I had another post up about a recent Kotaku article about D&D. It’s a really good example of platforming a very divisive topic that even those moderately supporting the concept will have trouble jumping on board with. It reminds me of an old SNL sketch.
I won’t comment much further on it, except to highlight that these types of topics that focus on gatekeeping are emblematic of the similarities between the far right and left, and why those in the middle lack a whole bunch of empathy for either.
Instead, I want to lightly touch on the fun divides that this pandemic has brought about. It’s really quite fascinating. Social media gives zero opportunity for any actual discourse or debate – everything is a sound clip or 140 characters. Long form constructs, such as blogs, are still pretty much 1 way conversations. A comment reply is rarely as long as the originating post. Video formats give you the non-verbal aspects, but actually finding them is like a needle in a galaxy hard.
What we get instead are opinions caked in more opinions. Relationships with seemingly reasonable people all of a sudden take a very quick turn into something else. Anti-vaccine is a deal breaker for me, full stop. Luckily we’ve only had 1 family in all our contacts that went over that deep end, enough to move to Mexico. It’s the more minute items. Any attempt to have a conversation about the topic was quickly directed to Facebook research and hidden agendas. Pretty hard to have a relationship there.
The trucker protest in Ottawa is making national news. What was originally a relatable event to protest the restrictions for cross-border truckers (which affects less than 10% of all of them, is required in the US as well, and has had no real impact on supply chains) devolved into a more anarchist bent. They wanted to reverse election results (sound familiar?) and replace the Governor General. Well, they got rid of one leader, just not the one they expected. But the message now has been warped to something else, and seen replication in other parts of the world. This is going to be an interesting social marker in our country for some time, where the fors and againsts have a wide gulf and no true path to reconcile.
It doesn’t help that the Liberals and Conservatives are both using this as a wedge issue. Nearly half of folks are empathetic to the issue, but 2/3rds are against the actions. That’s a heck of an us vs. them conversation.
What will be interesting is how this particular model is applied in future protests, by other organizations. There are numerous examples of first nation protests having nowhere near the impact of these protests and them being broken up quickly and railed against. This particular event is showing a new method of causing disruptions and what society seems to be willing to tolerate. And how conversations about new protests approaches develop. Is the method of protest debatable, or the actual topic itself?
It’s an interesting time, with some very complex answers. And it would appear that few want to find a way to mend bridges, simply build more chasms.