This post was prompted by my sister who sent an email urging me to view this
interview thing between Piers Morgan and Alex Jones.
I’d like to say I’m amused at the fashionable debate about guns that seems to be taking place in the USA but I fear I’d alienate/anger/insult some people. So let me be clear: (1) I think the killings are terrible and indeed an urgent issue; (2) I think guns are not at the heart of the issue – I think deteriorating society is; (3) I am amused by the superficiality of the debate. I think the “interview/debate/conflict” between the two is excellent and instructive.
Guns and I
But before I relate to the interview I’d like to offer, as context, my thoughts on guns. I think about guns occasionally. It is, so far, the only dark image that has come to me while living at and within the abundance that is Bhudeva. I saw myself holding a rifle to protect ourselves. It isn’t a pleasant image and not one that I yearn to give life to. It is rooted in a scenario in which society experiences some kind of collapse which leads to hunger which leads to a devolution in human behavior back towards vicious, animalistic behavior. I don’t know what the future may bring but I do feel that this scenario is not an impossibility.
However, we’ve already “dealt” with this scenario by moving to Romania. It is a country where half the people still live a basic village life and almost everyone else has either family that lives in a village or deserted properties that belong to the family. That means that a stampede of hungry people isn’t likely to occur here – when the industrial food system collapses most people can simply roll-back to a village life where plenty of food is available. In addition to that we live in a remote part of the village that takes more effort to get to and we are working on establishing food ecosystems that are difficult to steal from and/or destroy.
… and anyways … would I really be able to kill a person? how many people would I need to kill before I died inside?
However if I were living in the USA my position would probably be different. I probably would want to own a few guns. The USA is unable to feed itself, it depends on international corporations and supply chains (for the junk it calls food) and when those fail to provide people will go hungry and when they do their social/intellectual morality will fade into the background and their survival instincts will take over. Then there will be violence and guns may be needed. Guns won’t be a solution, they, at best will buy some time while causing an escalation in tensions and violence.
The USA, as depicted by the media, seems to be a society dominated by two social extremes: liberals and conservatives. Both, I believe are ignorant about their current situation. Both demonstrate intolerance and contempt for each other. Liberals hide behind a superficial and false sense of intellect. Conservatives hide behind antiquated beliefs. The result is a huge and volatile social gap. The interview merely exemplified that gap.
Piers Morgan doesn’t know what debate is. He is paid to feed a sensational machine which picks out and dramatizes isolated facts with little or no context. That’s what he does and that’s what he did in the interview. I should also say that debate itself is in many cases a questionable tool in striving for truth, so that even if you do get it right, it may leave you satisfied and wrong.
Piers Morgan, who represents a so called “intellectual elite” did not invite Alex Jones (who I’ve never heard of before, and will be happy to never hear about again) to a debate. He invited him to provide sensationalism and maybe (just maybe) to attack him on intellectual front. Neither motivation is fair, relevant or useful for the topic at hand. Alex Jones knew this and came prepared. He correctly pointed it out and he (probably wisely) chose to meet Morgan on the sensational front (I think he knew he would have lost the “fact game”). Actually, and ironically, he did try to bring up additional out of context “facts” (suicide, non-gun-related violence) … but that didn’t work out to well for him (even though those can actually lead a quality conversation to the same root causes of violence).
Both Morgan and Jones did not contribute anything to the important topic of violence and its underlying causes in American society – they merely used it for their own ends. They are both talented at what they do and both achieved what they came to do. Morgan got his ratings and Jones got his message out for free on prime-time TV on a leading news network. They are both intellectual hypocrites.
They both exemplify a superficiality that seems to have taken over American (and soon all western?) civility and culture. Within that superficiality they manage to make their way to extreme positions which induce extremism, separation, tension and violence. While they do that on “stage” alongside politicians and leaders, millions of people watch … and occasionally a person from the “audience” experiences so much anger and frustration that they actually take a gun and fire bullets into the superficiality. But guns and bullets don’t kill superficiality, they do kill innocent bystanders (and usually the shooters) … and the superficiality lives on and grows stronger.