Reality Bites by James A. Norton

He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.

Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism, knew what he was talking about – and that was long before friggin Facebook and the untold volumes of pretentious
babbling by the masses about anything that suits their fancy – and as an added bonus, gets them 50 “Likes” for their post. Hooray for the narcissists of the world.

I have spent a good amount of time in my columns either explaining myself or just plain old bitching about whatever pisses me off. Sometimes both. Well, that’s my prerogative – yours is whether you choose to read it or not. See…life really is about simple choices sometimes.

I read a lot, as much as I ever did when I was a kid, and my ability to speed-read allows me to digest a ton of data really fast. So in between me working and spending time with my wife, I read about everything from fun DIY projects to work on at home to the latest in on the ground news in the Middle East.

It’s easy to toss your opinion into the fray when Facebook levels the playing field intellectually – from actual brainiacs to complete dullards – there is very little to impede the most uninformed to carry on like they know something about events that affect people’s lives – whether they be local or global. God Bless Al Gore for inventing the Internet. That’s a joke.

Some of the more important issues facing this country today revolve around global issues – one that dominoes into a lot of peoples lives quite fantastically is the Middle East, more specifically Iraq. I am not the kinda of person to believe in conspiracy theories, but, I find myself wondering lately who set all these scenarios out in the world to see how they’d play out months and years later.

The complexity of the problems facing the US in Iraq right now include the probability that we might actually come together with Iran as a result of the Sunni extremists who are trying desperately to retake the country and are inching closer and closer to Baghdad. In some countries, like Iraq, it would have been better to just leave the dictators in power – we probably put them there to begin with.

I don’t claim to know a fraction of what is going on globally, however, it seems to me that when you introduce freedom or Democracy into these regions that were, for the most part, uninhabited 200 years ago, the cold hard reality of religious power struggles soon follow. And then all sorts of fun comes back to haunt the country that just can’t keep it’s nose out of the business of other countries.

Don’t get me wrong, in theory, what we do as the beacons of freedom and equality is awesome, but somewhere along the line, the message is delivered with only a handshake and good wishes. For example, it happened in Afghanistan way back in the day when the Russians really wanted to assimilate them like the Borg and we helped them fight back – when it was over, instead of sticking around and changing the infrastructure, promoting free trade and providing for the social and educational development of the people, we put guns in the hands of Bin Laden, literally, walked away, and then were shocked when the country fell apart and that douchecanoe came back to haunt us.

My point is simple – enjoy Facebook and the insane drama that comes along with it. Revel in the moments brought right to your phone every 15 seconds. Post pictures of a drink in your hand every day at 4:31pm and wonder why people think you’re a drunk. Change your status every hour to let people know how much you love your life, your spouse and your kids – when people know you to be a drug addict, philanderer and abusive parent in real life. Gotta love the whole idea that nobody will find out who had sex with who this week – everyone knows everything about everyone – it’s like that in a city that thrives on gossip, and made a thousand times worse by putting all of us in one place – the internet.

I guess what I am getting at is choose wisely what you post online – and what you comment about – don’t be so reactionary and caustic 99% of the time. Take a minute, take a deep breath and think. It really is that simple. And it keeps you from looking like a complete asshole…unless of course, it’s too late for you. #GMK

One thought on “Reality Bites by James A. Norton”

  1. As usual, Jamie, you are right on the mark. I often wonder if there is a decent conversation to be had on face book. Some say that is not the point. Well, yeah, I guess so, but at least some may attempt to make the effort.

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