Friday, June 26, 2009

Under The Volcano

I was reading a friend's post about the chaos in Iran, and he gently, but effectively put a face to the troubled people of Iran. This typically is the problem for us in the information age is that we don't see a face, we see multiple faces streaming past at a billion bits a second as we make our way through the issues of the day. While this seems on the surface to be a way of bringing the world together it is truer to say that, at its roots, it is having a more dehumanizing effect on us. It is encouraging to see the connections like my friends have to the people of Iran, or other friends of ours to peoples of diverse ethnic and ideological backgrounds, but there is still an ominous undercurrent sweeping away so much of what connects us.
While there is much talk and dialogue going on there is a sense in which we are constantly being asked to make a judgment call on all of these issues without ever having sat with the person involved to see who they really are. We are called upon to decide the answers for our generation and the next. We are called upon to perceive what we have not seen. Called to lay hold of what we cannot touch.
When I look around at the media we are surrounded with, so much of it is clamoring for our opinion. Reality television wants us to takes sides and decide for or against given the facts as we are shown them. News reports (they're unbiased???) purport to tell us like it is, and yet there always seems to be another side of the story that pops up somewhere else as the news hounds scramble for yet another angle to sell us. Blogs (including mine) seek to present what they feel is a more honest, in your face, take on things; a personal synthesis of all the stories and issues floating around out there. Even in the realm of the arts, there so many issues and ideas being presented to us with arguably the most powerful medium out there. Musicians, playwrights, actors, directors, and even their producers are pushing their ideas out there with ever more lavish trappings, and ever more subtle slants.
If your like me (mostly I pray you are not) your head gets spun around by all the 'stuff'. I end up emptied out of much of the empathy that is given me at the start of the day. Sadly all that is left for so heavy a price is a swiftly fading sense the rightness that shone out from the trail head of deliberation, discussion, and dialogue. The hope for justice lays down and looks me in the eye, voiceless by the glowing embers of today's news. Behind her eyes I see the faces of the people I passed on my way here.
We live under the volcano. We live with each other in the presence of our looming destruction. We live together.


NavlGazr said...

Eloquently put my friend. A lot of truth to this, but I guess that's the point of the post. At the gym, I read a magazine called China Today which is the Chinese equivalent to Time. Really interesting to see the different tone and subtleties in the the two about many issues.

Amrita said...

We are being over loaded with information and that is either making us over sensitive or dull.
Got to keep the balance.

I 'm glad to hear your friends in India are getting the rains.