars are going. Try spending a day in one of your community’s underfunded public schools (I’ll bet there’s more than one option near you to choose from) and ask yourself if your tax dollars are being put to good use. Yet, a majority of us seem to accept these failures to innovate our most critical institutions as collateral damage that comes with the times; nothing to do about it. Call your senators. Donate money to the ACLU. Go to rallies. Post an impassioned couple hundred words on your Instagram. Then what? Do you see people taking the streets decrying “taxation without representation"?
This is where I bow out. I so no clear path to a solution for our deeply disabled society when all anyone can do is yell at one another. I’ve been to my share of rallies and believe that change is possible. But I’m pressing pause on cosigning with any organization claiming to represent my best interests. The only feelings of hope and positive energy that I’ve ever experienced came via tight-knit communities of people who care enough to show a little empathy to one another. Tribes. We don’t have to agree about everything, but we can at least understand our mutual respect for why we choose to coexist in a given circumstance.
In the past few months, I’ve felt so beaten down by the onslaught of information forced upon me, I’ve been hesitant to write much of anything. Especially anything with a real point-of-view. I’ve made things, but I’ve felt unable to truly buckle myself into the driver’s seat like I have been able to in the past. I aim to seek these places where a tribe mentality can still thrive and create opportunity for progressive thought. If you know of any, please send them to Jordan@jordanharo.net