Observations of life by author and poet Charles L. Chatmon. (Matthew 16:18)
Distractions. Misinformation. Spending long hours on social media and the internet. Is this the dypostian future Ray Bradbury warned us about in his classic novel, Fahrenheit 451? Author and owner of Chatmon's Books, Charles L. Chatmon attempts to explain what all this means as well as the deeper meaning of Bradbury's novel holds for all of us. A must listen.
Here is a new feature on this blog; quotes I feel tempted to post on social media, butÂ better to leave them here:
"The press is not the enemy of the people. Liers are the enemy of the people."
Journalists have a job to uncover facts. What's happened in the past thirty-plus years is they have been subverted, but that's a possible blog post for another day (or night).
After a year of surviving a stroke, I'm grateful.
If I have to boast, there will be time for it. For now, I'm just thankful to The Lord to be alive, still here on earth.
First of all, I must apologize to you, the reader if my presentation causes you to miss the point of this essay. I am not stuck up nor a snob, never has been or will be. In fact, anyone who knows me including my wife will say I'm one of the best reserved, polite men youâll ever meet. If you have been reading this blog for the time it's been in existence you know I have many thoughts, opinions on my mind that I share with you in this medium. For the past fifteen years I'm proud of each and every entry posted on Thoughts On A String and perhaps at times a post or three (smile) may be a bit ridiculous, it was my way of breaking the doldrums of an average day we all live. This year, there are no longer average days. They're survival days.
If the previous post was a clue, perhaps it should enlighten you on the way weâre all feeling now. This madness in our politics and culture has been lurking for decades now. Now it is an unleashed monster threatening to devour our conscious minds and our souls. Our political frenzy is literally killing us, the divisions based on race, gender, sexuality, income level are tearing us apart. Storytellers are now persuaded to write tales where inclusion and other sociological philosophies must be shown. As much as I rant about social media, I must ask myself the question: do I really need it? As a writer who plans to create more stories, poems, fables, do I need it? What in the time since I wrote my first post here on the blog has my "fanbase" grown? Where are the fans of my works these platforms promised to help bring in? Where are the readers to commend or criticize my written works, even on this blog? I ask these questions because as of this moment, this is a critical moment in my writing career.
As of now, please accept this essay as a vent, frustration I'm feeling at this moment. There are times I wish I wasn't this polite, thoughtful black man with an objective mindset. There's a need I break down historical facts with an analytical mind (based on my love of history) and at the same time, maintain what's left of my sanity. We are not long for this world and this world won't be here long for us. I am the eternal optimist and I believe things will get better in the end. What I decided I won't do for the time being is write about political issues on this blog as while I may offer my opinion in the hope the words I write will help promote awareness and understanding, I have to say that I'm only an email or comment (shut those down a long time ago) away from reading "Chatmon, you son of a B! I hated your f.... s.....analysis (if you call it that, you untalented.......)" I understand we're all living in "Cancel Culture" now. This bestselling author has received her fair share of the online torch bearers threatening to burn down her career based on something she wrote. Who has time to go through that trouble?
For me, I still believe in sharing different points of view and discussing them if one chooses to do that with me. I have stood in front of crowds and read my poetry since the early 1980's. I have contributed articles in high school and college. If someone disagrees with what I write, I invite them to talk it over and maybe achieve an understanding. My intent now as it has always been, is to make people think. My wife believes my efforts are laudable, but at this point in our divisive, tribe like society, worthless. Therefore, I should just give up, say my efforts are in vain but I will keep trying. I'm leaving one topic alone for the time being. Perhaps it will change as time moves along but folks are so intent to remain in their ideological tribes with no persuading them to move from their so-called safe spaces, it's not worth the effort. Essays such as those written under the name the Common Sense Project are dead as of now, totally not worth it.
At least I tried.
Submitted for your (dis) approval.....
I want to show you the truest example of what 'woke'' is. Yes, this word has been used as a definition of someone obtaining the highest consciousness in our society, a slang term used by the black community and appropriated by the larger society (what else is new?) The following scene is from the movie Charly based on a short story by Daniel Keyes's "Flowers for Algernon". Link here for background to the plot of the story, but in the movie, Charlie Gordon has just finished a procedure to increase his intelligence. Paraded by the doctors who operated on him, it's only fitting Charlie addresses the crowd with his newfound intelligence and his thoughts on the world he is now consciously living in:
'Things as they are. And what they are becoming.'
I wager an intellect understands things are they are in our society today. Through no fault of his or her own, they have seen partisan politics, poverty, and other social ills affect us all. They know their voices will be stifled by the carnival barkers, the many voices of dissention and rancor among us, often for profit or relevancy. In today's ongoing stream of the internet, fringe voices that at one time were too small or narrow to alter the minds of the masses are now enhanced, bolstered to promote their various conspiracies and agendas. What Charlie warned us what will come to pass, has happened. There is no '1984' philosophy at work, but a Brave New World society where anything goes - and often for the worst. The intellect also understands the patterns of mistakes we make in Mankind contributes to our downfall. When irrationality and persuasive emotion persist without reason, the chaos we're experiencing this year alone is a testament to what Mr. Gordon tried to tell us, but we didn't want to believe.
Charlie Gordon for his part was spared in the end. We may think his fate was unfortunate, but in his case he had entered Plato's cave, found the light too bright to see and returned back to the state where he once belonged. If you reader, know about Plato's The Allegory of The Cave, you will recognize Charlie's ascent and descent after viewing the bright light of reason and intellect. A light that was too bright for him. Truthfully, this is written because in this election year, we are witnessing incidents in our body politic that were one time unthinkable, now winked at or shrugged without a thought. We see individuals we would call associate, neighbor or friend lusting for cultural vengeance no matter what the cost. We see division and hatred on a level that hasn't been seen in decades. Yes, if Charlie Gordon were alive today to see this, I can see him not only mourning for Algernon, the mouse used for the experiment to increase his intellect, but he may also shed a tear for our generation, and those fortunate enough to follow.