What Price Reason When Darkness Looms?
The lucrative curse of pandering to the lowest common denominator
Be bold, don’t edge.
Ask questions to transcend what is, voice distress only to offer a different perspective. The world doesn’t need any more pain. The world doesn’t need you to whine about how terrible everything is.
Parlay self-pity into schadenfreude; get paid.
No one loves you, you’re a terrible person, we made you. Disheartened and despondent, we’re doomed. We consume you, crassness, the pimple of greed. Would you ooze if popped?
No one dares.
Instead, we are VPN voyeurs, clandestine gawkers of the crude and the rude. We consume but we don’t pay.
Shunned, not just spurned. Shamed, not just blamed.
Sometimes, we squeal as we imagine your persona does.
Your persona is the shadow to our moral light, the fabrication to our realness. You are the lowest common denominator we rise above, the status quo we disrupt, and the context we upend.
An ignorant void in an absence of curiosity, the dominant species.
As long as what is endures, you benefit and profit.
Grow. Grow. Grow.
You take up all the space; you squeeze folks out. The ecosystem isn’t your problem. Dumb consolidates the power of the ruling class. Still not your problem but it is your business now.
Online greed: Quantifiable, non-human terms, persons as persona products, a tag line that is about or not about.
Personal branding: Look at me, top this, chief that, lead cactus. And yet, my eyeballs deny your statement of intent
Numbers do not promote our shared humanness. They are deathly; the news will destroy you. Dots need connecting and you won’t like what you see.
Stop keeping your eyes closed.
Two words, one culture: Never enough.
Cue a cacophony of theatrics, online interactions. People lament, lonely and disconnected, even from themselves. Never have enough. Never do enough. Never be enough.
Have, do, be.
Be, do, have.
Individualism isn’t self-aware yet but greed is honest. It cares about satiety, a paradox, an inspiration and so we worship it. Step 1: Want the thing, stop at nothing until you have the thing. Step 2: Want more, stop at nothing until you have even more.
Repeat Step 2 throughout your lifetime.
How much longer?
Empowerment from hucksters who weaponize then monetize fear, anger, and insecurity cannot not fail.
The personal is political: Individualism will set us free but the lowest common denominator dictates our worth.
To increase it, pay upfront.
Can you even afford to go against individualism? Is pushing back a choice, a duty, an option? How much longer must we wonder before we consider action?
Your dreams have the power to redeem the present. Why pawn them to parasites? Achievement is an illusion: The economy is tanking, society fabric is unraveling, democracy is in peril.
Desperate people will dupe and scam and fleece other desperate people to survive.
The achievement they promise is an illusion. Online chaos and confusion make it impossible to tell signal and noise apart. Understand this: The more noise there is, the longer the status quo endures.
Where are the words restoring dignity to all?
Write them. Revel in discomfort, wallow in curiosity, and write them.
If you don’t, you might wonder what might have happened if you had.
Normal is gone so move on. Keep moving, birth a new reality, share the pain. The dead are not metrics or statistics, they are martyrs of capitalism.
Reverse the gradual erasure of our shared humanness.
What’s left of us? Who are we?
Courage, words, resistance. Do not be afraid. Encourage, enable, and empower communication and connection. The internet of greed is eating itself, you are fibre, you will survive.
The pandemic isn’t over. Let words lead you where you need to go. Stray, wander, explore.
You already know what happens when you don’t.
Be bold, don’t edge.
I’m a French-American writer, journalist, and editor now based in the Netherlands. To continue the conversation, follow the bird. For email and everything else, deets in bio.