5.) Black White & You

America is polarizing. Ask any individual on Earth to share their opinion about our homeland and to a man, the response will be delivered with passion. Whether It’s positive or negative is irrelevant. This ain’t about that. It’s about the lack of indifference with us. Love or hate. Pragmatic or ignorant. Admiration or loathsome. Both foreign and domestic. The feeling is real. Then sprinkle in various conspiracies, opinions on our governments action/inaction towards domestic and foreign issues, Irrational and rational loyalty to the Bald Eagle, police brutality, petty societal antics. I.e Caitlyn Fucking Jenner! Ehh and most relevant of them all — racial tension. And that’s just to name a few. The point i’m trying to make is that there are probably 6.6 billion strong opinions about us. It’s like an ass-hole, every body has one. Like literally every body in the entire world has one. Some opinions are better than others just how some wipe those ass holes more thoroughly than others.


Well I think part of it’s that you can’t compare America to anything, really? The rapid rise to stability and power is almost unprecedented. If you think about it, America , unlike Rome, was actually kind of built in a day. The delicate status quo that is the World’s hierarchy was altered over night. That’s a big deal and we gotta stop pretending that it’s not. Remember all those history books we read in school? Didn’t it seem like the same countries/regions kept popping up? Empires and Warlords came, saw, conquered and eventually fell. But regions like Britain, China, Germany, Italy, Eurasia and Northern Africa have consistently been jockeying for position at the World’s Table for damn near the entirety of human existence. Shit, America has been eating the big piece of chicken at that table for what? Like 100 years? Putting America’s time of existence in historical context - we just grew pubic hair. The world is still trying figure out how to deal with it. Fuck, we’re still trying to figure out how to deal with it. Trying to figure out who we are and who we want to be.

But that’s the problem. We need to figure it out faster. A lot faster. We can’t sit at the head of the world’s table when our own country is on the brink of something. Of what? I don’t know. I can feel it though. I think you can too. It’s in the air. Every breath we take now. It’s fuckin palpable. So something needs to be done - the question is is how the fuck to begin. How the fuck does one contribute individualistically? It’s an enormous feat but it can be done. I’m a nobody, but as a citizen of this country I felt a responsibility to give it serious thought. There was no stroke of genius or ‘EUREKA!’ moment unfortunately. But I did keep coming back to one thing and as simple as it may sound, it wouldn’t be the worse way to start this rehabilitation.

Talk it out, yo.

In my mind there is a huge disconnect in our country right now. There is this palpable decisiveness in the air. And people aren’t just divided on which way to vote for this or which way to vote for that. That’d be a perfectly normal occurrence during an election year. No, THIS COUNTRY IS DIVIDED ON EVERYTHING. And there’s so much passion (anger) on each side that nobody seems to hear what the other side is saying. The hot takes are literally drowning out the sounds of reason. And without reason frustration will arise. And frustration is followed closely behind by contempt & violence. The boiling point.

That’s why I’m saying what I’m saying. We need to mend these gaps in our society ASAP. A concerted effort to practice civil discourse could be a good place to start. It’s hard to hate somebody that you empathize with. Empathize not sympathize — there’s a difference. Sympathy is easy. It comes from a place of experience and inherent understanding. Empathy is harder to emote and find in this country. It’s putting yourself in somebody else’s shoes and having compassion.

We can do that by having conversations with different types of people. People from all walks of life with differing perspectives on life than you. Like real conversations though. You know, like when one person is speaking to you and instead of just waiting to speak next, you actually take the time to listen. Let it flow through one ear, have it bounce around your brain for a second retaining any pertinent info and finally filter out the bull shit through the other ear. It doesn’t have to be a pissing contest trying to prove who’s smarter. I do understand why that may happen— nobody wants to feel inferior intellectually. I know I used to HATE when somebody would think that they were smarter than me. Whether it was true or not I would let my pride blind me and the claws would come out. But now I kinda embrace it for what it is. An opportunity to learn instead of a competition. A chance to bounce your own thoughts off of another individual and hear what they think. Shit, even if somebody is being an idiot, there’s a decent chance that they may say one little thing that sparks something in your own head. They probably won’t understand what’s going on, but low key, you just got smarter.

“Hey I get what you’re saying, dude. I understand why you would think that. But I have to disagree with you. Based on what I believe in what you just said was wrong, not dumb, I just don’t agree with it. But that one thing you said about blah blah was interesting, ima look it up later. Peace.”
BOOM. Civil discourse, WUTT??!?!

“Rylou, you’re putting wayyy too much stock into the weight of civil conversation here. That ain’t fixin’ shit, bro.”

And that’s fair. Maybe I am putting too much stock into this. Civil discourse may not be at the top of the To-Do List but it is on it, nonetheless. And we gotta start somewhere, right?

Ya, I don’t know what else to say. It all just makes so much sense in my head and I hope conveyed it well enough here without sounding too pretentious or condescending. Also I hope that even if you think I am completely off base, you can see , my logic.


“When my time on Earth’s gone & my activities here are past, I want them to bury me upside down so my critics can kiss my ass” - Bobby Knight

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