Rapt attention

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Hardened silos

The wise are instructed by reason, average minds by experience, the stupid by necessity and the brute by instinct. Cicero

I am about to amble into something that might start out as a preamble and then turn into a full blown ramble, not sure yet. Don't know how much gas I have in the tank. Probably shouldn't be allowed access to a keyboard when I feel this rotten but I assure you I am not on any prescriptive medications.

People read me that are across the ideological spectrum, far left to hard right but mostly in the common sense middle. I try not to pick that much low hanging political fruit because that is what antagonizes people the most in this awful political climate that has turned into nothing so much as a clannish tribal battle.

We are engaged in a big fat culture war and why pour gas on the fire unless absolutely necessary? And unfortunately, you watch enough of what is going on out there, you end up picking a side. I try to focus on bad policy, not politics.

I have found that if I provide enough good music and pictures of birds and food people will tune in, regardless of my political commentary. But I admit that it cuts across some people's grain and I do apologize if I have offended you.

We have forgotten our core principles in this country and it is a sad thing. We can conveniently forget that (is it eleven or twelve?) women have accused the former president of sexual assault and vote for him anyway because we like his policies. You know how women lie.

I think Speaker Kevin McCarthy would let Jeffrey Dahmer hold a congressional seat if it meant not losing a grip on power. They are going to ride George Santos right until he goes to jail with protestations of letting the legal system take its course. Because morals don't matter if he is on our team. Sad to think Al Franken got banished for a simple hug, we could use him right now. Chris Christie seems like the only GOP guy with any balls around to speak the truth right now.

I get a lot of crap from conservative friends for not showing more balance. Mark Hall stopped speaking to me. Bruce chastises me quite often but still reads the darn Blast. So does Jeff. Mike M got pissy about something I wrote and then thought he smelled marijuana in my shop one day and never returned.

I am who I am and I have a pretty good idea of where I stand. I certainly have opinions and don't trust people that do not, from either side of the equation. 

I am a person who has owned multiple weapons for 47 years but never felt the need for an assault rifle. I am pro choice, pro environment. Believe in clean air, earth and water. I hate quotas and think reparations are a terrible idea. I have a prejudice against big corporations and money interests and think they will make decisions that harm regular human beings pretty much whenever push comes to shove when they can make a buck. 

I think the Citizens United decision was horrific and the damage will be forever, allowing dark corporate money to put a fat thumb on the scales. I believe in a strong border and am anti - amnesty. I'm happy that Feinstein is back, to the consternation of AOC, Omar, Pressley and the other young progressives who can't wait to take the reins. All of whom I can't stand.

I think that it is ridiculous that Coach Bob Huggins is going to lose a million dollars for saying the word faggot on the radio. Who hasn't uttered an expletive in their life? Liar. I hate excessive wokeness and Monday morning quarterbacking like the plague. I also am outraged by the current purging of textbooks in this country in order to whitewash our history.

I know that we are approaching federal cutbacks in Colorado River water and don't understand how we can continue to build these massive housing projects in Southern California and Arizona when we have already hit the tipping point in this desert chapparal? But then you need to go back to the big corporations and money interests part of the soliloquy. 

I think we were caught without a  plan when the covid pandemic hit and we did the best we could under the circumstances. I support Fauci and think vaccines, masks and quarantines saved lives and that the epidemiological numbers bear me out.

I believe in freedom of the press and freedom of religion, which also means freedom from religion if I do not choose to partake. And churches that are tax exempt have no right to preach from the pulpit and back political candidates but they do. I am not personally big on religion but am glad if it brings you whatever it brings you.

I do not trust people that have no opinions or fail to try to figure out what is going on in this world. Low information voters horrify me.


I had an interesting conversation the other day with some dear friends who are definite hardcore MAGA types. Neither of them are vaxed. One said that he wished that Trump would run with Bobby Kennedy Jr. as his running mate.

I sort of flipped out. Bobby Kennedy? Mr. Antivax? If he had his way we would still live in a world replete with polio, tuberculosis and smallpox. Are we going to go back to the dark ages? One of them said that he knew a heart surgeon that was seeing real complications after people were vaccinated.

And that very may well be true but how do you let the perfect be the enemy of the good when statistically the risks of not getting vaccinated pose exponentially greater risks. 1.62% of Moderna and Pfizer vaccine recipients developed myocarditis. Contrast that with the heart damage that people that got covid endured. Trust me it is far greater. People that got vaccinated got sick but they tended not to die as much.

We had 765,222,932 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally, including 6,921,614 deaths. To focus on the small collateral effect seems ridiculous to me. But everybody is free to think what they want to think and harbor the delusions of their choice.

I suggested to the pair that they not rely on one news source, like Fox, MSNBC or Newsmax for instance. I read across the board, from National Review to Volokh to the American Prospect. Get all the information, from the widest gamut of sources as possible and then make a critical evaluation of what rings true for you and unfortunately, who is trying to manipulate you.

Because the clan wars show that we are being manipulated and our narratives spoon fed by both left and right faster than George Lakoff can frame an elephant. I don't know about you but I hate being manipulated. But without antennae and critical evaluation skills, how can you know? I wonder, is it that terribly difficult to figure out what is real and when you are getting fed a line? I guess it is.

Their answer astounded me. They said that they don't listen to any news, at all, I think they said they get their knowledge from the people at church.

I realized that there was nothing more I could say?  Hardened silos, no possible way to break through, tempered with calvinist theology. I might as well have tried to break into Fort Knox as plea that they widen their narrow perspective and knowledge base and try to get an objective look at the whole conundrum. They reside in a world of total disassociation.

Read the fucking newspaper, have an opinion, whether I like it or not and we can argue if you want to. Stand for something.


Jon Harwood said...

Well, as history has indicated, God is on the side of the big battalions and I looks like it is going to be that way here. On side of the other will get more powerful and into a situation where they can run things. Most of us are along for the ride and we may just have to find what serenity we can where we can find it.

If I wanted to pin the blame somewhere I might pin it on very rapid social and technological change. It looks like that is only going to accelerate in its disorienting craziness.

Diane O said...

Thankfully, the US is a very big country. Maybe that will dilute a lot of the poison being injected into the system. The only thing I can think of to do is: find your crew and stick together. The great disassembly will continue for a while so finding a way to serenity has become really important for me. One way to sanity is reading the Blast, so thanks for that. ~ Diane O

Blue Heron said...

Enjoyed the. ”BLAST”. You and I aren’t that different… I too am a tripple vaxed “Centrist” who isn’t immune to logic… I’m glad you’re my friend and our conversations (however absurd at times) give me joy..


Blue Heron said...

Love the political rant! You hit all the markers for me. I have never felt so bewildered and helpless by so many Americans seemingly losing all sense of goodness.