The Internet…. What Happened? And A Movie Review.

The Kardashian/Jenner clan have an uncanny knack for “breaking the internet”.

They get giant lips, social media loses its mind. They take a selfie, it’s the equivalent of global news. One of them becomes a woman, the side of humanity that you never wanted to believe existed is shoved in your face, feed after feed after feed.

Anyone who knows me in person well knows my level of disagreement of the Kardashian/Jenner/West clan. They are the pinnacle of being “famous” for merely existing, and I go out of my way to avoid anything to do with them (yet here I am on that very topic now – Screw you, internet). The only one of them that has had any reasonable credibility of actually doing something is the multi-medal winning decathlon athlete, former Bruce, now Caitlyn Jenner. Jenner made this announcement on the cover of a magazine a week back, and there’s talks of some reality show (Because of course there is. How could there not?). Truth of the matter is: Stuff like this doesn’t phase me. I’ve lived in so many big cities, and worked in the entertainment industry for so long, that when I hear something like this, my response is something to the effect of “Oh, okay”, before going back to my journal or 3DS.

Not much shocks me anymore. The response to this has.

My eyes glazed over with post after post from people reacting to this news like it has been the greatest personal affront to their very existence imaginable. Everything from memes to such harshly worded commentary that went from shock, to disappointment, to discomfort. And I realized, after people repeatedly posted the same meme on a daily basis, that none of these feelings had anything to do with Jenner at all. It was like this window opened up, and on the other side were things that I shouldn’t see and know about people. The sheer amount of time people have taken to express disgust and revulsion in worrying and complaining over a person that will: Never directly affect them or hurt their family, cost them their job or lack of financial security, force them to go hungry or homeless, or will force them to unwillingly change their current faith and belief system. Then what is the real underlying problem? Why are we spending so much time caring about such inconsequential matters? Certainly, no one spends their life working to become this.

One of the best examples of said meme was this article about the “hero contest”, which turned out to be photographs of action figures that had been created by a man beaten for being a cross-dresser. People don’t fact check like they should, never asking “Why”, or “Really”?

This is a true account, by the way. For an experiment, I started a timer and used a search engine to find “Terry Coffey” and “Terry Coffey Snopes”, and found both his actual Facebook, and the related Snopes article.

How long did this take me to check the “Bullshit Meter”? 31 seconds.

This is only one event, in several that have been happening more and more lately. When did the internet become such a surly place? Torture. War. Racism. Cruelty. Lack of respect and empathy for other people, or the world we live in. You can’t hold a differing opinion. People blindly post the everything they see without fact-checking (I’m guilty myself of this, posting a video of a couple reuniting after years apart, but the message of the video was emotional and positive, so I just added some disclaimer in the comments). You can’t say what you are. You can’t say who you aren’t. Or what you like, or what you support or believe in. And people increasingly need to be “offended” and “outraged” or “persecuted” by something, especially if they find someone that doesn’t agree with them. I can’t be the only one who finds all of this extremely tiring. People will, at times (and often), do things that we will disagree with. Is it worth opening that window within ourselves to see how deeply we have allowed that to affect us? For decisions that place no actual bearing on our lives?

As a result, I’ve been really watching how and what I post on social media. I am only one voice, but I am choosing mine to reflect support and positivity in lieu of false information and prejudice. And of course I get angry and upset and annoyed by things. My car’s AC has broken down the first real week of Summer here, and some guy wanted $1,200 to fix it. But I can say “No” to that. And I can change that outcome for my situation. I can be pissed off about things happening outside my control that I can’t change and don’t affect directly affect me, but all I get out of it is feeling miserable.

Perhaps seeing Tomorrowland this weekend turned out to be a good counterbalance for my psyche. (Here comes my thoughts with some spoilers).

What can I say? I am a long-time fan of Disney’s sci-fi cult box office flops. And this movie, while based off of the concept of a section of Disney’s theme parks, resonated with my own ideals.

Walt Disney’s view of futurism is nothing new. The original concept of EPCOT in Orlando was not a park, but a self-contained community. Tomorrowland touched upon this concept: The Space Age idea that a community, built on the foundation of artists, dreamers, mathematicians, scientists, and thinkers, could essentially work in a city that acted as a giant laboratory in order to provide advancements that would help humanity evolve without bureaucracy and approval polls, or restraints on optimism or imagination.

Perhaps it’s a little too fantastical to strive a world that hasn’t given up hope on itself and wants to change it (not take it over) for the better. And there’s also the question of if people are given access to change the world, will they actually accept they can, and more importantly, will they actually do something with it? The film, where both of these worlds face their end, is held restrained by a device called “The Monitor” – A probability device that has been creating the self-prophecy in people that we are doomed to inevitability, and can’t change, can’t fix, or even work for something better (though I think we call it “most news outlets” here). It raises some interesting points. How can people be so apathetic or focused on trivial things? How can we be a country that is simultaneously affected by starvation and obesity? What is it going to take for us to realize that in order to change things, we have to do it ourselves, not waiting on some outside source to fix it for us.

“Change” can be a frightening thing to even the most confident, and the understanding and accepting of new points of views that always don’t come from within. Simply accepting and moving forward is perhaps part of that “bravery” we look for.

We’re smart people. We’ve made generations of advancements happen. We don’t need to have others think for us, and we don’t need to worry about people just trying to “be” when we’re all doing the same in our own ways. Are we directly hurting others because of who we are? And if that really is the case, shouldn’t we strive to be something better?

I don’t know about you, but I am damn long overdue for my own jetpack. And I want that future to finally start happening.