Jun 202018

“I’ve never been more disgusted.

It’s like there’s [sic] two people over here making sense, two people over there making sense, and a hundred million people aggressively masturbating at each other as if it were a productive activity.” – Bo Williams, Facebook reply, June 18, 2018

Oh, and then I added joylessly, as in “aggressively and joylessly.” There is nothing pleasurable about it. It’s frenetic, cacophonic, repetitive drudgery.

To what issue was I referring? Does it even matter?

I used to enjoy writing about politics. But there is a significant problem with the prospective audience for the kind of thing I like to write. Most people who read anything considered are themselves considered—already self-aware and erudite enough to have thought through a position on the topic of the piece. They know why they think something. If I can accurately target that why and jostle it, that makes them persuadable.

So why is this a problem? Because I don’t think those people are discernibly influencing the narrative. There are only the players and the played.

The players protect their money, with all other considerations secondary. (The state of health care in this country, particularly in the past ten years, should convince you of that, if nothing else does.) The played serve as means to that end, usually through distraction but sometimes through unwitting cooperation.

To be sure, there’s been a steady chorus of that nature as long as I’ve been politically aware. It hasn’t felt real—or maybe it just hasn’t felt universal—to me until now. Whether that is more the naiveté of youth fading or a genuine shift, I couldn’t tell you.

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