Anne Lamott apparently once observed that all writers are ‘little rivers running into one lake’. I don’t really know anything about Anne Lamott, I’ve never read any of her books, but I do like this quote. I imagine she was referring to, that as writers, everyone is contributing to the same… eh… body of work, as in the literary tradition of our people. Maybe. In any event there is likely an idea of the interconnectedness of writers that is being referenced.
As soon as you start to talk about interconnectedness there is generally a tacit sign of exasperation, perhaps an eye-roll from anyone who is being polite enough to listen to your particular tirade of the moment. Drumming on about interconnectedness is after all dipping a toe into the wokeness and woo.
Maybe I’m getting a head of myself. I follow a lot of angry libertarians. (because… I fancy myself as being libertarian-esque and… well I do get quite angry sometimes… and you know, one needs to bounce around ones echo-chamber with like-minded people. (okay, that is probably not a great rule for life). In any event, when was it? Last week? Suddenly my feed was just clogged with hate, most of it being directed at Greta Thunberg.
Actually this one is quite funny…
I don’t really mind when the hate is directed at progressives or the conservatives… but I felt a little uneasy about the intensity of the vitriol for Greta. For all tense and purposes you could likely assume she was the anti-christ.
Which, I suppose, brings me back round to my interconnectedness issue.
I remember when I was about ten my parents took me to the British Museum. It was the thing I was most excited about on our trip to London. We’d been in there for about… twenty minutes or so when the building was evacuated because of a bomb threat. This was still in the era of ‘the troubles’ (IRA bombings etc). Weirdly I didn’t mind, because (being a boy) I got to see all the black clad policemen and sniffer dogs etc… and that was ALSO way cool.
My point is, when someone calls in a bomb threat we take it seriously. There is due process. We take precautions, peoples lives are not toyed with.
But one when someone calls in a ‘bomb threat’ on the planet, we call it a hoax and get super angry about it. (well some of us)
For me at least Climate change, feels like one of those things were we should likely err on the side of caution and take it seriously.
It also amazes me how people line up to defend their particular ideology and lambaste any opposition to those ideas.
There is a story about a farmer who hasn’t seen his fine prize cow in a while. (I might be paraphrasing my ethics 101 coursework here somewhat… and also channeling ‘What the Ladybird heard’, if you have a three year old you’ll understand).
The farmer asks this postman if he’s seen his fine prize cow. (The postman walks up the lane to the farmers farm). The postman says he saw the cow in a field down the road. The farmer didn’t expect the cow to be there, but believes the postman (the postman doesn’t have any reason to lie). Later on, the farmer goes to the field and sees that there is a sheet of black and white paper caught in the tree. The postman mistook the sheet for the cow. The farmer then finds the cow in another field later on.
I am often reminded of this analogy. We often believe ‘stuff’ because we heard it from someone we trust (or deemed trustworthy). This broadly true for our religious beliefs, political ideas and in probably all the concepts we hold near and dear. We believe something, because someone told us something was true. We are willing to slander people who believe the opposite of those ideas, and I suppose, some of us, will even die for those ideas.
Sure, this concept works either side of any argument. Either side claims the other side is, lying, misinformed, wrong etc. And everyone on social media is an expert in everything.
Maybe we can agree that its tiring.
And maybe that leads to apathy.
I certainly feel apathetic to the whole thing. Unfortunately my apathy lends weight to denialist do-nothing cause. And that’s not where I want to be.