Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Silencing of the Lambs

The modern whiz-bang real-time era of videos and tweets and blogs and social networking sites and hundreds of cable television channels offering up everything from fake diamonds to porn is putting governments under duress and our social fabric under strain.

China tries fruitlessly to keep its billions of residents protected from the onslaught of information that might undermine control of its Government by Committee, trying the lawyers of Google and the patience of the Committee. Google wants to give its customers around the world unfettered access to search results. The Committee wants to avoid chaos caused by free thinking.

The US political machine is ensnarled in bitter partisan debates of sound bite and spin, where every quip is a potential candidate maker or candidate breaker. Issues are played out in press conferences and video clips on news programs, all with a slant, so left or right, you can find your partisan perspective. Truth? What is that? It is what it is defined it to be. President Bill Clinton was oh so wise when he said, beads of sweat popping out on his forehead, “It depends on what the definition of 'is' is.”

Wars are brought into the living room where we can see office towers collapsing as if choreographed by Steven Spielberg and the march of American caskets across the TV screen turning stomachs and will against the fight. Never mind that the next step by terrorists who don't care about such trivialities as the death of innocents could be the destruction of a whole city. Maybe New York. That is in the future, does not exist, does not count. Out of sight, out of mind. No, we are in the now, real time. A reality detached from . . . well . . . reality.

That, then, is the problem.

With more powerful and more immediate access to information, we find that our environment assumes the proportions of a surreal motion picture, with little dramas played out before our eyes and fictions, deceits, and manipulations so rampant that they form the new truth. Truth is a variable, not a constant. The drama of reality shows turns television into an emotional test tube where we amoebae get our chuckles and tears from the cheers and fears of others, as if we were there. As if life were meant to be that.

The educational level of discourse collapses to the lowest common denominator, about grade 8, as blog sites and chat rooms become infested with inane perspectives masking as wit and bluster pretending to be wisdom.

New expressions arrive daily, lol, and the courtesies we knew before erode, calling elders sir or holding the chair for the lady. It is dog eat dog, the intimidators and amoral manipulators in control of the agenda and the discussion. It is a confused new world. To be silenced, to be held captive by distortion - to sacrifice truth and honor and integrity to deceit and manipulation and illusion - is the way of the lamb. The way of the lamb is to accept that big brother is not some master government spying on our daily affairs, but the collective of deceits wielded by half-wits and scam artists. And to succumb unknowingly to them.

I choose the lion. I choose to walk with my eyes open, aware of the falsehoods bombarding every medium around me. I choose to remain unattached to someone else's definition of truth, or to cram my brain into some wee little box others would hold up as righteous. I choose to resist being packaged, stamped, and mailed to the rest home by minds pretending the knowledge of Jesus.

I'll walk alone, thanks, head up, enjoying the sunshine and rain equally.

Although I suspect I am not really alone.

Isolation is just another distortion, the temporary inability of people with integrity to connect and hold their ground against the unwholesome flood of ulterior motive.


  1. Words from a tough visionary leader:

    "Caution and cynicism are safe, but soldiers don't want to follow cautious cynics," he said, his voice catching briefly. "They follow leaders who believe enough to risk failure and disappointment for a worthy cause."

  2. I am amazed at the gap between the courage of a soldier, who must follow the leader, and the lack of courage of a congressman, who will not vote his own mind.

    Weird connection to your comment I know. But it is what popped into my brain.

    Who was the visionary leader?

  3. Caution and cynicism are safe, but soldiers don't want to follow cautious cynics. They follow leaders who believe enough to risk failure or disappointment for a worthy cause.

    If I had it to do over again, I'd do some things in my career differently but not many. I believed in people, and I still believe in them. I trusted and I still trust. I cared and I still care. I wouldn't have had it any other way.

    Winston Churchill said we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. To the young leaders of today and tomorrow, it's a great life.

    Thank you."

    General Stanley McChrystal

  4. General McChrystal was a highly capable leader with strong views. He had everyone's respect until the magazine article; then even his own colleagues could not support him. It is an interesting case where I think the overwhelming tenor is sadness, not anger, and maybe a touch of dismay. It is also a case where big brother as the sum of all the little people watching and connected real-time by electronic means brought down a general.

  5. joe am,

    I was just thinking.
    Sometimes it's good to be judgmental, but to assume something before it occur is devoid, or the lack there of.

    A person of such, that construe such erroneous depiction, is dangerous to itself. A mind is so diluted, it seems that righteousness is within themselves.

  6. ME,

    Yes, it is what gamblers do, or weather forecasters. But to project what one WANTS . . . the failure of another . . . is indeed a righteousness that one should be very wary of.


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