Friday, February 25, 2005

It's the Enlightenment Stupid!

Rant warning...

Have you ever wondered why JOHN Kennedy, and JOHN Belushi, and JOHN Candy all died young? So did JOHN Kennedy, Jr., (nicknamed, of all things "JOHN-JOHN!".) And JOHN Adams was a President of the USA and he had a son named JOHN (Quincy) Adams, and HE became a President, and THEY ARE BOTH DEAD!!!!! And so is EVERYONE WHO EVER SPOKE TO THEM!!! AND ALL THEIR CHILDREN!!! AND GRANDCHILDREN!!!

You think that's a COINCIDENCE???? naive can you be!!!

And never mind that Y2K disasters did not happen, and that 2,000 is a sort of important number only because we have ten fingers, and Jesus wasn't even born in the year ZERO or ONE anyhow, and if the Medieval PLAGUE that wiped out a third of Europe didn't bring Jesus back within a few years, if the influenza pandemic of 1919, if the Krakatoa explosion in the 1880's, with massive tsunamis and a dust cloud that shut out the sun for weeks at a time didn't bring back Jesus within a few years, then why believe that the serious, but not nearly as proportionately disastrous AIDS epidemic, or some mudslides in California mean that Jesus is coming back REAL SOON?!

Anyhow, that's a little of how, I try to deal with this pervasive, ignorant superstition societal and political trend that we face today. There is a lot of very shallow, very reactionary, very ignorant thinking going on here of which Bush is just a symptom of the disease.

However, it is often so shallow and can be cracked with some little activity... like thinking. But it is very important not to be arrogant or perceived of as arrogant, let alone actually be interested in ideas, or people will shut out whatever sensible things you are saying because you are labeled "an intellectual." We all know that thinking or empirical evidence brings nothing but problems. Just ask the Pope. Most of our problems have not been caused by greed or nationalism, its the enlightenment...

Hey, let's be honest for a moment, come on just a moment then we can go back to your regularly scheduled march to fascism. Bush is not a brain trust. The people around Bush are not all that bright. Hey, anyone can play on fear and finger-pointing rather than analysis, research, and problem solving.

Yet, that is not the real problem that we are facing right now in American society. The problem is that it is ignorance that flows thoughout this land and is celebrated and embraced by the nut-wing, republicans, and the imperial presidency. And this is not just any type of ignorance, it is ignorance that allows people to avoid the pain of confronting the truth -- it is ignorance that feels good, satisfying because smug superiority can keep you warm on a cold winter's night.

What we progressives and liberals need to do is to be skillful at showing people that ignorance ultimately makes you feel REAL BAD. And we have to do that WITHOUT compromising our ideas and those elusive ideals -- finding a way to say that someone is really WRONG, but that they are not a stupid person. That takes a lot of patience, but hey, there's a whole world to win or lose, depending on what we do.

Rant off.

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