So, if I understand the matter well, apparently some days ago someone thought that red coffee cups instead of cups with snowflakes and Christmas trees and snowmen were an insult to Christianity. He wrote a blogpost about it, it got shared (probably in the first place by people mocking it) and then the social media exploded… If you don’t know what I’m talking about, be glad. I’m not going to link to any of it…
I’m still a bit shocked by how those internet phenomena are operating, and also I know I need to take measures now for my own sanity.
The whole thing sounded too unrealistically stupid to be true for me from the beginning. I would have found it a case of underresearched misrepresentation and itself an insult of Christianity if someone would write a scene like this in a fiction context. But our real world is actually dumber and more surreal in a not-so-interesting-way than most fiction nowadays, and it might even get worse by the day. Some people seem to even be afraid of dihydrogen monoxide in our food.
So for some reason people actually made a thing out of it, as if people, Christians and non-Christians, just accept the idea that snowflakes and snowmen ARE a Christian symbol. Religious illiteracy at best, and don’t even ask me what the hell at worst… So as most of you know, a lot of people reacted with the typical fabricated social network outrage that is so common these days. As if some idiot on a blog spouting nonsense does have to represent anything at all expect for his own nonsense, I even found it in the Flemish free ‘metro’ newspaper as ‘Christians objecting to new Starbucks cups for religious reasons’ or something like that. Yes, let that sink in, this nonsense even reached tabloid in Flanders, Belgium…
And no matter how stupid something is, there still is Poe’s law… In the end some supposed ‘Christians’ seem to have indeed boycotted Starbucks (and from what I4ve seen shared on facebook, insulted people at their local Starbucks) for those red cups. So I suppose that lot of people unfamiliar with Christianity -a growing group in this world- might now have the mistaken idea that snowflakes and Christmas trees are actually religious symbols for Christians that should not be messed with if you don’t want the ‘conservative’ masses to be angered. Or maybe those conservative masses have nothing to do with Christianity at all. Which might be why the Trump guy seems to joined in and proposed to boycott Starbucks. Some things you can’t make up.
What sick excuse for a reality are we living in?
Let’s be frank here. The problem is not that some idiot wrote this, people write the most weird things all the time, most of it ignored as it should be, but that it got picked up. (So those who made fun of it were equally guilty of this fiasco when sharing it…) and the fact that anyone at all takes this nonsense seriously proves, to me at least that it might be a good idea to ignore the internet and whatever seems to be important on it much more.
The weird outrages on both the left and right are not better in their futility and irrelevance and adventures in missing the point, and whatever energy I put in even reading articles about them is time and energy forever lost. Any reaction on the idea that removing snowflakes from a red cup would in any way an insult to Christianity is one too much. It doesn’t deserve any reaction. Some things are so stupid that even reading about them, let alone reacting to them; is a waste of time and energy. And our time and energy in this life are so finite, while we are already drowning in irrelevance and bubbles of distraction.
Plus there’s something dangerous about those internet mobs that I just want to stay as far away from as is possible. The role of ‘memes’ (in the original Dawkinsian way) or evolving ideas that float in a culture has changed drastically with the internet, and the internet has made their potential impact giganormous. Mobs and masses are always dangerous, but worldwide communities in connection and their ever evolving, forming and reforming group spirits (liquid egregores as I called them in the title with a more esoteric word) are an unseen force that we haven’t seen the full potential of yet, both when it comes to good as to evil and destruction… And I choose to use my right to opt out, especially in the case of pure futility filling all the airwaves and people treating it like something substantial.
So I need to disconnect more, even though it’s mostly an internal decision. To plug out. disconnect myself from these shady fluid egregores of the social networks that feed on bubbles of irrelevance. It’s not worth it and it will cost me the substance of my soul if I’s get sucked in. The complicating thing is that it’s not the best idea for me personally to completely disconnected. I do get input and updates on a range of important stuff (from spirituality to ecology and from music to archaeology) through social networks. But I need to find a way to learn to ignore mindless hypes. To completely cut myself loose from the mass spirits and instant egregores that come to life with every new outrage and hype, and the things they feed on.
I’m not a hermit. But in my online presence I do need a better filter or even shield. It’s not just online American Christianity, it’s part of the make-up of the internet and it seems to be getting worse..
And I do need to be rooted first and foremost, grounded in the real world (material and spiritual) and in God.
So God help me,