I had a short conversation with an Internet friend today, that stirred the coals of a sort of existesntialist burnout I’ve been feeling for a while now. She’s someone I only really know by her occasional posts on various threads, including mine, but whose opinions I’ve always found insightful.
I had made some off-the-cuff post expressing my frustration with the state of our culture, referencing Huxley, and lamenting the fact that unlike his Brave New World, in ours, people willingly dumb themselves down. Honestly it was unoriginal, pretentious crap. But at the time I wrote it I was being assaulted by vapid bullshit from a 24-hour news station, and making that post had fewer consequences than ripping the TV off the wall and smashing it.
She’d replied with a solid post that echoed and expanded on what I’d said. But before I could acknowledge it, she’d deleted the post. So I sent her a message, asking why. It turned out she was just reformatting it to post again. I was relieved, and explained that I was trying to engage more intelligent people in meaningful discussion, because it seemed to be lacking just about everywhere. She explained that when it comes to a lot of social media, smart people were in hiding. She told me that she was personally tired of being accused of being a “know it all” and an “overbearing female”.
And even as I recount this conversation, I can’t help but do so with a scowl on my face; one I’ve got to fight off because I’m writing this from a Panera, trying not to look like a crazy person typing out angry Yelp reviews.
I’ve alluded to this a few times in the past few months, on Facebook or in-person to friends, but the absurdity of the Human condition is something I haven’t been able to shrug off for a while now. The sense of it is always lurking in the periphery of everything I do, from conversations with friends, to the terrible jokes I make, to my inclination towards self-destructive choices in the pursuit of adventure, substance, and meaning.
But the idea that smart people are keeping their heads down so as to not offend the herds that have made celebrities out of the worst of our species, demanded to be fed only information they agree with, and hold in contempt knowledge that makes them feel as dumb as they actually are, gets under my skin like a hateful little parasite. And all I can really do to cope with the bastard is to sit here, pissing and moaning about it, on a blog that I generally don’t intend for anyone to read.
I’d like to end this with some helpful insight or a statement of resilience in the face of this absurdity, but honestly, I’m just going to go back home, fire up my idiot box, and stream some soma directly into my brain. I hear good things about “Wahlburgers”.