The problem is not the banana of famous amos

April 21, 2015

The problem with the famous amos saga is not what he posted in Youtube. Tell me please. Do you think the elders of the Mafiaso will bother over two drunks slugging it out in a back alley somewhere in nowhereville about whether Mario Puzo’s novel, the Godfather is an accurate depiction of Mafia life? What about the Yakuza? Do you see the elders of the clan based in Shinjuku putting out contracts on funny people who speculate on whether it is true or false that heavily tattooed men with no necks and who are missing a couple of fingers are all Yakuza members. What about the Pope in the Vatican? Do you see the Holy see with its infinite largesse buying up movie rights in Hollywood to set the record straight on Dan Brown’s Da Vinci code? What about the French tourism board? Are they by any chance erecting billboards with neon letters next to the Louvre to inform dumb American tourist – ‘btw Mrs Jesus is not buried here! Shovels and tunnelling equipment are strictly prohibited!’

Do you see my point. If organized criminals and even very powerful and influential oligarchies don’t even bother about voices emerging from the digital wilderness. And they have the wisdom to see all these transgressions in the correct scale and perspective – Then why is it so hard for politicians who regularly claim to be the best decision makers money can buy fail to see that all they’re accomplishing here is making a mountain out of molehill?

To put it another way. The problem is not what famous Amos posted online. The problem as I see it is far more serious in my opinion – it’s HOW people responded to what they perceive to be problem…that is a far bigger problem.

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‘When the collective problem solving skills of a society is reduced to just filling up a police report. Then this is not so different from a carpenter who only knows how to use a hammer to solve problems – and when one only knows how to use the hammer to manage conflict, then don’t be surprised if every problem in this world looks like a nail!

This should prompt us all to ask: how intelligent is it to manage conflict in the digital age in this manner?

Let me put it another way. If you have marital problems do you call the police? What if your neighbor decides to hang out the mop above you and it drips on your clothes below? Do you call the police? Coming to think of it, if you can’t get it up and suffer from erectile dysfunction – why not call the police? Better still, if your plumbing doesn’t work and every time you flush the toilet shit spews out like an angry volcano, why not call the police instead of the plumber. I have a better idea why not just declare your living room into a mini police station.

What am I getting at? My point is when divisive issues jump out like a demented Jack in the box in the public square as it’s reasonable to expect them to do from time to time and they are only solved robotically by calling the police – then as a community what we are actually saying is ‘this is no longer our problem….it’s other people’s problem!’

I want to be clear! This is not only an abrogation of duty on the part of members of society to absolve themselves from all responsibility. As since its conceivable society may be better equipped to handle this matter when compared to officialdom. Such an attitude not only condones the shift of power from the community to the state. But it also means, the problem is now in the hands of the state which is least equipped with the apparatus to beacon out the murk.

No one denies most the time, the law is a nifty thing. It’s great if someone knocks you over the head when all you’re doing is walking along Orchard and minding your business and you want justice and restitution. Ditto, when two parties have a contractual disagreement.

But in some cases where people step out of line, especially involving those at the fringe of society – the application of black letter law is at best a blunt instrument that’s just fixated on legal technicalities very much in the way one would fill up a list of question boxes to derive at a summary – it cannot offer rehabilitation when it’s in deterrent mode, even less clarity to answers such as – whether the offending statements were true or rather statements of fact. Neither can the law fashion resolution in the form of closure that meets all quarters of society. It can do very little except shut everyone up – to give them all the obligatory mushroom treatment: keep you all in the dark and feed you legal gobble d guck that only deepens the mystery…heightens intrigue thereby leaving a whole lot of blank spaces in the narrative. That is to say when we use the police to solve such problems, then what invariably happens is it creates more lacunaes and hubris. All these can only amplify the problem. Not solve.

Today I was ambushed by a group of people who pleaded with me with bated breathe in a online forum – ‘farmer please tell us what is a banana?’ I had to spend nearly forty five minutes convincing them – a banana is nothing more than a banana. A banana is not a metaphysical, supernatural or magical symbol. It is not the seat of power like the Kundalini (resemblance is purely coincidental). Though I did concede reluctantly I might add, in some societies it is certainly a isomeric symbol of fertility and continuity…I went on to explain to these curious people. They would do well not to read into things too much.

Do you see how the mundane can suddenly transcend into the realm of the fantastical, mysterious and magical…to even acquire the quality of the illicit thrill.

After that I found myself mulling over the question: what is the catalyst that makes this all possible? What is it that even gives it the texture of a competitive game?

The answer is simply. This is what invariably when the policeman is used as a prescriptive cure. This is what happens when there are blank spaces in the narrative. When the information flow is bracketed. People don’t just go on with their averagely miserable lives – they continue to speculate…postulate…theorise. And worst of all it creates ideal conditions for troublemakers, charlatans and crooks to step in and fill these missing spaces with their cracko theories.

Another undesirable aspect of calling on the police to solve all the offending divergent views that may crop up in the digital public square is that it creates ideal conditions for a bovine sort of societal malaise to creep into the collective consciousness – that comes from outsourcing everything to one stop solution supermarket police shop. We don’t even bother to use our mental faculties and dexterity of our point of views to work thru social entanglements, disagreements and conflicting state of minds any longer. There is no need for that. As in the supermarket police shop every social problem has a legal prescriptive cure. Eventually we can only lose the mental muscle memory needed to solve such problems – this deficit creates a vicious cycle. Since no one knows how to solve the problem beyond filling up a police report – everyone believes the only solution is to call the police, who incidentally just happens to be the least qualified agency to deal with such problems. Think about it. If every social problem in this world can be resolved by the police. Then there will be no need for social workers. Psychologist or people to ask simple questions like….tell me your problem…what’s your beef man?…start from the very beginning….I want to understand.

Next thing, some brain of singapore politician is going to suggest – to keep the collective consciousness humming and purring away happily we should all consider having a policeman running in everyone heads.

A rather funny way don’t you think so to build a confident, progressive and forward looking society. Or maybe someone should just call the police and ask them – how do we get out from this hole?’

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