What divides America?

Bear in mind that this quotes just one study, but I'm not surprised at the result - along the lines of what I was musing over in my last post.


This is a disorganized, free-thought kind of post. Bittersweet - there are things to rejoice and things to lament.
I don't blog politics because I don't follow politics - that is, I hear other people talking all the time, and this is where I get my news. Around the coffee table, on the internet, on the bus. Everyone has an opinion, and it is always strong. Seems there is no real need for one more opinion on the internet, especially if it is only partially informed.
Sometimes, things make me angry, and then I am compelled to post. Like forced conversions to Hinduism (why someone invented such a thing is beyond me) or a war blog from Iraq (or why I was seething in my last two blog posts, respectively).

Last year, when Malala was nominated for the Nobel, it felt odd. Not because she wasn't a brave young girl fighting for a worthy cause, but because she was just one young girl who had been through some very difficult circumstances and still come out fighting. The recognition of a Nobel comes with a burden that seemed to me too heavy to lay on the shoulders of a 16-year-old recovering from a near-death experience. They've laid it on her this year, and I pray she has the strength to carry it. She is now the face of a struggle that everybody simultaneously loves and hates.
Save the children? Educate girls? Everyone loves that.
Stop bombing Pakistan, whether you're Taliban or USA's drones? Shoot her, or ignore her, respectively.
She makes much of the Western world feel very good about itself, and makes much of peninsular Asia both proud and exceedingly uncomfortable. When you have to look at yourself in the mirror and see things you do not like, then the easiest thing to do is to dismiss it. Malala will be both championed and dismissed in her home country, and if she is more vocal about the harm that the West is doing against her home country and against her people, she will soon be dismissed by them too.

Living here in America, it's very difficult to get any sort of balanced, wholesome opinion on anything happening in other countries (or in this one, for that matter). Mainstream media, when not bickering about Red vs Blue, typically paints America as the world's saviour. The only other opinion sounds like it comes from paranoid conspiracy theorists (is this a word?), the same type of people who refuse to vaccinate their children. Neither picture is one I trust, because it does not make any logical sense.

[To be fair, I'm not entirely sure whether my experience was different in India because we have better media, or because I grew up surrounded by people who explored, reported and discussed multiple viewpoints without resolving to mudslinging.]

In this context, John Oliver is a bright light - sorry to say I'm one of those superficial people who gets her news from a comedy show but technically - Last Week Tonight is not a comedy show. Yes, he pokes fun at a lot of things, but that's just sugar to the dose he delivers with each episode - he makes you laugh when he's seething inside.

I grew up in a culture where dissent is a part of normal dialogue - you are not unpatriotic for expressing discontent, but rather you are seeking to improve the country and the culture that made you, and that you love. I only wish that this is the spirit in which more people can take bitter truth.

Links out:

I have never learned to channel my anger, only to fear it, because when I get angry - I very quickly lose control. My limbs feel like they are spouting flame, and I want to destroy all that is in my reach.

Today, I am angry. I want to go up in arms and battle all the injustices of the world, all those smug, self-important people safe in their closeted world-views, dripping with contempt for anything that is different than their own. I want them to burn in my flame, and feel fear and persecution, feel the discrimination and worthlessness they so easily dole out to others.

Very quickly, I will feel the heat of my own anger - my own self-contempt for letting this emotion take over me, for wishing harm upon others; I will smoulder, in all likelihood, until dawn brings some peace.