Saturday, August 20, 2016

I understand, I really do.

Recently, several friends have posted that they’re considering
a moratorium from social media.
They don’t want to see any more political posts, 
divisive memes 
or opinion pieces about current affairs that are ‘must reads’ 
on their news feeds. 

They’ve made impassioned pleas
for a return to images of
vacation spots, 
kittens and puppies, 
with an occasional self-deprecating e-card
or inspirational saying 
delivered with obligatory gorgeous scenery.
They've added the threat
 (perhaps promise) 
to unfriend anyone who violates their space 
with anything remotely resembling a partisan viewpoint.

To which I can only lovingly respond by saying,
"Bye, bye".

I understand the longing to live a curated life 
 with only the best, most lighthearted aspects of ourselves on display;
to think that like minded 'friends' live similarly idyllic lives
and that we share the same bright harmonic future.

I understand;
I hope it won't rock your world to have someone point out
that you're living in a fantasy world.

The broader social contract under which we live our communal life together
is fraying and coming apart at the seams.

Values and standards which were once guideposts
are no longer seen as markers for a way forward together.

No matter which political candidate wins the election in November,
we have lost as a country.

An evil genie has been let out of the bottle
and there's no putting it back in.
But being complicit isn't the way forward.

Those who acquiesce in the evil done by others 
bear responsibility for that evil.
Those who remain quiet when the demagogue speaks 
give their support to the demagogue.
Those who remain indifferent to the quiet voices of hatred
encourage such voices to speak more loudly.

Robert McAfee Brown

I won't be silent.
The consequences are too steep;
the price too high.

But, in the interest of friends who prefer pictures of animals ...
does that help?

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