Sunday, November 12, 2017

Have We All Become Judge Dredd?

When it comes to Star Trek vs. Star Wars . . . wars, I have to admit I’m pretty much on the side of Star Trek. Not that I dislike Star Wars, it’s just that I never got into that universe (or, more appropriately, that “galaxy far far away”). I don’t think I’ve ever watched a Star Wars movie more than once. I may have, but don’t recall. Now, Star Trek, on the other hand . . .

I think my love for Star Trek is partly due to my love of all things “time” related. I also enjoy the stories of us Earthlings and where the future may take us.

My wife and I have worked our ways through The Original Series, The Animated Series, The Next Generation, and Deep Space Nine. We are in the first season of Voyager currently. Being that we have several seasons to go with that series, and the entire Enterprise series as well, it may be a while before we get to the newest (current) incarnation: Discovery.

However, in the “I Want That Exact Same Suit But In A Completely Different Style” category, there is the newest creation from the mind of Seth MacFarlane: The Orville.

Oh. My. God. I LOVE The Orville. It is so much like Star Trek while at the same time being nothing like Star Trek. Each of the nine episodes (as of this writing) have been a fantastic ride - and very different in style from each other. I’m excited to say that the series has been green-lit for a second season.

The episodes have also been timely in the issues they have tackled. One such episode, “Majority Rule” (S01 E07) is almost a distress call to our current society.

As the episode is described, “Ed sends a team to find missing anthropologists on a planet similar to 21st century Earth; the mission goes awry when they realize the planet uses a public voting system to determine punishment.”

Today we are inundated in social media. Facebook and Twitter have been daily topics in the news. Was there collusion in the 2016 election by Russia via the purchase and display of political ads in Facebook? President Trump continually “kicks the hornet’s nest” with his tweets. And now, celebrities of all ilks are being “outed” as sex offenders and child molesters - many judged guilty in the “court” of social media as if it were fact.

Recently, George Takei had spoken out against Kevin Spacey over Spacey’s recent child molestation charges, announcing himself as gay, and his reinforcement of the stereotype that conflate said homosexuality with pedophilia.

What happened next? George Takei was accused of sexually assaulting a model back in 1981.

I saw George Takei’s rebuttal/apology/explanation in Twitter. The comment thread that followed was people believing it to be true because the victim is always the truthful one, people believing it to be false because false accusations are common, and people wanting to believe George Takei because he is George Takei.

Which brings me back to The Orville episode.

Have we become a society that allows social media to be the voice of reason, and ultimately judge, jury, and prosecution? Does anyone else see the danger here?

From "The Orville" - "Majority Rule"

Taylor Swift went through hell online because she didn’t say something against the Nazi march QUICK ENOUGH.  

People agree with things (“like” things), or disagree with things, just so their social circles will accept them. There is dopamine hits for liking and hating things online.

It has gotten to the point that if a man had looked at a woman the wrong way that woman will cry out on social media that she was molested. And more so, there are women who are saying #MeToo so they don’t “suffer” the same consequences as Taylor Swift.

The danger is that when all forms of harassment are classified as the most heinous, the most heinous will no longer be the most heinous. They will lose their impact (and therefore the attention such vile acts should receive.)

I’m going to confess something: I’m a white male. I was born this way. It was not a choice. And therefore, I can be accused of a life of “white privilege”. And being male, I am automatically guilty of sexual harassment if I’ve ever given a woman a compliment. Am I perfect? God no. Have I ever said or done something that might be deemed inappropriate? Absolutely. As Jesus made it so clear, “He who is without sin cast the first stone.”

You won’t find a stone in MY hand.

But on social media, there are many with both hands cocked and ready to throw a heater.

Does that sound extreme? It should. And if it doesn’t?

Well, I guess that is something to think about.

© Emittravel 2017

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