Call for a Part-Time Experiential Exchange Program.

I’ve come to accept some limitations.

After a certain point, I just don’t feel it’s healthy to watch the news anymore. I mean, I want to be informed, but I can’t stop caring about what I’m learning about in the process, and said data never ceases to be distressing.

I have the same issue with individual people: after a certain point, it just becomes too fucking much. I need to isolate, process, find my center so I can assure myself that I’m not losing myself in this maddening mess of masks. I have a bottomless bucket of fucks and donate them far too liberally, in a fashion far too reactionary.

So involuntary empathy can be a very unhealthy thing, yes — but so can the other extreme, and it seems to me most people are more oriented towards that other extreme. Even with respect to people who are in a position in life they were formerly in, which one would think would provide conditions most fertile for empathy, people have amnesia to a mind-blowing degree. And with respect to those fundamentally different from them? It seems nearly impossible.

And I hope I’m just being pessimistic. Prejudgemental.

And it’s not as if I wish people were as insanely hypersensitive as I am; I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone. Other people, their emotions are chaotic and seem largely focused on themselves. Too much of that, particularly in large groups, like at work, quickly becomes intolerable.

I remember encountering what I reckon to be my extreme opposite, which doesn’t represent the majority of the population, but the minority we call psychopaths. Or sociopaths. There is a distinction, or so I’ve heard, but I’m unclear what it us. In any case, around them I felt eerily calm. I felt little to nothing from them and it was a strange sort of relief.

I need some of what they’ve got. They need a dose of what I have. That’s all.

I guess what I’m saying is: we could use a part-time experiential exchange program.

Suicidal Zoo.

Facebook is like the cyberspace equivalent of a human zoo, only we are both the visitors and the creatures on display. Our pages are our cages and we can visit other cages like meandering ghosts, like unseen observers, or announce our presence by bleeding digital on each other’s virtual walls. And just like the disembodied entities or autonomous unconscious subpersonalities that can communicate with us via a Ouija Board, there are always vicious trolls among us that offer nothing but chaos, confusion, and unparalleled annoyances.

I’ve only unfriended three people in all the time I’ve been on the site; two because they were equivalent to trolls and a third who has absolutely nothing to offer but a ceaseless stream of cruel and stupid bullshit.

I was determined during the last presidential campaign not to unfriend anyone simply because I disagreed with their views, which it seemed to me that a great many people were doing. If we cannot tolerate opposition, we cannot grow as individuals; if we can’t discuss our different political views, or even hear them, then we are doomed to political polarization and the eventual fracturing of the Red and Blue ends of the spectrum themselves as well. Presently, the right-wing seems split between Trump supporters and those a bit more reasonable. The left? It’s more akin to the spiderweb cracking of a cell phone screen. Constant fragmentation.

I’m just done. Divorced from any allegiance to either party. I used to see the right as bloody mad, and for the most part I still do. The left I always took as being more wed with science, reason, empathy and compassion, but now, at least at the far left, they’ve embraced a madness that seems almost undistinguishable in spirit from the madness of the right. Nearly to the point that the thought keeps coming to me that, well, they’d make good allies.

The right mocks the younger generation’s participation trophies, and rightfully so (though clearly it is the older generation that cane up with thus) — but what are Confederate statues but participation trophies for a war that was lost? The left cries about being triggered and demand their safe spaces where they are shielded from percieved threats — which is just as ridiculous as the safe space the right desires to produce by erecting a wall to protect us from the percieved threat of immigration.

I think we’re hiding in our bubbles, free from objective truth and empathy with our fellow humans. I think this communication breakdown is just another sign of a declining global culture. And it honestly scares me.