Beware the Celebri-mocracy

I swear some people will talk the world right into a war.

I get this feeling we put too much faith into celebrity and talking heads than we do common sense. I spent the better part of a week exorcising these talking head demons from my Facebook news feed and I feel so much better.

Monday morning it is always, "Did you hear what he or she said?"

Thousands of angry posts and fights later and I realize a small part of my precious life has been wasted. This and that, always something new, can you feel the outrage, are you mad yet, it's the end of the world, this person is a Nazi, that person is brain-damaged Liberal, and so on. Grow up.

I feel the worst part of this social media age is that we are all so easily manipulated.

And that is a dangerous thing. Forget fake news for a moment and realize this, all news is fake. There is always a bias. Unless you are reporting something scientific, like what temperature is it outside, the facts are always subject to opinion and the perspective of who is telling you the information.

And then I see thousands of angry posts of each side calling each other's news fake.

It is fake to begin with, it is called editorial bias. You read a left-leaning newspaper and you get left-leaning news. Same for right-leaning news sources. Calling each other fake is like saying water isn't somehow wet. Compounded on this fact are the celebrities, news celebrities, political celebrities, the commentator class, and all the other experts that we are supposed to listen to and surrender our better judgement to.

The talking heads.

The Celebri-mocracy.

We "elect" these people we see on the news, late night shows, and social media every day with the power we invest in them through how much we use them as a baseball bat which we swing at each other to prove our side is right. Oh look, she was in a movie and said something that we agree with. What should we do?

A: Agree quietly and have a thoughtful discussion and try to change minds with reason and polite debate?

B: Meme the hell out of her the most acidic way and post her in as many other people's Facebook and Twitter feeds on the other side and start as many fights as possible to prove we are right? Look, because "movie star" "big budget hit" "popular studio" and "beloved franchise" I am right!

Wait, I know the answer to this one.

Replace movie star with political figure, right or left, and you have the same thing. To deny my argument is to deny popular entertainment, history, down on their luck people, cute animal pictures, the music you like, and science. I could take the same picture of a homeless person and meme it both ways:

"The right puts people on the streets."

"The left keeps them there."

At this point I don't even care if I agree with one of these firebomb posts, I am so sick of the tactic I see it as people who don't really care about solving problems they just want to toss something out there to start a fight and look like they are on the righteous side of an argument.

It's ultimately better to be right than it is to compromise.

It is better to win than it is to be fair.

Take no prisoners in this debate.


And what turns my stomach is both sides waste so much time trying to destroy each other that nothing gets done. That homeless person? Probably still on the street. That is progress. If we were to take them off the street that would be one less person we could use in a meme or attack ad. And celebrity and popularity is measured by the baseball bat quotient. If the argument of the week is highly effective, the person behind it is rewarded with popularity, clicks, book deals, and raises the boats of the side on which they identify. The tide of opinion comes in, and it goes out, week after week my news feed is subjected to it and I just build a higher wall to keep it all out.

I do not believe in these people anymore.

The celebri-tites. Those talking heads which other talking heads erect as false gods, as media idols, on both sides as the masses scream at each other and point to each other's iconography and hurl insults, feces, and stones in some sort of never-ending battle of who can be louder, more fake, and more outrageous with their arguments.

Who has the best "face" to prove our facts?

And I see this fake battle of social media extending to the world of diplomacy. I remember the days when ambassadors and diplomats sat down together to talk issues over, and we tensely waited as talks dragged on and sane minds tried to work things out. Sane, logical, reasoned things.

Coming together instead of pushing apart. And yet still they lie, those wanting division will say "I am all for coming together BUUUUUTTT...." And it is in the but there that the truth lies. But this. But that. But we can never. But we must. But this is what I really want.

But is a reason to sit on the same.

All I want to hear is, "We can find ways to work together on this." Period. That's it. No buts. No tosssing firebombs. No bullying. No nasty words. No angry intentions. No mobs and no online rage to prove you were right so you don't have to do the hard work of coming together and working things out. If you have your fights in public using nasty memes and pious celebrities I will know you were never serious in solving those problems in the first place and I wasted my vote.

Some things cannot be decided by a mob and bullying. Most things. Yet I get this feeling we are building idols to huddle around so people can hurl stones at each other, pro and con, and we get to see what happens. Destroy the world? Yes/no? And I know many, many people would press yes just in spite. And it doesn't take many people on the yes side, or those with less than reasoned objectives and judgement to be swayed by this crowd.

People worry about artificial intelligence destroying the world.

I worry about the lack of it doing the same.