First there’s the thing — that thing that happens that everybody over 50 sees on the news and everybody under 50 reads about on Buzzfeed with the headline “The world gasped when they saw this one weird thing”.
It’s a crazy thing. It’s a riveting thing. It’s shocking in all the ways that crawl into our brain stems and curl up there with a good book. Its an event and no mistake. It’s got a hashtag and everything.
And then. Then somebody with a platform built of power, prestige, or politics says something about the thing. They offer prayers/condolences/good thoughts/platitudes/poetry about the thing. They pontificate about what the thing means to their politics/theology/Thursday Morning brunch.
And inevitably. Somebody out there in the social media world accuses that pontificator of being crass and callous and calculating. Their idea about the thing goes to far! It doesn’t go far enough! It’s pandering! It’s pointless! It’ll hurt women, children, the elderly, or the entire planet. How. Dare. You. Outrage is a cheap and plentiful drug.
But then. Somebody else attacks that contrarian as being all the very things they said about that person on the platform. “Nu-uh!” they’ll yell loudly. “And so are you!”
Suddenly the thing that started as a distant sort of reality removed from the maddening crowd is now just the cause du jour for people who mercilessly mold everything to fit their particular agenda. Afternoon are spent screaming or smarming at strangers on social media instead of taking a long walk and realizing that there are a lot of other things in the world.
There are, in fact, things every second of every day. These are things that Buzzfeed doesn’t even know about. Things that require no pandering, pondering, or point-making.
That’s where life is lived, friend.