The Enthusiasm of Limitless Possibility

The world will not end even if Trump is re-elected

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Photo by Joni Ludlow on Unsplash

Words on the internet scare me.

The zeitgeist of self-delusion is snorting its own hype and almost everyone has achieved fluency in fear, unwittingly or not. While I readily admit mine comes from a place that may not be entirely rational, my current geographical coordinates tell you all you need to know. Four years ago, I had no idea I’d end up back in Europe. After less than a month of Trump, I wrote about the parallels between depression and fascism. I was desperate for a way to summon up the courage to weather this, all this, and the only way I knew how was with words, the words depression had deprived me of for 4 years by then.

A reader urged me to get back on my meds, alleging I was losing my grip on reality. I wasn’t on any medication.

My brain had come up with this vision of horror alone. It was uncanny then and I lost my words for another year.

But now?

Words on the internet scare me.

Social media platforms designed to give everyone a voice and bring us together did anything but. We didn’t find a single way to move forward as a culture, a society, or an internet but we found 1,235.5 ways to print money with words by teaching others how to write about how to get rich by writing online about how to get rich. Basically? Type your little grabby fingers out, optimize your lorem ipsum for search engines with juicy keywords, create your own Trump University of blogging, write your own art of the deal / squeal / steal and then brag about how very humble / honest / hapless you are.

Life happens to us all, this is us, this is who we are: We co-wrote and co-created all this, word by word, click by click.

Achievement or disaster? We no longer think out loud in print, we bloviate with turgid long reads about celebrities, our person, or both.

The moment greed began shouting, it silenced everyone else.

Words on the internet scare me.

Greed and grift are normalized, mainstream, and insatiable, chewing through entire digital ecosystems created to foster reflection, connection, and collaboration. Words are no longer written to ignite the imagination but to trigger the most monetizable of human emotions: Fear, anger, greed, sympathy, and love. The end result? Despair. How can you even know what you’re reading is genuine humanness rather than marketing? How many times do keywords like authenticity, vulnerability, honesty, and their corresponding adjectives appear? If you repeat something often enough, you can allegedly manifest it.

Decency. Decency. Decency. Oh, and by the way, have our delusions of grandeur blinded us to the truth?

We empowered the darkest recesses of the human psyche out of interest: It paid. Malice fulfills an emotional need for safety.

Through social criticism, we rise above what we decry.

Words on the internet scare me.

Too many take advantage of chaos and confusion, from the listicle to the doomsday predictions via the op-ed, the woe-is-me cringefest, and the hard sell on dreams we can no longer afford to pawn. All writing is political and we, the people of the internet, co-wrote and co-created this present, even if the end result doesn’t match our intentions. When words are being gutted of meaning, language malfunctions are common. If honest is Alex Jones then who and what is news of the non-fake kind? The words we choose to wear to disguise the shame of being who we are, the words we embrace to take us where we want to go, the words we shun to forget where we’ve been all paint a picture of our collective soul.

When the big reveal comes, we should neither be repulsed nor pleasantly surprised but rather take comfort in how self-evident this was all along.

We will find the words to move through and beyond what still looks like a catastrophic present.

They’ll come from a place of accountability this time, not greed or grift.

💛 If you enjoyed these words, please consider supporting my work with a modest cup of coffee. It’s cheaper than 🍽 and it keeps me warm. Merci! 🐱

The human condition is not a pathology・👋ASingularStory[at]gmail・ ☕️

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