Everything is political. Everything is infected with politics. And the kind of politics that we are facing today is one that effectively takes us backwards. And it seems more and more that there is no escape from it. Sports are a good example. I love watching football. But the NFL became so politicized with the BLM narrative, kneeling for the anthem, pushing commercials that tell us we’re all in this together while telling me that I’m responsible for the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police officers, when I am neither a cop nor a gunowner. I am bombarded with things on helmets, the sidelines, the ads, the chair coverings, over and over. I understand, and to the extent that I believe that Black Lives Matter, the statement not the quasi-political organization, I agree with it. But there is no escape from politics nowadays. Television shows have to push the narrative, characters are rewritten to be more “diverse,” workplaces are giving into the woke narratives that White people are the cause of all the ills and evils in this country, schools are pushing curriculum that highlight the 1619 project as the real beginnings of this country’s history and social media has become essentially nothing more than a performance space for people to bash on anyone who doesn’t agree with them on both the conservative and neo-leftist side. We are fully wrapped up in the culture wars that unfriending, blocking, and self-censorship are being normalized. And I am tired of it. I am burned out by it. I feel consumed by it.
We can’t laugh anymore, it’s not allowed because it’s a microaggression against some victimized group or other. We’re supposed to be perfect from birth, and any transgression that happens remains as an indelible mark upon your character. We’re deemed guilty from the start, with no due process or redress, and found guilty equally as quickly from people who use their power to keep others beneath them. Punching down has become a way of life, and more and more it seems like we’re crabs in a bucket, unwilling to let someone get ahead because we selfishly believe that it should be me.
And this guilt has become guilt by association. If you dated one of the outcasts, you are tarnished because you didn’t recognize their “evil.” If you attended a party, shared a dorm room, engaged in conversation with them, walked by them on the street without stopping them and yelling at them for how despicable they are for simply having an improper thought or action in the entire course of their lives, then not only is that person bad, but you’re bad for not stopping them. It is a perversion of “evil triumphs when good men do nothing.”
I thought that we would have settled down a bit, but I was wrong. The divide is growing, and it may very well be that we’ve hit a tipping point and can’t come back from something like this without great suffering. It seems like there are fewer and fewer values shared among people on the extremes, and that there is no more middle ground. You’re either a pro-authoritarian leftist who wants the government to give publicly funded healthcare, education, and employment based on racial quotas and equity, or you’re an alt-right Nazi who wants a white ethno-state. What kind of world is that? If these are the only options for our modern society, I reject it.
I want to have friends who disagree on things, but recognize that we have common interests that transcend our cultural and ethnic heritage. I want to listen to music made by people who make enjoyable music, and explore new things without the stigma of “cultural appropriation.” I wish to learn and develop habits that help me be financially, spiritually, and physically fit, and I don’t care what the racial composition is of the person who figured it out. If it works, it works.
I want everyone to succeed. That statement needs no qualifier. But the idea that certain “races” can’t do something is a deeply troubling assumption. Lowering the standards for different groups for that reason is both frustrating and very presumptuous. I want us to move forward and find common ground and values because that’s the only way we’ll continue. But with the way that politics have infected every facet of life, and how our adherence to the dogma must determine our choices in shopping, dining, religion, sports, entertainment, music, movies, television, hobbies, and so on and so on, it makes this society unpalatable.
So, yeah, I’m burned out. I’m tired of wanting to be a part of a society in which I’m the villain, the monster, and the devil himself, despite my efforts to merely be left alone. I care less and less about the culture wars, and more and more wish to be like Cincinnatus, retiring to his farm.
I’ll continue my work, but sometimes I just need to vent, and take a moment to catch my breath.