We”ve Got To Stop Peeing in the Pool


It’s very difficult to have hope in humanity. The internet continues to evolve and interact with flesh and blood humans to create a dual world that entertains, informs and mortifies us on a daily basis. The speed of communication has become so fast that what used to take years-decades-to gain global recognition now hammers into everyone’s phone from here to Bangkok almost instantly. Social media and news sources have taken it one step beyond that and splash the web with events that may happen, or could happen. The leisured sitting in a chair to pontificate with scholarly friends while everyone gives their opinions on life and death, snifter of brandy and a line of cocaine to shed off the day’s woes, have become abandoned and replaced with sitting alone with a laptop, puffing on a cigarette and careening through posted videos of wacky behavior and various visual stimuli. Those who wish it would stop and go back to the simpler days of a Kennedy-era life know as well as me that you can’t go back-it will never be like that again. We move forward and all we can do is, take heed to how we move forward.

I’ll be the first to admit that the internet and this young new century of technological advancements hold wonders akin to those promised in the 50’s and I feel very privileged to witness so many miraculous things happening all over but as our high points have soared very very high, so our low points have wallowed to disgusting depths. The one ray of hope is, it’s not as bad as you might think.

Not more than ten minutes ago I lit up a joint and watched a video of some guys in a town halfway around the world, dancing and enjoying themselves when suddenly they were run over by a speeding jeep. That is tragic and I wish them all well but honestly; eleven minutes ago I had no idea they even existed. I saw them get run over and I don’t even know their names. I watched them get plowed down and as I turned and looked out my window, nothing in my neighborhood changed or noticed.

Tragedy happens everyday throughout the Big Blue Marble and we can’t stop all the problems…but imagine for a moment if we did (or if we could). So now we’re living in this world where as soon as we see some tragedy on the internet, we humans, en masse, plug in and remedy the situation; do you think that would stop the malady? The engines and monies behind the corporations who keep the web up and running with quick info and startling graphics are sustained on you clicking on that image or story. If no one watches their show, their business goes belly up. I’m all for capitalistic growth (for now) but I feel we need to do a much better job at weeding the garden of sites providing us with electronic pablum that works to draw us in each day like a nicotine addiction. The world would run just as smooth (smoother!) if we got rid of all those Kardashian stories, yet there they are, every fucking day. Why is that? It’s all about the numbers. We humans sometimes don’t know how to control our reaction and, call it mendacity or sheer ignorance, we hear a story we totally disagree with and turn right around and feed the beast. This is how right wing AM talk radio gained such popularity. Rather that leave it alone, those who opposed the viewpoints of any said SausageHead on the airwaves couldn’t just drop it and walk away, they had to listen in and get angry. I remember years ago riding to work and listening to some moronic cud sucker out in the middle of Illinois ‘splaining’ how things were and I would get irate and yell at the radio and raise my blood pressure, all for naught.

Let’s say you get smart enough to figure that out and leave the Kardashian stories alone. The social cloud will nefariously work to draw you and your loved ones in anyway. I get daily requests to play some lame online game and the notice I receive always gives a friend’s name as the suggester; I know my friends well enough to know they would not do that yet all it takes is one mistaking click by any of us and your social data can be used as a weapon to lure others in. One Denver DJ talk host would get on the air and taunt people to call in saying he wanted to verbally fight with someone that day. What kind of sad commentary is that on our society?

So how do we stop it? I’m not sure but I know one way to deter or fight it; stop peeing in the pool (metaphorically….and realistically as well I guess). We are all taught as young kids to not pee in the pool and eventually we all reach that day where we stop-but it’s all on the honor system. It’s up to you to decide to stop peeing there and to never do it again. Treat those internet pictures and stories the same way-I’m not saying stop looking at really strange stuff but if you run across an AOL news story titled something like “the rest of this photo will shock you…” leave it alone. It really won’t ‘shock’ you at all. If you see an attached video of some asshat abusing an animal, read the caption and move on. It’s a terrible crime but you clicking on the video won’t stop the atrocity. Unless-and I stress the word unless-valid documentation can be provided to show the legitimacy of a fund to help an ailing child or suffering animal, don’t click ‘share’ because you’re doing nothing but adding to the clickrate of someone who gets money when enough people click and redirect to another site off that story. An image and story about an infant stricken with some horrible disease that has disfigured them and makes them gasp for air every moment they exist is a tragic and sad thought but an even sadder thought is knowing some fuck out there is merely using the image to pull at your heartstrings. Don’t be duped. Be smarter than that.

Use the web wisely and in limited amount and it will continue to be a wonderful tool for you. Abuse it and you will become an addicted animal, huddled in the corner afraid of the great big world out there. So what about me you say? Hypocritical that I click on the foreigner dancers being run over?

Twelve minutes ago I decided to stop peeing in the pool.


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