Rumors

saltspiral
"Maybe I could blame the sugar high."

Before any truth becomes substantiated, it seems to exist in tentative suspension, a rumor-like state awaiting validation. Most of us don't hardly wait. Screw the grain of salt, we're wide open and suggestible. We believe what attracts our ear and reject what repels it. The freshest news seems to ache for echoing. By the time it's become fully validated, it's already anchoring the fifteenth page of the Times. The cover screams for attention. We rarely see the back pages where the details emerge.

It seems that those most up on the breaking news exude a particularly clever kind of cluelessness.
Most of us master the emerging meme, but please do not ask us to extrapolate much beyond the headline. The details might follow, but most of us will have already moved on, sweeping up the latest (what certainly seems to be the greatest at the time) breaking stories. This behavior results in a fragmented sort of understanding. Sure, we were there when the story first appeared but then disappeared into the ever more encouraging future, riding the present only just as long as the crest sustains itself. Once the wave collapses, how much wiser will we be?

It's possible to sustain life on a dedicated diet of Sugar Corn Pops®, which require no lengthy and inconveniencing preparation. Just open the box and start slobbering down, gnawing pangs instantly satiated, at least for a little while. When those pangs return, the box remains easily accessed, we can gobble another handful without meaningfully interrupting our short attention spans. A future diabetes doesn't much dissuade any dedicated snacker. Real plated suppers seem to inconvenience more than they nourish if you're the one preparing the raw materials.

So we run on rumors, or something very close to them. These rumors are not outright lies but unfinished truths. They represent no more than the start of the story with initial conclusions possible only through acts of sanguine projection. Closure comes with circumspect considering, careful weighing and comparing, to produce something more substantial than initial clues. A collection of uncurated clues does not knowledge or real understanding make. Something else seems necessary, something we seem loth to seek.

I can see the cluelessness resulting from endless meme-swallowing in others much more readily than I see it in myself. I tout the apparent victory when another one of my carefully collated collection of louts performs a public faceplant. I cheer for my home team and tote up another win, though the game's hardly begun. I live in a largely self-created positive feedback echo chamber, secure in my mind but little further. I fall in love far too easily for it to ever last. I flit from presumed factoid to presumed factoid forgetting that they ain't quite factoids yet, but seductive, as of yet unsubstantiated, rumors. Longer reads might help, delving into the back pages before I go all public proclaiming my moral superiority because I swallowed the fresh meme first. We trade in candy kisses which are not like real kisses at all.

Social media encourages the exchange of candy kisses and spitting raspberry responses. We seem to too easily lunge at each others' throat. Maybe I could blame the sugar high. A diet of Sugar Corn Pops® can do that to ya. "Oh, the Pops are sweeter and the taste is new …"

©2018 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved









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