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The Issue Issue


I think I have a bad case of issue fatigue.


Let's face it. We are immersed in issues, surrounded by issues, drowning in issues. They confuse us. They humiliate us. Our attention spans are as besieged as a worm on the sidewalk covered with ants.  Even that Cold Iron guy is constantly bringing up issues that are supposedly quite important and worthy of our deepest thoughts. Oops, that's me.


Our deepest thoughts, indeed. Given our Cartesian heritage as rational beings it is expected that we will carefully separate the wheat from the chaff – the noise from the substance – and come up with arguable but defensible opinions that can be shared to the enlightenment (presumably) of those close to us. I recall a time when the only real issue bugging people was whether the Beatles or the Rolling Stones was the better band. Well, there might have been more than that.


I want to hear some hope coming out of the pandemic, but all I hear is foolishness and it's hard to think about foolishness. Or immigration, that principle upon which this country was founded, but all I encounter is noise and fear and it's hard to think about noise and fear. Or our frail climate about which I want to be analytical and thoughtful but I find nothing but denial and misplaced notions of God's will. I find it hard to think about God's will.


The cacophony continues as the players change: LGBTQ issues (thinking about them), women's issues (lot of thinking here), sexual harassment issues (all done; it's just wrong), employment issues (in the queue), NFT's (will think about them as soon as I've figured them out), CRT (this needs thought?), agricultural issues (in the queue), world trade issues (in the queue), air quality issues (there's a good and a bad here that needs to be reconciled?), educational issues (been there, done that, lived it), infrastructure issues (in the queue but important), political issues (so tired here), racial issues (in process).


The big problem with all those issues is twofold: 1) anyone or everyone can/will have either a positive or negative take on any or all of those issues, said take, then, leaving open the possibility of either argument or demonization of the opposing view, and 2) those "takes" are nourished and promulgated unedited via social media.


This in turn has helped to bring about the terrible divide we see today in this country over just about anything. I saw a sign in front of a house recently that said, "Don't Blame Me. I Voted For Trump." While that might seem to be a simple political statement concerning a dislike of President Joe Biden, it actually, for the average person, goes well beyond that in the sense that I could take any or all of the above issues and place this person on one side or the other, no doubt with great accuracy. This would suggest, then, that he and I would disagree on just about everything and, thus, deem the other hateful and disgusting. This is the world in which we live today.


I think we should call this The Age of Issues.


That, however, is another issue.


G.K Wuori © 2021

Photoillustration by the author