Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

an internet discussion

One of the things I love about Netflix streaming is the ability to choose something that feels good at the time. We had their rental DVDs for years but often by the time they'd get to us, I'd have lost interest in the subject. Streaming has less documentaries but still enough to keep us finding something almost every night with varying subjects.

My personal favorite has been nature series, most of which have come from BBC or so it currently appears. Some are better done than others, but I like this glimpse into the animal world where the films are put together (of course, not always as they happened) to create an interesting story.

One of our cats, Raven, is very much into nature documentaries and watches avidly. One night, she tried to get behind the TV screen to find that bird. It's as much fun to watch her reactions as the films. I do wonder what she gets from the images.

I know they are so good for me right now as a way to not think about the news. We are bombarded by both true and fake news-- and it's up to us to sort out which is which, as fake news can appear on what have been regarded as mainstream media. 

One person I finally had to unfollow again puts up stuff from a series of twitter people who espouse the ultimate in conspiracy theories regarding Trump and the GOP. I went to the trouble to look up the names of those it is claimed are reliable sources. One had been a chick lit writer before she became an investigative reporter-- from England, who knows all the FBI's secrets and what is about to go down. When it doesn't, this 'friend', who is her own fake news source, goes onto the next imminent take down. She is feeding at the tit of revenge and joy at someone else's bad news. I have no idea what this is doing to her health-- but it wasn't doing anything for mine even though I had enjoyed her other posts.

Some try to make sense out of our times by using logic. Is that possible? Many are living with the fear that climate change, a terrorist, an illegal immigrant, or some new disease (that returned from the ice) will take us all out. Frankly, for me, the rabid fear talk gets old and yet I understand the trauma they are feeling with a time like ours. How do we discern truth?

A long time friend of mine used an analogy to show what might be our problem. She posted the following in Facebook:
Today I had the pleasure of enjoying a visit from one of my nieces and her 3 year old, Brigitte. From observing Brigitte I learned a lesson on how we adults learn to see differently. Brigitte loves painting and already can name a number of colors like red, yellow and green and even brown but confuses black and white. 

At first I couldn't see why. Then I came to an extraordinary realization. With primary and secondary colors the hue saturation is usually strong enough to be recognizable whether the surface is in strong sunlight or shadow. With black surfaces depending on how shiny the surface the parts receiving the most light reflect white appearing gray. The gray shine color can also pick up some bounce colors from surrounding objects. With white shadows take on the compliment of the sky and sometimes bounce color from near by colors. 

We adults have been taught to think black for objects that absorb all visible light waves because we know that despite what our eyes are seeing the object's constant surface color is black. Same is true for white that reflects all visible light waves. The child will learn to judge similar objects in the same way as adults repeatedly tell them the surface color is true color. The truth learned here is we see what we know.

If you have not studied color theory in a painting class, I fear I might be talking in a foreign language. Seeing the connection between color theory to our total opposite way of seeing Trump as president may be difficult even if you have some painting experiences. James Burke's visual presentation is less technical and has a strong historic basis. I feel gratified recognizing examples that support Burke's thesis.

Burke says all cultures have guarded the truth as they see it with the strongest weapons of their day. Individuals like us live in a challenging time where the only constant is change. Strongly recommend "The Day the Universe Changed" from Netflix.
My friend and I've had many conversations through many years the only difference being this one is at Facebook. I responded and said basically:
If we can react to changes, we can succeed but if we constantly look for what makes us comfortable, we will have to have a catastrophe to make us wake up and it might be too late. I don't think the color analogy works as more than a starting point because life is more complicated.
We've been watching some nature shows, where the animals instinctually know where to go and with exact timing-- for what always worked before. We see it with migratory birds. Humans have an instinct too but more we are taught and early training can be most significant with it being difficult to move beyond it to new ideas.
Right now humans have SO much info that processing it becomes nearly impossible where sources that some count on for absolute truth, are not-- but are presented that way. Since political ideology is often remote from our lives, through stories we hear, it is even more complicated.
Personally, I find it particularly frustrating because I don't want to have to come to a conclusion right now as to whether, as some newspapers and 'experts' say Trump is insane or, as I see for myself when he talks and what he's doing, that maybe he's just doing it his way and not what they want. Currently to not believe he's clinically insane is to be isolated from left wing groups but to think he might have some mental issues (that currently aren't serving him well) with how he deals with things is to be isolated from right wing groups. It is a black or white time-- and someone better be able to tell the difference...
It's not possible today to discuss politics with many people. This has formed people into exclusive cliques and woe unto those on the wrong side. For many, on both sides, to try and discuss alternate views is like that wave crashing on a rock that will not be moved by anything but catastrophic forces-- political discourse just doesn't happen. How can it if you believe the other side is trying to destroy the world! For many, the world is black and white. Anyone on the wrong side is not respected. The end of reasonable discourse, polite agreeing to disagree, is sad. I'm glad it's not gone everywhere-- yet.


Annie said...

I will look for the documentary you recommend. I am not a Trump supporter but I do agree with you on the degeneration of political discourse. I have unfollowed people whose opinions I might otherwise agree with but whose manner of presentation is so extreme that I just don't want to become embroiled in them. I also don't think it is good for the survival of democracy for people to become so polarized and strident in their views that rational discussion becomes impossible.

Rain Trueax said...

I totally agree, Annie. I've often had the vote go against what I wanted, laws passed that didn't suit me, but I just took it I had do donate more, work harder to convince others another way was best. Today it's turned into virtual riots where things are broken as if that will convince, or I guess terrorize enough to change minds. People go to seminars only to block others from hearing the speaker. It's a very weird time.

In this modern political atmosphere, I don't have a side. I used to. I am certainly not on Trump's side but wasn't on Clinton's either-- just had to vote for her based on issues. I am not a Republican but no longer consider myself a Democrat. I am an orphan politically-- based on issues :). I think the Democratic party I used to support left me for a more radical view but I know Republicans who feel that way about the GOP.

parapluie said...

Thank you for considering my anecdote worthy. Only it is not an analogy to illustrate a point. It is the process our brain makes when trying to fathom the news.

Rain Trueax said...

Analogy as in you used a story of one thing to illustrate another. The child is taught what to see and color is your illustration although what you are talking about is how we see the world, others and our political views. We learn an awful lot before we even realize it's what is happening and by three a lot of how we will see the world is stamped and it takes some doing to overcome it.

Someone found fault with Trump for saying in an earlier interview that he was still the same person today as he was at 6. They took it that he meant he was childish. I don't think so and I am still very much who I was at 6 only with more learning and experiences. I asked Ranch Boss how he saw himself-- same thing. Maybe it's more true for those in our age bracket though as our growing up was very different than today's kids. We didn't have the world interfering as much as it was more about our family, friends and environment immediately around us. TV didn't come into my world until I was over 6.

Brig said...

The last couple years, I was saddened to find that women bloggers I had been reading, for quite some time and enjoying, had become haranguing, vitriol crones. Blasting anyone with a different point of view then their cadre. They claim to be all for the greater good, and yet they can't pause long enough to listen to anyone else's take. They are not interested in what differing points of view might have to offer. I have stopped reading them and commenting.
I'm for the most part a constitutional right leaning moderate, that voted for Trump. There are times I wish he would better measure his words, but bottom line is he's a businessman and what our constitutional republic is in need of.

Tabor said...

I would try to see this man as competent, but his past relations with various criminals and his cruelty at destroying small businesses that he has worked with are well documented, meaning he is not ethical or empathetic. His stranger relations with females reminds me too much of awful men who have been in my life and seen me as "other." All this stupid stuff on the Family of Saud is just rich folks getting together and making deals that make them richer.

Rain Trueax said...

The thing I think regarding Trump is there are two stories for everything we have heard-- they usually directly contradict each other. An example is the recent article in the Times that he told the Russian ambassador on that recent meeting that he fired Comey to get him to stop the investigation into his campaign. Next day, the Russian ambassador said Comey never came up at their meeting, wasn't ever discussed. So the right believes one thing and the left another. I don't think most of us know the truth where it comes to him and that may take years to come out. It's the same with Obama. We are in a very divisive time and figuring out the truth is really hard.

Brig said...

Tabor, LOL... thank you for so proving my point.

Rain, I believe that we must do due diligence as far as it is possible for us to do so in these social media/national press driven times, and then add a grain of salt to the conclusions reached. We do otherwise at our peril.

Rain Trueax said...

Brig, and I am a left leaning moderate. We probably get along better than with most of the far left or far right in either party. Moderates have a lot in common even when disagreeing on certain issues.