Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Internet Is Becoming a Communicative Disease

Oh how the Internet is a blessing that has cursed us.

You almost got me, Internet. The open opinion forum. The endless nonsensery run amuck. You almost got me. I almost lashed out across the invisible and tangled web of data because of an inflammatory remark. Almost. But after thinking about it for more than a few moments, I've decided, a few things just need to be said instead. Not in response to one thing in particular, but to what appears to be an epidemic.

We used to be able to blame the media for all the over-sensationalized, hyped-up opinions in the world and for the distraction from real issues through focus on surface, superficial ones. But now we know we don't need the news for that. It's just us common people who do it. We use sounding boards like Facebook and Twitter and mom blogs and every place and any and every place on the Internet-at-large to tear one another down and build up mountains out of mole hills.

We've managed to turn a real issue - like racism - into a fight over whether streets should be renamed and statues torn down. We're sheep, and frankly, I'm ashamed of us. I'm ashamed of what we've become.

Most people who know me know that I'd rather keep on the lighthearted side of things. Slipping into the dark side of spewing my opinion as though it's anything more than exactly that is not my M.O. I prefer to keep the peace, be civil, have my opinions but only offer them when they're specifically requested. Even then I like to keep it as objective as possible. I respect your difference in opinion, you respect mine. Things are just easier that way. After all, what I think is only that - one person's perspective on what might be (and likely is) a very complex issue. There is very little, if anything, in the world that is truly black and white. No racial pun intended here WHATSOEVER.

But here we are, living in the Golden Age of Communication, and I'm starting to think maybe it's tipping over onto the side of a New Dark Age.

Whereas my great-grandfather was a man of few words, and when he spoke, people listened, by contrast, there are far too many people now who spout off so much so frequently that people have grown weary of hearing it. It doesn't make those people zealous; it makes them obnoxious. Thank goodness Facebook recognized that and introduced the "unfollow" feature. We've gotten so accustomed to the whole "freedom of speech" thing that we've expanded the definition to mean "freedom to say whatever, wherever, to whomever, no matter how offensive or hurtful it might be." That's not freedom, y'all. That's tyranny.

If you can get ten kinds of riled up over a statue of a historical figure, a flag, a marriage between two people who love each other, a street name, etc., but can't treat others in the same way you want to be treated, then you are the problem.

Be part of the solution.

This has been a PSA by the indefatigable Crazy Cajun Lady and her mission to confront injustices wherever they appear.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The 10th Annual Commiseration of Hurricane Katrina

Straight out of the gate, let's get one thing settled - Hurricane Katrina was an awful, devastating, murderous storm-turned-manmade-disaster, and those of us who were painfully affected will never forget because it is an indelible mark through the timeline of our lives.

Well hell, I could probably just end this post right here. Did you hear me? We will never forget because we can never forget.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

La Liberté

"Something there is that doesn't love a wall..." said Robert Frost in his poem "Mending Wall." Being the Romantic poet he was, it's easy to interpret his words as having to do with nature. Here, he says, walls have no place in nature. Why? Nature is wild and free, sprawling, uninhibited, and walls are the antithesis of freedom. I sometimes think of this when I consider the levees that protect our city and they actually do. The Great Mississippi River is "contained" by man-made barriers of rock and earth, but the wild river resists containment. The challenge of human engineering is to keep it bounded by these walls because, as we all well know, once that river breaches those boundaries, it will never again be contained. It's just not meant to be.

But we can also expand the definition of wall to include those we put up in our minds and around our hearts. And since we are nature - made of stardust, water, and earth - we are naturally compelled to be free as well. People go crazy confined in a cell for too long - we yearn for freedom. But what is it? Freedom transcends an outward appearance or an outward structure. Think about it... some people with all of the wealth they could ever need and more find themselves enslaved by drugs or greed. Freedom has to be more than what society calls free.

I propose:

Monday, December 30, 2013

On Things Lost

I may not know all the details about the history of the LeBeau plantation. Sure, it was an antebellum plantation home turned hotel turned abandoned historic monument. But I don't know who the owners were at any given time or why it fell into utter disrepair. Not that the full history of it isn't important, and not that I haven't read up on it a little. It's just that LeBeau and I, we sort of have our own history.

Photo I took on my last visit to LeBeau

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