Monday, August 23, 2010
"If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed." - Mark Twain
I had an interesting exchange with a friend of childhood friend on Facebook. My friend is a highly educated (and from the best of the best) woman of a certain age, as are her friends. I would describe my friend, going solely on her political postings (and those of her friends, a great many of which describe themselves as "Left" and/or "Liberal" and/or "Democrats") on Facebook, as very, if not extremely, aligned with the Left. (I enjoy political debate with my friend's friends as they are cordial and polite when engaged - something of a rarity on the Web, I find.) It is also worth noting that the "meat" of the argument of my co-responent was not made in haste - they thought about my response for an evening before responding themselves.
Still, I felt like I was in a debate from the 1980's movie, "Ground Hog's Day", where Bill Murray wakes up each morning only to find that its February 2 over and over again with each person EXCEPT him replays their part exactly.
Most of what I heard was right out of the Media. Whatever the media said about an event, well, that's the way it was. Since this individual is A Liberal/Democrat (self-described on FaceBook) from California, the media spiel (schpiel?) comported with the established political view of that regions's media.
Think about it. Does the media CHALLENGE their readers and viewers with ANYTHING?! NAFC. The media is not there to offend their customer, they are their to package the news in such ways that affirms their readers. It then follows that over time this affirmation would lead to a positive, or self re-inforcing, feed-back loop. People that tend to tune into the loonies of MSNBC and rest of the MSM will be every bit as affected as the people that that tend to tune in to the loonies at FOX News.
But neither of the major political persuasions of our time seems to see it this way. They seem to see it as, "Duuugh! Those people are sooooooo stuuupid!" (attempt at California accent), and then as proof of their morally and intellectually superior position(s), people on both sides will run off with material and "data" (lolololol!) regurgitated from the media serving their persuasion.
This is merely an observation of mine that has been percolating in the background until a hammer hit the bell during my recent Facebook experience, but as proof I will offer the support and resistance of BOTH sides to the recent Healthcare legislation:
The Legislation is over 1,000 pages of the most daunting, complex, boring, mean-spirited, torturous, convoluted BULL SH*T since Mein-Kampf... and while I have read the 57 page summation and have given a great deal of time and effort to Congressman Brady's published FLOW CHART of the legislation, I am only about 25% through the legislation itself (painful does not begin to describe the reading) - and, if I do say so myself... I am a gifted career-analyst! Its what I do! And I've made millions at it! Sorry, but if I am having a difficult time understanding the complexities of this with all of my experience, I sincerely doubt your local Congressman or Rachel Maddow or Glen Beck have any grasp whatsoever!!!
Yet your average highly educated, highly intelligent individual... having taken ZERO time to read the legislation... having no background in economics, whether self-taught for formally trained... not being informed about most things, whatsoever, other than what their media outlet tells them to believe... will absolutely take a crystal hard position on the matter to the point of anger. Is this not the definition of insanity? Is there any wonder as to the state of the body politic? People that are in perpetual frantic state between all of the complexities of our society are so sure of a proper course, and are as equally confident that a government agency will be able to run with the task... never mind government's track record... that they are willing to give up rights and liberties to permit the government to "make life fair"? It seems that that is indeed the way it is...
At this moment, I am absolutely sure that I am one of the few, remaining normal people left. And I feel confident about that. Wanna know why? Because I am absolutely, positively sure that I do not know what is best for everybody in every circumstance! That people can, and should, interpret their own environment, their own lives and circumstances, for themselves... and that they can do it better then I can. What a f****ing concept, huh??!!
I have come to the conclusion that one of the greatest dilemma's facing our society at this time is GROUP THINK. The inability to question the group's assertions and conclusions. Look at the Supreme Court... Yea, there is a Right and Left... yet all of these people come from the same 5 Law Schools.... and most hail from the Coasts... are there really no smart people from Duke, Auburn, Vanderbilt, University of Virginia....?
Our country's finances have placed us on a road to disaster... a disaster that could include a Constitutional Crisis complete with bloodshed... and worse... yet our political participants never seem to see their own hand, and their responsibility, in it. Why? Perhaps because the T.V. told them so.
"The mark of an immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one." - William Stekel