We live in the time of great juxtaposition. Things that never should be seen walking down the street together, are now in bed, entangled in a lover’s Gordian knot.
It’s more than cats and dogs living in harmony!
It’s more then love and hate for the same being!
It’s more than liking both Taylor Swift and Kanye Kardashian!
It’s the battle of the impersonal vs. the personal. For eons and I mean eons, we as a species have generally migrated away from singular activities in favor of the community….
Fuck this, I want to digress a bit! I want to talk about regret.
It’s something I swore I never had or ever will have. In my hubris of existence, I walked around claiming, “If I did it, I did it and it added to the sum total of who, that is me”!
What a croc of hippy metaphysical bullshit!
Yes I regret. There it is in print, in the air, to the world and as a declaration to both god’s of the underworld and heaven, you’ve won. All of you regretting bastards, who suck up to self-pity like a sycophantic sponge. I am now one of you. I can look at my life and finally think, I regret some things in this life.
No, Fook u?
No, Fook me!
The problem is, as soon as these bold and meaningful words leave my fingers and hit the keys, I feel the lifting of that mood. It is as if I have confessed my sins and the confession-the public confession (because a quiet conversation with just god and myself would not have had the same impact on me as this)-has cleansed me of my regret for now.
I am so easily manipulated by myself (as well as others, it seems).
The personal dilemma of my regret as communicated to you the reader, has delivered this emotion into the world. The world of the Personal/Impersonal and has become meaningless. It no longer lives in me. I can look at it, see it, understand it, but it is not in me.
But I finally begin to understand what the modern allure of the impersonal is today. We can say or feel anything we want to and once we air it to the world we release it from our psyches. Who needs priests?
I guess it’s why I write-no actually, I write because I am a total egomaniacal clown who actually believes in his heart that god/devil gives a shit and listens to him rant.
I guess for others there is Facebook or #whatever.
But the impersonal/personal battle is real. We are looking for things that are utterly personal. Love, companionship, communication, friendship and we search for them in the most impersonal ways via the broad strokes of online meat markets and the cattle calls of the web.
We now have personal shoppers who will find us anything in the world at the touch of an app. But we can’t take the time to talk with people directly. We text, we email, we electronically poke and prod.
What did we do before the personal device? How did we live? How did we exist in this impersonal world with the only thing that mattered, our personal feelings?
In science fiction we used to think that the human head would grow monstrously large to fit our massive brains. Big bulbous foreheads they predicted, with huge veins to move oceans of blood into our skulls. But they were quite mistaken.
As we walk down the street today we can finally see the new shape of mankind. From monkey to human, from human to hunchback. All of us glued to our personal devices.
But that’s what is not making me regretful now.
While reading the Sunday Chronicle –yes, I still like to read the physical paper-I came across a small article about the city of Chibok in Nigeria. It had just been taken over by the Boko Haram insurgent group causing the citizens to run for their lives.
If you don’t remember who these folks are, let me remind you. They are the group who kidnapped the 300 schoolgirls from the self same town in April of this year.
When asked about the girls in a video interview.. well here is the exact quote;
“Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in a video released last month said the girls were “an old story,” that they all had converted to Islam and been married off to his fighters.”
An old story, sitting on page 3 of the useless Sunday Chronicle. Buried beneath a pound of Christmas ads, stories of crab boats and architecture.
I regret that I am not powerful enough to make any meaningful change in these girls’ lives.
I regret that very much.
The regret that personal truth of their plight has become the impersonal nature of our media. I regret that Michael Jackson took more media time then they did.
I pray for them and their safe release. I pray for their families and the forthcoming children from their marriages.
I pray for our backs.