The Perils of Living in an Apathetic Society.
Posted by intellisg on July 22, 2007
We’ve all heard it before, haven’t we? – “We are living in a politically apathetic society.” Do we even care if Mickey Mouse or Barney the magical dinosaur runs for the post of secretary general in the UN? Do they even show the slightest interest in politics? Name me five cabinet ministers? There you see! We are just plain apathetic aren’t we? Is this a local thing? Or is apathy like the bubonic plague spreading insidiously across every major city in the world, jading whole masses of people turning them into indifferent, ambivalent and door knob zombies?
What does it mean for us to live in this new age of bochapness? Do you really want to know? Sorry, really I am, so-so sorry allow me to re-phrase in prosaic terms: do you dare to know what it means to live in an apathetic society? That’s to say do are you man enough to face the truth?
According to a survey conducted by the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, apathy is on the rise. Hey people are tuning off, there’s a significant drop. Their interest appears to be evaporating like camphor. Sex and the City is even garnering more hits than even what Bush has to say. Who can blame them? The last time some one listened to a Bush, they found themselves wandering around the desert for 40 years confused and lost. The facts speak for themselves. In the Harvard study involving 5.1 million respondents, 87% said information was lacking accounting for why they feel disenchanted about politics, so there you have it, it’s a fact, the youths these days are more jaded and disinterested about politics than those of the past.
But let’s take a closer look – what’s really behind this wave of apathy? – are we all just skeptical of the current political process? Have we lost faith in our leaders and traditional role models? Has the spin machine that’s supposed to change the world run its course? What’s the real reason behind the morass? After all we know a few Singaporean bloggers decided to chuck it all in because they felt – there was no longer any point – were they suffering from post traumatic apathy syndrome? Did they perhaps feel, “what’s the point?”
Or maybe it’s got something to do with the trends of our modern times? We all know technology is always fingered as the convenient scapegoat for everything from school shootings to why kids can’t even string a sentence without mangling it, after all to get to the seventh stage of Warcraft, the online virtual game, one needs to waste 29,934 aliens and a gun totting penguin, it’s a easy to draw analogies and even easier to believe technology is predation, permeating, coloring and defining our lives all to the greater detriment of scouring us and pushing out the good currency. Even sharpening and heightening our sense of apathy. These days with transformer bad boy technology in the neighborhood, no one is safe, not even mother goose or Snow White, they have been wasted by the plasma guns of the transformers. Hey, didn’t you know even the MSM can’t compete these days, haven’t you heard, they’re hemorrhaging advertising revenue! The clever $ is moving out! Technology is spawning the war of the world critters like blogs which these days proliferate like mushrooms, it’s the “you-are-everything” era – sorry man, content is not king! And it’s offering an endless and exhaustive supply of sugary stuff that’s taking away readers the traditional mainstay – reading our beloved yarn, the ST these day is as stimulating as perusing through a microwave instruction manual.
Are blogs to blame for apathy? Is the incessant anti establishment heightening our sense of estrangement? Is it responsible for much of our apathy? Well, to be honest, It looks like it, online migration is nothing short of a mass exodus these days. In the past, the audience reading this on their computers would have been dismissed as nerds – these days if you’re not wired you’re a dodo bird. Yes folks, I am sure technology is the culprit, we all know that sucker whirled its way into every facet of our lives don’t we – that sly son of a bitch that hides in every mobile phone, blackberry and even in our seemingly innocent credit cards has been eroding away our collective consciousness of what’s really important and pertinent, no wonder we are all apathetic!
Don’t believe me? Just look around. No I mean stop and look, don’t think about what’s going to happen in the future or the past, just focus on the present and in a while you will see what I mean.
Do you see it? Apathy.
Bingo! It’s starting to look like the Sci-Fi flick isn’t it? The invasion of the body snatchers – technology is starting to resemble mass hearing impairment as the vast majority of us these days sit in seclusion of our imperial cocoons comforted by our earpieces, you ignore me, I ignore you and the broader world can all go to hell. So why should we really care about the happenings in some dusty parliament where a bunch of old foggies in foot warmers are debating how many soldiers can fit on a pin head? An alien watching the going on of our age would probably agree with me, there’s something terribly wrong with our society – are we deep pan apathetic to the point of being comatose?
What happened? Are politicians to blame? Didn’t they bracket this and that, to a point whereby, none of us can talk about anything else except the weather? They stopped us from thinking didn’t they? They crossed the line, telling us all how to live our lives: go left, right, reverse, forward, up, down and can they really blame us now. If we are so terminally apathetic we even need to put our hands when we want to urinate? They created the lost generation didn’t they? They heightened the abyss, gulf and divide that effectively disfranchised us” They textured our sense of estrangement , amplified it even with all that lofty elitist rhetoric that denied us all a voice, they even gave themselves fat salaries while most of us have to make trade off’s between either going hungry or having some economy beehoon – fuck them! No wonder we are all so apathetic and switched off!
They are to blame aren’t they? And of course –we are blameless. As Melville said,
“What do you expect when you pull a string, the puppet moves! You can hardly blame a puppet anymore than you can blame a sweep for sitting quietly without someone wielding it!”
I know you are all piss off with the establishment, but what’s the cost when we all bochap? Allow me to paraphrase: what’s the cost to you? Yes I am talking to you the reader! What happens when we don’t even feel the need to listen and switch off? Remember that Kitana? I remember her very fondly.
And what happens when we all become apathetic to the political scene? What’s the cost when we shut our eyes, ears and minds? Something has to give. Does something wither away? And what will we eventually end up with? What kind of society will we really be living in? When people don’t even feel the need to seek answers to their questions?
Have you really considered the cost of apathy?
The cost of living in an apathetic society is high! I wish I can sit down over a cup of coffee and impress it to all of you. For one never ever take it for granted your preoccupation with what’s happening isn’t important. If anyone tells you that, he just knows fucks all and if he tries to re-negotiate with meaningless rhetoric you can fuck him off – he’s talking shit. If anything, interest in politics needs to be continually nourished, renewed and fertilized. The relationship is not so different from one that binds a man and woman together, it needs to be soft, cajoled, teased, coaxed and only then will the best emerge – those really special moments when you really know deep inside – you just got it all together. This unfortunately is what most people don’t realize, when they take the issue of apathy lightly by marginalizing it convenient rhetoric that we all know fails to address the roots of the issue. Fact remains if ‘interest’ in politics is left to corrode the delicate strands of awareness isn’t something like the art of riding a bicycle, you may have been adept once upon a time at distinguishing, comparing, defining and even philosophizing about what should be right, wrong, done or left alone, but once you stop, once you say, I don’t want to care anymore. I no longer want to write – you don’t want to state my mind for history to witness – you regress my friend and given time, that skill which you once possessed will seep away like sand in an hour glass – it can never return. Just in case, you think I am talking about the ‘atas’ stuff, think again. I am not even referring to the fusty intellectual etiquette of being able to split hairs, quibble, the kind of snobbish insiderism that we so often see in intellectuals. I am talking about the basics here, the simple stuff like how to connect dots, the ability to make sense of how policies will translate from the realm of theory to reality – even these basic building blocks will go the way of the dodo bird. That’s the real when society becomes apathetic.
And if you tell me that is nothing, you simply don’t know the first stanzas of the litany of tragedy. You don’t.
You see, I have seen this first hand, especially in countries where people are so apathetic they’re dejected, not necessarily about politics, it could be even apathy that accompanies something as basic as potatoes or a loaf of bread. I’ve seen it all, the coda of nadir, the tragedy, old women buying one black sock and white sock and dyeing the other black as if it’s perfectly normal, not even feeling the need to complain, only because they know it only too well, no one is listening.
Its enough to make a grown man shake his head and believe this is the end of man kinds history, trust me its important, so very important that I cannot even begin to tell how important it is to keep your interest alive and never to allow apathy to win even one corner of your mind.
(This has been brought to you by Aurora your friendly brotherhood controller – Darkness: The Perils of Living in an Apathetic Society / Socio –Political – 2007 / Executive Summary 990399 – 2007 of Extended Piece (EP 990399 – The Brotherhood Press 2007)
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