Slacktivism

A portmanteau of slacker and activism) is a pejorative term for “feel-good” measures in support of an issue or social cause. Slacktivism is showing support for a cause with the main purpose of boosting the egos of participants in the movement. The action may have little effect other than to make the person doing it feel satisfied that they have contributed. Slactivism is often a form of “virtue signalling”. The underlying assumption being promoted by the term is that these low-cost efforts substitute for more substantive actions rather than supplementing them, although this assumption has been criticized.

-Wikipedia

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Dog

“… this speechless creature from a universe unconcerned with the passions and destiny of human beings was always bringing them a message they cannot understand.”

François Ricard, from Project MUSE – Commiserating with Devastated Things

‘”… the sly animals see at once how little at home we are in the interpreted world.” Where then are we at home? The very notion of home is an interpretation about where it is that we think we are. If we are not at home in the interpreted world, then it also follows that we are also not at home with ourselves because we are our selves by virtue of our interpreted selves. And where do these animals dwell, these animals who, even when they share our homes, know that we are not at home?’

– Project MUSE – Commiserating with Devastated Things

Anyone else feel like life is a joke?

I came across some only-just-tolerable responses at Reddit to the question posed above. Not the bullshit, hackneyed motivational speaker kind of response, or – God forbid! – some religious platitude or dusty philosopher’s wisdom. Just a few reddit posts by anonymous writers like “dahlsoaur”, “electrictoothpaste”,  “shinobiflip”, “deleted” and “jesswonders”:

“There are many here among us who feel like that.”

“The eternal cosmic joke but gotta move ahead.”

(Why? Lately I realized it’s pretty much just a game that we all decide to play. But why keep playing? We just collectively made these rules up for ourselves. It’s so weird. I urge you to listen to strangers on the street as you pass by. Listen in on what they’re talking about. It’s amazing to hear about things that other people think matter. I can’t keep doing this anymore.”

“Every day. It kind of is. We should be having fun, enjoying whatever time we have. Instead, everyone around me seems to be obsessed with pointless goals – their job, their investments, their busy social schedule. Eventually, we’ll all just die and it won’t matter how important our job was or whether we had a lot of friends. I don’t understand how people put so much energy into so many things that mean nothing in the end.”

“that’s the joke”

“Nice to hear others sum up what I’ve felt for years. it’s a gift and a horrible curse though. see, you gain all this hypersensitive empathy and compassion that is nearly on a superhuman level, and your perception of life from an existential standpoint gives you the amazing ability to philosophize and see things for what they truly are. the issue in this is meeting people with the same mindset. it’s difficult. but they’re out there, and I encourage you to take some humanities classes on philosophy or take up reading it yourself. it really helped me to know there were people thousands of years ago who really had it right, and that modern society has been so diluted and watered down with materials and commodities that it’s not really ME that is sick- it’s everyone else. it helps you to realize that you’re not the shallow freak, and that maybe there are others out there who feel the same. people like Christopher McAndless (aka Supertramp, of Into the Wild fame) who lived a life of solitude in the wilderness in an attempt to “kill the false being within”. he found, ironically, that “happiness was only real when shared” as he wrote in his journal before his untimely death. Life is a cruel irony but I find it to be cynically humorous a lot of the time. if you don’t take yourself too seriously you can at least laugh at the mediocre “joke” that human existence proves itself to be.”

At Quora there was the inevitable hogwash about neuroplasticity and how to “create sunshine in your life, and forget the dark. ” (Thank you, William Ranger, who, according to his sunshiney post, has “overcome many obstacles, and won”.) Nothing more demotivating that irritatingly motivated people. Nothing more depressing than positive people (who has read Voltaire’s Candide?)

Quiet

Quiet_Susan_Cain_Book_Group_Links.jpg

“Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking is a 2012 non-fiction book written by Susan Cain. Cain argues that modern Western culture misunderstands and undervalues the traits and capabilities of introverted people, leading to “a colossal waste of talent, energy, and happiness.”

“Some popular psychologists have characterized introverts as people whose energy tends to expand through reflection and dwindle during interaction.”

“Humans are complex and unique, and because introversion-extraversion varies along a continuum, individuals may have a mixture of both orientations. A person who acts introverted in one situation may act extraverted in another, and people can learn to act in “counterdispositional” ways in certain situations.”

+++

“A misanthrope is a person who dislikes humankind and avoids human society. An introvert is someone whose battery is drained by social interactions. Introverts don’t hate humans, we just need time alone to recharge after expending energy communing with other people. An introvert can be a misanthrope; the two states are not mutually exclusive.”

“Introverts despise small talk with a passion…”

– Reyna Favis PhD, Scientist, Author, blogger, Introvert Broadcasting Network.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quiet:_The_Power_of_Introverts_in_a_World_That_Can%27t_Stop_Talking

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraversion_and_introversion

Heidegger?

On Heidegger’s Nazism and Philosophy |  by Tom Rockmore | University of California Press, 1992

 

“I appeal to the philosophers of all countries to unite and never again mention Heidegger or talk to another philosopher who defends Heidegger. This man was a devil.” – Sir Karl Popper

“What Heidegger did was to give philosophical seriousness, professorial respectability, to the love affair with unreason and death that dominated so many Germans in this hard time… And Heidegger’s life — his isolation, his peasant-like appearance, his deliberate provincialism, his hatred of the city — seemed to confirm his philosophy, which was a disdainful rejection of modern urban rationalist civilization, an eruptive nihilism.”

http://www.friesian.com/rockmore.htm

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Heidegger_and_Nazism

 

Pre-packaged identities

“Nowadays, our consciousness is extensively shaped and framed by the tele-cyber-communication and the powerful images thrown at us by the mass media. In this highly televised, commercialized, and commodified culture in the United States, these images serve to psychologically condition us into particular ways of emoting, thinking, and behaving. The everyday, simulated images have become more real than what the images actually imitate. The late president Ronald Regan serves as an example in point. He was more of an image rather than an actual person. He was magnificent as an icon, and that was his public persona. What was important about him was his iconic significance. To the citizens, his televised image was more real than real. The same principle also applies to celebrities such as Madonna who has sold us not music per se, but an image. We have become accustomed to to be an image rather than an actual person. Adopting an image for oneself has become of more value than cultivating character. In our society, images are more valuable than real persons; images have gained higher realities than the things they simulate.

These images are extremely fashionable in a society where self-identity has become a matter of fashion. Under the current social malady, one is compelled to need something other than oneself in order to be oneself. If one lacks self-identity, he can buy one, for example, at a shopping mall. This is the despair that Kierkegaard refers to. Our identities are prepackaged and given to us by the commercial system that keeps spreading the same disease around the globe. Our contemporary mass culture is based on unreflected sensations, spectacles, images that are socially employed to mold us.

In this totally commercialized and commodified culture, it is not easy to know whether one has adopted a fashion or one has actually developed as an authentic person. Consider the all-too-common phenomenon whereby a person one day becomes an avid follower of Christ, then next day of Buddha, followed by becoming a member of a Kabbalah cult; and then at the end of the line, still feeling empty and unfulfilled, the person whimsically decides to make a visit to a local department store in order to purchase luxuries that render the person even more oblivious of her or his self-deficiencies. A person who is impulsively driven to this extreme to find a meaning in life, her or his condition is “sickness unto death”. To be in the situation wherein we are unable to die is no more or less than the cycle of our boring daily lives which are devoid of projects other than pleasing our employers, shopping, counting calories, losing weight, watching TV, and the like.”

A Contemporary Interpretation of Heidegger: The Sickness unto Death:

https://philossophy.wordpress.com/tag/the-sickness-unto-death/

 

Europe

“Europe has always been a place of refugees, genocide and war. You feel it still in the monuments to the dead, the slaughtered, the murdered. The Fields of Flanders, the holocaust memorials, the graveyards.”

Marianne Thamm, May 2018, from Mother Tongues: https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2018-05-02-antjie-krog-on-how-afrikaans-and-the-south-can-enrich-dutch-and-the-north/#.WuleUjPTU0M