George Orwell said that telling the truth in a time of deceit is a revolutionary act. Of course this quote speaks for itself to us in the Dissident Right and any deviant deplorable with a working knowledge of actual history, but there’s much more to Orwell’s statement then meets our keen eye. In fact, it’s quite pertinent to our “current year”.
Yes, eating a ham sandwich or foodstuff whether modified like a Frankenfood burger from the villainous Monsanto to the vegan activist barista brewing a cup of supposedly ethically sourced coffee beans picked by child slaves in the war torn Congo.
It really doesn’t take much these days, especially when you can spam social media with the food you just gorged on at Chic Fil A or one of Ben & Jerry’s social conscious ice cream flavors for 8$ meant to impress people on your Facebook feed you think are your friends.
One realization I had as a teenager was that everything under the sun had an epistemology to it. Whether it was Halo 3, Dragon Ball Z, Mountain Dew, Chipotle, August Burns Red, or anything at all; there was a worldview attached to it. Metal music, food, my choice wardrobe of Hot Topic deathcore/metal-core bands in full gore font, website design, cigars, coffee – literally everything.
However what I hadn’t full realized yet until quite recently was that all those things could and are now politicized in some manner – especially when it comes to the “culture war”. Everything apparently now has some kind of activism, purpose, or deliberate signaling attached to it. This means that it takes on a whole new set of disturbing implications in our digital internet age.
Think I, Pencil and all the people who contribute to making the pencils, but with Rules For Radical’s like application twist involved with those making, distributing, purchasing, and consuming it. No longer are they behind closed doors in factories, offices, and warehouses, but their process, the people involved, distributors, etc now have people with smartphones sharing the product, slogans, and details on the interwebz and Faceberg.
Wearing certain shirts while lifting a box of pencils and innocuously having your picture taken for a company photo is indeed a revolutionary act. It may not be meant for large mass internet audience and consumption, but you never know if it could. Essentially, tread carefully…
Consider the act of eating a ham sandwich – or any sandwich, burger, etc. It’s a big damn deal. In 2018 – especially in urban coastal blue area – it can be an act of “resistance” and “awareness” or the opposite end of the spectrum where its “reactionary” and “oppressive”.
Where did the Ham Sandwich come from? Is it locally sourced and butchered? Are the butchers local and did they vote the right way in recent elections? Were the pigs free range on the farm? Does the farmer or company support abortions, same-sex adoptions, and adherence to the progressive stack for brainstorming sessions?
Are the workers locals or HB1 visa holders? Was one of them accused of rape at any point? Does the company pay a living wage? Do any Evangelicals work for them? Someone with a pro Trump sticker on their truck handled the food?!?! That’s business with bigots, Nazis, and insert “ist” and “ism” here!
Everything they do is a potential revolutionary act as is everyone involved, but the potential impact and consequences haven’t been fully considered and explored.
It’s a new vision of Forks Over Knives with a message tailored for an audience with money to spend, too much time to spare, and a soulless existence looking for purpose. I guess they are finally finding it to the apparent applauding masses on the campuses planning a low-grade conflict with their deplorable neighbors.
I’m starting to wonder just how far this can be taken by the usual suspects. No longer will you be shamed for a dumb tweet that didn’t bother anyone 8 years ago, but the fact you were seen at In-N-Out Burger instead of Starbucks means you might get some hatemail – or perhaps calls for your even your janitorial job if you work on certain college campuses in California. Or it might just endear you to a secretive appreciating audience and make you new friends.
There’s a whole group of people – the new futurists – out there who consider who conceptualize and try to consider what kind of future tech will shape our humanity, culture, and politics and attempt to prepare us for the incoming disruptions that will occur. What they and the rest of us have apparently missed is guilt shaming that can be attached to any activity under the sun and spread from the pixels of social media to literal pavement of any establishment or home.
I wouldn’t say our future is grim, but that it’s much more uncertain than I ever realized in the digital age with the concept of privacy unfortunately becoming and outdated notion – one that Generation Z might have already ignored. As we sacrifice our privacy through lifestyle choices where everything is “connected”, even the most innocuous choices and activities will be scrutinized for their implications.
Where you walk, which path, the gas station you stopped at for water, and even perhaps what stroller you are pushing your toddlers in all makes a statement which is open to vast gulfs of subjective interpretation – perhaps more so in heavily urban areas.
If someone has a grudge against you and can find you, all bets are off. When that happens everything you do might become not just a revolutionary act, but one of potential isolation and costly stigmatization.
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