The Big Picture –
By Glynn Wilson –
UNDISCLOSED LOCATION, N.C. — To all the people out there alone on this Thanksgiving holiday (and even those who are not alone or don’t celebrate) it must be said that we all have one big thing to be thankful for this year in the winter of our discontent with the coronavirus raging across the land and people dying of COVID: Knowledge that Donald Trump’s chaotic, destructive reign in the White House is almost over.
I’ve spent the morning sipping fine coffee, listening to public radio and watching the fog lift in the mountains and a couple of white-tailed deer feeding on the grass down below. I’ve been thinking about what we will do with ourselves going forward on Facebook when we won’t have Trump to bitch and complain about anymore.
Here’s a humble suggestion: Why don’t we put aside our selfishness and help each other out — not just on Thanksgiving, but year ’round.
You won’t hear any politician talking about altruism, or see any newspaper editorial columns about it, apparently because they think altruism is too big a word for the American people. But that’s the word we should be using if we want to survive.
In evolutionary terms, at the most basic, fundamental level, the struggle between the selfish gene and altruism is at the root of all our problems and solutions. I’m going to start sounding like a broken record on this subject, but it must be said until enough people get it.
If the mass media would focus more attention on this, maybe enough people would get it and we could get on with doing what we need to do to keep life livable on planet Earth.
Instead, we will have to remain perched on the razor’s edge of this precipice of pain awhile longer waiting on the ignorant masses to catch up.
Forget about the history of Thanksgiving people. That’s about as useful as a debate about the “true meaning of Christmas.”
Even a redneck, hippie musician knows that something’s wrong with this picture, although it’s just too simplistic to place the survival of the human species in the hands of a campaign for “love” and “empathy.”
Anger and hate are powerful emotions and may trump the better angels of our nature when stoked by a demagogue such as Trump, George Wallace, Hitler or the next populist, nationalist politician to come along and abuse the same themes Trump used to get himself elected dictator-god-king.
Look, I came of age in the era of the mass circulation daily newspaper when television was the new medium of mass communication. I just happened to be back in grad school when the internet and World Wide Web came along.
I was talking to a friend in Alabama just last night on the iPhone, an invention I am thankful for every day — thank you Steve Jobs and Apple — and he said something profound.
“Man we never expected the internet to turn out like this.”
And I said:
“Yeah, it’s Google’s fault, and YouTube’s, and so what if you can find instructional videos on just about anything. Much of the content is crap, and it was taken over by the political right in the Trump era.”
It’s also Facebook’s fault, for not being smarter about creating the social network that took over the world with cat pictures and fake news.
Speaking of helping people, if anything I say rings true for you and you want to help keep me and this publishing project alive and going, we are asking you for your help to make it through this COVID winter. I can’t save the world all by myself. We need your help!
Please take a minute to read the new mission outlined here and help if you can. If you can’t afford to help, please consider sharing the link. Every little bit helps.