Oh man, I had a great idea to write about today. Or at least a halfway decent idea. But I have now forgotten it. So it goes.
Instead, I’ll write about the status quo.
What is the status quo? I’m not sure. I’ve never looked up a definition of it. Ok, now I have. It’s pretty much exactly what you think it means, except with an emphasis on social and political issues.
Is there a singular status quo though? Would I even know? Let’s see, I’ll go slow.
A) Let’s combine politics into society because it is simply a mode of organizing a society. B) Everybody has unique ideas of how society should organize to maximize joy for everyone. Let’s ignore for now the inconvenient fact that most people have trouble finding joy and gratitude in their own lives while attempting to plan it for everyone else.
Acknowledging that everyone has nuanced visions for society, we still tend to form tribes or loose alliances of similar thoughts. We believe in our ideas so much it would be a shame that a 2% difference with someone would lead to a dissolution of group power. And make no mistake there is power in groups, however fleeting and precarious.
Each of these groups attempts to sway the status quo of the society in their direction. They will even tell you bastardized versions of another group’s philosophy to win. In the red tribe’s mind, the tattooed liberals want to raise genderless cyborg younglings and eat porridge in communist hovels. For the blues, the conservatives want public flogging and gas chambers to ensure that white male sovereignty reigns supreme in order to reinstate slavery.
A caricature for sure, but when speaking with some real humans, the emotions of fear from the other tribe aren’t far from the tragi-comical.
So, what the hell is the actual status quo in the U.S.A today? I’ll tell you.
It’s walking into a Starbucks at the same time as a stranger and letting them go first because you’re not in a hurry. It’s shitty guys taking up a seat on the bus when there is an elderly woman standing. It is a stranger giving a homeless lady a hug because she genuinely needed it. It is the bored woman’s face in the restaurant as her Patagonia jacketed male companion blathers on about how tired his feet were one time in Paris.
It is millions of people volunteering and not telling anyone about it. It is millions of people commuting 2+ hours to a job that is eating their soul. It is those same millions of people who spend all weekend taking their two kids on a camping trip. It is a diminishing murder rate. It is a skyrocketing financial bubble.
It’s you, me, her, him, and nowadays, it. In the truest sense, the status quo is nothing. An ethereal figment of propaganda and years of submissive schooling. It is also a very real and oppressive force that keeps you in the troughs of depressive habits but can also maintain a life at the peaks of comfort and ease.
You may fight it, study it, maintain it, but you cannot escape recognizing what it means to you.
You define the status quo, and I guarantee the way your eyes see it, is far different from me.
And I’m okay with that.