Monday , March 4 2024
a fine example of powerless people exercising power in meaningless places.

Power In The Eye Of The Beholder

My wife and I were walking down the street one day and a guy passed us on the sidewalk. He was ambling ahead of us and something about him gave Eriana the creeps. So we stopped to light cigarettes and let him get well ahead of us.

As we followed him up the block I noticed we were approaching a computer store, one of those places which sell parts and bits so people can build and tweak their own machines. I said to Eriana I bet he goes in there and damned if he didn’t.

She turned to me and said how did you know? My reply was that I knew the type. But what type is it. I hate playing the stereotyping game, labelling and categorizing people by appearances is not a cool thing, but sometimes there are patterns that can be observed and applied which give you clues to a person’s character.

There is a new breed of person out there who are obsessed with all things computer. They live and die with the latest in drives, storage, and whatever. They can discuss in detail the intricacies of what this motherboard can do as compared to that, and probably write html better then English, or any other native tongue.

They use their computers and the internet to make up for deficiencies in their own lives. They may have a horrible job, a boss that abuses them, no love live: but when they are at their key board on line they are king. They rule gaming portals in cyberspace where their characters have a kazillions of hit points;(is that still the right jargon? I dredged that up from old memories of drunken/stoned games of dungeons and dragons)message boards about tech matters; and where there are rules to be applied or points to be accumulated they are the final word and the in the top ten.

In an effort to promote my blog so someone aside from my wife reads it I’ve explored various means of getting it listed in directories. At the same time I tried to list some other sites I though worth visiting. To that end I started to check out the options. Good Grief as Linus used to say. It was a revelation.

There was one directory site in particular that stood out for its anality(if that’s not a word it should be)I’ll give them the benefit of anonymity for now, but they were a fine example of people who need to do something else once in a while.

I’m a big fan of Ashok Banker’s adaptation of the classic Indian epic The Ramayana, and I thought it would be a fine thing to get more people turned on to his work. So aside from my site it was the first one I tried to get listed. After a month of waiting for someone to review that request and hearing nothing back I went looking for answers.

In all innocence I went over to the site’s message board and asked if there were any reason in particular that the site hadn’t been reviewed and could someone tell me why. Good Goddess the results were astounding.

The first person who responded(23,000 points) had numerous suggestions, some of which almost applied to the situation at hand, number two (235,000 points, does he ever get off the computer?) thought something else and cited minutiae in the guidelines for reference, and yet a third person( over 350,000 points, I don’t even want to know how she did that!) had even more to say on the matter with reference to sub headings and previous listings etc. etc. . Then of course each of them had to rebut and counter rebut the other’s point, bringing more and more issues to bear on what I thought was a relatively straightforward question.

The really funny thing was that none of them answered the question I had asked. They all gave reasons as to why the site may not have been acceptable for listing, but never once said why nobody had even looked at it yet. Maybe they all work in the press offices of politicians or something and don’t know how to answer a straight forward question, I don’t know.

It’s a fine example of powerless people exercising power in meaningless places. Maybe that is the real service that computers and the internet offers: an outlet for people who need to exercise the power of petty tyrants to rid themselves of the frustrations of their own existence. It is a sad reflection on the state of the world we live in that this happens. The fact that people are reduced to such pathetic attempts to salvage self esteem reflects poorly on the way in which our society treats people as individuals.

There are too many who feel of no use, trampled underfoot, and cast aside by the callousness of our win at all costs morality for anybodies comfort. Behaviour like this only drives home the point of how horrible existence has become for a vast majority of people in this loveless modern age. How anybody can advocate our way of living as better then any other is beyond me when this is the result.

For this many people to feel like they are left out and without significance then the problems we face are far more numerous then just whether all people have jobs or not. There is a serious moral and ethical vacuum that can not be addressed by any religion that just props up the status quo. As long as we continue to act as if some life is more sacred then other, whether it be man, critter, tree or water, we will never work out of this mess.

There is more to a person then what they do for a living and they need more then the vacuous stuff forced down their throat on a daily basis that passes for entertainment to be complete. Sure food and shelter are important, but so is quality of existence. That does not mean material goods, or any other things provided by the market place. A culture that is driven by greed instead of need will always leave far to many people behind, which is what we are doing.

I don’t pretend to have any answers, there are no quick fixes, but like they say about all addictions, the first step in recovery is being able to admit there is a problem. Our society needs to go into a detox centre and begin to dry out from rampant consumerism and mass envy soon, or the problem will become irreparable.

About Richard Marcus

Richard Marcus is the author of three books commissioned by Ulysses Press, "What Will Happen In Eragon IV?" (2009) and "The Unofficial Heroes Of Olympus Companion" and "Introduction to Greek Mythology For Kids". Aside from Blogcritics he contributes to and his work has appeared in the German edition of Rolling Stone Magazine and has been translated into numerous languages in multiple publications.

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