You say that you want facts - facts and more facts, before you can commit. Before you finally decide to become part of something: a political party, a movement or another human being. You already have plenty of them: an avalanche, a tsunami of facts. "In fact", your life is overflowing with facts. Most of them are brought directly to your living room or bedroom, or to your office; they shine from the liquid crystals of your computer monitors, and from increasingly flat and sleek television screens.
There is really no need to travel, is there? There is no need to "get dirty". Without leaving your chair or couch, you can even get some basic science of Newton, Einstein or Leonardo da Vinci. You can experience, second-hand of course, but in the safety and comfort of your home, the most extreme misery of Haitian or Jamaican slums. You can be shown a battleground, you can see the most exotic and most 'forbidden' women being made love to by someone else, and you can get inside royal palaces.
It is all there, at your fingertips: formulas and definitions, music and porn, history and even some poetry, if poetry is what you are really searching for.
There is no reason to step outside. Of course many people have to go out, at least from Monday to Friday, to attend to their typically monotonous jobs. From time to time they have to buy some groceries, although groceries can be ordered online or using the phone, and some jobs these days do not even require the personal presence of employees.
While individualism (egoism) is what increasingly defines most of the cultures in the West, true individuality (uniqueness) has almost vanished.
Although the internet is overflowing with information, data and "facts", although there are now hundreds of channels available from the menus of television cable providers, the living room -- computer or living room -- television set combinations are producing increasingly monotonous results: people are more and more phlegmatic, their way of thinking is uniformed, and they are not willing to take almost any risks: intellectually, emotionally or physically.
Passivity is being constantly rationalized, defended. On the surface, reasons given to justify lack of commitment are logical, 'sensible', and sometimes even righteous.
Passivity has become 'calm', and so have despair, desolation and gloom.
Instead of encouraging violent rebellious outbursts of anguish as something natural, positive and even essential (should one not be fighting with all his or her might against all the forces which are making life pointless and useless?), almost everything that is defined by society as "negative emotions" gets subdued and controlled by medication and therapy. This way, medical "science" becomes a culprit, murders many healthy reactions, and in the end, kills life itself.
It is rarely pronounced, but it is essential to realize: A person who feels violently sick because he or she is surrounded by a thoroughly unhealthy, even insane environment (political system, family, work, sets of constantly repeated lies) is actually reacting in a vigorous and healthy way. It is like when the body is fighting against severe infection. Only in this case, the battle is mental.
People are expected to be "normal", while standards defining "normalcy" have roots in mental illnesses from which entire society is clearly suffering. Not only immigrants; now everyone is obliged to "conform". What does it really mean, to conform? Is it: to become atomized, apathetic and therefore alone and vulnerable? Life then flows slowly, calmly, coldly and emotionlessly. A person grows up, matures, ages and dies. Society slowly deteriorates. Planet Earth is getting gradually ruined.
Surrounded by uniformed and perpetual misery, passivity and amnesia, one is not aware of his or her suffering. The screen in front of people shines late into the night. Everything is reduced to short barks and uniformed symbols pre-programmed into mobile phones.
Something has gone missing. There seems to be an urgent lack of something very essential, a gaping deficit. In such an environment, love cannot thrive, and revolution can never take place. In sterility and surrounded by emotional emptiness, human beings can live a little bit longer, but can such an existence be really called life?
Reality is "authentic" only if experienced holistically and first-hand. This is the conclusion at which I arrived, after witnessing hundreds of conflicts all over the world, but also after observing so many glorious moments, so many great human achievements, in virtually all corners of the globe.
A computer monitor only offers extremely filtered, even "censored" images of reality (no matter how high-definition it might be), as well as some basic sound. Even our imperfect and limited human senses are capable of capturing, registering and processing incomparably much more than that.