Over the years there’s become something which I jokingly call the ‘American censorship’.
How I came up with it is sort of interesting. It came about as I was studying cold war history. Oddly, I found myself envious when I heard that, in some countries, people can be put into prison for saying certain things. I couldn’t believe it. I found myself saying, “how would it be? Just think of what it would be like if your opinion meant so much that they’d put you in prison for saying something. Here in the U.S. no one gives a crap what you think. You can say what you want, no one is going to care.” In those other countries peoples opinions matter. In that sense, they are actually saying people matter. In the U.S. opinions don’t matter, which is basically saying that people don’t matter.
This stunned me but, as I thought about it, it made sense. In the U.S. your opinion doesn’t mean anything. Never, in my life, has anyone really cared about my opinion. You can say whatever you want and it might make a few people upset but who cares? I used to always joke that I could have the answer to life and scream it off the top of my lungs here in the U.S. and no one would listen.
For years I’ve said that protesting the government is a waste of time. Very seldom does protesting change government policy. I think writing your congressman or government is a waste of time too.
A guy said something to me some years ago. It went something like: “Opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one and they all stink.” This, I think, shows the general stance toward opinion in the U.S.
I used to always say: “there are too many people with too many opinions changing too many times”. The U.S. has become a blur of opinion and points of view which seem to change every few minutes.
The U.S. also devalues opinions. I’ve said many things over the years and devaluation of those opinions is a common and consistent thing. That always infuriated me.
The fact is that opinions don’t matter in the U.S. In a way, this is like being ‘censored’. In the U.S., though, you’re not tossed into prison. You’re just ignored and devalued, which is a prison of a different sort. That is the ‘American censorship’.
For me, though, this discovery would have other implications. I, for some reason, had a hard time believing opinions didn’t matter. But when I began to realize that no one cared it actually help push me into a depression. In fact, the realization that “nothing friggin’ matters” really devastated me. It was like saying that I was worthless and didn’t matter.