It’s been awhile since I’ve written about social things, what with all this poetry business and so on. But I just finished watching a really interesting documentary on Vice called “A House Divided”. It basically went over the Obama presidency and how he did and didn’t accomplish things he planned on accomplishing back in ’08 when he was first elected (it’s on HBO, check it out if you find time).
But they brought up some very good points. The “American system” has completely changed over the past few years. It’s almost as if the world is growing at such an absurd rate that the structures and institutions our society relies on can’t keep up.
Take the election, for one. The tech revolution has given people such an enormous array of news outlets to choose from – from syndicated news, to bloggers, to Facebook statuses posted from parents basements. It’s a HUGE field of content that more often than not completely plays to one side or the other, depending on the creators politics. Sure, we all joke about the media and how unreliable it is, but this is actually having a real effect on the world and our reality. Take a minute to consider your own views. How are they formed? What sources do you rely on for information? It’s easy to overlook these things day to day, I know. But it’s more important than most of us probably think.
Perhaps the most chilling comment of the show was when one of the political analysts made the sobering (albeit true) remark that all great empires have a rise and fall. He followed that up with the fact that he was literally moving his family to New Zealand or some Scandinavian country (I forget) because he thinks America is basically in its declining stage.
Now, I’m not trying to fear-monger, but I am trying to reflect on the bigger picture implications of today’s society. The world has flashed forward at an unprecedented pace, and I think we’re beginning to see the growing pains with this recent election, Brexit, and all the institutional problems we’re seeing today. But where do we even begin if we are to try and figure out what’s going on?
I honesty have no idea. One thing I do know, however, is that the world I knew growing up is most definitely not the same one we live in now. And I imagine that trend isn’t going to let up anytime soon. These are exciting times, no doubts there. I daresay we’re at a very pivotal point in our species timeline. Let’s hope we don’t muck it up.