First off, let me clearly define the foundations and the sole purpose of this article: It’s love. I have very strong instincts when it comes to protecting the weak and a reasonably good BS detector.
And I think that something treacherous and unfair is happening, under a disguise of cultural and generational wars.
Let we start with a question.
What do you do at times when you are entirely depleted, and when nobody, absolutely nobody is giving you what you want?
Do you react in the same way when you are well-fed and surrounded by a loving community that respects you – vs. all alone with all your problems, in a fake world, without an ounce of breathing space, bombarded by loveless things that want something from you, day after day, month after month, maybe year after year? You, the familiar you.
Let’s assume that you are generally strong, confident and balanced – but day after day, all the world is asking from you is your attention, your money, your 24/7 performance mode – but you, the real you, don’t matter.
And then you see a video of a puppy where the puppy is loved – or hear a sad song – and the tears suddenly appear out of nowhere, and it’s just you and the world that has blurred for a moment, your warmth and your raw desire of something loving that you vaguely remember but haven’t experienced in a long time.
Are you a snowflake, or are you an abused human?
The reason I am asking this question is that I think we are being collectively tricked into hurting each other in yet a new way. For money and sick psychological satisfaction of the few, I am afraid.
There are no snowflakes. There are people who are pre-depleted and/or not trained to have any immunity, who are set up to fail at complexity and emotional endurance, because, salesbullies. And frankly, as seen through my eyes of an immigrant, the American-born people in general are subjected to tremendous abuse via corporate-driven emotional deprivation, even the ‘privileged’ kind. That abuse is hard to detect because it’s internal and served on a tray filled with shiny objects. That trauma expresses itself as entitlement and lack of emotional intelligence. But it is trauma. ‘Trauma’ may sound like a trendy word but all it means is ‘not being whole.’
My heart goes out to those of my fellow Americans who have never been shown a world in which respect and love don’t have to be earned with social status, or a big house, or having the last word in every conversation.
People with different sensory thresholds (relaxed and loved vs. unfulfilled and on the brink) cannot react in the same way. It is not possible. It is unrealistic and painful to demand reactions for which there is no emotional foundation. It’s what the missionaries started doing centuries ago, and look where we are. Our society has no clue how to deal with trauma – despite all the profitable, fluffy corporate hoopla around the concept – because trauma-free citizens cannot be easily vultured for profit.
I can only think of one solution. Those who are stronger help those who are weaker. There is no other way around it. We are one.
I hear from my friends who are in their 60s and 70s that the sense of community in America used to be much stronger. I believe them. I grew up elsewhere and obviously later, so I don’t know. Of course, different American demographics were – and still are – in different places, so it is all very nonlinear. But I know that a fear of strong emotions – forced upon the middle-class Americans by the system and escaped only by those with individual personal luck – is striking, especially in those who are relatively well-off. It tormented me for years after I got here – until I found my circle. This observation is not just mine, it is shared by other people who grew up in other cultures, especially those who are new in the country and still remember the contrast. America is heaven if you are a salesman and hell if you want love.
This whole trigger business is simply a variation of the good ol’ tradition of treating emotions as something dangerous. It’s not new. It’s just that today marketers sell it in a new package, and political brands are using good words to milk other people’s real trauma for own power and influence. Sick, sick, sick.
By the way, when anybody younger than boomers complains about how helpless or spoilt the younger generation is, I laugh. I don’t know how culture was way before I got here, but by the time I did, to my subjective Russian standards, city people of all ages were pretty damn spoilt. Just sayin’.
And now, there is an entire generation of kids who are bombarded with too many randomized sensory stimuli 24/7 (because, corporations want device usage and data), who have the treasure of personal privacy and thinking space hidden from them (because, data), who have been trained to evaluate themselves based on social reactions, and to perform, perform, perform that act of a personal brand, at every waking moment (because, data).
I admire the people who are still even remotely sane under the circumstances. Being without personal space is crazy!
Granted, human beings always have more energy from nature before they enter the
grinder workforce – and we will only know the full story of today’s teens in a few decades, when they, too, come to realize that they have been duped – even so, it still seems to be a trap filled with gadgets and an artificially created generation gap.
We are fucking up as a community, because corporations (i.e. human beings who are hungry in a particular way, and who don’t respect anybody’s spirit and thus build systems that devour love and turn it into money) are eating the children with even more fervor that they ate people until recently.
No human being, no matter how healthy and strong, can bear being bombarded by unloving signals 24/7 without losing one’s grounds – while not acknowledged for one’s real self. Especially the kids who have not yet grown a defense. I feel for the kids. The corporate dollar is hard at work creating havoc, and adults should know better.
Add to that mix the intensified electromagnetic interferences that, according to scientists, interfere with our function on a cellular level in ways we might not even realize – yes, scientists say that even though
big tobacco big tech doesn’t want us to think about it – add it all up, and we get people who are pre-depleted, who have no room for any more real or perceived attacks on their identity. Like, really, no room. No ability to defend. Plus, still insecure, because, kids.
Add to that the corporate and political marketers who want people to be divided and not look up in the sky or into each other’s eyes, and you get what we have.
In my dream, we stop thinking of ourselves as liberals and conservatives, the proudly strong and the snowflakes – and start thinking of ourselves as adult humans who are responsible for the world, and members of the same species.
Here is an interesting story. I went to see an art performance that featured a political statement in defense of immigrants. The non-immigrant artists meant to express their ‘correct’ view on the topic – but they have clearly never experienced the abuse they were depicting. And neither have the audience members – because the well-dressed audience cheered with joy celebrating their place on the right side of history, and bonded with the artists celebrating the same – while I, an immigrant who has actually experienced the abuse that they were so uninvitedly representing, was wiping helpless, sudden tears off my cheeks and trying not to scream at them at the top of my lungs, struggling with how unexpectedly, how insultingly, they imposed their dirty complacent self-congratulatory bullshit on me, how unpleasant and hurtful it was to feel their clueless hands that I never asked for, in my place of pain, how fucking horrible that entire thing was from beginning to end, and how much outrage I felt at their unearned self-righteousness.
I never told them that. I wasn’t sure they would understand, or even want to hear. I think it was all about them.
I know it is not easy. I know there are many entities and many forces involved, and each battle is individual. And yet I want to believe in the power of responsible adulthood.
Here are my own senses, for example. To me, political correctness is a joke – and in fact, it was the actual joke in my circles when I was a teen, something that “Americans do.” I have no need for political correctness, and I prefer that people are upfront. I come from a culture that is very straightforward, and political correctness annoys the crap out of me. Respect, however, is not a joke.
But respect and emotional strength are dangerous to the machine. Think back – the machine has historically banned spiritual practices and arts that were conducive to emotional strength. It called them ‘savage’ but really, it was afraid of people who were not slaves.
If we truly learn from the inside how to respect others – if we grew that strong, responsible, loving soul and learn how to defend our hearts – we will see the the corporate liars for what they are, and we will become horribly unreliable brand consumers.
The corporate liars are scared of that, so they feed us bullshit that kinda looks like the real thing, that kind looks like they mean well – but it is bullshit to the core.
So they teach us verbal formulas, triggers, and other very distorted expressions of sacred, precious human emotions – in an society where emotions are TOTALLY not respected. As if we are little obedient computers.
I am thinking, ideological arguments are not going to solve anything. I do not support ideological arguments personally because they are not practical. How about we find real love and insist on it?
Yeah, political correctness is bullshit when it comes from corporate zombies, but when it comes from the kids, it’s a request for kindness. Maybe we can trick the robots by finding that love, so that all their bullshit surrogates fall off? Most certainly, the robots will fight because their well-being depends on confusion. But what are the options?
It is a mess, and there is no easy answer. We are in a mess together, and we need to get out together.
The generational divide is a much of a piece of bullshit as the partisan divide.