Overreaction for Sale

Dr. Pepper, along with its authentic blend of 23 flavors, also contains the DNA that created the homo sapiens; YouTube gives the followers of Islam a lesson in poor religious green screening; fast food chains known for clogging arteries in the heart apparently do not support matters of the very organ they’re destroying; and I can no longer hear the number 47 without thinking of Mitt Romney (sorry, Ronin).

Advertisements, videos, cartoons, etc. are no longer outlets for freedom of expression, but are turned into (whether they’re intended to or not) blasphemous assertions and assumptions, causing destruction and death, creating fear and ruining faith. A politician saying something ten years ago or ten days ago needs no context or understanding to be turned into a sound bite. Political gaffes and gridlock determine political outcomes. Boycotting sandwiches or stuffing one’s face with them is the only form of protest we seem to understand.

Everywhere you look these days, it seems that no issue, however big or small, is allowed to be talked about in a rational manner. You’re either on one [extreme] side or the other, and there’s no middle ground, just ground zeroes. By now, you’ve all heard of the issues I’ve alluded to above, and I won’t bother going into immense details about each one, but I will ask: how did you react? It’s absolutely fine to have taken a side on the issue, but in doing so, did you ever bother to understand the other side, or did you quickly vilify them?

Did you bother to think politically and understand that Romney’s right–that 47% of the voting block probably won’t vote for him. Is that wrong for a politician to say? That he expects not to get votes from a certain group of people? I know most people are harping on his comments about people being victims, and too dependent on government, but do those being offended even think politically anymore, or is it all personal? Romney’s fifty shades of grey (I hate myself for writing that) on a whole assortment of issues, but it’s when he speaks his mind, that we’re shocked?

The CEO of Chick-fil-A opposes gay marriage. Our conclusion? Chicken sandwiches must oppose gay marriage too. The transitive property never got so convoluted. To the Bible belt: Dr. Pepper creates an ad supporting not just evolution, but it’s primarily role in the evolution of man, and you immediately feel like the creationist children of today will be swayed by high fructose corn syrup’s sermon? To the followers of Islam, but more importantly, the Middle East: it’s the age of the internet, and it comes down to faith. Yes, the dude who made it is a despicable jackass. I don’t think anyone denies that. And if someone ridicules your faith in such a manner, you have every right to respond. But it still comes down to faith–yours versus some idiot’s in California. [Hint: his is probably nonexistent.]

To all people of faith in anything: you preach tolerance, yet fall into the trap of practicing persecution when it doesn’t conform to your beliefs. Just tell me how strong, how weak, how indifferent, your faith is? Attacking embassies and drive-through employees? Did it really take an absurd YouTube video or a CEO’s opinion to incite hatred at such a level? Has it really become that easy? There are those of you that are falling victim to forces that not only expect, but are banking on your overreaction. We’re a society that thrives on it. Forget shooting the Archduke. That’s a thing of the past. We’ll soon go to war over YouTube, not uranium enrichment. Our biggest weapon of mass destruction is our inability to think, yet our almost superhuman speed, and constant need, to react. It’s as if we’ve learned nothing from the Cuban Missile Crisis–about patience, about mutual respect, and about the sanctity of life, in both war and peace.

What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? […] Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, and the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and build a better life for their children. Not merely peace for Americans, but peace for all men and women. Not merely peace in our time, but peace in all time. […] For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s futures. And we are all mortal.
John F. Kennedy