Sunday, January 10, 2010

THE IDIOCRACY

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.

11 comments:

JIm said...

Welcome back to the fray, Mike.

“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” mlally

A good example of the supposed refutable logic should be Limbaugh and Palin's ridicule of the illogic and outright fraud of the Global Warming crowd as revealed in Climategate. Here is
an update from a UN researcher.
"The bitter winter afflicting much of the Northern Hemisphere is only the start of a global trend towards cooler weather that is likely to last for 20 or 30 years, say some of the world’s most eminent climate scientists."Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1242011/DAVID-ROSE-The-mini-ice-age-starts-here.html#ixzz0cFcuPoTn

Anonymous said...

Jim: Michael had some very serious surgery. Please save your right wing lunatic drivel for when he feels better. Better yet, this would be a good time for you to finally go back under the bridge!

what are some facts about college relationships said...

Thank you for this post, we are a online dating website blog network, which college students read our blog, so thanks and well post this article on our blog. what are some facts about college relationships

harryn said...

you nailed it, Michael - and just because we haven't mentioned the political stuff for a while doesn't mean that the 'idiocracy' hasn't been growing - it's that 'baby huey', five hundred-pound gorilla in the room that keeps getting bigger - and that uneasiness and anxiety is exactly what causes my avoidance of the issues - sometimes its just too much - especially when you're involved in the arts and begin to see how that reductive thinking and illogical reasoning spills over ...
and for the idiots of the 'idiocracy' that find comfort in the divisive diatribe of their gurus; limbaugh, beck, palin ... i'm developing some major intolerance issues ...
i recall back in the 60's that one of the communist strategies to derail the progress of the 'west' was to contribute to the social unrest in america - effectively, since 9/11, and the rise of the too-far right with all its media campaigning, al-queda has been able to accomplish that goal ...
saw a commercial for whip cream on tv the other night that said: "nothing is more real than ready whip" - some truth in that ...

Anonymous said...

Dear M:
Great post. Can lists be far behind?
TPW

JIm said...

"i recall back in the 60's that one of the communist strategies to derail the progress of the 'west' was to contribute to the social unrest in america - effect"

Paul, that is right out of Saul Alinsky. Not only is Obama a follower, but he taught Alinsky's philosophy back in Chicago. A week plus a day the world could change politically. There is the possibility that that a Republican will win Ted's Senate seat and sink the health care monstrosity. Maybe this American socialist/communist/progressive nightmare will end.

harryn said...

more whip cream jim?

harryn said...

okay - my previous tit-for-tat comment was pretty lame - i admit it, butt ...
a few good things did come out of Michael's misfortune recently - perhaps a period of healing, re-adjustment, re-evaluation, and lessons to be learned - but another positive residual was the freedom from the uneasiness of jim's comments, laced with that same old right wing fox crap ...
it used to annoy the hell out of me when someone would latch on to some tid-bit and do that "see - i told you so" thing ... to avoid smacking them, i learned to ignore - but that's not easy when it interrupts the flow of positive thoughts and energy in Lally's blog and comments ...
today, it was like that scene in the 'godfather' when michael corleone says something like - 'just when i thought i was finished - they pull me back in ..."
back to the pettiness and warring over details against those that may have some valid points but fail to see the bigger picture and go about it in a distasteful way ... and to take the reference a little further - "they will come after the things you love" -
what started with the superior logic and reasoning of the great minds of The Enlightenment ...

JIm said...

Paul,
Clarity and uneasiness with facts and history is a necessary element in socialist/communist/progressive thinking. Over the years liberals on this blog have been challenged to demonstrate historically when their philosophies have benefited the world and or the nation. Other than the freeing of slaves and civil rights led by progressive Republians and or Whigs there is little to be prowd of.

We currently have states that are emblematic of the clash of liberal vs. conservative ideas. California, NY, NJ are liberal bastions where governments tax, spend and regulate heavily. Texas is a state with a low cost of doing busincess, light taxes and regulations. Texas is thriving compared to the liberal disasters. Unfortunately, the Obama/Pelosi/Reid led Democrats have used California, NY and NJ as their model of governence. Thus, the uninspired, jobless recovery.

JIm said...

Here is a little update for the Global Warming Crowd.

A 77-year-old man died of hypothermia Tuesday in what could be considered the first death in Miami that could be attributed to the record cold weather that has lingered in the city.
http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local-beat/Miamis-First-Cold-Weather-Death-Confirmed-81248747.html

stacey said...

crazy thing. A friend of mine in Scotland sends me links, blogs, articles- anything about brain tumors.
crazy thing. here is one about you.
I am your old friend, Slater's second wife. We met in Santa Monica.
I had a large AN tumor removed 2 years ago. Slater did too several years ago.
I wish you well. For me, it was a little more than a year before the constant fatigue went away and for music to sound good again. I truly wish you well.