I’ve had this idea for quite some time but I don’t think I’ve put it down in writing yet. In either case, I’m not going to make this a long post (though it deserves it). Ok. so here’s the thought. Pay attention to the types of conversations that people are having. Either on the cellphone “I’ll be there in 5 minutes”, or just sitting around eating lunch in some diner or on the subway or whatever. You will find that most conversations are completely inane and pointless. We talk about work (not what we’re working on, but office gossip or complaints), we talk about entertainment (and not the topics that are brought up but of the social lives of the entertainers themselves), we talk about society (but not about social issues or problems, but of who is dating who and who said what to who).
Most conversations in America are simply pointless in the big scheme of things. As a good barometer of the importance of a subject, just ask yourself (If I changed the names of the people in the conversation, would it be any different?). We talk about the same shit all the time. We waste all this time together and all this thinking energy doing nothing at all but spinning our wheels. It’s kind of like what I complain about all the time when it comes to political apathy and the local news. We just don’t want to get deep about anything at all.
To do something useful with our existence we as a race need to spend some of our time and our brainpower on things that matter. We need to sit down at dinner with each other and actually talk about something of substance. We need to debate, we need to advance ourselves. If we just did even a little of that we would be better all around. Our brains are what separate us from other animals. We should use them.
So here is my proposal. I don’t have the specifics worked out yet but what if every month we had a national issue raised… Some question that we could all ponder… And that month we as a people would have a responsibility to talk about that issue? Perhaps the local news instead of doing pieces on celebrity gossip could do something about the issue of the month… maybe interviews some college professor about it, etc. Bloggers could comment on it, groups could meet to debate it, etc. Every month we could as a county have something interesting to talk about with each other and perhaps we could solve some problems, perhaps at the least we could focus on things that are useful and important. Perhaps we could transition to a society that uses their brains.
What kind of topics? There are dozens of them. Take almost any of my previous blog posts. Take anyones. “Should we spend more on the space program?”, “Should drugs be legalized?”, “What is the benefit of organized religion?”, “Why don’t people vote anymore?”, “Why is there so much killing in our inner cities?”, “how do we end poverty?”, etc. One topic a month, every month.