Critical thinking, or: don’t post-truth normal now too

I posted about “normalcy” post-election before John Oliver turned it into a hashtag. When he said it, even though he did a fantastic job with the episode—far better than that occasionally cringe-inducing one the week before on segregation—a little red alert went off in my head. A few days later, someone I follow on Twitter broke down because she felt so unable to contribute to fighting against normalizing. She’s got financial and health issues and her life’s just not in a place where she can contribute to the Rebel Alliance. Imagine Princess Leia taking Luke out after Jedi to have him do Jedi tricks to get contributions. There’s the movie I want to see. The Royal Skywalkers. It could be legitimately great. Anyway, in fighting off normalcy, there’s a danger of abandoning people who are affected. I’m not talking about the Trump voters who are losing Medicare and Obamacare and over time and whatever else. Fuck them. They made their bed. I’m talking about how easy it is just to perform, especially online. Just imagine if the safety pins hadn’t gone viral and they took six months to saturate. It’d be like a game of telephone… by the end, people would think they were wearing them because of something a Kardashian did. Instead, there was a conversation. The problem with the Internet is, frankly, how effective it can be in creating short-term national trends. It has no responsibility for its creation, only it’s now important things affecting peoples lives instead of tag clouds. When you’re traveling through the forest, it’s not like “Oregon Trail.” The idea is to make sure no one dies of dysentery or bear attacks or falling off cliffs or starvation or whatever. You have to get everyone through the forest. It’s not about doing it because you’re responsible for them or you owe them. It’s about doing it because, otherwise, what’s the point.

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