We live in a theater of the absurd. It’s both a thing of beauty and a true nightmare. Looking critically at the world every day one finds a myriad of things that are just inexplicable. Death, desolation, desperation, they surround us every day and linger around every turn. As an American my news feed is consistently flooded with mass shooting, political controversy, rioting, race crimes, hate. Our “only viable candidates” for president are a cartoon villain and the real life kind. It’s at times like this, when the world seems most hopeless and the people around you the most helpless that one would expect people to come together and support one another but that would mean we’ve left the theater and, trust me, we’re still fully entrenched in it.
Even in this world that feels as if it’s crashing down all around me there is one offense that drives me to the very edge of my sanity every time I think about it, division. In society today it seems to me that people are too focused on what makes them different. This leads to insecurity and through this insecurity we become more likely to dig in our heels on topics that should encourage a nuanced and thoughtful conversation. Gun control, abortion, climate change, politics, these are all topics that have depth and require a fair bit of thought in order to truly understand but no, everything has to fall neatly into place, black and white, right and wrong. Whatever happened to the center line? The independent? The thinker? Just look what hard stances have created, a presidential race between two inhuman candidates with inhuman backers, where both are simply caricatures of their political affiliation because we’ve fostered a society where people are afraid to be moderate.
I would extend this train of thought to our personal lives and relationships as well. If all we do is dig in our heels on arguments and refuse to form a refined opinion, then how can we maintain healthy social lives. If your friend wanted to go to McDonald’s but you prefer Burger King, you wouldn’t legitimately just start berating your friend and tearing them down. Why then would you do this to somebody when the topic of debate is so much more important. If the fate of your lunch is more worthy of civilized discussion than the fate of your country I think you have some serious soul searching to do.
The only worthwhile element of this hellish dystopia we seem to be living in is the comedy in the errors. If you can detach yourself from the consequences for long enough you begin to see just how truly funny modern society is. Everything that once was so miserable and terrifying is suddenly your own personal performance, a front row seat to the heat death of the sun! A riot of a time! Oh, who am I kidding. Time to get back to escapism.