I think one of the most interesting issues that face modern media, modern politics, and the way people interact with each other, is how we misunderstand and mistranslate context.
For the longest time, the British and their colonies often saw the new-world fruit of the Tomato, as a poisonous and deadly fruit. They avoided it until someone was brave enough to try it. But who is to blame them? Are the tomatoes not red like all the other poisonous berry-like fruits? This is where understanding and experience comes in. The act of being able to experience and then record that experience in one’s mind is the act of learning. Learning can be a simple thing, but it can also be hard for some people and creatures. There are still images and beings and stimuli that can cause an unpleasant emotional reaction to those even if the media itself does not have any inherent negative influence on the experiencer. One might have one bad experience with a dog, and forever be afraid of the dog, even if there is no reason to be afraid of a canine in any baseline manner. Tomatoes are similar. You can spend your childhood in pre-modern Britain learning not to eat the red berries, and you will probably not eat any red berry-life fruits if you are wise enough to respect what your past experiences have told you.
However, there is an issue with this way of thinking. One of the most intelligent actions a human can take is to approach a phenomenon or an experience from another perspective, even if it goes against perceived experiences that gave you negative feelings or a bad injury. Many children are afraid of the dark, but if one can come to learn and adapt to the dark and be able to replace their fear with a more meditated response, you can “overcome your fears”. The first person to try many a food, probably resisted an uncertainty and a fear of poison, in order to understand the nature of the phenomenon they wanted to experience. Tomatoes have all the warning signs (they are even closely related to the very deadly nightshade) that one relying on taught and self-taught experiences would avoid, yet here we are, eating food that many people in older times would consider deadly.
But enough with explaining an analogy of fruits and the second biggest island of floating garbage found in the modern world, and focus on the message that more accurately relates to KD’s messages of philosophy.
Politics are fruits.
In a world where people divide ideology and conceptual organization into left/right and red/blue, you will come to find that in a lot of ways, politics function the same way one would treat food. If you are “blue”, then you might take a gander at a red and see that as poisonous or deadly. You might take a look at something and mark the intensity of the red (the position on the right) and perceive that as “more poisonous”.
Politics for the longest period of time have resorted to left/right as a form of categorization tool, a tool that can divide and sort ideas and systems in their own respected boxes. However useful this may be, the organizational structure has become something that categorizes based on color instead of what the fruit is. The right/left dichotomy originated as SEATING POSITIONS of an organizational body during the French Revolution. How can centuries-old seating positions dictate the organization of modern thought? How can we limit ourselves to such a primitive and eurocentric concept? The worst part is, is that right/left is no longer based on actual policy or the factual methods of organization that the organization/ideologue/philosopher/individual follows, it is more accurately based on simply what one presents themselves as. The economic models of many a left-wing politician in the 21st century is hardly based on anything contrary to tradition or capitalism, and it is simply a category that defines itself as “not the reds”. This identification system has lead to people associating ideas, organizations, family members, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, and people both significant and insignificant to us, as “palatable” or “deadly”.
In the USA, the existence of the political dichotomy is one of the best examples of this palatable existence. The USA and the entire American Hegemony that has existed in the West after World War Two, has also mirrored and mimicked this system of color categories and oppositional politics. For instance, many people will never choose the reds because “blue no matter who”, and many people will never choose the blues because they perceive anything on the left as something toxic and inedible.
The left and right dichotomy have become something of a joke to me. When it used to apply to actual policy, it has lead to becoming a tomato of a world. Regardless of the systemic “edibility” of a concept, if it is red, it will be perceived as a deadly nightshade-esque fruit that you must not eat, because the only edible fruits are the blue tomatoes. The color-associations and the contextual language of mass media and the modern political mainframe, has led to a depressive and useless era of philosophy, where people care more about the look and the appearance of the “fruit” than they do the taste, the usefulness in a recipe, or the growth of the fruit. I guarantee you, that if you begin looking at politics at a perspective of what the fruit is as a whole, and instead of what the fruit is as a color, then you will find, that many of the tomatoes in your life are not as toxic as you might think.
Of course, you can’t have a dichotomy within a perceived democracy without a facade of compromise. In fact, many people who have stewed their minds in the cultural soup of the status-quo, have found themselves to be a tomato of not really any specific color, but one of universal palatability.
The genius of the system and its desire to maintain an eternal sense of palatability has led to the cultural system of control imposed by the West and its hegemony, to position itself in the middle of the blue/red spectrum, a “center”, if you may. This is a way of saying “hey I’m edible and tasty! Eat me! I am not too red or too blue, I can be edible to anyone if you truly care about those reds and blues in your life!!” in order to get people to reject any extreme, anything that is perceived as too bitter-blue or too sour-red. This is also a mistake for anyone who calls themselves “far-right” or “far-left”. The system of right/left has been reduced to nothing more than a label that translates to edibility and appealing ideas, and it has nothing to do with the actual nature of any of the fruits that are of either color. The dichotomy is smart, however! When the system says “go right”, the extremists say “how far?”. People on many of the far-right and many of the far-left, do not care about the center of palatability, they do not care about the tastiness and “compromise cooking” of the self-described “centrists” or “moderates”, they only care about how blue or red they can get! The dichotomy still controls them, however, because by following the blue/red divide’s rules of “how close to the center you are”, you are still validating the existence of the center.
People typically fall into two categories in this situation. They are either those who are close to the center of palatability, or they are purposely as far away from it as possible, because they see the distance away from blue/red, to be a determining factor of how good the idea is. The farther right, the tastier. The farther left, the tastier, etc. Some people have even gone as far as to making a theory that says that both sides farthest points are of the same taste! Some people suggest that the only edible part of the dichotomy is the center!
Sorry if this is confusing, but let’s hope that you understand what I am saying so far. To sum it up, I say that the world is no longer defined by the contents of an idea/fruit, but by the color of the idea/fruit. However this does not mean you should say “fuck it, I’m yellow” when it comes to fighting the dichotomy, because a trinary validates the center as well as a binary does, albeit with a little more complexity.
To fight the issue with modern politics, we must throw away any concept of blue or red, any concept of whether or not an idea is defined by its appearances, and instead, focus on the contents of the fruit. We must look at the reds and the blues and the yellows in our life and ask ourselves “are they poisonous, or am I wrong in that assumption”! If we constantly taste, learn, stew, and experiment with the fruits of ideology, and choose not to limit us to whether something is red or blue or yellow, then we can differentiate the tomatoes from the nightshades, and we can find what we like, what works for our groups and our societies, while destroying the dogmatic prejudices that lead us to validating the status-quo in the first place.
This is in no way the best I can write, but it is true in what I say. I will go deeper into topics of political context in the future, but I will probably stay away from tomatoes from now on.
Also, one thing I forgot. Ideas are not fruits. To assume that an idea can be rotten or too unripe, is a disgustingly simple idea. Do not apply colors or expiration dates to your ideas. Simply think and then pick how you communicate it. Categorize it if you may, but be warned, someone will look at your new form of socialism and say “hey, is that looking a bit red to you?.