Groupthink and Rebellion Pie
I often go onto different blogs to read new and dissenting information. I consider myself a cultural enthusiast; I'm always looking for new information to dissern myself with, on many different levels. For some reason, people feel more comfortable online than they do in person. I'll even admit that I, myself am more comfortable writing on my blog as opposed to in real life.
In the real world, human beings are much more complex. We love, we laugh, we bleed, we die, we cry. We experience a gauntlet of emotions but one thing that I cannot stand is groupthink. Unfortunately, this mindset has befallen the "liberal bloggers" over at Kate Harding's Shapely Prose. According to wikipedia.com, groupthink is:
Groupthink is a type of thought exhibited by group members who try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas. During groupthink, members of the group avoid promoting viewpoints outside the comfort zone of consensus thinking. A variety of motives for this may exist such as a desire to avoid being seen as foolish, or a desire to avoid embarrassing or angering other members of the group. Groupthink may cause groups to make hasty, irrational decisions, where individual doubts are set aside, for fear of upsetting the group’s balance. The term is frequently used pejoratively, with hindsight.
I've always been considered myself to be a balanced person but I know that I'm not perfect, far from it. I've always at least tried to open my mind to dissenting viewpoints and considered myself to be at least to understanding where someone else comes from but over at Shapely Prose, they are only interested in a certain kind of diversity. Over at Shapely Prose, anyone looking critically at the information is not welcomed by the group. Even if the said questioner is not a troll but just is simply seeking information, the group bands together like a high-school clique and shuts their eyes, ears and any sense of logical debate to the opposing viewpoint.
I've watched as countless "on the fence" bloggers have found themselves attacked, ridiculed and innoculated with scorn for simply questioning the information they receive. Celebrities are placed on pedestals and then knocked down when they don't live up to the expectations and now, friends are few and far between over at one particular website. For me, I always thought diversity was about welcoming different viewpoints, educating others but when Shapely Prose is more interested in groupthink, they run the risk of alienating people.
Now, as a writer, I'm thinking about celebrities and what they have to go through. We live in a society that builds celebrities up to destroy them. We put them up on pedestals as we are buying their music, art, books, paintings, etc. and admire them. Then, as soon as they don't share in our groupthink, we tear them down, we punish them for not living up to our expectations. This is what the Puritans did anyone they thought was a witch. This is what we are doing now to celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears. We are disappointed in them for not living up to our expectations.
We expect them to be perfect, to share in our lives, to be the American Idol through which we put our hopes and dreams. But then what happens, at some point, they are going to disappoint us and then we tear them down until they become the way we want them to be and then we put them back up again. The best celebrities are the ones that seem to know how to balance the expectations along with privacy. The ones that avoid the spotlight, except when necessary and we wonder about them. We wonder what they are really like. Even as I type on the Internet, I know that these blog entries are vague at best.
I'm different than even my most confessional writing could reveal, which is difficult when we live in a world where people take, take, take what they will from others and move on. So, I'm saying this now: If I ever do become a famous writer, please don't put me on a pedestal. Please don't put me up there for examination and idolatry and the like. No, I don't want to be a role model for your children. No, I can't promise you that we are going to share the same viewpoints. I can't promise you anything and even if I could, I wouldn't want to.
I can't promise anything except to be critical of anything that is overly rooted in the groupthink mentality. I think it is most important to stay true to ourselves and believe in our abilities to disappoint and even fail at times. We want to be accepted and loved by others but the sad reality is, it won't happen. That is one of the most difficult things and something that I'm finally coming to grips with and not just here but everywhere. I believe in the possibilities but I relish in being an individual. I relish in being an imperfect human being and look forward to the future. Anything else would be too perfect and whereas I love positive thoughts, I know that my true nature can't stand for perfection. It's too much like groupthink, so I think I'll go eat some pie and wait and wait and wait until I make a mistake again and again and again and again and again.