Flash fads are damaging what’s really important

Flash fads are polluting the intention and value behind larger actions and issues society is facing today.

Flash fads with little thought on behalf of the mass participators are polluting the intention and value behind larger actions and issues society is facing today.

Two weeks ago my boyfriend and I were driving through the Red Deer Bower Mall parking lot in early evening, looking for a place to park.

As we turned a corner and drove past a group of mid-to-late teens I could hear them yelling a series of generic and unimaginative insults, telling us where to go and how to get there because of the “Stars and Bars” Confederate battle flag mounted on the front bumper of the truck.

Now I could be wrong but I’m willing to bet had we driven past those same teens before the shootings that took place at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church on June 17 their reactions would have been quite different, as there probably wouldn’t have been any.

The shootings that day at the hands of shooter Dylann Roof are unconscionable and unforgivable. The tragedy also caused the pot to boil over on a decades old tug-of-war.

The Southern Cross was never one of the official three flags used by the Confederate states during the Civil War. It was the battle flag of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army unit.

Its popularity began to rise again as a political symbol around the time president Harry Truman supported actions to end lynching and desegregate the military around 1948. In that same time frame the Ku Klux Klan began using the flag more widely.

The flag is also part of the iconic General Lee car from the television show The Dukes of Hazzard, which at its heart is not looking to advance racism with the use of the flag on the car’s roof. And those who use that as the basis of their argument are over simplifying everything else the show had to offer.

I’m a fan of the show and my boyfriend even more so. That tribute is why the flag license plate is on the truck.

I take no issue with individuals standing up for their beliefs, even rudely so, as is sometimes needed.

But what I have a harder time taking seriously is those who blindly jump on the bandwagon with little thought or education behind their actions. Not only will cheap, ignorant, ill-formed arguments throw a damp blanket over what’s truly important but fighting fire with fire, especially when it’s in the hands of those who don’t know what they’re doing, will cause the world to burn.

And this type of sheep syndrome is different than experiencing personal growth and evolution in a person’s thoughts, opinions and belief system based on learning and new evidence.

There are so many other recent examples of the masses jumping on a social effort, turning the whole thing into just another flash fad.

This includes the Ice Bucket Challenge, which became very popular last year. Raising millions for ALS is admirable and inspiring, and even those who didn’t actually raise money by dumping freezing water over their heads should be commended for helping to raise public awareness, which is also important.

But as Ice Bucket Challenge videos flooded social media sites such as Facebook they highlighted so many of the unfavorable, negative aspects of an over-globalized society that on many occasions can’t do a good deed without passive aggressive online self-promotion.

When did simply being a good person become not enough. Some of the videos didn’t even mention ALS and another woman dumped rice over her head thinking it was the rice bucket challenge. She admitted on camera she’d never seen another posted video before. So she just threw herself into the trend without even knowing was it was about; foolishness and ignorance in the face of something meant to be wonderful.

After my boyfriend and I finished up our shopping and were leaving the parking lot we passed the same group of teens. Some were loitering on the road, just on the far end of a partially blind corner, which is not only disrespectful to drivers but also dangerous. And one was pushing over a road sign mounted on the sidewalk just outside the mall doors into oncoming traffic.

Definitely future concerned global citizens at their finest.

Amelia Naismith is the new reporter for the Leduc/Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer and writes a regular column for the paper.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 3,651 active cases of COVID-19. (File photo)
432 new COVID cases sets another record Friday

Central zone holds steady at 126 active cases

"We are looking seriously at the spread and determining what our next steps should be," says Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, as the daily number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb.
427 new COVID cases is highest in Alberta ever

Central zone has 126 active cases of COVID-19

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Temporary COVID-19 testing sites coming to Wetaskiwin and Ponoka

The Wetaskiwin location will open Oct. 23, 2020 and the Ponoka location will open Oct. 29.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
City and County of Wetaskiwin reporting active cases

Both the City of Wetaskiwin and County of Wetaskiwin have active cases.

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the Covid-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday March 20, 2020. nbsp;Alberta is reporting it's highest daily number of COVID-19 cases, with 364 new infections. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta confirmed 323 COVID-19 cases Tuesday

Central zone active cases at 145

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
VIDEO: One day until B.C. voters go to the polls in snap election defined by pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan’s decision to call an election comes more than a year ahead of schedule and during a pandemic

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Leader of the Opposition Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons Thursday October 22, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
O’Toole tells Alberta UCP AGM Liberals were ‘late and confused’ on COVID response

He says Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has taken charge and not waited to make things happen

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives for an announcement at a news conference in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Inquiry into oil and gas foes to deliver report next year: Kenney

A lawsuit filed by environmental law firm Ecojustice argues the inquiry is politically motivated

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

This photo provided by Air Force Reserve shows a sky view of Hurricane Epsilon taken by Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter team over the Atlantic Ocean taken Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.   Epsilon’s maximum sustained winds have dropped slightly as it prepares to sideswipe Bermuda on a path over the Atlantic Ocean.  The National Hurricane Center says it should come close enough Thursday, Oct. 22, evening to merit a tropical storm warning for the island.  (Air Force Reserve via AP)
Hurricane Epsilon expected to remain offshore but will push waves at Atlantic Canada

Epsilon is not expected to have any real impact on land

A voter places her absentee ballot in the ballot box, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, at Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Robert F. Bukaty
American voters living in Canada increasingly being counted in presidential race

The largest number of Canadian-based American voters cast their ballots in New York and California

A composite image of three photographs shows BC NDP Leader John Horgan, left, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Sept. 25, 2020; BC Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau, centre, in Victoria on Sept. 24, 2020; and BC Liberal Party Leader Andrew Wilkinson Pitt Meadows, B.C., on Sept. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck, Chad Hipolito
British Columbia votes in snap election called during COVID-19 pandemic

NDP Leader John Horgan called the snap election one year before the fixed voting date

Nunavut's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, on Tuesday June 30, 2020. The annual report from Nunavut's representative for children and youth says "complacency and a lack of accountability" in the territory's public service means basic information about young people needing services isn’t tracked. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Nunavut’s young people ‘should be expecting more’ from government services: advocate

‘The majority of information we requested is not tracked or was not provided by departments’

Most Read