No B.S Friday: Are we really so far apart?
I’ve been reflecting on 2020, and one of the things that stands out for me is how fractured the world feels like it has become.
This trend has been in effect for a few years now. Social media algorithms have given us thought-bubble isolation, which has created a very polarised political landscape.
We’ve stopped talking to people who don’t agree with what we think. We tend to think their idiots or just plain evil. Why would you even be friends with them.
That’s been going on for a while. But it really felt like 2020 took it to a new level.
There were people who were supportive of the Covid response and lockdown. There were people who thought it was all a massive government conspiracy.
Both sides stared yelling at each other.
The UK is rolling out vaccines as we speak. Pretty soon we’re going to have vax’ers and anti-vaxers yelling at each other, you can guarantee it.
The US election shows a nation cleaved almost down the middle in terms of numbers, and both camps seem to be living in entirely different universe, with Trump himself in a universe all of his own. There’s leather seats. You should see the leather seats. Beautiful. Everyone tells me how beautiful they are.
So far, the Australian political landscape hasn’t balkanised in such an extreme way. I think Aussies are just too pragmatic. They want to get through the Covid crisis. Politics can come later.
But you can bet politics is coming at some point. We’ve got thought bubbles in Australia too.
In some ways it makes me angry. It’s a shame that the system is set up in a way where media producers are incentivised to produce more and more partisan content, driving the wedge between people wider and wider.
It doesn’t surprise me that autocratic states like Russia and China see this as a weakness, and are happy to add fuel to the fire where they can.
A nation divided is a nation conquered.
But it also makes me sad. And it’s the anger that makes me sad.
I’m mean, look at the people who were pro-lockdown and anti-lockdown.
Are they really that far apart?
I mean, one wants us to lockdown, because they want everyone to be healthy, because that’s a beautiful thing to imagine.
The other wants us to resist lockdown, because they want everyone to be free, because that’s a beautiful thing to imagine.
They are both motivated by a vision of humans living beautifully together. They might be operating on a different understanding of how the world actually works, but when it comes down to it, they’re motivated by the exact same thing.
That’s an incredible thing to have in common, right?
So why are we yelling at each other? Why are we angry? What’s with the insults? Leave Karen alone.
Why can’t we come together and appreciate what we actually have in common, and begin the conversation there?
So I guess this is Uncle Jon’s Christmas Message.
Try not to be dicks to each other. Please.
There is so much we have in common – that every human has in common.
We are so much closer than they would have us believe.
So come back and rest in this miracle.
We are all just beautiful people, trying to make the world a beautiful place to be.
That’s something to be grateful for.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!