Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I'm A Ramblin' Man (Part I Of A Dialogue On Everything)

Howdy, Folks, how's everybody doing? I'm alright. Yeah, seriously, I'm fine. Having been pushed into a corner, politically, culturally, whatever, I'm starting to find that I like it here. I've come to think it's still part of my, long, post-divorce transition:

When I was in my marriage, I was part of something larger than myself - cared about others and all that - but, now that I'm no longer "hooked-up" to my wife's NewAge freak show, my views reflect it and I'm comfortable.

I've been called a "bigot" a lot lately, which is cool, because - as someone raised where putting others down for fun is part of our subculture - "bigot" is probably one of the lamest accusations anyone's ever leveled at me. As the late, great Christopher Hitchens labeled them, it's the kind of thing "soft-centered types" throw around, thinking they can hurt you because they imagine you're as weak-kneed (and weak-minded) as they are.


Though, I must admit, this use of the word "bigot" has puzzled me lately since - like the word "nigger" - I've always coupled bigotry with ignorance. To me, a bigot is someone who talks out of his ass against shit he or she doesn't understand. But those throwing "bigot" around now - Mitt Romney supporters - have always known far less about him and Mormonism than I, which was confusing. At least, until I read this line from Hitchens:
I don’t think I would want to vote for a Scientologist or a Moonie for high office, or indeed any other kind, and I think attempts to silence criticism of such outfits are the real evidence of prejudice."
Actually, that's not exactly true. It was that line, plus a reply from an Althouse reader (on Hitchens calling Mormonism "One of the most egregious groups operating on American soil.") that did it. Here's the reply:
Considering that comes from the pen of Christopher "Mother Teresa was a sexually frustrated masochist who gloried in squalor and filth and fellated Third World dictators" Hitchens, I'll pass on what he thinks is egregious.

Got that? Hitchens' scholarship on Mother Theresa, and any other issue, was simply pushed aside in favor of what this person wants to "believe" - in other words, total NewAge thinking. Now things were falling into place:

The prejudiced "soft-centered types," who don't care about facts, are throwing around a tired accusation regarding things they know nothing about.

Should I be bothered about that? I don't think so. NewAge wouldn't exist without it. And - when it comes to me being the target of such attacks - there's really nothing "new" there. As I have said many times, stupidity is the currency of the culture right now, and the larger culture is definitely NewAge.

For instance, if you separate "bigotry" from ignorance, as my attackers seem to be doing, then being a bigot isn't such a bad thing. Here's the definition of "bigot":
A person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.

I can live with that. I'm openly a cult critic. Considering most people know little-to-nothing about the subject, I am almost forced to appear "obstinately or intolerantly devoted" to my own thoughts on the subject. I mean, what else am I going to do? Defer to those who are "so open-minded their brains fall out"? Can't happen.

Plus it puts me in good company. Archie Bunker used to be Exhibit 'A' for what I thought was a bigot, but nowadays, he's the poster child for far-reaching conservative thought:

What's not to like about that? Everybody loves Archie - even if they didn't at the time he was on TV. (According to Wikipedia, "In 2005, Archie Bunker was listed as number 1 on Bravo's 100 Greatest TV Characters, defeating runners-up such as Ralph Kramden, Lucy Ricardo, Arthur Fonzarelli, and Homer Simpson.") If anything, Archie's example reminds me people don't like to accept the truth, immediately, when it's presented - something I knew already.

There are a few other "bigots" saying the same things I am - after I say them - so I don't feel too alone. Michael Wolff of The Guardian (U.K.) recently did a column on Rupert Murdoch and Scientology that, over a week later, makes the exact same connections I did with Mitt and Mormonism. Of course, that's an anomaly, as most do it piecemeal, unable to put all the pieces together as I do. For instance, today, there was an article stating Brad Pitt was almost a Scientologist. Now, if you're a reader of this blog and have followed Pitt's adulterous "spiritual journey" as I have - through his fascination, say, with the cult leader Ken Wilber - is this really news? No - if you read this blog and understand NewAge, it not only fits perfectly with who Brad Pitt is, but it would be a surprise to discover he hadn't looked (or almost been sucked) into it. Brad Pitt, like most people, is NOT a critical thinker - he's "spiritual."

Which is why, politically, we are where we are. Like that Althouse commenter I mentioned, above, it's all about feelings and "beliefs" for most people, and things are coming apart because such garbage in/garbage out "thinking" has no bearing on reality - except to compel it to destroy anyone or anything that doesn't cooperate:

Remember Global Warming? It used to be all the rage, until reality went on a rampage against it, and now? Somehow, science isn't cooperating with the deceitful "scientists" who once "believed" they had it (and us) pinned down.

And so it goes.

Along with NewAge culture, part of the problem, I think, is the fact there's a velvet rope around who gets to to be heard out there. This occurred to me a few days ago, as I was listening to NPR, and they had Mike Huckabee come on to talk politics. I thought, Mike Huckabee? Do we really need to hear more from him? Is "The Huck" going to bring any new insights to what we already know - or is he just going to peddle pablum as always? He peddled pablum,…and it's the same everywhere else I looked:

The same names, pumping the same nonsense, to the same audiences expecting the same thing.

BTW - I've been listening to NPR in the car for a change, but there is none. As I said, I found Mike Huckabee on Left-wing radio just as I do on Right-wing radio, and that's the problem - it's Mike Huckabee (or someone like him) all the time, everywhere, and no other views are allowed.

What we have here is conventional wisdom, and the latest line, amongst those "soft-centered types" is that this tame-but-deceptive political race is "getting ugly." But - since the conversation stays within the range of these regular guests - I don't buy what they're selling. If this was true, Hot Air couldn't write a sentence like this:
In a palette-cleanser for a slow newsday Sunday BuzzFeed takes us back 40 years to the fashion nightmare that was my youth.

Bad 70's fashion? Astrology pants? Thanks a lot for that (I don't know what Hot Air is anymore, now that they've brought The Ham onboard,…) But, more to the point, how can there be "a slow newsday Sunday" when it's supposedly gotten so damned ugly out there?

Give me a break,...


  1. > "so open-minded their brains
    > fall out"
    but they don't fall out quickly enough...

    > I've been listening to NPR in
    > the car for a change, but
    > there is none.
    that's because the establishment is, in essence, monolithic, but, in accidence, Janus faced.

  2. Brad Pitt almost became a Scientologist?

    I support your jihad on new ageism, cults, and charlatanism.

  3. Heh, this race is getting ugly -- but not for the reasons the media gives.

    It's ugly because it's so pandering, so smarmy, so much ado about nothing when there really are a lot of things going on to address.
    It's ugly because it's lying to the people.
    Love to see that thrown back in the media pundits' faces -- it's ugly, and you are aiding and abetting it, here's why.

  4. Sorry to hear that you have been reduced to listening to NPR. I would never believed that as a civilization we could have sunk so far so fast. I fear that all is lost...

  5. Marxist plutocrat from Massachusetts vs. Marxist plutocrat from Chicago.