How can so many watch and enjoy inane, superficial television shows? Why does the population focus more on sporting events than geopolitical disasters? Why is consumerism celebrated and the rise of social media ‘influencers’ followed with such passion?
I feel as though our civilisation is being incessantly dumbed down. Our attention is the commodity that every company, every ‘influencer’, every entertainment option wants to attract, and competition is fierce. Rather than recognise the value of our attention, we seem willing to give it away for little to nothing in return. I would like for us elevate ourselves and dedicate our focus and attention on things of genuine importance. Yet we prefer being closeted by the warm embrace of ignorance, simplification and superficiality.
It’s tempting to resign myself as a misfit within our society. To disconnect from others. To adopt a misanthropic view of the world. To think about ways in which I might step out of the society in which I find myself.
This, however, would be the choice of weakness on my behalf. Instead, I need to dig in and find ways to stay interested in the world. I need to find others who are similarly frustrated by the banality of everyday life and engage intelligently with them. I need to find outlets of interest that will help me cope with the frustration of being part of a society, swathes of which I don’t identify with nor understand.
PREVIOUSLYMonthly Review April 2019