More than once I’ve heard the refrain from friends and family with whom I maintain a passing “relativity” that I just flat out read too much. It’s a problem I’ve been stuck with most of my life … reading too much which is then followed up by the equally destructive addiction of thinking too much about what I’ve been reading.
I’ve recently been given to more fully understand that the solution to all the problems in our country are essentially encountered in the simple (or was it simplistic?) minds of the simple (or was it simplistic?) followers of political sheep herders who hang out at the Fox News Smoke and Mirrors Pub and other similar taverns to sip only the suds of their particular brand.
For example, that there particular foxy pub is where angry old white men get stirred up about hernia-making propaganda intended to convince them just how smart and informed they can be when in reality their world is that like the kept-in-the-dark-and-fed-only-BS of mushrooms.
The key is in reducing complex issues into powerful straight forward but brief clarifications. For example, unfounded concerns about climate change, pollution and ozone layers have been reduced to the straight forward clearing up of any confusion with broadcast stampede dismissal of any concerns as the “neurotic hand wringing of tree hugging ‘environmentalist whackos.’”
Can it be any clearer than that?
And how could I have ever forgotten those years in the 80’s when I too was a devout dittohead; when Rush dismissed female equality issues as mere notorious “feminazism?” He told us dumb white guys that the dumb wimmen were Nazis … and we nodded our heads cause we were against whatever he was against.
Is there not something irrationally appealing about living in a world dominated by black-white certitude; where such things as nuances have no impact? Such is the beauty and loveliness of simple (or simplistic?) life in your own propaganda corner of the big ranch.
Certitude consigns the sheepish to what psychoanalyst Erik Erikson called the state of psychic foreclosure.
Foreclosed persons are easily attracted to the beguilingly simple, one-size-fits-all belief systems of powerful others that they adopt as their own so as to avoid the sometimes lonely rigors of personal searching.
The foreclosed are the ready disciples of demagogues in every age. – Psychologist Paul Ginetty
What’s wrong with the coming campaign broadcast deluge of pretended profundity parading as informed sound bites which will be aired during the campaign and make only the broadcasters wealthier?
It’s how you are supposed to feel when someone serves a sound bite with which you already agree. It really isn’t about logic or common sense. It really isn’t “I just wannabe loved.”
It’s more of “I want to be singing in the same choir and on the same page as somebody who is simply (or simplistically) famous, influential and popular among my friends.”
No matter that I sacrifice my individuality and intellectual integrity so long as I am loved and respected by all my fellow sacrificers. We are they who willingly shout “Amen!” to the simple (simplistic?) profound declarations of the national blowhards – those talkers who willingly admit to never having read up on or pursued knowledgeable command of the topic they wish to deride.
It’s not about that kind of sacrifice … its about inclusion and a “brothers-in-uninformed-arms” intimacy with a voice on a TV or radio.
As psychology professor Paul Ginetty wrote,
They get a chance to feel real smart when the master seems to agree with them, failing to see that it is actually they who are agreeing with him.
Yes, if I want to calm down and retire to a life of ignorant bliss I should repent, reconvert to the dittoheadedness of both parties so that I too can enjoy a life of simplistic simple-mindedness.
… maybe even stake out a booth at the local Elk Snout Tavern where as a disciple I can spread the shallow gospel of simple arrogant ignorance