The Divide

“Sometimes, I want to reach right through the transmitters, WIFI’s and touch screens that divide us.  I want to reach through them and come after you with a vengeance.

“You know who you are – with your ridiculous politics, your seeming ignorance of human nature, and your arrogance.  You think all the evidence, all logic, all justice and morality are on your side.  You think anyone who doesn’t see the world the way you do is the victim of propaganda, guilty of stupidity, or worse.  You accuse others of being arrogant, when in fact, your arrogance is far greater than theirs.

“Yes, I’m talking about you.  Sometimes I want to reach right through the transmitters, WIFI’s and touch screens, grab you by the shoulders, shake you hard and ask, “What in the name of God do you think you’re doing?!”

“I’m sorry if this offends you, but sometimes, it feels good to tell you what I really think.”

Let’s face it: I’m not the only one who has felt  this way.  It’s a feeling practically every one of us has had, about somebody.  So I suspect you have felt the same way, perhaps about me.

That much we share.  Doesn’t that tell us something?

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6 thoughts on “The Divide”

  1. It’s very easy to be that way when you are hideing behind a screen. I think a lot of that falls away when you are face to face. So put down the phone…get out from behind the screen and let’s actually talk face to face.

  2. “I’m sorry if this offends you, but sometimes, it feels good to tell you what I really think.” (???)… seems like a passive/aggressive disclaimer. I see that as, you apologizing for YOUR arrogance on the subject to justify the importance of how you feel. Does it feel good to offend those who have offended you? So before you offend them back, you feel a need to say you’re sorry… but not really?

    I dunno… it seems like an agenda of righteous indignation (the very point this group was intended to address) … has reared it’s ugly head… but I may be wrong.

    1. Bill, I think you describe well what I hoped would be conveyed by the first four paragraphs of this short piece. They were indeed intended as the rearing of an ugly head, an example of the sort of thinking WMBW was intended to oppose.

      I DO think it feels good to offend those who have offended us. I think evolution shaped us to be that way. And I think that’s why so many people do it so often, including me.
      But that was not the point of the piece, not the way I was thinking when I wrote it. In fact, what I was trying to do was to illustrate the rearing of the ugly head in those first four paragraphs. Then, in the last two paragraphs, I was trying to ask the reader to reflect on the ugly head I had tried to rear, simply to illustrate it.

      Yes, I sometimes DO feel this way. And I suspect all of us sometimes feel this way. I thought the last two paragraphs would make evident that the point of the piece as a whole was not to “lash back” but to reflect on what it looks like to “lash back.” That is, if the first four paragraphs represent a feeling all of us have had, whether we are liberals or conservatives, people of faith or atheists, etc., what does it tell us that we have all felt that way about each other? And, especially, what are the implications for how to feel this way about each other less often?

      But then, if I thought the difference between the first four paragraphs and the last two would be evident to all, it seems it was me, not you, who was wrong. (Oops!) I’m going to go back and put the first four paragraphs in quotation marks, in an effort to make that more clear. Thanks!

      1. Funny thing is… I woke up this morning with a news alert flashing on my forehead screen. It read: Wait a second…. maybe that’s the exact reaction Joe was trying to evoke… but not to take seriously.

        And now I read your intended purpose and say, Bravo my good man! The fine art of writing is truly in your hands.


  3. It’s time to have some cookies and milk. A good nap will do to help you to understand the deplorables. Signing helps me me right my wrongs. Where is Mr. Rogers when we need him? Just remember, if you ride your bike at night, to wear white. (Rolling Stones, Between the Buttons)

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