Friday, May 20, 2011

Other people pose biggest obstacle to the dissemination of my views

For too long have I labored before this 17-inch screen with its "cathode rays" so that the world might bear witness to the sagacity of my long-held views and deepest convictions. No matter what the hardship, no matter what the odds, I have steadfastly maintained my beliefs in the face of all evidence to the contrary. As if this weren't proof enough of their veracity, I have also broadcast them at every available opportunity, so that all might reap the benefits of my unique and unsolicited perspective. But no matter how hard I persist, I simply cannot shake the feeling that other people pose the single biggest obstacle to the dissemination and wide-spread acceptance of my views.

The first inkling I had of the great disservice other people might, no doubt in spite of themselves, be doing to the wider social promotion of my views was discovered in the course of an ordinary dialogue with my peers. Someone had raised the issue of gas prices in connection with the recent be-deading of Osama bin Laden. While I hastily summarized the last half-century of US foreign policy in response, our group changed direction as deftly as a school of fish toward the speculative bra-size of a passing colleague. Rather than endorsing the validity of my views, these people, who may be identified via physical and spacial demarcation as not me, scarcely bothered to listen. But because my views do not already comprise the very basis for their own, I fear that other people have yet to credit me appropriately nor proselytize anyone else on my behalf.

As already suggested, this pattern repeats itself online, where, in spite of my noblest efforts, people who routinely are not me do not do enough to make my private expectations of them a reality. By the same token, however, people who are me, like myself, find ourselves with no recourse but to shoulder this burden alone. Not only is this unfair, it doesn't work. No social movement based on collective action will ever succeed until everyone does the work that one person repeatedly insists everyone must do.

In order to ameliorate the harm caused by the failure of others to embrace my outlook and unerringly champion its appeal, the least that other people could do is stop being so damn effective at communicating their own. When a co-worker explained that the Tea Party acronym stood for "Taxed Enough Already," I thoroughly confused myself on a much better point about dialectical materialism in response.

"You talk like a professor," my companion said. "Do you like having a socialist for president?"

Now how the hell do you expect me to respond to a predictable conservative talking point like that? You see, it is futile -- and that is why everyone must begin with the same set of assumptions as mine if you people ever expect my views to be very persuasive, or celebrated in the manner that I speak for all of us in saying that they must.


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