I want to burst these damn bubbles.
Imagine this. You are having a conversation with someone and suddenly, a third person interjects. He shouts his opinion angrily and rudely, leaving no space for you to speak up. He is spitting words at you, putting words in your mouth, and silencing your voice altogether.
Ten minute ago, this happened to me. And now I am looking for words to make sense of what I just experienced.
I was having a discussion with someone about The Imitation Game, you know, that movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing and garnered multiple nominations at the Oscars and the Golden Globes. My exact words which evoked the third person’s angry interjection were “yeah, I thought it was a good movie because Benedict Cumberbatch is bae and the storytelling was amazing”. The next thing I know, I was being shouted at for liking a movie that did not follow the truth of Turing’s life. That the movie did not do his life justice, that everything in the film was wrong, that the fact there was an added plot about a Soviet spy makes this the worst movie ever and he “hated” it. I responded to his comment in my usual lighthearted manner that “it’s a Hollywood movie, I guess they needed to dramatize it and spice it up for the audience”. Here is what I received in exchange: “You are the reason why there are Trump supporters.”
He continued his attack. “It’s because people like you who don’t care about the truth that Trump is now the president.”
How did we get here? I thought. How did he arrive at this conclusion?
I liked a film, and all of the sudden, now I bear this responsibility of putting Trump on his American throne…
What’s worse was that this guy did not even give me a chance to say anything else. In the next few minutes, every time I tried to make a point, or say anything, really, he shut me down with more attacks on the film, on the director, on me.
He can be angry about Trump, he can be angry about a film that supposedly portrayed nothing but lies, but he cannot redirect those emotions at me. And in what kind of crazy world did he think by shouting at me and relegating my opinion to nothing would make me change my mind about anything? I think it is precisely people like this that the election results came out the way they did. People who absolutely refuse to listen to the opinions of the other side. People who shove their thinking in your face and impose their opinions upon you. People who are so chained down by their beliefs that they are certain anything beyond the boundary of their own bubbles must be wrong. He sits so comfortably within the walls he has built up around his own thinking that when someone like me, who shares a different opinion approaches those walls, he retreats violently. He did not give me a chance to challenge his assumptions nor did he give me an opportunity to understand his anger. If we continue to secure these bubbles with only the information we already agree with, there is no moving forward. We would always be stagnant and ignorant within the limits we set for ourselves and at the sight of anyone daring to question us, we attack. And we continue this vicious cycle for ever.