The Swamp is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.
How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.
How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.
To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.Show less
There are some cultural morays that are just so captivating that I can't seem to resist the urge to throw my two cents into the mix. The NPC meme was basically started by right-leaning people who wanted to troll Trump protestors and those on the left of the political spectrum in general.
For those among us who are not avid video gamers, NPC stands for non-player character or non-playable character. The idea is that Trump protestors are being compared to generic, programmed characters that repeat the same chants and phrases no matter what point of view or evidence is offered by someone else.
The basic premise is that the meme creates a caricature where everyone looks the same, thinks the same, and repeats the same talking points.
If you like, take a minute to search engine this meme and see for yourself. Be warned—many of the memes contain potentially offensive content so view at your own risk.
What do you think of this meme 'template?' Does it communicate a helpful and hilarious message? Is it more like a cheap shot or personal attack? Perhaps, like most controversial topics the truth may lie somewhere in the middle.
This has not exactly been a great time to find middle ground; the country often seems to be divided right down the middle. As a consequence of America's global influence the world at large may find itself similarly polarized along social, cultural, political and even spiritual lines.
I have a controversial statement to make about President Trump: He's just another guy on TV. He's not "worse than Hitler," nor is he the savior of the human race. He's an imperfect human being with narcissistic qualities who is temporarily occupying a powerful role. The more we simply allow current events to play out without reacting, the less people will suffer over the antics of the current occupant of the Oval Office. (Oral Office?)
I included the link to the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal because I want to put the current era into context. Bill Clinton was legitimately accused of rape and/or sexual assault by four women prior to the more famous Lewinsky scandal. Additionally, his wife and former presidential hopeful has demonstrated an uncanny ability to defend and cover up her husband's awful behavior, in addition to having so many skeletons in her own closet that she can barely close the door to hide them. (I invite you to do your own research.)
So how does this all relate to the meme in question? It actually offers a key insight into what will help heal the divisions within the US and the world at large. The meme's key insight is that it is dangerous to fall into polarized group-think and sacrifice one's critical thinking capacity.
This is true beyond political polarities; it is always important to maintain personal autonomy and think through the evidence for ourselves. The trouble now is that the opposing sides have begun dehumanizing one another. Groups like ANTIFA may have no problem calling someone slightly right-of-center a Nazi if it helps further their agenda.
Similarly, hardcore Trump supporters have no trouble implying that those who suffer from, "Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS)" are no more than soulless grey NPCs who are unable to see that they are just like everyone else, in spite of being attracted to concepts of uniqueness and diversity.
As soon as groups begin dehumanizing one another there is a sort of social crisis that needs to be addressed. I heard about an inspiring couple where the husband was a Trump supporter, and the wife not so much. They made it work by not talking about politics at all, and likely avoiding the news wherever possible.
The real solution at the heart of this discussion is that we owe it to ourselves and to our fellow human beings to hear one another out and listen to each others' perspectives. Calling a political opponent a Nazi with no solid evidence is about as far away from productive as one can be. Similarly, grey-washing an entire group of "NPC's" creates a backlashand those targeted by the meme may double-down and retaliate in their own way, keeping the cycle going.
The core realization is that it truly is up to us as individuals to inform, heal and empower ourselves in the face of the world's challenges. Outsourcing our power to group-think has never worked in the past and always leads to suffering in one form or another.
Similarly, there are those who feel so much like a separate individual that they have trouble connecting and working with others, even those of a similar mindset. Somewhere between the extremes of radical collectivism and individual human liberty lies a beautiful middle ground, but we have to be willing to let the political pendulum stop swinging and finally come to rest. The key is that individuals begin freeing themselves from limiting beliefs and perspectives and form their own world view based on concrete experience, intuition, and solid verifiable evidence.
The more we begin waking up to possibilities of unity, compromise, compassion, and other positive human qualities the more we will come together and begin creating a world we'll be proud to leave our children.