It takes all I can muster to not be an insufferable cunt on Facebook every day. If I had less self-discipline, I would comment on every single fucking social/political meme that had 4 brain cell’s worth of thought put into it, which was then reposted a million times by people who agreed with a premise they refused to research or verify. I would comment on every single fucking one with facts and analysis to show them how dumb they were for sharing an idea or statement that is fundamentally flawed with only 10 minutes of Google-Fu.
And it wouldn’t do a damn thing.
No one wants to know anything, and that’s the problem. They want their feelings formed into a bullet point, and that’s good enough. Fuck reading, fuck research, fuck fact-checking, fuck verification. Someone took two minutes captioning a picture, so it can’t be all wrong, right?
This happened today:
Someone who I thought was smarter than they actually are reposted the following on their Facebook feed:
Hey, that’s not a bad point at first blush. If I pretend like I only have a few hundred brain cells, I could probably conjure some rage and follow that up with “Yeah, how dare they!”
First: should risking your life be the only path to affordable higher education?
Second: tuition has increased at least 1,000% over the last 30-50 years (depending on who you ask), and that’s with adjustment for inflation. So yeah, I guess risking your life does seem like a good fucking idea now.
Third: Note that the veteran in the picture is white; not surprisingly, that makes it more accurate. There is a long history of minorities, specifically African-Americans, getting a shaft of some sort or another regarding their G.I. Bill benefits.
Fourth: Like many veteran’s benefits, the G.I. Bill has received numerous cuts in recent years.
Fifth: This meme distorts the overall message of the outcries from millennial/GenX young people who are often identified as the people “whining” and “complaining” about “life.” The overall message is that they were sold a bill of goods (work hard, be smart, have a house and family and dog and comfortable life) that hasn’t been delivered upon. Costs for everything are higher today than they were only 20 years ago, let alone 40 (adjusted for inflation, of course). Hard work can still get you places, but not the same places it got your parents, or your parent’s parents. Most people who are “crying” about getting their student loans forgiven are mad because they paid more for college and got far less than their parents (and their parent’s entire generation) did.
I spent maybe 10 minutes searching all that information up. I’m not a genius. But I am now more informed than what feels like half the people in America. I’m not special, so that makes things even sadder.
The worst part of this is that the righteous indignation that people spew along with their opinions, opinions that have been poorly (if at all) researched, or opinions that they got from a fucking meme. The person I know on Facebook probably posted that with an internal “yeah, those lazy fucks!” Not only have they internalized a really weak opinion, but they have paired it with the entitled condescension of someone who you would have thought would have done a search or used their brain. In reality, all they did was nod at a picture and click “share.”
This isn’t just obnoxious, this is deleterious to society, and has spread like wildfire. Many, many people just don’t research for themselves. They take the spoonfuls of information they’re willing to eat, and accepting that it is right. It is reducing our culture to that of bullet points and sound bites. I know this is happening because Donald Fucking Trump is going to win a nomination for President Of The Fucking United States while treating every debate like it’s a wrestling promo. He has provided zero detail on his plans, only surface-level proclamations, yet there are people hailing him a savior.
I don’t have a solution for this. I can’t understand it. The way I’m wired, if I read something that I’m not sure of, I go and research it. I can accept that not everyone is like me. But isn’t it good to, y’know, know things? Isn’t it good to make sure you’re right before you call someone lazy, or worthless, or wrong? Isn’t it good to base your arguments on things like facts instead of emotions or fucking memes?
Just fucking burn it to the ground, we wouldn’t notice anyways.