Aggressive Ignorance

It was at some point during the Eighties that we realized America is fucked. We don’t recall the occasion, but given the era — the Reagan era — it would have had something to do with Our Fellow Citizens preferring lies to the truth.

Because we were sweet and adorable, this came as a shock. Somehow we had grown up thinking truth was something to be valued, that facts trumped fantasies. Somehow we were under the impression that this was a value we shared with other sentient beings who lived under our flag, that of course everyone was interested in the truth, that of course we all wanted to know the facts at hand.

And then, as we cast our first national vote, Americans elected a charming liar as President, and the wheels started coming off.

It was a few years later that we found an expression for it: “aggressive ignorance”. We’re fine with ignorance as such — we’re all born with it — but while some of us feast upon the world we’re born into, many others do everything they can to avoid it. They live a lie, they enjoy living a lie, they insist upon living a lie, even when the truth is made available. They don’t want to hear it. They don’t want to see it.

And there are enough of of them to take the rest of us down with them. Just look where we are now.

This deliberate avoidance of truth has serious, perhaps catastrophic consequences. Sooner or later, reality bites, and the longer we ignore it, the harder it chomps.

The metaphor we used at the time was that we’re stuck on a bus, it’s barreling towards a cliff, there’s barely time to turn it around, but everyone insists on speeding ahead. Only when the bus is plunging into the ravine will people accept they were wrong, and then it will be too late.

This, we realized some years later, was optimistic. When the bus finally crashes in a giant fireball, half the folks aboard will die still believing it was still safely on the road.

Anyway, we’ve been living with this thought for thirty years now, and in all that time we’ve never seen a need to revise it, while we’ve seen plenty of things to reinforce it. It’s not that everybody’s fucked, but an electorally significant minority — about a third of us — which, combined with ferocious cynical pandering, denial of voting rights, and a misaligned system of representation, is sufficient to put a manifest idiot in the White House and craven toadies in Congress.

And while with sufficient time the Republic would recover as it always has, there may not be sufficient time this round, because we’re fucking up our habitat so quickly that we’ll have nothing to leave future generations but pain and resentment.

There was a poll this week reporting that one in five Americans — and half of Republicans — believe the media is “the enemy of the people”. Meanwhile, RedState fired a bunch of writers for insufficient fealty. This is how America is going down, and it’s not going to be a soft landing.

48 comments:

11:11 am • Saturday • April 28, 2018

I’ve been knocking around my parents’ house most of this week, looking in on mom while dad’s off on a short trip to British Columbia. So far, so good. Me and mom have had some small adventures. We went up to the Butte and walked as far as the second meadow where many of our high school keggers that I did not attend were held. We went to Beppe and Gianni’s last night. We drove around the hills beyond where Fox Hollow joins Lorane Hwy. Tomorrow we’re going to watch the Eugene Marathon down by mile 7 on East Amazon. But here at the old homestead, Fox is blaring all damn day. Hey, no big surprise. But neither voted for anyone for president in 2016. My mom did ask me why people (she meant liberals) hate Trump so much. This is as close as I’ve come to snapping at any point, when I half roared, “Because he’s a piece of shit!” She agreed, “Oh he’s a terrible person, but his policies aren’t bad.” I countered with his demonization of the free press, rolling back environmental protections and gifts to the wealthy that steal money from future investment in our collective wellbeing. There was no further discussion. Later she offered a book by Michael Medved to me titled The American Miracle, which recounts the many ways divine providence has blessed the USA and god has apparently picked us. My mom knows I’m not a believer. She worries about that. Anyway, that’s where we are with buying into BS. They want to believe something better about America. But maybe I’m the sucker. I’ve thought we believed in our founding principles. Mounting evidence defies that fancy daily.

12:54 pm • Saturday • April 28, 2018

The metaphor we used at the time was that we’re stuck on a bus, it’s barreling towards a cliff, there’s barely time to turn it around, but everyone insists on speeding ahead. Only when the bus is plunging into the ravine will people accept they were wrong, and then it will be too late.

This, we realized some years later, was optimistic. When the bus finally crashes in a giant fireball, half the folks aboard will die still believing it was still safely on the road.

Many think the destination is heaven. Many think this life is transitory, but heaven is eternal, and in heaven, all wrongs are righted, all burdens are lifted, all problems are fixed, all questions are answered.

Some in my family subconsciously cling to the promise that if they are good little slaves on Earth, they will be richly rewarded in heaven. Free will and fatalism cause some sort of cog dis that is stuffed down and ignored as much as possible. Such thoughts are of the devil and not to be trusted. God forbid you point out this weirdness when you’re a kid who hasn’t heard of the concept but sure as shit has felt it. It’s hard to come to terms with the idea that what you suspect is a lie and a waste of what is most likely your one shot at conscious life means that you’ll never be in a place where all is well.

Religion doesn’t keep people from doing bad things because of commandments and rules. Rather, it keeps people complacent unless their ignorance of what they see, no matter how unjust, is threatened by people who want to change what is in the here and now without waiting on the promises of heaven.

@Hank Hosfield: Amen, brother.

1:32 pm • Saturday • April 28, 2018

TJ/ Alllright. I’m off FB, so I’m going to see if the wisdom of the crowd functions in this space.

Yesterday, I drove to the office in Seatac (two FOUR hours round trip from the Centralia hinterlands), and I'm exhausted. Thursday, I almost fell into the Skookumchuck river (not exaggerating), while trying to cut back those blackberries that are apparently not from Nepal, Tibet, or China but are actually from hell. I'm still sore from pulling myself up the damn near vertical bank while my dog tossed tennis balls at me, and I briefly found religion and requested divine intervention in my endeavors to avoid dashing my skull on the jagged boulders at the river's edge, my body to be later found buried under tennis balls.

Here's what I should be doing, because the weekend is the time for errands and other mundane bullshit:

1. Buying groceries, although I can put that off until tomorrow when people are attending church en masse.

2. Returning books to the library and picking up Duck eggs daily : raising happy, healthy ducks … naturally. The library is closed on Sundays. Did this. If you’re wondering or care, yes, I am trying to get attention by using this post as a to-do list as I am no longer in my FB echo chamber of mutual likes cum fake validation.

3. Cleaning my house.

4. Emailing the house painter to find out if he took my money and ran. (I’m procrastinating in an effort to avoid discovering an outcome that could involve small claims court.)

5. Going to Seminary Hill to surreptitiously dig up a fern or two because I’m not sure of the legality of such an action.*

6. Renting a truck and scavenging pallets.

7. Brushing my teeth.

Ideas? I’ll check back after my nap.

*I probably shouldn’t be doing this.

1:44 pm • Saturday • April 28, 2018

@JNOV: And that, of course, is why evangelicals want to see the Mideast nuked, because Armageddon can’t get here fast enough.

And to the other point: Hell yes. Just look at Iraq: That can’t be a failure, because then we would have sent people there to die for no good reason. Which is exactly what happened.

1:49 pm • Saturday • April 28, 2018

@nojo: Yes.

1:54 pm • Saturday • April 28, 2018

@Hank Hosfield: My mom, bless her soul, could barely pronounce Trump’s name without distaste. And distaste was not an emotion my mom was capable of expressing.

I got lucky with my parents — they were just regular folk, nothing special, but they didn’t harbor delusions, and they didn’t pass them down. It’s amazing in retrospect the shit I never had to deal with.

6:19 pm • Saturday • April 28, 2018

I’ve heard that when first responders here in Seattle run through the usual questions, the angry, agonized groans that they receive in response to “do you know who the president is” tells them there’s plenty of fight left in the patient after all.

7:52 pm • Saturday • April 28, 2018

@¡Andrew!: My answer might be “fuuuuuuu—” and then I die of despair before finishing.

10:01 am • Sunday • April 29, 2018

/Resist/

Just watched the first two new episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale. Holy $%^&! They’ve cranked up the terror off the charts. The Republinazis declared poor Rory Gilmore an Unwoman and shipped her off to a labor camp in the Colonies to be worked to death. The acting is the best I’ve ever seen in my life. Love the show, but it is NOT for anyone who values peace of mind and a sound night’s sleep.

Thus I made my first political contributions of the season to these candidates in the desperate hope of flipping the House and Senate:

Lisa Brown WA-05
Kim Schrier WA-08
Dorothy Gasque WA-03
Christine Brown WA-04
Kyrsten Sinema AZ, Senate
Phil Bredesen TN, Senate
Beto O’Rourke TX, Senate
Jacky Rosen NV, Senate

Any others that look promising?

Helpful tip: Your credit card company will freeze your account if you repeatedly smash the Donate button, so don’t donate immediately after watching THT.

11:10 am • Sunday • April 29, 2018

@¡Andrew!: Thank you for donating to Gasque – she’s my pick. Yes to Kim Schrier and YES to Beto! Could you imagine Beto winning? Believe.

I don’t know the rest of the names. I’ll check them out.

w/r/t THT, yeah. Might need THC for that shit.

11:45 am • Sunday • April 29, 2018

@JNOV: That’s a hard negatory on mixing MJ and THT. I made that m-i-s-t-a-k-e and realized too late that the show’s pervasive paranoia and terror are guaranteed to stomp your soul when on the green magic.

One day, you’re cruising along teaching college biology, and then next thing you know, psychotic religious fanatics have invalidated your marriage and lynched your gay boss.

My humble suggestion: Have a totally ridiculous comedy and an edible lined up as a palate cleanser.

11:46 am • Sunday • April 29, 2018

Michelle Wolf at the WHCD: “I would drag [Tdumbp] here myself, but it turns out the president of the United States is the one pussy you’re not allowed to grab.”

Yes, sistah!!!

11:54 am • Sunday • April 29, 2018

I can’t even imagine watching Handmaid’s Tale on a groovy buzz.

Save that for Westworld.

2:17 pm • Sunday • April 29, 2018

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Buzzkillers.

Do any of you watch Legion?

ETA: And why are so many people pissed off at Michelle Wolf? She told the truth, and the truth shall set you free.

2:27 pm • Sunday • April 29, 2018

@JNOV: Near as I can figure, some folks are professionally outraged, because that’s what they do for a living. We know who they are. They have radio and TV shows.

Other folks seem to be aghast that she broke civic comity, that we’re supposed to continue maintaining the ruse that everything’s just an honest difference of opinion. We know who they are, too. They’re political columnists.

And that, near as I can tell, is it. Everyone else is either applauding heartily, or had something better to do last night.

2:27 pm • Sunday • April 29, 2018

@JNOV: Haven’t seen Legion, however I recently discovered the joyful lunacy of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on Netflix; it’s teevee’s only musical comedy. Five star Yelp review; highly recommend. Now even I’m obsessed with Josh Chan!

2:34 pm • Sunday • April 29, 2018

@nojo: Yeah, I’ve only read the highlights from the WHCD, and she said a helluva a lot that needed to be said, especially about Kobra Anne Kadaver and Cousin Sarah Hucksterbee Slanders.

They are perfect examples of women oppressing other women, and I can totally see them both donning the brown uniform of the Aunts with matching cattle prods.

2:52 pm • Sunday • April 29, 2018

@¡Andrew!: From what I’m hearing, some Outragists are going with the idea that Sanders looks like an Aunt, not that she’s acting like one.

In truth: Both. But by ignoring the entire comparison, they can pretend that Wolf called her ugly.

5:31 pm • Sunday • April 29, 2018

@¡Andrew!: I watched the new episodes this weekend and decided it’s time to put together a serious escape plan. If only I had the funds to emigrate, and if only there were a country that wanted us.

9:15 pm • Sunday • April 29, 2018

Sanders goes for it:

“Michelle Wolf thought it was funny comparing me to Aunt Lydia from the Handmaid’s Tale, but I’m proud to be associated with that hard-working and fearless woman. In fact, I think I’m going to ask friends to call me Aunt Lydia from now on! Good night and God bless.”

Maybe if we all flap our arms, the bus will fly back up.

9:36 pm • Sunday • April 29, 2018

@Mistress Cynica: Come to my bunker! Bring wine.

9:38 pm • Sunday • April 29, 2018

@nojo: You’d think I was done being astonished by shamelessness. I really am adorable.

9:43 pm • Sunday • April 29, 2018

@nojo: I don’t know what to think about this quote. I’m used to, “That’s a ridiculous question.”

Until this administration, the only press briefings I watched on the regular were give by C.J. Now I watch to see which reporters fight back.

9:46 pm • Sunday • April 29, 2018

@¡Andrew!: I haven’t watched Crazy Ex GF, because I’ve been called that.

:-(

9:48 pm • Sunday • April 29, 2018

@JNOV: She’s grabbing the glory, reveling in her own crucifixion for the adoration of the crowd.

She is also very, very dangerous. This I know now. I know what she is capable of. She is thoroughly amoral.

Nice kid you raised, Huck.

2:12 am • Monday • April 30, 2018

@nojo: Yes.

Sooooo, the homeless shelter Amazon is helping? Sometimes I went to the day center at Mary’s Place before its partnership with Amazon. I usually went to the Elizabeth Gregory day center in the UDistrict. They’re the ones who helped me find an apartment and charities to pay the deposit and rent when I found a job outside of Seattle. I had 13 cents when I moved into my place. Life is a wild ride. I think I’ll let the folks at Elizabeth Gregory know I bought a house.

11:30 am • Monday • April 30, 2018

Why America is Fucked, a second opinion:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/the-birth-of-godly-trump-the-humble-teacher

Substitute Reagan for Trump throughout, and you’ll see how deep this shit goes.

2:51 pm • Monday • April 30, 2018

@JNOV: I was a crazy ex-boyfriend in college, but that was a different lifetime. The show handles it with humor and compassion, I promise. And it is just flat-out hilarious. We need more laughs in our lives.

@Mistress Cynica: I think it was Elizabeth Warren who said something along the lines of: “We’re doing this because we have to do it. We can’t give in, and we can’t give up.”

@nojo: I know it sounds Pollyanna-ish, however it really does appear that a massive wave is building in 2018 that will fundamentally change this country for the better in the 2020s. I believe that because I have to believe it.

4:18 pm • Monday • April 30, 2018

@¡Andrew!: I have no doubt about the good character of a majority of our citizens, and I’m following the same polls.

It’s just that the electoral system is rigged so hard, and the folks running the joint value their power above all else. This isn’t LBJ stuffing ballot boxes in border counties — this is methodical, institutionalized electoral theft. And with an electorally significant minority of the citizenry being thoroughly delusional idiots, it doesn’t take much for the powerful to retain their power.

That’s where the bus metaphor came from. They’re going down, and they’re taking us with them.

7:44 pm • Monday • April 30, 2018

@nojo: The one saving grace is that they are all so deeply, deeply stupid. They’re so stupid that they don’t even know that they’re stupid. They’re experts at utilizing racist hatred to steal elections, however they’ll implode all on their own.

1:23 pm • Tuesday • May 1, 2018

Ed Kilgore:

“At the moment, a fifty-fifty national electorate logically means about a sixty-forty GOP margin in the Senate and in state governments controlled.”

And there it is. Maybe some day folks will realize how stacked the government is against them, but that kind of detail takes a long time to sink in.

5:13 pm • Tuesday • May 1, 2018

@nojo: About that “response” from Sarah Huckabee Sanders… yeah, not so much.

7:31 pm • Tuesday • May 1, 2018

So Faceb666k is launching a dating app and the responses are awesome:

“Nice try, Mark, you’re not getting my dick pics.”

“Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook’s new dating app will be a great way to share your sexual peccadilloes, kinks and fetishes… with Cambridge Analytica.”

“Facebook Dating is the perfect way to meet your Russian mail-order bot.”

“The Facebook alt-right seniors dating game sounds super cool.”

“If Facebook doesn’t call it’s dating app Fuckbook then what are we even doing here.”

8:09 pm • Tuesday • May 1, 2018

@mellbell: Damn Russians!

8:10 pm • Tuesday • May 1, 2018

@¡Andrew!: Heh. I feel for the WhatsApp people. I use Signal, and I’m getting a leetle concerned.

8:16 pm • Tuesday • May 1, 2018

and BOOM! Mueller raised the possibility of subpoenaing Trump.

Why has the WH turned on this spigot? I don’t get it. If this shit is meant to inoculate the country pending possible impeachment, 1. it’s risky as hell and 2. it better not work.

9:38 pm • Tuesday • May 1, 2018

@JNOV: Trump ain’t backed by the A Team, here. Like everything he says, the audience is his loyal yahoos. (The audience for everything he does is the Mar-a-Lago crew.)

There is no inoculating the country. There is only noise, as much as he can make. He’s been living in the tabloids since the 1970s. This is all he knows.

1:33 pm • Wednesday • May 2, 2018

Now Ty Cobb has announced he’s quitting, because it’s TOTALLY NORMAL for an attorney to retire from practice right before defending the POSTUS in the biggest case of his career.

2:28 pm • Wednesday • May 2, 2018

@¡Andrew!: The few remaining (R) seats from California that might get flipped blue are available here.

4:00 pm • Wednesday • May 2, 2018

@SanFranLefty: Wow, talk about a rogues gallery of scandal-ridden bastards. Half those men should be in prison, esp Hunter, Issa, Numbnutz, and Rohrabacher, jeezus.

Oh well, with Don Blankenship and Michael Grimm running, the Republinazis are skipping the traditional CONgress-to-prison pipeline and just hiring ex-cons directly–how innovative!

7:17 pm • Wednesday • May 2, 2018

OK, so you may be mildly enraged that the House Fiendom KKKrazies nominated Prezinazi AntiChrist for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Well, take a nice deep breath and savor the deliciousness:

According to the Noble Peace Prize website, the deadline to nominate individuals for the award was February 1st.

Hahahahahahaha!!! You fucking idiots. Glorious!!!! (flips CONgress the double bird)

3:34 pm • Thursday • May 3, 2018

Who would’ve guessed that the fate of our fascist Prezinazi AntiChrist would rest on a forensic audit of his scumbag mob lawyer’s bizniss checking account. Cooley Law School must be so proud of their most famous alumnus.

11:42 pm • Thursday • May 3, 2018

@¡Andrew!: heheheh. Somewhat related – this off-label marketing kick-back scheme reminds me of my previous legal life.

Somewhat related, my old congressional district is in the Times. I think the 8th will flip. I just threw Dr. Schrier a few duckets.

Why do I always miss the magical money truck?

Oh, and the VBA, locally as well as nationally, was bad, it was getting a lot better (Shinseki and McDonald were good), and now it’s very, very bad.

12:03 am • Friday • May 4, 2018

@¡Andrew!:

I know it sounds Pollyanna-ish, however it really does appear that a massive wave is building in 2018 that will fundamentally change this country for the better in the 2020s. I believe that because I have to believe it.

You keep me hopeful. Always. Thank you. <3

12:12 am • Friday • May 4, 2018

It’s interesting and a little overwhelming to hear all these damn lawyers trying to parse Rudolph’s diaplookins of the blowhole. (I also used to call spoons “poonses” and bras “brocks.” Who knew a toddler could have audible dyslexia. I don’t know if that’s a thing.)

Annnyway, job is SObad, SObad, I might need my meds adjusted. Expect some really odd posts, cuz I think hypomania is coming to visit. It feels fucking GREAT, but you pay with a terrible depression. It’s not worth it.

11:07 am • Saturday • May 5, 2018

@¡Andrew!: Also for your political donation consideration, Jared Pettinato running for the Montana House seat against body-slammer Rethuglican Greg Gianforte.

10:22 am • Saturday • May 12, 2018

@SanFranLefty: Just threw some $$$ to Jared to take on Giganticasshole this fall : )

11:00 am • Saturday • May 12, 2018

More $$$ flung to:

Conor Lamb, PA-17.
TJ Cox, CA-21, running against some Republinazi rando David Valadao.
Andrew Janz, CA-22. He’s the only Dem running against House Treason KKKaucus memo-moron Devil Numbnutz.
+ Bill Nelson, FL Senate, in fending off Rick Voldemort Scott.

The other CA races are too confusing at this point, since soooo many Dem candidates are running against the Republinazi incumbent goons (which is a good problem-yay). I’ll have to wait until after the June 5th primary sorts this mess out.

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