Peter G (sinetimore) wrote,
Peter G

Pot Says You're Black, Line One

You want to know what the problem with the modern world is?  'Cause I'm gonna tell you what the problem with the modern world is --

The problem with the modern world is everyone is more interested in making those they disagree with look like morons than actually doing something constructive.

I'm not talking about debate or arguing.  Those are legitimate processes, and everyone engages in them at least once in a while.  Show me someone who never gets keyed up and raises his voice during a vigorous political debate and I'll show you someone who ultimately doesn't care.

What I'm talking about is that old standby of discrimination -- dehumanizing the other side.  They don't reduce the argument to absurdity, they reduce the person to absurdity.  If the person doesn't have a fucking clue, they can't possibly have a valid point, can they?  This conflicts with one of my basic rules -- truth is truth, no matter where it comes from.  I may hate, say, Glenn Beck or Jeanne Garafolo more than anybody you know.  But if they ever make a valid point, I would have no choice but to swallow it, admit they are right, and build on that knowledge.

We have a cloud of smug blowing in from the UK.  The Daily Telegraph has a writer named Chris Delingpole.  He wrote an op-ed piece called, "The Science Is Settled:  US Liberals Really Are The Dumbest Creatures On The Planet."  Hey, they were smart enough to defeat the most powerful navy in the world 235 years ago.  Oops, sorry.  Egotistical nationalism gets my dander up.  He basically uses it to attack not liberals, but American liberals.  See what I mean about nationalism?  It concerns climate change, and how these people think American companies are actually controlling it and hushing up the effects to make poor people suffer and because they control the media, the press is not reporting the effects of global warming enough and that is why people doubt the claims.

There are two problems with his point, however.  I will deal with them in order, starting with the shortest.  First of all, this isn't a liberal thought, US or otherwise.  This is what we call a "conspiracy theory."  You will recognize by the fact that it makes no fucking sense whatsoever.  Meaning it is easy to shoot down.  In other words, Delingpole is picking a fight with a kid with his hands and legs duct taped together.  There's no possible way he can lose and he can brag he beat someone up (I remember a guy who bragged he beat up a martial artist.  Didn't matter that he was 23 and the martial artist was 11, he beat up a martial artist).  Delingpole is doing exactly what he is accusing US liberals of doing -- selectively targeting, ignoring the ones that are actually a challenge, and bragging about his superiority.

The second problem, however, concerns his overarching generalization.  There is nothing about being American or being liberal that makes you inherently stupid.  Just as there is nothing inherently destructive about a hammer.  It can be used constructively or destructively, depending on who wields it.  Public opinion is like a hammer.  And there are just as many people in the UK who promote stupid ideas.  There are just as many conservatives who use it to promote stupid ideas.  The king in this regard is Rush Limbaugh, whose radio show actually made me sick (I think it was during the time of the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill hearings, when Rush played "My hands caressed you, my hands explored you" during clips of her testimony).  Glenn Beck, also a self-identified conservative, is also a nutcase, as my attempt to lock horns with him over digital rights in the Cash For Clunkers debate will attest.


I'm not sure where I fall on the political spectrum other than Libertarian.  I know I was very liberal back in my college days, and I guess I'm rather conservative now (as much as I hate being labeled, this is one of those instances where I let others decide what they think, as long as those labels do not define my ideas for me.  No, "But you're conservative, so you must think this!" or "But you're Christian, so you must think that!").  Either way, my ideas are founded by wanting to know and understand the Truth.  The Truth is an independent entity and exists regardless of your perceptions.  You can think the stove top is ice cold all you want, but it will still burn you, the power of the mind is bullshit.  There are people who put their perceptions above all else, but they are everywhere on the geographic and political map.  One group does not have a monopoly on stupidity.

Or maybe I should just say he's jealous that his country lost the colonies that became the greatest nation in the history of the world.  Hey, he's not bothering to invest any brain power into things, why should I?
Tags: did not do the research, duh, haven't we suffered enough, hypocrisy, important life lessons, infernal gall, politics, religion, science in action, stupidity, wtf
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