Social Break Ups

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.

3 thoughts on “Social Break Ups

  1. What has been interesting to me is how many family, and friends have opinions similar to mine and my wife, we were both registered Democrats, but never voted party lines, we read up on candidates and vote for the one we feel is the best for the job. When it came to Trump V Clinton, it wasn’t even a choice, Clinton just had nothing except continuing Obama’s legacy. Either way, between the two we were going to have an impeachment fiasco. We voted for the horses ass. We cringed anytime he went off on someone he disagreed with, but look past all that he was doing what he promised he would. They have said, if it wasn’t for Covid, he would have won in a landslide. The whole stolen election? I don’t believe there was widespread fraud, it’s impossible to have the amount of people required to pull that off, even if you are targeting specific areas. However, the last minute voting law changes “because of covid” mailing out ballots to everyone, even in states that had no rules to deal with how to handle them, Biden promising people before the election that his first act would be to mail out people checks, hello? What person that normally doesn’t vote is gonna not vote for the guy offering free money. Like many presidents before Trump fell victim to his own hubris, and listening to people that gave him bad advice that sounded reasonable to him. I give him credit for getting the vaccine developed as fast as it was.

    Now of course there is the other side, those that feel he was the Antichrist, and that all conservative people want to eat your children. I have a brother in law that feels no Democrats can ever do anything wrong, and republicans should be put in camps. I have seen many friends that have shown how fanatical they are, calling for violence against people that don’t share their world view. There is a balance that has to be held. You can’t spend more than you take in, but you also need to borrow when a need arises. Take Pennsylvania in the news tonight, they have built up a $2.8 billion emergency surplus. The Governor want to spend $2 billion in next years budget to increase funding for schools, leaving $800 million. School advocacy groups want more. It took years to build the surplus, and for next year? Oh we can worry about that next year. There has been decades of here is money for a program for 2-3 years, but after the money is gone the cost gets passed on, or borrowed to pay for. The 2021 federal budget included $562 billion in interest payments on the debt. Just imagine if there wasn’t any debt, that’s $562 billion that could be used to help feed kids or health care.

    Anyway, the last 5-6 years has shown me the true colors of a lot of people, has shown me those who really don’t have a clue about living on a budget.

    Like

    • The whole us vs. them debacle is amplified by the very people we vote for. I get the reasons people voted for Trump, no question. It would be hard to distance the hatred of Democrats from the rhetoric he spewed forth as well.

      It seems than rather than people actually thinking, they’ve delegated that part to other people and just put on blinders instead.

      I hear you on the spending bit… it’s pretty wild here too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I liked what Manchin did the other day. He endorsed someone in the other party. His reason? I work with her every day. She does a great job, and represents the people that voted for her. Why should it matter if it’s an R or a D next to her name.

        Can we get a few hundred more with that attitude.

        Liked by 1 person

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