Why do we worry so much about what we put in our bellies…and so little about what we put in our minds?
After all, anything you put in your mouth will eventually just come out the other end and disappear down the dunny. As for what we put in our minds, well, that’ll emerge one way or another too…
This is something I’ve begun thinking about since the New Zealand massacre. After the massacre, it soon became clear that the idiot responsible had been hoovering up all sorts of crap from forums such as 8Chan and right wing nationalist gurus lurking around the Internet, and swallowing it whole. For days after the massacre, people were shocked at how quickly the shooter’s home video travelled around the world and into the noisome basements of the curious.
Talking about this with a young friend, I commented that it shouldn’t really be possible to watch people die at the touch of a fingertip on a mobile screen. He replied, “Never mind that sick fucker – if you know where to look, you can find much worse than that – people being burned alive in tires in remote African nations, people being tortured to death over several days by Mexican drug lords, people stomping on guinea pigs for, like, a sex fetish…”
“Ok,” I said, “so those things are out there – but in my opinion, we shouldn’t look at them.”
“Why not? I mean it’s terrible, but we all watch the news, don’t we? Maybe we need to know what really goes on in the world…”
I don’t agree. “Would you eat a plateful of dogshit? No, I thought not. Then why put it in your head? There are things it’s not good for us to see – or do. The more shit we take in, the more we’ll put out, or, as they used to say, you can’t walk through filth and hope to come out clean.”
It isn’t, of course, just a matter of what we watch. Perhaps the most basic consequence of any rotten act is its effect on the person who does it: we become what we do, for good or ill. (And yeah, that does worry me a bit!)
Anyway, I’m no advocate for a prim and censored society but it seems to me that we all wade through more and more soul sewerage…it’s gotta have an impact. My personal solution? I can’t stop other people eating their triple-cheese Whoppers of voyeuristic grime, but for myself, I try to watch what I eat.