That definition is over a decade old, but is still the best description I can find of what it feels like sometimes to live Online. It is the reason why I pick my friends with care, and don’t hang around in the same places too long. In fact, I’ve become a bit of a digital nomad when it comes to interacting with others. My homes are many and various, are as close to a constant as is possible but are only visited by those who know the way. The rest of the time I’m out here in the fields on the digital cargo bike, moving from place to place, trying not to cause too much trouble.
Lots of people seem to think they know what is wrong with Modern Society. Each of them is only seeing part of the equation however, as has been the case since man came out of the caves and realised next door’s dweller had already invented the hut. Avarice existed well before money was invented. That other caveman’s club is always pointier saying only got properly defined for humanity when that Moses geezer got fed up of his tribe’s incessant bickering over what was right and wrong, escaping for some peace and quiet to think up a mountain. With time to reflect, as he honed his stone tablet carving skills came revelation AND LO we were given 10 Simple Rules to Live your Existence By (and you won’t believe Number Seven!) or as the old folks liked to call them, Commandments.
The rest of humanity wouldn’t have been handed THAT definition of what made ancient society tick unless a bunch of storytellers had written it down (with numerous interpretations of what you couldn’t covet, just as happens on the Internet.) Then that guy had to be nailed to a plank for teaching it as a better way to exist before two centuries of modern history turned the whole package into a series of often questionable lifestyle choices. The biggest single issue for modern society, pundit types, is not how soulless kids are today or how fucking grumpy the older generation have become. It is refusing to accept that somehow, a Holy Grail remains somebody else’s cup to provide.
Humanity has always been the problem.
Hand people rules, they ignore them. Tell them to worship your God and they’ll refuse. Tell them how to dress, off come the undercrackers as people protest. If you’re foolish and enslave, kill or repress them for being different you will feel revenge with the tenacity of a cornered beast, for that remains what we are. Please don’t tell me anyone is better than the Animal Kingdom that is farmed, killed and culled for our own notions of vanity and necessity. Mother Nature, who has existed here long before we crawled out of the ocean and even considered a cave, is ravaged by us with a brutality that demonstrates that most people don’t have a fucking clue what it means to live in harmony with anything. Everybody is the problem, even the Green warriors and the UN Special Ambassadors and the lovely old lady that gives you extra filling in your daily Subway because you’re a top lass yourself. Nobody gets off scot free from blame: there is no point in letting the women and children go first when you discover it was the 12 year old girl who hacked the wi-fi and then sent your boat into the rocks.
The next few years therefore is gonna get really tiring as everyone decides they get a swing at who to blame.
The nodding dog of Science cannot save us this time. It is probably too late for a lot of things, including the polar icecaps, unless some pretty major about faces take place. What can we do as a race to stop this assault upon the existence that has only very recently in planetary history terms been afforded to us? If it is sweet Fanny Adams, should I not as my mate suggested stop trying to express my anger and indignation and just focus on taking care of myself? Well, I COULD do that, but that’s how the planet got in such a fucking mess to begin with. Don’t worry about it, someone else will fix it. NO THEY WON’T. The only way change is going to happen is if you make it happen.
The only way to make a difference is to start caring, and so many people don’t.
Maybe, JUST MAYBE, if I say it enough times, people will listen. If enough of us volunteer, things get better. If enough people complain, stuff does change. What we absolutely, definitely and positively do NOT need is those of you who have already decided that this whole game’s already ruined for you before you even start playing. It’s already someone’s fault and they need to be blamed. Most importantly of all, when the World is burning around your ears, it won’t matter how many subtext messages you sent on Twitter or the number of shitty abusive DM’s you posted to diss that person on your Friends List who took the piss out of your outfit choice. What everybody needs now is a sense of proportion, and the understanding that at this rate of self-destruction, Humanity’s gonna be lucky if it makes it to the end of the Century.
Don’t take, people, Contribute. Don’t expect, be surprised.
Stop complaining somebody else is ruining your life and start living it for yourself.