Man do I have a different take on this, as one might expect. Activism sucks and is only tangentially related to caring. "Awareness" sucks and is not the same as caring either. The holding up of activist strategies as emblematic of real concern is a curse on our age, not the cynicism one might have about those actions. The missing ingredient is knowledge. Knowing how things work and angling toward a set of considered outcomes is harder than dank memes and retweets and even making that guy raise his fist.Shem wrote: ↑28 Dec 2020, 18:39I'm simultaneously hopeful about the success, and concerned about the reaction it has garnered in society. I think it ties into my larger thoughts about how corrosive cynicism of the South Park style "caring about stuff sucks and is deeply suspicious" variety has been over the past few decades. There's a whole crop of people who have internalized the idea that the worst possible thing you can do is unselfconsciously care about changing anything, because caring is uncool at best and a gateway to fascist zealotry at worst.** You wind up with a giant mass of people at the center who are more or less occupied only with their lives, to the detriment of any sort of connection to their community. Meanwhile, increasing factions of people drift off into fringe lunacy like "natural" diet health crazes and 5G conspiracies, because there's just a subset of people who really want something to order their life, and if it's not the larger society, they'll find it where they can. People need meaning, and if the larger society tells them meaning it's for chumps, they'll find it somewhere else, and what they find will probably be varying degrees of hostile to civil society. And when they're the only people who actually care strongly enough to show up, you wind up with a lot of damage done on local levels where a few dozen crazies can really tip the balance towards "broken" before anyone else fully realizes what happened.
**I also think, looking at the past couple years of shows, that Parker and Stone are trying to retreat somewhat from this philosophy. Stuff like the global warming episode is a bit of a climbdown from where they used to be, even if it does often feel like a kid who realized they screwed up and feel bad, but are trying to fix it with as little repentance as possible.
I do share the view that people are invested in conspiracy to fill a meaning void, but the connection to south park cynicism I don't see. I actually see activists engaged in a very similar activity. Everything has to be about End Times. It's worse than it ever has been to be BIPOC. Sure. "They are hunting us like animals". Sure. I actually share the concern at the root of that sentiment but you went fcking bananas with it so you can embue it with meaning.
Connected to the south park view is the "I learned something today" which very often entails a view of meaning and action in the micro personal sense.