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The inescapable reality is that I can barely stand social media anymore.

Give people a tool for expressing thoughts and engaging in discourse and what do we do with it? Turn it into a forum for bigotry, self-aggrandizement, self-pity, and bullshit.

What passes for journalism these days is even worse. We have a buffet of hopelessly manipulated propaganda masquerading as facts and we get to shop around until we find what we need to reinforce what we want to believe about the world around us.

“Entertainment” has mutated into something so wretched that a majority of it doesn’t even merit discussion.

If we pay attention, we quickly learn that as a society, we simply can’t discuss anything important anymore. We shout over each others heads and mock anyone who has the gall to hold a different worldview than we do. We retreat into suspicion and hide behind words not of substance but of shadows and fog. Rather than suffer fools, we embrace them. We have replaced leadership with theater.

And, this week, I am reminded yet again that seemingly ordinary people are capable of unspeakable and totally irrational violence. I suppose I should be grateful that I can’t even begin to understand the mind that could contemplate the random murder of total strangers.

What to do in the face of madness?

Simply Water I (©2004 Richard X. Moore)

Simply Water I (©2004 Richard X. Moore)

Seek some kind of peace inside your own skin. Reacquaint yourself with truth. Remind yourself from time to time that there is a line between fact and belief. Surround yourself with people you love and understand.

I find these days that I am longing for the solace I get by wrapping myself in the sound of moving water, where the noise of a culture gone insane doesn’t creep in to disturb the music of the wind and waves of the shore, or of the rapids and falls of a river dancing on rocks and sand.

I know I can’t ignore the world around me, or ever get away from it for very long.

But please, just for awhile, let me sit on the shore and feel the warm breeze, even if it’s only my imagination playing tricks on me.

 

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