Finding Balance in the Era After Parkland
A Call for Civility in a Seemingly Only Increasingly Uncivil World
3/29/18, 8:26 pm EDT
By John Corry, photo from MarketWatch
This is as serious as I can get.
By now, we’ve all heard about the horrific shooting in Parkland, FL, on February 14th, 2018, where seventeen people were killed, and after which a national debate on guns–brewing for at least decades, but most likely centuries–was ushered into a new era. What used to be a relevantly peaceful debate on guns and government (‘relevant’ being the key word there (and one meant to admit the obvious gradual increase of passion regarding that debate since the columbine shootings in 1997)) has now turned into an all-out ideological brawl with no sense of compromise, or, maybe more importantly, sympathy, in sight. It used to be civil, albeit barely (most likely, depending on who you were). Now, in the words of someone of whom I’m sure, regardless of political affiliation, you would likely agree with me on when I say that he hasn’t exactly been the best when it comes to calming people down, or gearing people away from division:
But that’s just the thing, isn’t it? ‘Civil’, ‘Sympathy’, ‘Sad’…
After 20+ years of ‘massacres’, ‘domestic terrorists’, and who knows how many years regarding all the potential influencers of those things (economics, racism, in general a wild misunderstanding of basic human psychology in my opinion, etc.), people in America are now tired. Say the reasons (literally, for research purposes): ‘America’s been taken advantage of by the rest of the world since WWII and needs to figure its own shit out right now’, ‘the country has an inherent befuddlement of a deep, subconscious racism running not only through its core but through the core of ‘capitalism’ as an ideology, which can’t it can’t be considered as that ‘ideology’ is inherently economical (economical: time and fact-based (key word: ‘based’))’, ‘people’s stupid and they needs to fuckin’ read more’–doesn’t matter when we’re talking about passions and how facts should, do, or can, influence, interfere, or be interfered with, or influenced by, emotions or passions /> and that’s what’s we’re talking about when emotions are running so high in so many public spaces as they are now following the Parkland shooting. It’s too heated; there are too many people whose opinions seem only to get stronger and more ‘relevant’– factually speaking, but emotionally thought.
‘Factually-speaking’ (and this will come back in a moment): I’ve come to the conclusion (however this might change in the future) that humans perceive emotions in the same way they perceive facts, not to detract from what the obvious difference between those two things is (emotion and fact (application, origination, and practicality)). The information is different and of a complete different nature (‘facts’–or technicality/analyzation to be more precise, as an emotion can be considered a ‘fact’ as far as the perception of it goes (something we know)–being fully objective (in theory), and emotion being fully subjective), but we process it in the same way. If I’m grief stricken right now, or if I’m happy or depressed or angry or stressed out over work, that feeling is as much a ‘fact’ to my perceiving-mind than the fact that 2+2=4, the only difference being that my 'feeling' (or: emotion) has no other criteria for being a 'fact' than my conscious perception of it as something I am feeling right now, versus a technical ‘fact’s necessary agreeableness amongst Society as a whole, almost entirely outside of myself and outside of subjective time (individualized perception).
I may be wrong on this (please let me know what your thoughts are if you have any), but it sums up my point here: things are getting to the point where, for a lot of people, it’s very hard to feel comfortable expressing our voices–and more importantly knowing what they are–but this is not necessarily only because of ‘PC culture’, or because of assholes trying to tell me what I can and can’t laugh at (I’ll make fun of Christians as much as I want, Father), perhaps even least so. It goes deeper, and to the core of one the primary problems currently facing the human intellect:
Human beings in general (as opposed to the politicians vying for power? #JokeNotAJoke) have always considered the universe fairly simply: the earth goes round, there is night and day, and there are certain criteria we have for understanding those things, and for understanding what happens to us within them, two of the biggest players in that understanding of course being technical facts and emotions, but it is all still happening within that context of space and time (Kant). While space is much more easily understood (as it has more to do with the body than the mind), time is a bit behind when it comes to our understanding of it (as intellect comes after primacy– intellect being what fuels our potentiality to understand time (because intellect assumes a possibility of time (or else it wouldn’t exist (the ability to ‘see’ time is what intellect is (at least in a certain sense)))), primacy what fuels our potentiality to understand space (because space doesn’t assume the possibility of time (more simply: intellect is a farther step in the process towards consciousness (‘consciousness: transcendence of space and time (also Kant)))). As such, how technical fact and emotion interact with time and intellect, and within that context, is also under-understood.
But one thing is for sure…
That relation exists (keyword: ‘relation’).
And ‘relation’ is difficult to ‘perceive’ under ‘perspective’.
Because while ‘perspective’ is inevitable under ‘perception’, ‘relation’ is only related indirectly.
However much we may wish we didn’t have emotions /> we do (omg)–though some of us may be naturally better at taming them than others–and it is far better to accept that and to learn to deal with them in all cases–especially in an argument in which the other side is being overwhelmed by emotion–than to simply write something off as ‘stupid’ or ‘fascist’ or ‘ill-perceived’ or ‘egomaniacal’ or ‘arrogant’ without the slightest trace of objective evidence for any of those things (which you can’t have when you’re arguing from a strictly emotional (subjective) perspective)–
That aforementioned ‘understanding of the criteria we need to understand the world’ has shifted dramatically over the past 100 years, and for several reasons, which won’t take much to see: our perception of those things which help us to perceive the world as a whole has been added a wild number of facts and potentiality for understood experiences (emotions-as-facts/the ability to better understand where someone may be coming from emotionally, thanks to an increase in subjective understanding (open-mindedness)) which we’re–each of us–are still trying as hard as we can to catch up on (well, most of us at least). These would include, amidst many more: our knowledge of the capability of human emotion and ingenuity after two world wars, the implications of strong pseudo-political/’economic’ ideologies or the attachment to such ideologies/processes-of-thought following Marx’s critique of capitalism and the creation of such a ‘rival’ ‘system’ as communism (justified or not is irrelevant here (like: it happened)) (though I’d really put it on Hegel– but that ‘s an ENTIRELY different argument), and the implications of those processes on perceiving the world following the industrial revolution of the early 1900s and Darwin’s theory of evolution (not to mention –
Let alone them in themselves–
As well as, of course, for the hundredth time: the creation of the internet and the rise of ‘social media’ (or: centralized branding (branding in the Jungian sense there)) (which isn’t to mention first-person shooters, Ozzy, or The Matrix).
These are just a few which have had huge impacts on every person who’s lived since the start of this ’modern’ world (which I would argue started its current phase with Nietzsche, but obviously probably originated with the Enlightenment), and which we’re only just starting to see objectively now (intellectually– for many reasons in that regard, but again: another time). We’ve never had this wealth of information available to us–which of course includes the opportunity to hear other people’s mere opinions in a pseudo-private (it’s actually public) way through mediums like TV and social media–and it’s tough to adjust–objectively and/or subjectively–especially considering the quickly evolving technology on several of those points.
But we are all dealing with this; and we all live in-time (in a constant flux between the elusive/willed/Absolutely subjective moment-in-time and the analyzed/determined/Absolutely objective understanding of past, present, and future-of-time). I don’t give a fuck how ‘smart’ someone is; this is a human problem /> bitch; it is not as simple as ‘this and that’, and we all have a stake in it, as well as a responsibility to at least attempt to see any other perceived ‘side’–be it objective or subjective or any of the infinite amount of combinations of the two–and to ‘care’ about it.
The debate over guns is as old as the invention of the gun itself (by which I mean that people have always argued over whether or not Intellectual Man is inherently violent, or if there is any epistemological (or even existential) reason for violence (hint: there isn’t))– or it’s at least as old as the second amendment of the U.S. constitution. I don’t want to get into what I think regarding this whole ‘gun debate’ thing, which I think is morally out of place given the context of this article (or: I don’t mean to be talking about 'policy’ here), but I do think that, for better or worse:
The founding fathers were Deep-Thinkers (*SoDeep (or at least deep enough to know that whatever fighting (or violence) means is the difference between intellectual and primal thinking) (#TrollNotTotalTroll)). They and their craaazy invention (i.e. ‘practisized philosophy’ (America) (thought in-action) (Arendt)) are worth thinking about and delving into. Whether or not things change over time is a different topic– but still one which must take the form of a rational debate in order to come to any functional fruition (I personally do not want anything other than rational and well-thought reason when it comes to political ideology/practical politics (otherwise you end up with exactly what we have now– division)), and that’s just my point:
Things are hard, and it seems like nothing will ever get any better, but just because someone disagrees with you over something as complicated and factually/emotionally relevant as guns (or, really: violence and what it has to do with intellect) doesn’t mean that that person is any less capable of love than you are–
Love’s complicated; that’s why it’s ‘love’, and not ‘childish bliss’–
And think about that for a second; what is ‘Love’ 'in-time'? What is reason 'in-love'? Why am I putting these stupid hyphens in between these words essentially making them unnecessarily confusing for no other reason than to sound smart? (Being 'in-time' or 'in-love', truly, cannot be put into timely words (or: they transcend time? (check out Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations or, again Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason)).)
’The world is what we make it.’ –Paraphrased All of Philosophy Ever
So begins another ACTION-PACKED episode of ‘But What Does This Actually Mean???’ And ‘Who Am I?’ And ‘What is the Relation?' and ‘What is The POLITICAL AFFILIATION??’
What is this? What isThat? What is you? What is I?–