Illustration: «A portrait of the artists two dogs post-bath», A3, Moiret Allegiere, 2019
Are we ever truly alone in this age of social media? I would dare propose that we are not. Ever and always, there is the pressing and thumping of the mob. Society is constantly beckoning, pounding at our doors and at our windows, demanding our attention. And we get suckered in, dragged down into the very pits of despair, into the fires of hell, by an unruly mob that jabbers on and on and on and on infinitely, without ever shutting up.
Or, for that matter, thinking about what they are saying.
…Or how they are saying it.
Demanding split-second reaction to any and all murmured drone that makes itself heard above the constant commotion, shouted from high and impenetrable fortresses of moral decay and ineptitude. We have reached a point where social media is a necessity more than it is a fun and fancy past-time activity. It is no longer a tool to stay in touch with friends and family. It is a tool vital to our survival in society, if we are to keep on playing this silly game of society. If one chooses to tap out of the constant hum and buzz, one is a freak, an outcast, a weird and frightful spectacle, a bed-time story whispered to children to teach them of the horrors of checking out and not participating. Soon, the pyres will be erected. The outcasts shall be burnt and cleansed of their social sins and ills, saving us all from their presence in the present.
“For sooth, sire, he is surely a witch; he did not even like my status update!”
“Goodness gracious me, squire, never have I ever heard tell of such a horrible transgression on the rules and law of the land! By my neck, such heresy can not be tolerated! Burn him!”
The reality of the situation is dire. For all our connectedness, our constant mass-chattering, clittering, clattering and goings-on, there is precious little room to think. There is more than enough room to absorb information, though. Albeit in a puff of smoke and a quick and frantic inhalation.
No room to move, no time to digest the information. It must be absorbed and reacted to within a split second of chronic cerebral indigestion; straight from this and onto the next. Information has become a consumable item; now here, now gone, onto the next. In a frantic search, in a hysterically stressed-out manner, seeking constantly that next tid-bit of information gleamed from some loud-mouthed inebriated freak shouting his or hers lungs out in the middle of the town-square, proudly proclaiming their truth as the one truth, the only truth, the holy truth of the holy trinity of our day and age; the Information, the Reaction and the Holy Outrage! God bless, and good night. And you must react, you must stay on top of it, for all time, for ever and ever, lest you fall from grace in the infinitesimal patience of the muddled nest that is social media madness and rapture.
Only a true freak, a pervert, an obscene vagrant, a derelict hermit, would stop to think and consider and ponder the information delivered before reacting in a manner most suitable for this particular piece of the information-pudding! Do not dare to delve too deeply into the mud and ground and blood and bones of the issue. That would mean halting the outrage for about two seconds; that would stop everyone and their moral grandstanding straight in their tracks and leave them flabbergasted and cotton-mouthed in desperate need for their next fix of anti-psychotics, anti-depressant and intravenously injected benzodiazepine. Anything to keep from getting to insane and anxious from the mere thought of thinking things through; or even worse: to feel alone, separated from the hive-mind and the constant buzz and drone of brilliant madness. There is no longer a concept known as “being alone”. There is no room for it. And we don’t need it any way, by golly!
The worst doom laid upon a man or woman; the worst punishment bestowed upon anyone in this disenfranchised enlightened era of the information age, is the doom of being alone, the doom of solitude. There is a tremendous undercurrent of fear and loathing. Merely the word, the thought, the perceived punishment of being cut off from the constant hub-bub, the clattering from the wheels of the information machine, the hive-mind pompously screeching and screaming, one wanting to be heard above all else, or else, but wanting to be heard delivering the same lines as the hive-mind in their deliciously frosted cake-and-nursery-rhymes; separate, but as one, is enough to cause a nuclear melt-down and cosmic-scale freak-out in all and one.
The grand machine of society must move forward, ever and always, no matter the road or the direction. It must progress. Even when it does not know the way forward. In creating this mould, this tremendous cookie-cutter slice-and-dice machine of social media, social media has become the grand machine of society and societal discourse. Society will ever and always show its wrath and trembling ire beneath its succulent and delicately whispered words of tangled information to set us all free from the bondage of solitude.
You are either in, or you are out.
And if you are out, you shall damned well know the meaning of being out.
…The grand machine, caught in a feverish display of moral virtue and socially approved dignified behaviour, show no qualms in exacting its grandiose vengeance upon you, horrid freak of nature, daring to mull things over and thinking before reacting. Imagine breaking the eternal circle-jerk by seeing things from a differing perspective; namely – the perspective that is thought out and mulled over in the sobriety only true solitude can bring.
When there is no room to think, no time to think, no place to think, there is only and ever room, time and place to react. Immediately. And the immediate act of reacting is formed and shaped by the formless and shapeless blob of the mob. And the mob… well, the mob is a foul and bloodthirsty beast acting on pure instinct. Not thinking, but reacting to the slightest and tiniest perceived threat to its continued survival. Any and all will be devoured by the mob, should it come to that. So best to stay on top of the mob, to take part in the unthinking and unfeeling assault on the threat; the outsider doomed to carry on an existence devoid of dignity, devoid of understanding, devoid of anything but the roar and rage and rampage of the mob, fuelled by madness harvested from the souls of a million mutants whose greatest fear is loneliness, is being alone, is not having their virtue and their swollen feet firmly placed within the beautiful mass of worms and tentacles that is society. So that they shall be free to be dragged down, and to drag others down with them into the wicked nest of tentacled madness and self-devouring progression, diving head first into a future built upon ash and skulls broken by bike-lock-extravaganzas, swimming in a sea of spilt milkshakes over which spilt contents one should not weep.
You do not weep over spilt milkshakes, nor do you weep over the spilt blood of a hundred crypto-fascist Neo-Nazi scumbags marching the streets to demand any and all have the right to speak freely, you hate-fuck-machine bastard!
…Now shut the hell up, fuck-face, and leave the progression to the infantile herd. What the hell has this society come to, anyway, when people are not free to bash each-other over the head with bike-locks over differences of opinion? Jesus Christ, it is as though these freaks, weirdos and social outcasts are actual human beings! Hah! That will be the day, you transgressive arsehole. Now, where the hell is my self-serving selfie-machine? Gotta update Twitter and Facebook about this glorious bike-lock punch against tyranny and fascism I just done did. What, me, a miniature tyrant; a tin-box dictator? Well, I never! Upon my oath, I am not a violent people-kin, nor am I opposed to freedom of any kind. I just don’t wish for bastards who disagree with me to be free to speak their disagreements. You saw him. He had a gun, and he was coming straight for me! I swear officer, nothing happened. Nothing happened, officer. Stop filming me, you free-speech extremist crypto-fascist fuck-face-kin!
…Now, why in the hell would anyone willingly subject themselves to this roaring pit of madness and childish despotism? Why in the hell would anyone partake honestly in this social game, when the price for going against the grain is a padded bike-lock through ones skull?
You tell me.
I don’t get it, man.
But then again, I am a weird and oddly bearded fellow; a pseudo-hermit in my own right, with more need for solitude than most and an understanding of human nature bordering on pop-psychobabble of the most popular and oafish kind.
And upon my oath and honour, I am not a social man. There is very little, I believe, that can be stated with absolute certainty when it comes to social dynamics of any kind.
Never understood it myself to be honest, being an introvert to the extreme, much more in tune with the buzz of my own mind and my own company than the constant buzz and drone of the tumultuous streets out there. It is, quite simply, getting far too crowded and weird out there.
One thing, I believe, is an absolute certainty: We are pushed and prodded into never being alone, into never seeking solitude of any kind. We are moulded, from an early age, into partaking in the social game. To take part in the power-play, the laborious process of being in, not being out. To not go against the grain, but do what is done by the majority. And what is being done now by the majority is the constant need for social validation; a constant grip-and-shake-and-bake of popular opinions cooked up in some meth-lab somewhere and served with absolute certainty of belief, even when it has not been tried and tested through critical thought.
Even when it has not been run through the mind-mill of thought and speculation. Even when it has not been mulled over in solitude, with no distractions and no constant whining background noise. Even when it is easily disproven with facts presented by those who are weird and freakish enough to do something so horrendous as take time out to think, research, ponder and provide evidence.
I struggle to understand why people are so willing to react and so unwilling to think. I mean; I think I know the reason for it. The game of social acceptance, the long-running and never-ending treadmill of being in and never being out. The immediate piling-on to whatever some high-and-mighty merchant of supreme morality say in regards to some fragmented bit of information becomes ever so important if one wishes to stay in tune and rhythm with the disharmonious beat of the funeral drum.
The more connected we become, the less connected we are. The less connected we become, the more we fear being alone. For those who are not used to being alone, the mind-chatter brought forth from the overwhelming silence surrounding oneself may indeed be very scary. Even disturbing. Because, in solitude, thoughts may surface that have been hidden. Thoughts that have been blocked from sight and vision from lack of clarity of vision. And from lack of wisdom. This might cause some self-reflection, some introspection, some ideas that one is not as perfect and morally clean as one believed. And we can’t have that, now, can we, in this age of unbridled narcissism and holier-than-thou sentiments from the morality-police? Can’t have people trying to fix their own defects and ineptitude, when it is so much easier to blame everyone else for ones own failures in life, coming to the short-handed conclusion that me myself and I do not have any defects, thank you very much. You must fix yourself to suit my needs and desires. I, on the other hand, need not fix anything because I am always right. Always right, even when there is nothing left but a shivering gelatinous blob of barely contained self-righteous rage and childish temper tantrums.
We, as a society, are bid to dance a dance of blatant superficiality; a long and slow and annoyingly short-sighted dance where no-one is sure about the next move because no-one ever bothered to think that far ahead.
Instead of thinking ahead, we are caught in this extraordinary feedback-loop of self-righteous diatribes gaining popular votes through the currents of the social media anthill. Like, share, carry on, straight into the next righteous crusade and obvious hypocrisy from warriors of graceless harmonies and piss-poor coordination who never once bothered to think before reacting. This lack of thought makes these people completely blind to their own hypocrisy, shouting from atop their padded towers, as the cannons roar and fire milkshakes a-plenty down upon the poor huddled masses below; “It’s alright when we do it, but don’t you dare reply in kind. For that would be hateful conduct!”
This lack of thought becomes blatantly obvious the moment one attempts to discuss matters with them. The only thing one can expect to gain from such an endeavour is a regurgitation of points – often previously refuted – which someone else in the midst of all the frenzied social media nonsense have said and spoken as truth divine. It is the same points, the same arguments, rebuked and regurgitated over and over and over again, with no semblance of individual thought and personal agency to be found from within the madness and the gibberish. Blame men, blame the “Nazis”, blame the “fascists”, blame misogyny, blame racism, blame homophobia or transphobia or whatever is the most popular thing to blame; the most popular shaming tactic available at that point in time. And when pressed, when poked and prodded as to what in the everlasting fuck any of this actually means, the replies tend to remain the same: “I am not here to educate you; educate yourself. Read a book.” Or something of that nature.
It is infuriating. Not for any personal reasons – I don’t much care about engaging this nonsense in discussion. I consider it a futile endeavour. I find it infuriating for the pure lack of thought and self-criticism exhibited. I find it infuriating that these vile and hateful cretins point fingers and label me and people with whom I tend to agree purveyors of hate-speech for daring to disagree with the current cultural narrative, flawed and fragmented beyond repair. All the while they themselves cough up bloody chunks of hate-infused vomit and actual fucking calls for, and acts of, violence from their rotten, worm-infested lungs without a seconds pause, consideration and thought. Because everyone else is doing it, so it must be alright, surely. And, as we all know, the ones whom we decide, in our grace and glory, are the “other” are ripe for plucking and ripe for being devoured, skin and flesh and tendons and bone.
If one seeks out solitude on ones own terms… if one engages in solitary thought, in meditations if you will… there is a humongous chance that one will meet one self. And that is frightening in and off itself, as the self is not always what one would like to believe that it is. More often than not, it is nothing like what one would think. When ones faults and flaws makes themselves heard, there is little to do but to change it. Or be devoured by it. And to change something of that nature, of that size, if one has not met it head-on previously is a frightening prospect. As well it ought to be. Nothing worthwhile is easy, as the saying goes.
It makes for far easier living to blame everything else; anything but oneself. Then come the crisis. Then come the sudden forced rush of introspection. At some point in life, things will begin to crumble, one will begin to break down, bit by bit and piece by piece. The biological clock will tick and tock. And if ones entire life up to that point has been built around superficial and immediate reaction; superficial and inconsiderate and egotistical reaction, with no room for self-examination, with no room for introspection, with all the chitter-chatter of the hive taking the place where solitude should have been… castles will crumble and the self will grumble and something resembling pure madness and insanity will emerge.
Then it is either to buckle down and back-pedal like someone possessed, infuriatingly finding something to hold on to in order to keep the illusion of being righteous and justified and this-or-that alive. Or, it brings a sudden rush to rectify what is wrong with the self, quickly and immediately, before time runs out. But if most of life up to that point has been wasted away in superficial grandstanding and virtuous shouts and howls and snarls and grunts… what is there to build upon? How does one go about rectifying something of that nature, if it all comes tumbling down in a short, swift stroke; a brutal blitzkrieg of truth-bombs and sudden maturation of the mind and spirit combined?
See, for all my criticism and blatant attacks on this new web of lies and tangled misinformation that is the social justice warriors and their ilk; for all my rants and rambles and ravings on feminism and their cohorts… there is precious little I am as critical of as my own thoughts, values and opinions. I find myself fact-checking vigorously and researching like mad, to make sure and make certain that when and if I speak on a concrete case, I am presenting truth. I engage in long internal dialogues with myself to see if my opinions on this or on that; if my thoughts on this, that or the other stands up to scrutiny. Or if they are easily torn down. I do this by viewing things from perspectives different from my own. Novel thought, no? To actually lend some credence to differing perspectives and take them into account when making ones mind up on a certain topic. Were I so inclined, I would dub this “empathy”. As it stands, though, I am no longer certain what the word “empathy” even means. That seems to be the case with all words in this day and age; the fantastic dawning of new-speech and thought-control. Now, I would like to state that this does not mean that I consider myself to never be wrong about something. That would be foolish. It simply means that I tend to think before I react.
Due to this, I tend to think very slowly. Which makes for decent enough material in long-winded and hop-scotchy writing, but makes me absolutely useless in debates. It is both a strength and a weakness, depending on how I would like to present it. It is a strength in that I am very sure and certain in my beliefs and opinions, in what I know and in what I think. It is a weakness in that I can not for the life of me enter a debate. It also makes it difficult to write on very recent events with any level of certainty.
What makes this long and slow and deliberate pondering of mine possible is my love and longing for solitude, my seeking it out whenever I can. Of course, it is the same situation that makes debates nigh impossible for me. Now, to be clear, the somewhat extreme levels of solitude which I tend to longingly seek is not the levels of solitude I think most people would enjoy. Or maybe even benefit from.
What I would recommend in regards to solitude, is a balancing-act. Treading a fine, a gorgeous line between the hyper-social madness we see and the extremes of solitude. To put time aside every day to be alone. To shut off, drop out, tune out, do whatever necessary to bar the windows and lock the doors so you have room to think in silence. It does not do for anything but a stressful life, in my opinion, to be constantly tuned in, constantly part of the buzz and the drone, anxiously awaiting the next bite-sized bit of information to react to on gut-instinct, lest you fall from grace and the mob turns on you instead.
Social media may be many things. The technology in itself is neither good nor bad. It just is. This over-use, this dependence we have built around it coupled with the constant need for social validation, creates nothing but a breed of humanity who only ever seeks social validation, who will write and say and agree with just about anything, as long as it is what the hive demands. A breed of humanity that never thinks things through properly, relying instead on hissyfits presented from someone else in the social hierarchy whose opinions, for some reason or other, matter more than the opinions of someone else; then regurgitating these hissyfits, with all their impotent points and immediate knee-jerks to be in, to be part of, to not have to face the shame of being a solitary voice in the wilderness of our concrete jungles and tangled wires like knotted branches.
When news and media report on tweets and twatter immediately, with no pause and no reflection and no research necessary, you know we are going downhill as a society. When the immature chattering of a cancerous mass of social media activists infest and spreads through everything, even when their behaviour and reasoning is obviously not built around thought or solid arguments, but built upon immediate emotional reaction, you know we are going downhill as a society.
“When there is no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth.”
In my more vicious moments of arrogance and spite, I think that we are in the midst of a zombie-apocalypse. Dawn of the dead-style, with zombies mindlessly roaming the halls of social media instead of the halls of a cathedral-like mall, ready to pounce on and devour those who do not act like them; stumbling and fumbling their way through hurdles built from words and from wrong-think, seeking the delicious flesh of the unnecessary, the unwanted, the unseen and unheard.
In other moments, I feel a tremendous sense of sadness and pity. Pity, because I am certain that at some point down the line, some of these people will actually wake up and see the damage they have done to themselves, and to society at large for lack of thinking. I believe that those who are prone to waking up from being drunk, high and stoned on a sense of being right, doing right, being just and doing justice, will sense that what they have done with their life, and the lives of others, have turned them into selfish and petty tyrants for the greater cause of some manufactured war which they have been tricked into fighting through decades of indoctrination bordering on social engineering.
These people will wake up. And they will feel shame and remorse and regret from having to face actual reality, not manufactured reality. And then, all the world around them will crumble. And they will be completely and utterly lost within the ruins of their life.
I have my doubts, however, that enough of them will wake up to undo the damage done, to turn the tide away from tyranny and back towards liberty.
When there is no more room to think, the fools will rule the earth.
And the greatest fools there is are those who believe that having others think for them makes them smart.
…and the ones who believe that thinking and speaking on behalf of others, disregarding what the others may say and think, is a virtue will steer this ship of fools straight into the abyss.
And good god-damned riddance.
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– Moiret Allegiere, 15.06.2019
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