I was doing some chores around the house and ran a documentary in the background to help pass the time.
Into The Mouth Of Madness – Who Writes reality? It was deep, to say the least. The ‘who writes’ pitch used the movie (starring Sam Neil) as the vehicle to actualise the notion and I soon found all other routine obligations of little interest as I became absorbed by the presentation.
The power of words, it seems, is both ironically underestimated whilst also being used, without discrimination, to beat repeatedly and unmercifully into submission, in order to influence a desired and final outcome. I guess we all like to think we are in control of our own thoughts…dreams, ideals, and beliefs…our wants and desires are our own.
Aren’t they??? Words can elevate and inspire. Arouse… empathy or sympathy but equally, they can control and corrupt. Mislead and misguide. Perhaps a personal reference is called for…
There was a time I refused to play Degenerate Boy which was quite a popular song by X ( the Australian one – in case you don’t know) because I began to believe that some folk maybe saw it as an affirmation instead of the social critique and self-parody that it was. I am still not sure if that makes me rather conceited or just incredibly deluded, but it took a while for me to get over the notion either way.
My concern was that my words, straddling atop the driving rhythms, may have been unintentionally influencing some impressionable minds into a rather negative and potentially dangerous life choice. I got over it but I never forgot how it felt.
It is so easy to be triggered by words and catchphrases and slogans. One of the things that bug me most is ‘political’ memes. Arrogant and loaded with disdain, we devour them like chocolates. I doubt if many of us check to see who created them and how founded in truth or reality they are.
Who will question context or syntax or question validity if said meme echoes a notion you have already begun to accept or believe or hold dear in your bosom? They may very well be right on the money – but it is the lack of willingness to check and verify before sharing that concerns me. This made worse by the hoaxes that plague social media platforms.
I have lost count over how many times I have looked up something that I thought ‘Hang on, this seems a bit odd…’ and used a search to verify if it was a proven hoax or not. I got caught a few times early on and now check things as best I can before commenting. They are so obvious if you think about it.
How did I get here I seem to have wandered off point.
The written word is powerful. Scripted properly and given selectively edited imagery it is nuclear in comparison. I find myself reminding myself to question all, including myself. Motivation! What is the motivation? Nearly always it is about taking away or the grasping of power.
Then there is the manipulation of the words themselves. The original meaning is twisted and perverted. They become what they are not. Un-words likened to the undead of horror films and TV series. A very simple example… a bomb becomes a payload or ordinance. A person becomes a package.
They move on from being demilitarized or depersonalized to avoid a potentially negatively emotional association or disastrous connotation or outcome. Sometimes un-wording results in almost the opposite of original meaning. I have seen the word diversity used in ways that imply anything but being diverse.
I read somewhere recently that it can be argued that the difference between an intelligent and unintelligent mindset is this; a truly intelligent person understands that he or she does not know all. Accepting this they have a more fluid belief system. They allow themselves to question themselves in order to ‘maintain’ a certain degree of celerity in their certainties.
This would imply that an unintelligent mindset would be one that cannot consider for a moment they may be wrong. This is counter evolution. It is an end, not a beginning… or so I believe. This refusal to admit any ounce of doubt may be misconstrued as being ‘supremely confident’ or a hallmark of being self-assuredness. It may be presented as a virtue. Your needs must discern!
Okay, sometimes to move or to take action you need a certain degree of confidence in order to not fumble and ‘screw it up’ – whatever ‘it’ happens to be. We all need a degree of confidence. To be riddled with self-doubt is a crippling thing.
If I could, all I would ask is that now and then, we take time to consider our thoughts and beliefs. Ask yourself, ‘Are These Thoughts My Own’ and consider this:
a) Your stance is taken because you are in fear of ridicule, persecution, and isolation.
b) That there may be a strong counter-argument.
c) At very least there is food for thought…
Keep working your way through the alphabet until you are reasonably sure that your thoughts are indeed your own and not somebody else’s hands me downs or propaganda.
Breathe deep. Keep your mind open…enough to allow new thought in, but not so much as to let all else fall out. To be empty-headed is not to ‘be’ at all.
I will be gracious and let René Descartes have the final say,
‘I think, therefore I am’
To my mind, it has a lot going for it.