I guess I’m just weird in my ability to just not give a fuck about so many things.
I drink — and enjoy — Coke and Pepsi, and diet versions of both, as well as plenty of other colas and other flavors of soft drink. I use Windows on my main computer, but I’ve used — and had both good and bad to say about — multiple versions of Mac OS, Linux, and a handful of other less-known and less popular operating systems. I don’t drive, but I also don’t see the sense in zealously clinging to one manufacturer and the bloodlust for anyone who doesn’t drive the same kind of vehicle. Sports team rivalries, fights about which genre of music is “the right kind of music,” or about which band is “actually good” within a certain type of music, seem strange to me.
And then there’s all the other false dichotomies I watch people set up, seemingly so that they have something to be “right” about (and so that those who disagree can be “wrong.”) Like, the completely bullshit division between “good” herbs and “natural” medicine on one hand, contrasted against “artificial” pharmaceutical drugs and “manufactured” treatments — or, if you’re on the “other side” of the made-up argument, the “benefits” of modern medical technology and the “backwards” attitudes of the people who “still use folk cures.” And similar to that is the artificial divide between “good” medicine versus “bad” drugs / “fun” drugs versus “Big Pharma’s” pills.
Guess what, though? It’s all bullshit! You can totally take ibuprofen or Vicodin in the morning to help with your headache, if you partied hard the night before with lots of drinking and other drugs. Recreational use and therapeutic use work together just fine. You can boil some willow bark in the evening for a pain-killer tea, and take your prescription blood-pressure pills with it. Modern medicine and herbal remedies can go hand in hand. Or maybe, like I said, maybe I’m just a freak because I have no interest in picking an artificial “side” to stand on, and I’m happy doing whatever work in any given situation.
And I see the same thing play out in other areas, too. Articles crying about how “we’re addicted to technology” and how we need to start interacting with other people face-to-face “the right way” before it’s “too late!” Other people talking about how it’s critical to “move fully into the future” and how being able to connect digitally is essential, that we should strive to transcend the “limitations of” physical interaction as a thing of the past. I’ve heard passionate arguments about how “games with physical components” like boards and tokens are so much better than “those stupid techno-gadgets” and how we need to “get kids off of the computer” to play “real games” instead. And I’ve heard equally passionate arguments for “immersing kids in tech” from the earliest ages, making sure that they can “adapt to the new world” so that they don’t get “left behind.”
Again, bullshit. And I don’t understand why it is so absolutely critical for some people to cut themselves off from possibilities in order to fashion an enemy for themselves to hate. I’ll pick up my e-reader sometimes, and other times I’ll grab a paper book. I can enjoy shooting aliens on an Xbox, and have plenty of fun with Cards Against Humanity too. I can appreciate Carcasonne whether it’s played with physical tiles or digital ones. I can get out and take a long walk, smelling the flowers and trees… and taking some amazing photos of them with the camera/computer/communications device in my pocket. I can go play frisbee golf in the park, and use Facebook to organize a group of people to play… or I can play digital golf online, and happen to do so with some of the friends I was in the park with a few days before.
I know that people have their preferences, and that those preferences often not only inform their actions but dictate their worldviews. I just don’t get why so many people insist on creating such arbitrary and artificial distinctions, and adhering so closely to one “side” while loudly declaring how they abhor the other “side” of the division they’ve created…