Is it a connection or just another conspiracy?
Last night, I watched an interesting serial story on television.
Alongside the storyline, established in several previous showings, the director’s played interviews with real people who had been unwilling participants in real life dramas. The real life dramas had many similar elements to the fictional events rolling out in the TV drama.
One thing that struck me was as I watched the interviews with real people, I pondered or wondered or whatever that across the country, people were watching the same interview, seeing the same story play out as I was and we were all walking away with a different understanding. We had all seen a different story.
A mother bemoans that her son is dead by his own hand. He has committed suicide. He had been bullied by people in the school and he stopped the torment by committing suicide.
He had talked to his family. It was no secret to his teachers. He understood his options and made his choice.
I felt sorry for him. I felt that there had been little tolerance for his difference and he felt lost and with nowhere to turn but to the uncertainty/certainty of death. Of suicide.
But, I knew there were people across the country and maybe the world that felt just as justified in feeling “Good. He was Gay and he was wrong” or “He was a weakling and deserved his fate” or felt little compassion at all.
Real life interview after real life interview were played between snippets of the fictional story. When the show ended, I realized that two different or many different shows had been seen by many different people.
A media that should have somewhat standardized our beliefs, should have acted like the great equalizer, had done little to bring us together.
As a culture, we have had the television available for almost a half century. Many have had it since birth. It has provided a story and images and a perspective for many in our society since their cognitive beginning. The same story was watched through a million pairs of eyes and maybe a million conclusions were drawn.
Not too long ago, I read a Social Media posting that had been shared from some other posters. It was followed by a few positive comments. It wasn’t until I was forced to click on the image so I would be able to read the larger print, that I found 1000’s and 1000’s of postings has preceded the share on my timeline.
The comments were angry and hateful, vile. They spewed filth and the worst unfounded prejudices. Reading through the postings, I was amazed that the image I had read on my timeline, fueled so much anger and depravity.
We had seen the same message and the responses ran a full spectrum of reactions.
Same with comments about some characters on The Walking Dead series. When images of certain actors were posted, again, many called for their bloody demise while others recognized some of what made them the characters they were portraying. There was little tolerance some be allowed to survive and like Romans in the Coliseum, these characters received thumbs down.
And a violent thumbs down.
We had seen the same serialized story and yet our responses confused me.
I know. I know. We are individuals.
We have our own eyes, we have our own experiences. We draw our own conclusions. I understand. But even looking at anything more complicated than a red dot on a wall seems to extract an amazing collage of perceptions.
Someone the other day posted a video of a waiting group of political leader’s fans nervously awaiting his arrival to the event. Their responses were as pro and supportive of their candidate as my opinions were anti and disgusted by their words and actions. We see the same candidates, hear the same speeches and draw ideologically opposite conclusions.
I explained to the original poster that we live in a certain world within 50 miles or so of the Western US coastline. There is another population that lives within 50 miles or so of the Eastern US coastline. There two groups “generally” feel similar to how we perceive the world.
And then there are the millions of people in between these coastal strips that feel strongly that we are insane, that perceive the world totally different than we and exist in a reality filled with treasures we might never grasp.
And maybe these lines are not parallel, but a tightly woven net. Maybe these lines are walls that separate us. Maybe the media that had an opportunity to provide a common image that could have brought us together, drives us further apart given the infinite variations of of past existence.
Maybe it is foolish to believe that something will bring us together since we were borne in conflict. We live in turmoil and die in permenance.
And it all starts over. Maybe in parallel. Maybe in an infinite amout of parallel lines
This line probably represents all of us.