Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fly Your (Black) Flag.




We all have those things that we just dig in an idiosyncratic way, that delight us and cause us to bounce and clap like a toddler at Christmas.

I unapologetically feel this way about late M*A*S*H episodes (the ones that Alan Alda directed when Hawkeye got so evocatively existential you wanted the Korean War to last forever), early Marillion (no disrespect to Mr. Hogarth, but FISH- come on!), Russian novels (Nabokov makes my synapses tingle in an I-may-go-insane-from-this-book-but-what-a-way-to-go kind of way), pumpkin bread (NUTMEG DRIZZLE- that's all I'm saying), pinatas (filled with the good candy...read-chocolate) and Henry Rollins.

What I love about Henry is what I loved about my ex-fiance (wow, that lands like a bomb, doesn't it?). He has a FUCKING OPINION. Sometimes he's dead wrong, but at least he has the balls to put it out there, without diplomacy, and HAVE it.

(Unfortunately for my former boyfriend, one of his opinions was that his girlfriend shouldn't have a BRAIN in her head, but merely be an ornament. He was vexed to find otherwise.

Aw.

So I changed his name to Ex.

This displeased him as well.

Sniff.)

Regardless of his new moniker, I always did respect the hell out of Ex's nearly Ted Nugent-like capacity to maintain an unpopular stance in the face of MASSIVE disagreement.

Henry not only does that...but he backs it up with a healthy dose of intellect- and not a small dollop of passion.

It's something we are losing in this world of social-networking-gang-mentality where unsanctioned ideas that conflict with the group view are quickly squashed...along with the renegade thinker.

Agree with us?  We will smother you in a suffusion of cyber-love, 'Likes', 'RT's' and coveted '#FF's'.

Disagree with us? You will be maligned, bullied, stalked, blocked, blighted from the Face of the Book unable able to make another Tweet.

(I couldn't resist...Relax- it's all in good pun.)

Many have lost sight of the 'social' in 'social networking'. By definition, it indicates that more than one person will be voicing his or her ideas, and ostensibly, you signed on because you'd like to hear them. If you don't want to hear a particular voice- well, much like the television, change the channel. But if you only want to hear your OWN voice...then there's a bigger issue.

Suddenly, a survival of the fittest, strongest, loudest or meanest climate turns what began as a forum for healthy debate into a junior high school bathroom.

Replace Henry Rollins with @NamelessDude34, and ascribe to him some of the things the Black Flag prophet has said...? He wouldn't last a day online.

We may feel victorious when we silence a voice, an opinion, a person who we felt was "wrong". But what if WE were wrong? And when we realize that, what if we have nothing left but...

...Silence?

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