Well meaning friends brought me books and magazines to read while I was recovering from brain surgery, before they understood that this kind of surgery doesn't put you in bed for weeks or months the way serious surgeries on other parts of your body do (since there's not much that gets cut through besides skin and skull and the brain itself, which doesn't feel pain), it just makes it very difficult to use your brain, like to read!
So now that I can read silently to myself (the last aspect of that brain function to return) after eight weeks of recovery, I'm finally getting around to looking at some of the reading material folks brought me, starting with the magazines. The first and so far only thing I've read in a Harper's mag someone left for me at the hospital is the HARPER'S INDEX for November 2009 which had this disheartening fact:
"Percentage of Americans who think the government should 'stay out of Medicare': 39"
This is from Public Policy Poling (Raleigh, North Carolina) and corroborates my feeling upon getting a semblance of brain power back after the first few days and realizing I had returned to a world in which the histrionic outright lies of Glen Beck and the bullying lies of Rush Limbaugh, and the easily refutable lack of factual basis or logic to much of Sarah Palin's political pronouncements are actually treated as part of a public debate at the highest levels of government and media as if any false accusation or baseless claim were worthy of not just the public's attention but serious debate!
With my new found limitations post-operation on what I could grasp intellectually or rather focus on intellectually without feeling anxious or strained, I realized that many people just can't grasp nuanced or layered or complex or complicated reasoning, that their brains either just can't accept it or focus on it or comprehend it or it actually makes them feel anxious (which I suspect is a condition that fuels a lot of the tea bagger movement's lack of logic and reasoning based on reality etc.).
I wasn't able, as I posted about, to watch The Daily Show with John Stewart for the first few weeks of my recovery because it would cause exactly those symptoms, uneasiness and anxiety due to the levels of irony and subtleties in what on the surface seemed obvious in its comedic technique initially.
Now that I can watch Stewart regularly again, and find the show brilliant at times, it's once more clear that his is one of the few shows, maybe the only one, that uses real facts and logic to expose the hypocrisy and outright lying that is allowed to go unchallenged in even the mainstream media let alone Fox News etc.
It is a shame that what started with the superior logic and reasoning of the great minds of The Enlightenment, our country has descended into the depths of what has rightly been called an "idiocracy"—when even those who call themselves "progressives" fall for the most reductive thinking and illogical reasoning.
I'm giving those who don't use reason and logic and provable facts as the basis for their political stands and arguments a pass now and as a result haven't really posted on anything specifically political in a while. But I do intend to eventually post a summary of my thoughts from this period in the future.
PS: I was out at a gathering the other night where there were thirty or more people and for the first time since the operation I felt relatively comfortable and could spend some time talking to individual folks without feeling anxious about the other stimuli in the room as I have been up until now or feeling overwhelmed by the lights and the conversation etc. So still making progress. Next will be venturing out to a busy restaurant or movie theater.