“Citizen of SOMA” by Richard F. Yates
It has become increasingly clear to me over the last year that although humans may inhabit the same PHYSICAL space as each other, they also exist within CAREFULLY CONSTRUCTED MENTAL LANDSCAPES---odd, increasingly impersonal, PSYCHIC WORLDS, which allow two individuals to look at events in the same physical world and, through their altered mental frameworks, see COMPLETELY DIFFERENT occurrences.
And frankly, I’m tired of this shit.
People have divorced themselves from personal experience. People have divorced themselves from the need to research and confirm “facts” for themselves. People have divorced themselves from “reality,” relying instead on prepackaged, conceptual frameworks, derived from their choice of news outlets and social media echo-chamber communities. (If you only ever hear one point of view, you’ll only ever see the world through THAT framework.) And it’s not just cognitive bias that I’m referring to, which is something that EVERYONE is subject to. It’s deeper than that, and much more SICK.
When you take in a PERSPECTIVE that you did not form yourself and whole heartedly succumb to that framework---without having worked towards it through a personal journey of research, cogitation, experience, and rumination, when you ARRIVE AT AN ANSWER WITHOUT HAVING CONSIDERED THE QUESTION YOURSELF, you are in no position to UNDERSTAND THAT ANSWER, and therefore must rely on others from then on to maintain that FRAMEWORK for you. You are trapped. You piggybacked your way up the mountain without climbing yourself, and now can’t climb down or find your way to another peak. You’ve arrived, without understanding how you got there.
The FRAMEWORK is powerful, constructed by many minds, and seems legitimate because so many others BELIEVE it---but you’re never allowed to question. BIG BROTHER KNOWS. IT’S GOD’S WILL. THAT’S NOT P.C. Don’t rock the fucking boat.
You know what, people. You need to ROCK THE FUCKING BOAT to see if it’s seaworthy, otherwise, the first big wave that comes along is going to SWAMP you, and you and everyone else on board is going to drown. What if that “PEAK” you’ve reached is just a fucking mole-hill? What if those “FACTS” are just unsubstantiated rumors? Or worse, intentional LIES?
I’m tired of DEMOCRAT vs REPUBLICAN. I’m tired of RELIGION vs SCIENCE. I’m tired of BIG BUSINESS vs PEOPLE. I’m sick to DEATH of MEDIA vs REALITY. These FRAMEWORKS, these MENTAL CONSTRUCTS, these artificial binary opposites have HIGHJACKED REALITY.
And I’m taking it back.
Although my physical body may still reside in the United States, specifically in Washington State, I will no longer be participating in the FRAMEWORKS that I’ve been presented with as my two LEGITIMATE choices. The ONLY two choices we are allowed to have in the U.S. I’m not a DEMOCRAT or a REPUBLICAN. They can go fuck themselves. I am SOMA.
I am a citizen of SOMA.
I am constructing my OWN FRAMEWORK, based on study and research and READING and history and ULTIMATE VALUES THAT I’VE ARRIVED AT THROUGH OBSERVATION AND EXPERIENCE AND CONTEMPLATION AND STUDY.
SOMA is my home. SOMA is my philosophy. SOMA is my framework.
ART AND SCIENCE. BELIEF AND EVIDENCE. HISTORY AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. HUMAN CONNECTIONS AND GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY.
SOMA is my nationality. SOMA is my perspective. SOMA is my political philosophy. SOMA is my religion.
Because I’m tired of the other perspectives, the other COGNITIVE FRAMEWORKS, which are covering up the fact that people are still people, and they’re doing nasty shit to each other, and JUSTIFYING that nasty shit because it fits into the PRE-PACKAGED BELIEFS that come with being a/an _______________, and that ain’t me. I’m SOMA. And SOMA don’t put up with that shit.
---Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Grand Hoohaa of The P.E.W.)
#writing #politics #frustration #autonomy #philosophy