For Whom the Bell Tolls 7/23/10

Date:                           July 23, 2010


Location:                    Plattekill, NY




            It has been a few days since I have needed a forum to spout my opinion, but I fear that time has arrived once again.  For those people that have suffered through one of my tirades consider this a warning to go and check your bean soup or clean the toilet.  For those of you that are virgin blog explores in my world you might also want to explore another planet for a day or so.  But, for all others you have been warned.


            This morning I started by ever so slow reentry into the world of the living from the depths of sleep by listening to the news on the TV in our room.  My wife usually awakens before me and finds it useful to listen to what has happened in the world as I slowly enter the realm of the living.  This gives me a chance to listen to the news as I try to remember how it is I get my eye lids unstuck from the bottom of my eye socket.  Normally this is a good thing and a relaxing way to cross the bridge from slumber land into the world of “what the hell is today going to be like?”  And then from some news wonk I heard the question of the day.  “Is the internet causing the destruction of our social and cultural existence in today’s world?”


            I really do not care where you stand on this subject.  I only care that you dare have an opinion on it at all. The internet is nothing but a tool and as such has only the power to accomplish what it is we choose to have it accomplish.  A hammer is not the reason our finger hurts after we smash the nail on our thumb instead of the nail in the wood.  It is the fault of the idiot that could not wield the tool in a proper manner that caused the pain.  The hammer did as it was directed.  The stream of blue language is not the result of bad behavior by the tool it is the result of inadequate skill by the human in charge.  That is, “You caused your own damn pain stupid.”


            The internet, substitute any media such as movies, music, television, etc, is not the cause of the degradation of society.  Society is the cause of the degradation of society.  The lack of personal and interpersonal respect is the cause of our cultural decline and is but reflected in the media we use to accomplish this goal.  Because we can lie does not make that lie any more real.  Because we can bamboozle a lazy news media into spewing forth our half truths, innuendos and out of context remarks does not make the falsehood true nor should we allow that to be the basis for our opinions. 


            The far right pious Christian conservatives have taken lying and misrepresentation of the truth to a new level and honed a new skill of deceit.  It is ok if I allow you to come to my rally and spout racial epithets and disgusting signs are waived as long as I, at some other time and place, say I am not a bigot.  Yet, I tailor my words and speech to fan the fires of hate and pseudo intellect to keep your money and support flowing into my campaign coffers.  If the Sarah Palins of the world don’t have the intelligence or Christian soul to denounce purely hateful rhetoric they should move to the back of the room and allow real intellect to bubble up for the morass of political fodder.  Yelling “You Lie” loudly in a gathering does not make you a barer of the truth, it merely means you are a loud mouth.


            The far right Christian leaders in this country should remember the only commandment that Christ gave his disciples, and I paraphrase, “Treat others as you would like to be treated.”  If we could only remember that simple rule would not our lives be so much more beneficial and pleasant?  Do I want to be placed at the back of the line because my skin is a different color?  Do I want the door slammed in my face because I am a different sex?  Do I want malicious lies and half truths spread about me because I am of the opposition party?  Do I want to be treated like I am treating any other human on this earth?  Do I respect myself and do I respect how I would look in front of my God if he were standing in the audience watching my life?


            It is not the internet that is the cultural pariah destroying our lives.  It is each and every one of us that is allowing it to happen that must shoulder the blame. And, it is each and every one of us that will suffer the pain for our inaction.  We should not be asking questions about whose fault it is.  We should be asking how “I” can make a difference.  As an author long ago opined, “Ask not for whom the bell tolls . . . . “


            I am not a large supporter of organized religion, but that is for a blog on another day.  But, I do truly feel that we all should spend few Sundays in an atmosphere where we might learn a few aspects of the benefit of the Golden Rule, both in our own lives and in how our lives will affect the lives of the other passengers on this ride through life.  Our social culture is a reflection of ourselves and if we find that culture disgusting and on the road to destruction we may want to shine the light of inspection a little closer to home and our own actions.  It is an old adage that I learned so many years ago that states; “:If you point a finger of blame your are pointing one finger away, three fingers back at yourself and one to the heavens and the throne of God.”  If you put all of your fingers together and point to the heavens your thumb will point to the source of the solution of your distain and disgust.


            Let us not look for the easy blame, let us look within for the real solution.