It's an issue when what is essentially the public square--albeit for a global village of idiots--in Twitter is at the same time a private company. The private company is under no civic obligation to do what is best or just or most equitable for society, and people are not smart enough to understand the ramifications of the public sphere--with is a default public square because there really isn't anything else--being owned by a private company. A society with Twitter as the public square can only fail.
Very rarely do I ever see a vaguely intelligent comment by anyone on Twitter. I've never read anything memorable, worth taking with me back out into life. I mean low-level clever or witty or insightful. I don't mean brilliant. I've looked at it a lot for years. I've seen probably millions of tweets. The subject doesn't matter It can be sports, politics, jazz. One will never find any value.
I get a lot of jazz tweets across my feed. A couple days ago I saw hundreds of people telling me that Billie Holiday wrote "Strange Fruit"--no--and that the US government killed her because of it. Also no. And the confidence with which stupid people say their stupid things. Like there's no way they could be wrong.
But you really can't be wrong--or revealed as such, or given any pause as to why you shouldn't carry on was you were--when it's a free-for-all of stupidity and no one knows anything, so who is ever going to call you out? They're as stupid as you are.
The enemy to these people is the smart person. The person who knows and can communicate that knowledge. It's like dumping an ocean on the Wicked Witch of the West. Game over. Who wants that when they can just witch it up instead? This is why the idiot is now king in society. The idiot keeps the stupidity rolling, unchecked. The idiot represents a lack of accountability, no need for purpose, and turns truths into whatever the hell one wants it to be. The idiot also doesn't represent a threat. One looks at the idiot king and says, "I am also an idiot king!"
People just say anything they wish, no matter how dumb it is or how wrong. No one can tell the difference between anything, because that's how people are now. They're all pretty much equally stupid. Why wouldn't they be? People are a product of their environment. Who and what they are around. And look who and what we're around in this current world.
For someone to not get sucked down with all of that and not be a product of their environment, they'd have to do what next to no one does, and that is actively seek out other things to be around.
Who is going to do that? Virtually no one. On the one hand, you have a case of "eh, I'm here"--which is how nearly everyone goes about their lives and never does a single damn thing to add anything to just being there--and on the other you'd have a case of "Okay, I'm out, and I'm going to seek out all of these other things and modes of thinking and important works and sources of ideas that none of the rest of you are."
For every one person who does a slight version of option #2, you have two million people who are just going to be there. With each other. Rotting.
Recently I saw someone post that it was on this day in 1975 that Bobby Orr played his last ever hockey game. In no way was this true. More than a 1000 people hit that like button. They don't know. No one knows anything. It's not just that. No one knows how to think. No one knows how to spell. Few people have the language skills of a third grader. No one knows any words. No one knows how to write.
How can there be any dialogue when no one can write or talk? They just drag their knuckles in each other's general direction. Then they break off into the most simple, mindless groups because they all grunt the same way and they like it when one of their grunts sounds like someone else's grunt, but the truth is, if they went into a different group they'd find that the grunts would synch up pretty closely as well, but they'd be somewhat different. Not by a lot though, because it'd be the same general idea--the grunt would rule all.
Consider these words from Orwell: "If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them."
I've never known anyone who writes poorly who can think at all. I believe that if you don't know how "then" and "than" works at this stage of the literacy game--most humans have been literate for a long time now--you are virtually incapable of knowing anything, no matter how simple it is. And I certainly don't believe you can think think anything through as an orderly progression of reason.
As to those groups: How many are there? I don't know--two? Three? Two and a half? That'll be about it.
Then we have the ceaseless hate. John Henry didn't sign Bogaerts. Is John Henry an odious, embittered, shallow vampire of a man? Of course he is. That's obvious. But then you have all of the people who go on Twitter--adults--and post "Fuck John Henry, Fuck Chaim Bloom, Fuck Sam Kennedy."
You sound like a deranged, evil child. But that's most people on Twitter. In the public square. I am curious who these people are, so often I'll click on their profile. It won't just be a three-chinned ex-gym teacher with many more followers than I have, despite the whole blue check mark thing and the work having run everywhere--again, see the lengthy posts on here from a couple weeks ago--but people in media, doctors, lawyers, government.
It's horrifying to me and depressing. The above example pertains to a game, which is what a sport is. It's just a game. What is wrong with you? How simple and stunted do you have to be to care that much one way or the other? You're a grown-up. This is coming from the world's leading expert on sports, which has been proven again and again. You shouldn't care that much at all. (And sports are so basic. This isn't mastering art. How can no one know anything about how sports work? Anything about the histories of the various sports? The nuances--such as they are--of the games? What is actually happening in those games?) It's not a thing to care that much about. Unless you're just nothing. Are you nothing? Care about that. Direct your energies to not being nothing.
Everything we do potentially sets an example to those around us. The people in our lives, the people who see or hear our words. Or that's how one ought to look at it and how one ought to value one's life, one's voice, and the lives of others. Be an example. A good one. If someone can look at you and say to their kid, "Don't be like that guy, don't do what he's doing, don't carry yourself that way, don't express yourself that way," then you've failed at life in the most basic way.
When I look at the vast majority of tweets, I can easily envision that conversation I just mentioned. Why would you want anyone to ever be able to think about you in this manner? And I get it--everyone else is also that way, which is why no one thinks about these basic things, the semblance of a base line. It's not even a race to the bottom--it's just mass free-fall. A race implies that there's thought, a knowledge of what is happening. You run the race, you're in third place, you know you have two people to overtake. There's awareness. Not with this free-fall, though.
It's just falling, sans any cognizance. No one ever asks themselves, "Is this who I want to be? Is this how I want to carry myself? What would my parents think of my behavior? Would I want to have my children see me act this way? Why do I do this? Can I be better? What's the first step? Where's my pride? Why don't I have more respect for myself?"
If you don't ask yourself those questions, do you ever ask yourself anything? And if you ask yourself nothing, how is it possible to ask anything of yourself?
It seems to me that there is not a single more basic component to being human. And most people are now without that component. To go on Twitter is to watch what this looks like in short-order form.