“We are not, all of us, fit for society. Most of us are. Some are not. Of those who are not, most are able to get along—one way or another. But some cannot. I get along. I act like someone who fits. Does this sound familiar?” he asked.
For a long time now I have been a fatalist. We, as a species, are doomed. The 4th estate is a corpse. We are emotional creatures that cannot handle the onslaught of information that we receive, wrought relentless random in an adult manner. We’re not equipped to deal with it rationally. And I saw nothing short of state-mandated coursework in critical thinking as the way out. And I didn’t think that would do a shit bit of good either. But I had an epiphany today. And it made me more optimistic.
I think we’re the problem. Our generation, and those generations prior that are still among the living. We all lived before the digital age, and we remember what it was like before. We grew up in it.
We believed what we read in print. What we saw on a screen. Because back then putting anything in print or on any screen took money and work. It had an air of legitimacy. It was easy to believe.
But now it’s cheap. Everybody’s got a megaphone. We, and all other previous generations still alive are spellbound and easily manipulated by anything that is in print or on video for that reason. The youth, however, the millennials, or whatever you call the pimpley-faced kids these days, are not so easily manipulated, or at least they shouldn’t be.
So many guys with acid tongues. Brilliant at cutting people down, rubbing noses in it. Words are their fists, and, toe-to-toe, it’s pop pop pop before the poor SOB on the receiving end can even think about mounting a plausible defense. It’s sport. Game hunting. These are not fair fights. Yet they become indignant, calling it uncivilized, irrational and barbaric when an adversary, pushed too far, hauls off and pops them.
Here’s a funny one. Today, I’m out for a walk. I’m heading up balmes to the cross of balmes and provença. A guy on a scooter drives past me. He looks to be real old about 10 years older than me. He’s held up at the crosswalk, so I reach it–just after the light changes and he takes off—continuing in the direction I am going. There is a lot of pedestrians in the crosswalk so he must slow down further. Standing beside him, close enough that he can hear me. I say, “No es para aquí, Señor. Hay demasiado jovenes y abuelas.” Then I lower my head, as speaking up like this is always uncomfortable. We exchange no additional words. He removes himself from his scooter and walks the rest of the way to the bicycle lane.