Newsflash: Anti-apathy protest cancelled due to poor turnout
I asked myself a question recently, where has all our passion gone? I was trying to discover what my own passion is as part of my long term life plan. I know the things I’m good at, I know the things I like doing, but I figure in order to truly push myself and achieve the things I want to achieve over the next 5-10 years, I’d like to be able to combine my money making and my passion.
And that got me onto thinking about passions in general, what are people passionate about these days? What do we stand up and make noise about? It might be controversial, but I think we’ve all got sucked into the vicious condition known as apathy. Okay so let me qualify this rant a bit, I know we all still have our hobbies and geek-isms, things we do in our spare time or as our jobs that we love and couldn’t imagine living without. What I want to know is what happened to our political passion about the things around us, about the way we live, about the things we know aren’t right.
Some say its political correctness; you can’t ask someone in the office which party they support, its their right to not express their opinion or preference. You can’t say Merry Xmas anymore, we’re moving towards an inclusive society and that means excluding religious and cultural differentiators. You can’t say racism is still a big problem, Obama might be becoming president don’t you know! You can’t tell this really bright child how clever they are, because all the not so bright children may feel left out, so its better that everyone thinks they’re dumb. You can’t say you completely disagree with the country’s green obsession, because we’re all supposed to care about the environment and it would be catastrophic to put that piece of paper in the bin! God forbid!
The result is that a combination of legislation, propaganda and out and out fear mongering, has left us with an inability to express an opinion. We have no-one to look up in our time, this generation (not the Malcom Xs and Nelson Mandela’s of past decades) who shows us that it is still important to stand up for what we believe in. We’ve been told that as things are so much better for us than they were for our parents, we have no right to complain. We’ve been allowed to differentiate ourselves from those people over there in Iraq, Sudan, Zimbabwe….its not our problem, but its a damn shame.
One thing that has particularly bothered me is the reaction to the increase in knife crime on the streets. Its a problem, a big problem. But if you read papers, news websites and some internet forums, all you see is “the police should do something about it”, “its the goverment’s fault”, “those children’s parents..”. Poorly veiled hints at black communities and boys with hoodies and the fact that as far as any of us are concerned, everybody else has a part to play to keep them safe.
I’m reading a book called Blink by Malcolm Gladwell at the moment. Its a good book, if you can buy or borrow it, its worth reading. In it, he mentions a case study relating to psychological priming. A group of black college students were asked 20 questions over two sessions. For the second session, they were asked to identify their ethnic background before they started the test, their results fell by half. The mental affect of being categorised meant that they underperformed.
So how does this apply to us? Well we need to know we are all being primed! Powerful, rich men in ivory towers rely on us being pliant, never stirring things up and accepting the status quo, by making us believe we are ok. They don’t want us to identify as one nation with many characteristics, they want to maintain an us and them by taking away things that give us identity. They have added to their repertoir of out and out discrimination, political subterfuge and lies to include the more powerful tools of psychological priming using law, media and the genuine distress of real people to convince us we can’t do anything about anything and we have to toe the line.
(Did you know an anti-war rally took place in London where 200,000 people showed up (yes the number is right) and the BBC news did not report on it. Not on their website or any of their broadcasts. How many people rely on the BBC to be their main source of news?)
Don’t sit back, go get your own news, make up your own mind, imagine if you were the one on the receiving end. We think we’re so advanced when all we’ve done is handed someone else the responsibility of telling us what we think. Other people fought for that right and now we happily give it over, as long as they don’t do it in an obvious way and we can still go on holiday or buy an iPod. Yes it’s scary to acknowledge, but at least once you do that, you can’ t easily stay a sucker.
Apathy is the 8th deadly sin and its a silent killer.