I just don't think I care anymore. Seriously.
I did not watch the VMA's last night. I have no idea if the economy is recovering; I don't know if folks are still hating on Michelle Obama for being fashionable in some other country. I've even missed the last two episodes of Mad Men. I've stopped listening to NPR. I think I have that one "progressive" talk radio station on the dial, but I've settled for sports radio. I am thoroughly annoyed with it all. I still try to behave as some sort of, I don't know, moral citizen of this thoroughly illegitimate country because I'm really not trying to go to jail and my mama raised me right.
I have checked out. Only two public sphere issues generated any sort of emotional response from me last week: 1. That one black dude, Toure, getting black folks on Twitter all hype by circulating a rather dubious etymology of the word "mf." (Fact checking is so necessary.) 2. Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair" which, admittedly, bumps. (Although I must admit that I'm thinking of taking to Twitter this morning to talk about the implications of calling that jawn "Whip My Hair," because mad black girls literally cannot whip their hair. Such a Twitter rant would be absurd, though, wouldn't it?)
Am I turning into a f'real nihilist? Perhaps.
The other month one of our bloggers, Edward, wrote a piece critiquing hip-hop wherein he quoted a Rick Ross line:
Ross’ line at 3:25 “Look at Haiti, children dying around the clock nigga, I’d send 100 grand but that’s a decent watch nigga”, I couldn’t believe it. With all the turmoil and unconscionable devastation that Haiti has been through in the past year and historically I felt like this line was completely irresponsible.Right, Edward, that's a totally irresponsible line. But I get it. I totally understand saying something like that. I can't explain what Ross was thinking when he decided to write that line, but I think I can comprehend what it means not to care about feeling like you've made a difference. Because in the end, have you? What's the point in being responsible when others, especially the ones who could generate real change, aren't?
I know someone much smarter and more eloquent has said this, but it seems that this system creates spaces, pockets for activism to dwell until it can take nuggets of those radical movements to further its capitalistic goals. Each day increases my doubt that this system can generate the kind of life I'd want myself and others to be able to live. When I was still plugged in, at least once a day I'd hear or see something that made me echo David after Dentist: Is this real life? Burning Qu'rans? #isthisreallife? A washed up rapper trying to board a plane on September 11th of all days with a gun? #isthisreallife? Glen Beck marching on Washington? #isthisreallife?
I'm so over America. We are an absurd caricature of the nation we claim and yearn to be.
If I feel this way, how must other folks feel? I'm not that old, but if I can't make sense of the world, how do younger folks? Does the island of cynicism have a minimum age requirement? Do youth hear the words of Rick Ross and think the way Edward does, or do they recite it like it's gospel? I want to know, and so do the rest of the folks at BYP. Post your thoughts on America and democracy here. You could win school clothes money.
In the meantime, I'm going to figure out a way to channel my nihilism into something more revolutionary while simultaneously trying to become the Lord Voldermort of blogging. Professor Cohen's new book should help with the former.
Debbie Downer aka Addie Bundren (look it up)
You know this bumps.