My problem is that I read too much history and philosophy. It ruins me for the everyday discourse that my fellow citizens enjoy indulging in. Not that I’m particularly smarter than everyone else. In fact, I could make a stretch and say that, beyond a certain gift for crass manipulation; I’m not much smarter than the average American. My shortcoming, if that too could be admitted to, is that my worldview hasn’t been shaped by television, pop-cultural, or the requisite study of the Scriptures. I mean, I have watched television, I am vaguely aware of pop-culture, and I’ve studied for the Ministry… it’s just that none of it really got a hook in me.
History and philosophy got a hook in me. And much like the facial expression on the fish that I caught yesterday, the surprise and sheer terror of the realities of the world still kinda take me off guard.
Right now, I’m studying the history of the Middle-East between 1911 and 1920. What a mess. Religion, ethnicity, xenophobia, tribal allegiance, and violence drove nearly everything. And as long as the Western countries got their oil, and had finally won the Crusades, they were pretty happy about the whole thing. You know… just like today.
Given the multi-layered and deeply ingrained mysticism and superstition of the time, it’s frustrating to try to piece together rational “what if?” scenario. There are no round pegs that will fit these square holes. It’s depressing.
And so… I watch the current batch of Republicans, and I am deeply depressed. They trot out religion, ethnicity, xenophobia, tribal allegiance, and violence as a matter of course. We give them a waiver for this preposterous behavior, because we know that they are attempting to pander to their “base”. And it really doesn’t bother me that politicians would try this. They have every right to say whatever they wish. What bothers me is that there are enough religious, racist, xenophobic, culturally backward, and violent Americans to make up the aforementioned “base”.
I mean, really. This isn’t 1911. We live in an age where, with little real effort, the average American can get a pretty good bead on reality. To start, all they really have to do is shut off Fox News. Oh, don’t get me started…..
“So, Karl Rove, given that Obama is a Black Muslim Socialist, and is only attempting to burnish his legacy and sweep his past mistakes under the rug, what do you think of the President’s statement today?”
I exaggerate only mildly.
We who aren’t part of the “base” wring our hands… trying to find that round peg that will fit into a very square hole. We go after every “rational” conversation that we can pull out of the backs of our laps. We hope for some sort of Enlightenment. We hold out “reason” as a condescending gift for the ignorant.
And I’m rapidly coming to the very cynical conclusion that… “You can’t fix stupid.”
That’s really depressing.
Have a day.
primum vivere, deinde philosophari