The most beneficial effect I can see the internet having on the civilization it is saturating is the growing realization that truth needs no authority. The first installment of this series, Mental Concrete, dealt with the strategic misuse of stereotypes as demon paint to rally opposition to straw men as sole bearers of a particular all-consuming characteristic that the propagandist opposes that, in reality, is found in everyone to some degree. This time I want to home in on the mentally lazy habit of needing footnotes and degree initials to recognize obvious truth or of being persuaded by them to swallow propaganda.
My strongest experiential connections to other humans (beyond realizing that we are all made of the same cosmic stuff in extremely complex variations as cells in the tissue of the living body of earth) are our love of music, the occasional display of our deep-seated instinct to know right and wrong in the unrehearsed spontaneity of the moment it is required, and the rarer examples of our ability to capture and communicate that instinctual sense alive with a series of symbols as abstract as words or paint. The truth shines through the page whether it is a venerable old acolyte’s hand drawn parchment by candlelight in a musty cloister or the soiled brown paper bag the MD 20/20 came in scrawled by the shaky claw of a junkie by barrel firelight in an alley or the canvas of a saintly artist deliriously daubing every photon of light striking his dilated pupils from that starry night sky. Hell, I’ve been inspired by things I misread – and was no less inspired for finding my mistake. That’s what this post is about. The authority required to be genuinely inspired!
We seem to be so conditioned by our education to respect authority that we are paralyzed without its approval of our behavior and beliefs, religious or not. The internet is instant access to virtually anything anyone has ever wanted the world to see, and much of what they didn’t, for an entire spectrum of reasons. It is possible with very little effort to assemble every word, song or videotape relative to any subject, except those redacted by the government’s black ops authority over anything too amazing for the common man they swore to serve.
With such a plethora of information one may surmise the popularity and profundity of any subject by the quantity and range of the variety of views from every reality tunnel and camera ever applied, with scattered attempts to establish “facts” about the subject denoted by the particular acronymic symbol following the names of that particular specialty of authorityhood who’s word dare not be questioned. A comparison of the great, unwashed, unlettered, anonymous’ synthesis against the officially accepted facts always yields interesting, often intriguing insight into the agenda of such official versions; especially when the difference is great.
The idea of authority in both audacity of assumption and specter of surveillance makes of any system based on it fraught with little Caesars polishing their act, to expand their sphere of influence among the lowly gullible, and their apples for those whose rules school those fools who would achieve their stool with lickspittle obedience. Some shit.
It seems to me that western civilization is brewing a situation where the authority resides in a collective tower of mental masturbation at some floor or other. Authority requires levels; what else is left to achieve when you know it all? Outside that tower is the chaos of independent reality tunnels based on the individual life experiences of people who don’t assume they know anything about how or why civilization exists, much less perpetuates the establishment of edifices and new rules. Nor do they care except when intruded upon in their daily, relatively symbiotic lives in local nature, so far as authority permits.
It appears axiomatic that the strength of influence one assumes for one’s authority will proportionally disable the possibility of experiencing life as it actually is. Authority distorts perception whether the observed even knows authority is there or not. When authority asserts itself, the subject must as well, whether it wants to or not.
Authority is officially recognized and rewarded for accomplishments in furthering religious, political and scientific snow jobs that keep the people praying, obeying and paying. The most ubiquitous source of recognized authority is the initial “$”; able to buy the obedience of political whores betraying their constituents, the forked tongues of Madison Avenue snake oil salesmen on infotainment mainstream media and the guns of mercenary mobs to force fear on the unpersuadable priceless that remain. This collection of stereotypes I just used is marbleized throughout civilization; no one is absolutely evil or without a price.
Ah, well, they litter the internet, those authorities. I try to stay away from them, but I guess it doesn’t even pay to talk to it without “doing” something that qualifies, much less question it any more – to its face that is. I guess I’m as guilty of stereotyping as anyone; I question all authority but that which I perceive self-evidently shining through another’s unqualified behavior like truth on a page. Is it me, or does that sort of authority seem to be most likely found in people who prefer remaining anonymous?