It hardly seems to matter these days what the cause is but at the press of a Twitter feed, an instant rent a crowd will turn up to protest loudly and passionately about something, anything, we seem to be living in an age of total intolerance. On the other hand I wonder whether these mindless displays of passion have more to do with a society where individuals are becoming more not less isolated by this age of so called ‘social media’.
Whilst I have no problem with people feeling ‘passionate’ about specific issues: Pro/Anti Brexit, Pro/Anti Trump, Pro/Anti Scottish independence and so on, I really don’t see the necessity for all the heat displayed at public protests, it seems unhealthy to me. But then again perhaps only a few want to grab the limelight, bearing their chests to declare “I am Spartacus” whilst trying to get in as many pictures and videos as possible by the circling media or fellow “protesters” on their smartphone videos. The world of social media seems to impose upon its adherents a uniform expectation of what people aspire to or what they think they should be “seen” to be.
I suspect but can offer no evidence to support my view, that the majority of people who turn up at these ‘gatherings’ do so in the hope of belonging to something, to say that “they were there” or most likely, to stop feeling so damned lonely in a world where they are supposed to be so happy and fulfilled but never feel like it. Then again I suppose at the back of their minds, there is always the chance that they might meet ‘someone special’ or just make new friends from a demographic that is similar to their own. They don’t seem that dissimilar to me to the CND marchers and the women who camped outside Fairford air base in protest those very many decades ago.
The Return of Some Reason
I think it is generally accepted that left to their own devices, probably two thirds of our sitting MPs would favour remaining in the EU but given the Referendum result, last night the Commons voted through the Bill to start Brexit negotiations by a substantial majority so well done them, anything else would have been sheer folly. As I wrote last October, in reality the actual result and however unexpected by most, has itself already changed the UK/EU situation forever and there is no going back: ( http://baldysblog.co.uk/2016/10/16/change-has-already-happened/ )
It therefore makes total sense for the politicians at Westminster to just get behind the reality and engage themselves as best they may to make it a positive result for everyone with those who voted against it last night “because their constituents voted Remain”, having made their protest to now also move on because this battle was lost last June. It would also be a better world if the die hard Remain supporting press took a step back and stopped searching every nook and cranny for a news snippet to support their view that an economic Armageddon is about to descend on the UK because it produced the “wrong result”, high time they moved on too, they are looking increasingly stupid and plain obdurate.
The main problem we have immediately lies in the uncertainty sweeping a Continent where 3 major countries are holding general elections this year especially as unexpectedly, France is now experiencing a very distinct ‘wobble’ in terms of the expected result due in May. Because of this ‘electoral activity’ which will not finish until October/November in Germany, it will pay UK politicians best to adopt a listening and reasoned approach to the start of negotiations which will in effect begin in a bit of a political vacuum.
Whilst President Trump does look pretty hopeless from some perspectives, he and his Transition Team must have been asleep it seems, the hard fact is that the US electorate have given him the job of POTUS and thus far his supporters will just see him as keeping the promises that he made during the campaign. True the “Not Muslim Ban” on Muslim countries is a total cock up in terms of both its introduction and implementation and the unintended consequences will haunt him for some time I am sure but, he may well learn a lesson from it all.
The simple truth is that not being a career politician and familiar with the way things work, he will make mistakes such as this but we all need to accept that to his supporters, part of his appeal was precisely based upon him being an outsider. In simple terms over the next few months, Trump may stumble into quite a few cock ups but he will be judged by his own supporters in terms of whether he learns quickly from his mistakes and makes up ground. If he is still blundering around in 3 to 4 months time, his fate will be sealed as a failed experiment and he will be encouraged to fuck off or get impeached, the majority of his support will have evaporated if he looks incompetent.
On the other hand, just suppose he quickly grasps the “hang of it all” during this time and starts making progress both at home and abroad, he could rapidly develop into a highly successful President. Either way, holding demonstrations at this moment in time declaring that Trump “Is Not My President” or any other slogan, amounts to little more than pointless emotional masturbation. Whatever is destined to happen with the Trump presidency, whatever the outcome, is already underway, the game is in motion and it really doesn’t matter how many people demonstrate, it is irrelevant. There is one thing that Trump said with regard to the US protestors which is correct, “They should have voted”, in a country where only just over 50% of people eligible to vote bothered to, he is right.
I make a lot of use of the web and with a passion for photography, obviously visit a number of photographic sites as well as watching video reviews on YouTube and here too the detritus that is social media spills over. People get ‘competitive’ and downright insulting in the comments section to others that also comment, they write in a way that they would never dare to speak in a face to face situation, this is nonsense. I cannot understand just why one person who likes camera maker A needs to be attacked by someone who favours camera maker B as if it matters a jot, the person behind the camera is far more important in getting a good end result than the camera itself.
There are still many camera manufacturers, none of them make crap products, they may have different design and format properties but all are capable of producing high quality photographs, which one you prefer may just come down to familiarity. In my case I favour Canon for stills photography, Panasonic for video and the former no doubt because I bought into Canon back in 2000. However, I don’t imagine for one moment that Nikon, Sony, Olympus or Pentax couldn’t be as good, I’m sure that they could but none of those offer me a compelling reason to ditch all the Canon kit I have and switch to them.
Amusingly there is a thing known as GAS – Gear Acquisition Syndrome whereby people keep on buying cameras and accessories in a seemingly endless cycle, what on earth is that about ? It is as mysterious as people posting “un-boxing” videos on YouTube. The point is that in order to become a competent let alone a great photographer, you need to master your camera gear first, if you keep on changing and upgrading the darn kit, there will never be the time to actually take decent pictures.
I blame all this incoherent ‘outrage’ on social media and an increasing sense of detachment from society by its users, the noise is to drown out what must be the extreme loneliness felt by many of its users.