In many ways we live in wonderful times.
There is so much information out there. We are “fitter happier”, theoretically.
Information keeps doubling faster and faster they say.
And it makes it harder for states to keep control.
I just watched the wonderful documentary “Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry” on Netflix. He is a Chinese artist, Twitterer, agiatator and dissident. He knows it matters to show both sides of the camera. And sometimes to show the cameras watching us.
It’s a fascinating documentary. It’s interesting that the state thinks that dissent can be silenced by more police, more homeland security, and more surveillance. It’s absurd and it’s grotesque.
The Chinese government shut his blogs, so he know spends 8 hours a day on Twitter.
The Chinese government had him disappear for 3 months and then the whole world responded to “free Al Weiwei”.
The internet allows democracy, it allows freedom.
We are living in times of incredible change. There is a freedom and vastness of information that was never there before.
This documentary like many others is also partially funded by Kickstarter so filmmakers and artists can ask for help without corporate control. And it’s so amazing to have so many great stories streaming. From “Glenn Campbell: I’ll Be Me” about one last long tour before Alziehmer’s no longer alloewd it, to “Keep On Keepin’ On” about a young jazz pianist and his mentorship from the wonderful Clark Terry. There are so many great stories.
And at some point I have to wonder why the government thinks it needs so many cameras? We do we need so much homeland security? Why do we need this vast illegal surviallance state in company with the Bill of Rights, the First Amendment and the Fourth Amendment.
Power is afraid of something. I am not even sure what.
But we keep being told be more paranoid. Yes, Paris was a tragedy but it was a dozen gunmen. Yes, Daesh/ISIS is terrible but it’s part of failed statebuilding experiment and incredible mess in Iraq. And people are snapping all over the country.
We need to love each other. We need family. We need friends. We need neighbors. We need to trust the police to come when we call them, not to fear them that we may somehow be doing something wrong.
Even with all of this fear, even with the bizarre, surreal reality show of the GOP US Presidential Primary, even with all of the people being scared I think it will be get better. We are in a time of great change. We need to be better to each other. We have to be better to each other.
May the era of greed and control end and may the era of love and understanding come in.