Saturday, December 10, 2016

Be afraid, be very afraid.

Regarding the following link
The role of media-stoked fear in our politics

This fellow lays it out in a simple straight-forward way. After switching back and forth from Fox News to any other large media outlet, it was easy for me to see how consumers of extreme right-wing media see the world so differently. It is a simple view and it is fear based. When people feel their backs are against the wall and a mortal enemy is bearing down on them, good judgment is rarely the result. 

Parenthetically, I find it interesting how religion in America is often sold in a similar fear-wrapped package. It is not surprising to find so many Christian evangelicals hopping on board a train that must seem so familiar to them.

We only need one other piece to make a full circle. Imagine you lived in a place where the standard way to get your information about the world was from a religious leader. For the sake of argument, let's say 
he's a Muslim cleric. Of course there are moderate clerics but let's imagine you happened to be born in a place where, instead of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, etc. they had instead fiery fundamentalist Muslim clerics. Now, every day you are fed a diet of fear and anger. Of course they change the names of the monsters in their stories, though you may confidently assume they are no less vehement in their rhetoric. To be fair, we could have easily engaged in the same mental exercise with fiery fundamentalist Jewish clerics. And so on.

I do believe we can put a bow on this puppy.

*There are those of you whose minds continue to question, drill down, look for the missing pieces. You might feel as though I have omitted a group. Let us give them a name. "I am on the correct side of the issues and therefore feel exempt from thoughtfully questioning the thin mental porridge too often served at my table, Liberals". Not to worry dear reader, I turn my sights on them in other posts. Few escape my curmudgeonly gaze. Insert maniacal laughter here.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Sinful? Sexy?

Regarding this story and similar horrors.

Link: American Female Genital Mutilation

The linking of sexual pleasure, self or consensual interpersonal, to the concept of sin, is unquestionably one of the worst ideas to propogate among humans. This idea, based solely on magical thinking (and most commonly related to a judgmental and vindictive invisible fellow in the sky), has been the source of hateful intolerance and innumerable barbarous acts on both the individual and societal level. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

As Darkness Falls

Regarding this link
New Dark Ages

First of all, it can not possibly be scarier than what I think, but I concede the point.

There was a period when Truth was not a thing independent of personality, power, etc. Truth
was whatever the rich and powerful (nobility and/or priests) asserted. Period. This historical period was known, in the vernacular, as The Dark Ages.

It is clear that perfectly reasonable intelligent thoughtful persons might have summarily concluded there was no likely path looping back to that period. Even the most cynical may have entertained the notion of humans being well past that sort of foolishness. Nevertheless, as dust on the battlefield clears, it seems there may be a path and a shockingly short one.