Every day it’s the same ugly thing, isn’t it?
Headline news about the latest bloody terrorist attack.
Gleeful stories about the most recent insult one presidential candidate has lobbed at the other.
Joyful reminders about the next big humiliating controversy swirling around a celebrity who has made unfortunate choices.
Merciless arguments about politics or sports or current affairs that don’t seem to have any hope of resolution.
It’s no great revelation that ugly news sells, and so the internet revels in ugly news. After all, an ugly headline can get a lot of attention. And if the story is ugly enough, it might anger people to the point that they share it to their friends on social media, which means that other people will get angry and share. Ugly comments are made, angry rebuttals are flung back, and before you know it, everyone is knee deep in the digital pig slop.
Meanwhile, the ones reporting the ugliness revel in the ad dollars that all these angry hits bring in, even as they push the “publish” button to send the next ugly story out, starting the whole process all over again.
Well, I’m tired of it. Tired of it all.
The ugliness and anger and fear and spite and hate is wearing me down, even if I don’t realize it on a conscious level. Did you know that studies have shown that over-exposure to negativity and ugliness can even create PTSD-like symptoms in people?
So, odds are, you’re feeling tired as well.
How do we respond? What do we do? Do we just load up on scotch and bourbon and sit in a dark corner of the room lamenting the state of the universe?
We could do that. Or we could fight back.
In The Idiot, Dostoevsky wrote that beauty will save the world, and I’ve decided that it’s time for this blog to join the resistance, and do an admittedly small part to help the world be saved.
Thimblerig’s Ark is turning the tables on the ugliness of the internet for the month of October, and for 31 days, this blog will focus exclusively on beauty.
To clarify, from October 1 to October 31, I will post daily reminders of the beauty of life. It might be uplifting and beautiful news stories, it might be inspirational or joyful photographs, it might be poetry, literary excerpts, film clips, music… the connection will be that these items will somehow capture the spirit and meaning of the word beauty.
And I’m going to need your help with this. I invite you to help join this beauty revolution by sending me your own favorite examples of beauty, and I’ll post them as well. A second part of this plan succeeding is that you make the commitment to share the beauty with the rest of the world on your own social media over the course of the month, helping counter the world’s ugliness by giving our own connections the opportunity to embrace some beauty.
While the forces of ugliness continue trying to push us down – especially in the days leading up to the election – why don’t we all engage in some counter-programming of our own, and turn our eyes to beauty?
Can you imagine?
Please send any ideas or examples of beauty to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and include some thoughts on what inspired you to send in that particular item. If you want to include your own contact information, feel free, and I’ll add that to the post.
Also, please include a link for the work, and/or information about about the content creator, so that we can give that person their due as well.
*This idea was inspired by an interview with screenwriter, Barbara Nicolosi.
**I have no advertisements on this blog, and I receive no money for hits. So, feel free to share the blog itself with others – or just share the items you find here. But if you do that, I just ask that you give proper attribution to the content creators, even if you don’t mention Thimblerig’s Ark.