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Is This Real? Does It Matter?

April 3, 2019

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On a headline about America’s southern border, this illustration shows up.

A road is seen under the classic yellow and black road sign. There is “ CAUTION” written on it it. Below is not a school bus, deer, or moose. There is a running Dad, Mom and child.

Point made. We are treating those coming across our borders as if they were animals to be avoided, not like humans.

I honestly do not know if it is a real sign or an editorial point. And it does not matter. The point is what matters.

Yesterday our President says his father was born in Germany for some reason. He cannot believe it, because it is not true, and he knows it better than anyone alive,  but it does not matter.

The size of the fish I caught, the time it took to walk to school, the treatment of Joe McCarthy, any number of blarny spins are morphing into giant waves of Info Wars, (without its psychotic leader).

A set of facts, determined after 2 years of a great deal of human time, money and effort is seen, summarized, will have much of its content released soon, but one group of humans declares “VINDICATION!” while another group declares “INDICT!” over the exact same data. Mostly unseen. Completely convinced, diametrically apposed realities. On is right one is wrong. But now both are right and wrong.

Beyond me, and the immediacy around me, there is more information at my disposal than ever. But there are fewer known facts. Things like vaccinations, and climate and caffeine are facts, but they have majority and minority meanings of those facts. The minority’s view was once unheard. Now it has airtime, because they can be heard on air, loudly and in full focused truths that reject the others. The majority opinion is that the minority’s is worse than ignorant, they are evil.

So, I think many (many) are simply opting not to participate. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has followed full-on anger at Thanksgiving. The convinced are losing the opportunity to convince the ignorant because facts are now often talking points and not truths, or full truths, but are readily available.

So while the world expand – the lowest world poverty rate ever, billions upon billions of points of access to a self perpetuating Internet – I think many are feeling more unsure, maybe a little more self-directed. There is no Walter Cronkite or Ike to set things straight. Maybe that is a good thing, ultimately.

But our truths are perhaps more closely at home than they were a decade ago. More In us, not in a book.

Maybe we are closer, or more likely, I am closer to recognizing that there is something far for important than the Mueller Report, despite the 2 year rage. The love we have for each other and from a larger reality that is incomprehensible may just be the reality we are being pushed to by the screaming “realities” we cannot avoid.

There is one, undeniable reality that is the least understood, or understandable. The reality of the beauty around and in us that has no reason to exist but is the essence of why we are alive. That beauty makes the ugliness of anger and screaming irrelevant. It makes the pressure of being “Right” less a crusade against “Evil” and more just a recognition that we are loved and that we love.

At least I can know that better in silence. In Lent.

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