Sarah the Shining Light

Like their heroine, they don’t know much about it:


She truly could run as the head of the revitalized “Know-nothing” party. My favorite (for the <2 mins of stoopid I could stand – I have to share a town with these yoyos) was the clearly elderly woman who wants to "stop the spending". But God forbid anybody get the government into her Medicare!

The interviewer deserves an award for playing it straight. I don’t think I could keep my composure.

“Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.”
These people would flunk the citizenship test.

Holy crap, 8 minutes of video stupidity? Count me out. I’m sure it’s stunning, though.

@IanJ: It’s worth a couple minutes to get the flavor of it. The questions are even less challenging than Name That Supreme Court Decision, and the answers very revealing about how a cult of personality works in practice.

The one guy claimed to watch a lot of Fox News. I was shocked, shocked to hear that at a Palin event.

For the first time I’ve become aware that Russia is right across the street from Alaska.

The sad thing isn’t that these people are stupid. Some of them are almost certainly bright. Presumably they are all making it through life well enough to be able to take time to attend the book signing. They’re all too lazy to ask questions to acquire information and they recognize their heroine as one of their own.

@IanJ: I watched the whole thing – do not shirk your duty.

@blogenfreude: I don’t know how you do it. I’m with IanJ–can’t give 8 minutes of my life to teh stupid. Be careful, darling–we worry for your sanity with all the exposure to head-asploding crazee.

@Dave H: I wouldn’t say they were too lazy to ask questions to acquire information. This sort of ignorance requires active avoidance. They’re just uninterested in hearing anything that might conflict with their pre-conceived notions.

I made it to about the 40 second mark when the bronze medalist from the Special Olympics wrestling competition appeared. All of these people are exactly the kind of people the Talibunny couldn’t wait to distance herself from in Alaska. Who the fuck do you think is going to show up for a failed sportscaster turned failed mayor turned failed governor?

Its exactly like someone interviewing Nascar fans, or pro wrestling fans. Exactly.

@Jamie Sommers: This sort of ignorance requires much more than active avoidance. Unless we’re just ready to give up the goat to them who’d fuck’em. And I’m just about there.

@FlyingChainSaw: I didn’t catch that a wrestling champion had opined…I may have to rewind and watch again. Ok, no, I could not do that again.

These people truly represent the willfully ignorant, nay, proudly ignorant majority of my fellow US Americans, and I am terrified.

@Pedonator: You needn’t review it. The usual blather about ‘dah, freedum, America good, libruls kill kill kill. Doi’ Get used to it. These are the 40+ million that voted for McCain. They’re out there, drooling, hating, planning to blow up Universalist churches and publicly funded universities. All they need is the signal from Sarah.

@Pedonator: No, no, seriously, in our society here in the US of A, no, you do not have to be deliberately ignorant in order to know absolutely nothing of the real issues and policies and to know nothing of what is really going on in politics.

Our major political parties, one to a lesser extent than the other, but still, both of them, obfuscate and hide their real agendas. The republicans have a message problem simply because they have no message other than lies that have grown thin. The mainstream media neverthelesss still reports their lies, with no questioning. Anyone who gains any notice trying to simply tell the truth is labelled a fat commie (Michael Moore) or a conspiracy theorist or a crazy internet kook.

No, it does not take a deliberate choice to be this ignorant, if you think that, its because you fail to appreciate the effort you put in to be informed and aware.

In order to have some semblance of a reality-based awareness of US politics, you have to work hard, search out information that is not broadcast in the mainstream media, you have to have enough faith in your own judgment to reject the messages you are bombarded with, you have to be smart enough, independant enough, to reject the lies the media bombards you with, and to withstand the ridicule of the mass of people around you who believe the lies.

These people are not deliberately ignorant, no, they are exactly the people that the modern media, now owned by the corporate oligarchy, wants, they are what the mainstream media deliberately encourages, they are the victims of the propaganda that our media now consists of. Their awareness is limited to meaningless catchphrases because that is how the issues are presented to them, by our “press,” as meaningless catchphrases.

We are truly going to hell in a handbasket, this society, this US amurrica, its going to hell, all the people hear is cant and lies and shit.

Our culture is in decline, a spiralling decline.

We really should, as thinking, and productive, people, be looking to some out. This society is rapidly dividing into haves and have-nots, and those life paths that used to allow someone to make a decent living wage, without being a part of the oligarchy, are disappearing. There is no longer a middle-class option, people who have worked their way into careers that once were a guarantee of a comfortable, not rich, but confortable, lifestyle, are being pressed now. Tech people, engineers, the lawyers among us, we see this, every day, and others, our advanced degrees and technical knowledge are worth less and less, we work harder and harder, have less security, and we are the lucky ones, the people who once worked in the textile mill or the shoe factory, they are scraping by at WalMart, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and sinking and failing.

I see collectivism as an answer. The Ark is a romantic and idealized notion, but the underlying idea is not. A communal group, I think the ideal size, is about the same size that anthropologists see as the size of a herding-small agriculture tribe, as the ideal size, say 100 people, 20 family groups. Communalizing food and child care, would bring great efficiencies, and a more natural life, communal childcare and eating, creates community bonds, people are not alienated and alone trying to survive.

It does not even matter what the primary economic activity is, it could be high tech, it could be low tech, raising goats, making cheese, and growing wheat, or writing code, doing tech consulting, anyone out there, doing anything, imagine you have 50 partners in a communal project, to simply do that, what you do, with efficiency, communally, with the efficiency of living communally. Labor costs reduced by the fact that noone commutes, noone needs a car, insurance, gas, noone needs child care.

I am, my fellow stinquers, a fucking loon crazy hippie commie, I have to admit it. But what I am describing is not the hopeless utopian commune idea of the hippies, I am thinking of what people with skills and used to work, hard work, could do, combining in this way to create a life thats more meaningful.

A tribe. I once read somewhere that what the internet has created is the ability for “like minded tribes of people to find each other.” We have done that, we are a tribe of like minded people. Thats a start, thats what the internet has done.

Now what can we do? Now, we can create a real tribe, and I have to say, from all I have read of anthropology and human existence and everything else, a tribe is the entity that people were meant to be part of, we were never meant to be individuals struggling alone in life, we were meant to be part of a group, a group that gives mutual support to its members, but is still small enough that there is real personal interaction between all of the members of the group. A group in which major projects are communal endeauvours, raising children and food production are communal activites, and people feel connected, deeply, in a network of people who share values and beliefs.

Thats us, except we need to find that commune.

Oh go ahead and say I am a silly hippy, but I really believe that is the way to live life. And a way to survive as our society degrades.

@Promnight: Ok, you silly hippy. I just want to give you a big hug and make everything better.

Of course I agree with pretty much all above. It’s not communism, really, it’s community.

And how do we reach community in a world, in an economy, in an entrenched system of being that is totally and violently opposed to anything that challenges the perpetual-growth finance-shenanigan pyramid scheme that owns our very “democracy”?

I’m all for educating people about the true nature of our situation, but I don’t hold out any Hope that things will fundamentally change until we have some kind of big collapse, die-off, and/or cannibal anarchy.

Of course, by then it may well be too late. But can you even imagine your clueless middle-class relatives giving up meals of cheap packaged meat even two times a day, bottled water, tomatoes flown in from Chile in February, paved wastelands of “free”way and strip-mall where they can enact not only their need for instant aggression but also gratification?

Who will deny their uncle or cousin their right to purchase an ATV and go forth into the desert in order to climb dunes and tread tortoise underneath their righteous tires?

@Pedonator: That sounds too close to “communitarianism,” which was the Great White Liberal balderdash of the early 90s.

But you’re right: People don’t change until they have no alternative. And then it’s too late.

@nojo: The “communatarianism” charge brought back such sweet memories of my early twenties in god-forsaken SF. Though I can’t quite remember the particular band I was thinking of, a bit of Negativland never hurts:

Christianty is Stupid/Communism is Good.

Shop as usual. And avoid panic buying.

@Pedonator: I was assistant (er, associate) hack at the alumni rag at the time. The editor was smitten by that particular intellectual fad. I figured he got it from Harper’s.

a bit of Negativland never hurts

Which reminds me, my The The CD arrived today. Could someone hop in the Wayback Machine and tell me not to buy cassettes?

I haven’t spent a lot of time in Ohio but they seemed to be diverse in terms of uneducated soundings accents.

prommie, what you are describing is a kibbutz.
and there are hundreds still alive and well in israel. some with hundreds of people, others with more than a thousand. my dearest friend there lives on one.
it’s a beautiful scenic community, where everyone lives in the same smallish 2 bedroom apt. my friend’s husband is the president or whatever they call him, and he earns the same wage as the woman who washes her clothes. how does that sit with you? i have given this a lot of thought, and i have no answer. i think it’s difficult for an american to wrap their head around that. the kibbutz she lives on produces a cutting edge blast proof glass, very popular in israel and they have contracts all over the world. they also just started a vineyard and we took a ride to see the acres and acres of baby vines. it’s a rich kibbutz, the laundry lady makes more than any of us. it’s an ideal, prommie, it really is, i just think it’s a difficult concept for a born and bred american and their ideas about rugged individualism. i’ll take the Ark.
edit: before one of you wise asses comments, no, they do not all live in the one apt! the same type of apt!
and i agree with noje, people will not change until there is no alternative, and then it’s always too late. true dat.

I would say it’s a combination of lazy passivism on the part of these people and active obscurantism by the MSM that results in this type of breathtaking ignorance. My mom is always asking me why I know so much about what’s going on in the world and in American politics, yet she makes no effort to seek out news on her own beyond skimming the useless local paper and catching 30-second promos for the equally useless local TV news broadcast while watching other shows.

However, I have to disagree that society is in some terrible downward spiral. Though it’s amusing to discuss how we’ll prepare for cannibal anarchy, I don’t actually believe that we’re any closer to being on the brink of disaster than any other time in our history. Let me clarify to say that I don’t think we’re on the brink of moral disaster. We may very well be on the brink of an environmental disaster, and there’s little doubt that America’s heyday as the only world superpower is as good as done. But that’s not the same thing.

I was just discussing this with my mom yesterday–she was stating how we’re becoming more depraved and degenerate by the day, and I challenged her to cite specific examples. Her response was akin to the video above: some nonsense about kids playing outside unattended, having to lock doors, etc. Then I asked her if it was just a coincidence that I could go back thousands of years and find examples from just about every culture of people bemoaning how things were in decline and moral decay was running rampant in their once-better society.

I don’t deny that we may be worse off in some ways now, but we’re also much better off in others, and ultimately I think societies maintain an ongoing balance between “good” and “bad” traits that recalibrate themselves, and it’s an illusion of our short lifespans that leads us to believe we’re either improving or declining.

@Promnight: Having been raised in a tribal community, I can tell you that it combines the best and the worst of any small community. Rivalries, avarice, greed, small mindedness, sometimes poor leadership can all detract from achieving the ideal. We were born into it and not self-selected as those on the Ark would be, so many community roles are pre-determined for us by birth, station, family, knowledge and training.

@redmanlaw: Good points, RML. It’s dangerous to idealize any social model–a village/tribal society definitely has some advantages over our current Western isolationism, but there’s a reason “tribalism” isn’t necessarily a complimentary term.

@flippin eck:
i like your broad view of things, and agree that our short lifespans, and the questionable gift of knowing we are going to die, lead to all sorts of crazee, like religion. but you mention the environment, which i believe, along with george carlin that, “we’re just bad animals. we don’t have to save the planet. the planet will be just fine. we fucked the planet up for our use and it’s gonna shake us off like a case of the fleas.”

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