Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Five Debates I Can't Bring Myself to Care About

If you've spent any time on the internet, you'll know that there's nothing more appealing, for a lot of people than a good scrap. And, you'll also know that there are a number of areas and subjects where you get nothing but scraps, it being the nature of much of the internet not to educate and inform but to provide launch points for prejudices to be aired. I'm sure that, like me, you spend most of your time rolling your eyes and wondering where people get the energy or time to waste in what really amounts to banging their heads against a stone wall in the hopes that it might crack. If Tartarus exists, I can only imagine that the updated version involves internet debates with people with really vociferous opinions and internet trolls.

It struck me recently that there are a few of these areas where I just don't care which side is right, I just want something to be done about the things that can be done, and for us to move on philosophically from the stuff that doesn't matter.

The first of these is whether God/Gods etc exist. I don't think it really matter as long as we respect each other and accept that it's okay to be part of our own clubs, rather than trying to induce others to join up with ours (which in itself is creepy, surely? I don't know about you but someone standing out on the street shouting about their faith doesn't make me think I should check it out, but that I'll cross over and walk on the others side of the street... But then when Scientologists infested Birmingham City Centre offering 'stress tests' I never felt tempted to take them up on their offer). I don't see what positive effect the revelation would if we suddenly found out that there was or wasn't a supreme being - humans being humans it would be dismissed and we'd start arguing all over again. And surely what's important is how we behave? I find it sad that apparently the only way to ensure good behaviour is to say that someone is always watching us. Most of us, I hope, are better than that.

Two. Israel/Palestine... Ugh. I just want us to leave them alone - I'm almost tempted to say that we should turn our backs and let them get on with annihilating each other. Which is horrible, but seriously, sort yourselves out and do something productive. Israel isn't going to go anywhere, Palestinians need to be brought up to a decent standard of living (not least because a population with nothing to lose is more likely to resort to violence), and so on and so forth. I just hate the back and forth over which side is right because they're both wrong.

Three, Climate Change - Okay, first it's happening. We can see it, measure it, and so on. We know it's happening, but the response rate we have is stupidly slow and we should be pulling out all the stops to do what's right for our species' survival rather than pissing about arguing of whether it's a human-made problem or just 'natural'. I don't care what's caused it, I care about us adapting the way we live to make ourselves more capable of survival (we have little enough genetic diversity, to begin with, perhaps we should focus on making sure we don't lose more.

Presuming we survive as a species, that is.

Four, the Pay Gap. Obviously, I care that it's there, but can we just fix the damn thing rather than going around in circles arguing about it? Perhaps we should look at what work's actually valuable and act accordingly because it's a little difficult to believe that trading in the City (AKA, glorified guessing) is more valuable than say nursing, or childcare, or making things. Let's just pull our fingers out of our butts, and sort it out already.

Five, Which superhero could beat another in a fight... Yeah, not really world shaking or about anything real but it's annoying nonetheless because these are FICTIONAL characters, and who wins is down to plot and story and has nothing to do with anything else. And again, it doesn't actually matter (honestly, it feels like we spend more time arguing, and caring, about crap that's actually not important at all than we do fixing the stuff that's important, like people having enough to eat or making sure that we don't all die in a cloud of toxic fumes - which as a writer of fiction feels like a very ood thing to say).