Thoughts and Prayers; Writing on the Walls of Social Media

The messages on public walls today seamlessly extend to the discourse on your Facebook wall and Instagram post, in addition to the walls on the street. In all cases it looks like the writing is on the wall regarding the US public’s attitude toward mounting gun massacres and firearm regulation and how it is evolving.

It’s a volatile conversation in the digital public sphere – rather like the the actual public sphere, complete with attempts to censor by shouting down and ridiculing, and the presence of disinformation-spreading agents and agent(s) provocateur.

With all that said, FB uses tailored formulas for presenting friends, followers and advertisers to you so the idea of true democratic speech is skewed by algorithms that produce an echo chamber, so the memes and cartoons and opinions we all see are sifted.

While BSA is seeing a shift toward disgust at the inaction of the our so-called representatives toward gun control laws, others are probably seeing continuous memes on their social media walls that depict an oppressive government that wants to take away their gun-ownership rights, or evidence that Godless black and brown people are trying to take over the society, or something.

One thing that seems for sure, most people are tired of “thoughts and prayers” being offered reflexively – as if intermittent but increasing public mass murders are a natural occurrence over which we have no influence, like the sun and the moon rising and setting in the sky.

Many cartoons and artworks critique our maddening collective inability to solve a growing social problem that we think we should be able to address, producing an underlying feeling of learned helplessness and fear.

Here’s a quick and ragtag selection of visual messages we grabbed from our walls, our social feeds, by way of preserving the conversation in the moment, before it passes.

Try your luck at Thoughts & Prayers, the Arcade Game (click here)