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Thursday, October 23, 2014

On Stupidity


I instruct my boys thusly:
“The first step on the path to Wisdom is “I don't Know””...and “Ignorance is curable with effort...but Stupid is always a Terminal Condition.”
The stories linked above are further proof that a large portion of the folks we share the country with can no longer be considered Ignorant, and therefore Curable. Instead, they are Stupid.
Stupid, and well trained in the usage of a set of rhetorical habits that further confuse and poison the “Debate”, and therefore, the Commons.
How many times has a Right Winger hollered at me to “Do some research”?
Or to “Broaden where I get my information”...the implication being that I, as a self described Liberal, must get my information only from “Left Wing Propaganda”?
Of course, these hollerers never...not once...offer up suggestions to accomplish this end...which is telling, I think.
Never have they told me to watch Fox...or to listen to Rush...or read World Net Daily.
Not once.
Indeed, when I take this crazy trait into my online arguing, in other words, when I deliberately refrain from linking to Wiki, or Msnbc or Alternet, because I know full well what my interlocutors will reflexively say...when I instead link to the Wall Street Journal, or to Forbes...even to Fox “News”(on the rare occasion that they accidentally get things right)...I am lambasted for those Sources, as well.
You just can't “win” an argument with these people...because they're Stupid...
And not just Stupid, but fucking Proud of their Stupidity.
They wear Stupidity like a uniform, believing(I think) that it is Knowledge.
They wave Stupidity around like a Flag.
...and the hardest thing is that when you present evidence, all but irrefutable to anyone else, that contradicts their Belief in their Stupidity....then YOU are the Stupid one!
You see, Liberals are the ones who “Drink the Koolaide”...just as “Liberals are the Source of Violence in this country”(really,lol)...and “Liberals want to put “Real Americans “ in camps, for seeking “Truth””...and on and on.
It makes me want to become even more of a Hermit than I already am...but it's my fucking country, too...dammit!
It's the place where my kids will grow up.
It's where I live.
….so I feel deeply that I have a Responsibility to counter all of the Stupid and Dangerous Bullshit that is thrown around and believed as “Fact” by so many of my countrymen.
I fear that we, in the “Reality Based Community” have already lost.
That we are already in a New Dark Age of...not Ignorance, that would leave an opening for Hope...but of Stupidity, malicious and evil....regarding itself as Truth and Goodness.
Falsehood, masquerading as the Real World.
I've lamented this for more than a decade, now...but it just gets worse.
Instead of naming our current time as the Anthropocene Epoch, I think it's more reasonable to name it the Age of Stupid.
The poem that's been in my mind since just after 911 is much more apt to our current predicament than I would like:

“”The Triumph of Dulness
from The Dunciad

In vain, in vain,---the all-composing hour
Resistless falls: the Muse obeys the power.
She comes! she comes! the sable throne behold
Of Night primeval, and of Chaos old!
Before her, Fancy's gilded clouds decay,
And all its varying rainbows die away.
Wit shoots in vain its momentary fires,
The meteor drops, and in a flash expires.
As one by one, at dread Medea's strain,
The sickening stars fade off the ethereal plain;
As Argus' eyes by Hermes' wand oppressed,
Closed one by one to everlasting rest;
Thus at her felt approach, and secret might,
Art after Art goes out, and all is night.
See sulking Truth to her old cavern fled,
Mountains of casuistry heaped o'er her head!
Philosophy, that leaned on Heaven before,
Shrinks to her second cause, and is no more.
Physic of Metaphysic begs defense,
And Metaphysic calls for aid on Sense!
See Mystery to Mathematics fly!
In vain! they gaze, turn giddy, rave, and die.
Religion blushing veils her sacred fires,
And unawares Morality expires.
Nor public flame, nor private, dares to shine;
Nor human spark is left, nor glimpse divine!
Lo! thy dread empire, Chaos is restored;
Light dies before thy uncreating word:
Thy hand, great Anarch! lets the curtain fall;
And universal darkness buries all. “”
-Alexander Pope, the Dunciad.

I tremble for the Future.

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