Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Shut Up, Kathleen

"The evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn't soon cometh."
-- Kathleen Parker, after voting for Barack Obama - and revealing herself as a NewAge conservative turncoat - on Nov. 19th 2008, in The Washington Post.

"When it comes to irresistible words, 'oogedy-boogedy' has few peers."
-- Kathleen Parker, revisiting her moment of shame - but still feeling pretty good with herself after a visit to The Daily Show - on Dec. 5th 2008, in The Washington Post.

"Deepak Chopra earns $20m a year selling spiritual guidance to the likes of Demi Moore, Hillary Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev - and he’s not the only self-help guru making a fortune. In the first of two extracts from his new book, Francis Wheen traces the rise and rise of mystic mumbo-jumbo:

'In September 1784 a Berlin magazine invited Immanuel Kant to answer the question: What is Enlightenment? "Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity," he replied. "Immaturity is the inability to use one’s own understanding without direction from another. This immaturity is self-incurred if its cause is not lack of understanding, but lack of resolve and courage to use it without another’s guidance. Dare to know! That is the motto of Enlightenment."

The Enlightenment had many critics, but its illuminating influence and achievements were apparent in the history of the next two centuries - the waning of absolutism and superstition, the rise of secular democracy, the understanding of the natural world, the transformation of historical and scientific study, the new political resonance of notions such as 'progress', 'rights' and 'freedom'. Does that light still shine today? According to the philosopher Roger Scruton, 'Reason is now on the retreat, both as an ideal and as a reality.' The leaders of the counter-revolution may seem an incongruous coalition - post-modernists and primitivists, New Age and Old Testament - but they have been remarkably effective over the past quarter-century. Those who lack the courage to use their understanding 'without direction from another' are easy prey for self-styled gurus, and the sleep of reason has duly brought forth many such monsters, exploiting and expanding the demand for mumbo-jumbo."
-- Francis Ween, calling the Right and (more importantly) the Left's problem by it's proper name - all the way back in Jan. 27th 2004 - but never being invited anywhere except the blog (that apparently nobody else reads) called Religion News.

There's a portion of Francis Ween's "How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World: A Short History of Modern Delusions" on Google Book Search:

He's waaay more fun to read, and more accurately nails the problem, than silly-ass Kathleen Parker's oogedy-boogedy.