Friday, April 8, 2016

World end?

I found Prince Ea through a friend's shared video on Facebook. The initial video was about the social media concerns. It was well-done and thought-provoking. It was also a bit simplistic and pointed out obvious concerns about overusing social media. Replacing real human contact with virtual exchange on social media is a warped reality.

Adherents to that reality, at the expense of genuine interaction, twist the meaning of community. Few people, it seems to me, would argue that social media provides true community. However, the initial video made me want to see more by Prince Ea, so I found his YouTube channel. On his channel, I found the following video:

Richard Williams (aka Prince Ea) begins by outlining contemporary issues: air pollution, animal extinction, poor education, depression, antisocial behavior, dishonesty, obesity, racism, religious intolerance, sexism, materialism, and anger.

Williams, then, turns toward love. He says, "Love is the most powerful weapon on the face of the Earth." He paints an optimistic response to the problems of the world. It is based in love, but he does not say how love will make a difference. Let us begin with his first twenty-first-century concern: air pollution.

Air pollution is a macro-level problem. As an individual, I cannot pollute the environment; I can contribute to pollution, but one individual lacks the capacity to change air quality. Thus, to combat air pollution, many individuals must make changes to the Cfc, neurotoxins, and other polluting output. How can love be an ingredient in responding? First, understanding is necessary. People must cognitively recognize the combine impact of air pollution. E.g. 100 factories, each putting out a small amount of pollution, can damage the environment; reducing pollution from each factory can improve air quality. Second, regulation and enforcement are necessary for companies to act in everyone's best interest. If I have a company and you have a company, and we both know that air pollution is bad, if we are not required to reduce pollution, why would we change our behavior?

Each of Williams critiques of contemporary culture are accurate. And, love is an optimistic response. However, each of his critiques require complex answers, not simply, let us be more loving. His second critique, animal extinction, brings up a complex issue: animal rights. Cambodia is planning to reintroduce functionally extinct tigers. It is exciting news. It might help rebalance the ecosystem. What will happen when habitat loss and overpopulation causes one of these tigers to wander into a population area and kill a person?

Every issue Williams brings up is complicated. Each one has multiple perspectives. I appreciate his rhyme. The video is well done. The backing track is interesting and complements the music. And, I hope he continues making thought provoking videos. I also hope that people do not relegate complicated problems to overly simplistic solutions. Complicated problems deserve our attention.

The world is not coming to an end. It is changing. Heraclitus was right. "No one can walk through the same stream twice." Bob Merrill was also right, "Love makes the world go 'round." Keep loving! Keep seeking solutions to complicated problems.

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