Friday, October 11, 2013

Bourgeoisie and Feeble Minds

So, the "no one in Congress should get paid until this is over" and "cut the deficit, don't pay Congress" wave of not-particularly-deep-thinking?

I get it.  I do, I absolutely understand not wanting to pay them while they refuse to work, while they devastate others with their corporate-interest politicking.  But not paying them is neither going to reduce our debt in any meaningful way NOR hurt them in any real fashion.  They don't make enough for their paychecks to put a dent in the deficit.  Plus, they're rich, the money they make from their Congressional salary?  Chump change for most of them.  The obstructionist, "bend over for the baggers" conservatives?

Most certainly have other, more lucrative income streams.

If we really wanted to make it sting, we'd need to shut down ANY income for them, including corporate sweets and off-shore income.  No investment dividends, no family cash, nothing.  Of course, that's not even a little bit practical (or legal), so it's just dreaming.  The sad reality is that NOTHING we do can stop these maniacs.

Except voting, that is.  Not just in the general elections, but in the PRIMARIES.  Because THAT'S where the insane tea party faction wins.  At the primary level, where they know nobody else is active.  At the primaries, they get to decide WHO is on the ballot come November.  They make sure the most extremist, radical, idiotic bagger takes the republican primary, knowing that most republicans vote straight party line.

If you want sanity back in our politics, if you want our government to stop acting like spoiled terrorists, you need to vote in THE PRIMARIES as well as the general election.

Otherwise?  Get used to this bullshit.


I'm going to flip back to the ACA/"Obamacare" thing once again.  Just a reminder for the folks out there who never saw "School House Rock."

The Affordable Care Act was passed by our representatives.  It was signed into law by our President.  It survived a Constitutional Challenge by our viciously right-leaning Supreme Court.  

It's the LAW.  Now shut up your "I hate the black guy/I'm afraid the tea baggers will nuke me at the primary level" whinging and do your damned jobs.  


I was thinking the other day about religion.  Or, rather, about religions.  About how many are so sure that theirs is the right, the real, the true faith.  About how your faith is determined by where you're born, which means that, if the one true faith is Reformed Latter-Day Saint and you were born in, say, Mumbai, you're pretty much screwed.  So, whichever religion is the "true" one, that's a crappy deity who'd deny most of the world whatever jolly afterlife because they were born in the wrong place.

Think about it.  THINK about it!  You know why so many faiths cram themselves down the throats of children?  Because children are, by default, non-believers.  They are atheists in the truest sense.  But they're also GULLIBLE, they believe in flying horses and talking pigs and unicorns.  They believe what the adults they depend upon tell them.  And so they're filled up like cheap Styrofoam cups with all the hot, steaming dogma their folks can slam in EARLY, while they're still innocent enough to believe it.  And by the time they're old enough to think critically?

Most times, it's too late--that lump of fiction has already slid in before the wall of logic could be constructed, and has taken up residency in the "unquestionable" portion of the brain.  You know what happens when you DON'T fill a kid's mind with mythology?  When you let a kid be a kid and don't bury him under an avalanche of doctrine and woo?

He laughs himself silly the first time he's exposed to the Bible.  Says things like, "God's a BUSH? A TALKING bush?  And he's on FIRE?" followed by peals of laughter.  

Anyway, back to where I was going with this--religions.  So many religions, and yet only one "true" faith.  

And I came up with this:


Dreamed I have cancer.  MRI's on Monday.  Hope I can get some answers soon.  Hope they're happy answers.


I was thinking about learning and when it stops for so many people.  I am in touch with so many folks from high school.  And so many of them seemed so smart back then, and seem so . . . dull now.  It's like they just hit 18 years old and stopped.  Like learning is a job you do until you're done with high school, and then you don't ever have to learn again.  Their grammar is atrocious, their spelling and written communication childish--it's shocking.  I was reading a piece the other day about the number of people who never read another book after high school.  I dug around for a source of the statistics, and found a number of different sources, some from a study conducted in 2003, others cited as more recent (2013).  I couldn't narrow it down further, so I can't say these numbers are dead on.  What I can say?

They dovetail nicely with my personal experiences with folks in my world.

^That's a live link to the source page^

And it's not just reading.  I've known people--family members, even--who've made it quite clear that the opinions they'd formed by the age of 18 were set in stone, unassailable.  And they defend this, like it's a point of pride.  Think about it.  That's like proudly proclaiming "I HAVEN'T LEARNED A DAMNED THING IN 20 YEARS AND I'M PROUD OF IT!"  


New information comes in, new theories are tested, new things are discovered, new ways of doing things invented, and it happens EVERY DAY!  How can you just close up and decide you're done growing?

In psych, we used to call that "premature foreclosure" (thank you, Erikson).  And it's not a good thing.

I learn every day.  And my opinions and feelings are not the same as they were when I was in my 20s.  So long as my brain is working, I want to keep it nimble.  I love to learn.  And I'm torn between pity and horror at those who've decided learning isn't important.  

I don't think there's anything that makes us more human than our capacity to learn.


And here's this--just my way of wishing y'all a happy Columbus day.

Or something.

That's referring to an Oatmeal post (as indicated by the credit there--"The Oatmeal").  You should read it.  It's right HERE.  It's not anything we didn't already know, but it's a snappy way of putting it together.  

1 comment:

  1. I was a Republican Catholic when I was 18. My siblings still are. I do not have much of a relationship with them any more. Sad but true.