the words we use

The voice of silence.

Nuance, nuanced response, no place for it – ‘with us or against us’ is the somewhat grim, cartoonish reality funnelling into the day.

Communist, capitalist, neither system bears much resemblance to their origin – all roads lead to empire and regardless of what name I call the system the statues are always huge and fascism lurks in the uniformed background.

Google and Youtube, Facebook and Twitter. …. sounds like a dark nursery rhyme …. as it is.

I’ve steered clear of social media and while I use Google Earth I don’t see that they’ve lived up to their ‘Don’t be evil’ motto and thus I avoid their products where I can but I can’t quite do that entirely because youtube is owned by Google/Alphabet and youtube has been the platform which delivers the content so useful to me.

Nowadays the Alphabet corporate motto is ‘Do the right thing’ which has an ominous sound about it and it reminds me of my five years as cleaner/gardener in a high school. This was at a time when tree planting was frequently vandalised and littering was common. ‘Do the right thing’ had just been adopted as a state and community response to littering. A slogan to stencil onto the rubbish bins.

We had a few students who were living on the streets and to whom the ‘Do the right thing’ slogans plastered onto garbage bins wasn’t going to work. For a start it’s a command which is downright offensive to a kid for whom no-one’s done the right thing.

From my perspective, as the one consistently picking up a great deal of rubbish over five years it comes down to caring – or not.

I painted ‘Please care’ on the school garbage bins and got rid of the ‘Do the right thing’ slogans.

I don’t know that it made a great difference to littering but … ‘it’s good to be creative’ is the best I could come up with.

I don’t know how long youtube will still be useful. Its algorithms appear to narrow my options to the less controversial material and no longer keep me up to date with subscriptions.

 Many of those same voices that I value are now being silenced.

They’re not controversial although speaking truth to power makes them so.

I do find it offensive that Google have a ‘protected by recapta’ logo on the administrative section of my site. It sometimes asks me to tick some boxes to prove I’m not a robot and then ‘submit.’ My site has nothing to do with google and I haven’t requested security.

Submit to what, who and why? Unwelcome, ruthless bastards. Intrusive as ever. A social tool bent to serve only control.

Just as well that I am a robot.

Alexa and other devices which quietly sit there listening even when not ‘awake’ don’t serve any worthwhile purpose but – gee whiz – they get the population interested. So convenient but is it really?

I don’t often hear the word ‘citizen’ which is now all but replaced by ‘consumer’ – the first has a human almost fierce quality, the second is dull, pliant, easily manipulated.

The words we use aren’t accidental.

‘Do the right thing’ or ‘Please care.’

 

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