Supersize Me was a movie made by a guy who ate nothing but MacDonald’s food. It documents the decline of his health. A friend asked me to go but I only lasted six minutes; I felt so profoundly uncomfortable, I had to leave. I did not like being in a confined space with so many zealots.
Everyone in the room was already of the opinion the movie was espousing. I was amongst zealots reinforcing pre-existing values and I could not get out of there fast enough. It seemed like an affront to the notion of what the best aspect of the documentary experience: Learning.
That was a dozen years ago, but it exposed me to the trend of people searching out sources of reinforcement for their established ideas. Now that pattern is pervasive; people seek their information from sources with a bias to their values and, in doing so, remove themselves from exposure to contrary opinions so everyone gets further and further entrenched into their particular ideologies.
We’re all doing that.
When Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize, his music became hard to avoid and I heard Like a Rolling Stone. When that song came out I had no interest in it. I loathed what I called non-singers like him, Tom Waites and even Leonard Cohen. I thought: Fine! You can write. But you cannot sing so shut up.
That was then, as is said. But when I heard Like a Rolling Stone a few months back, I rushed to turn up the volume and it felt wonderful inside me. It was like putting on an old sweater that you once loved and found not only did it still fit, it still looked good and was still in excellent condition.
I never chose to hear that song, but I was exposed to it and now I love it.
Now that eclecticism is dead I have little hope for the future of mankind; what hope I do have is for the planet and life in general and faith in the biggest system existing.