& A Facebook post from Salon.com popped up today. Headline:
Yr’s Truly, having heard too much lately about the lies of Bill O’Reilly, the resulting increase in the followers of this bullying, bloviating, pretender to a profession, and the arrogant, continued response of his ethic-less employers who blatantly admit that audience size [read “money”] justifies “journalistic” lying, had to respond.
“If we’d have been faced with WWII today,” I wrote, “we’d have lost.”
Kim Heacox, a wise fellow from Alaska who writes books and plays the guitar and does a million other things, including thinks about almost everything, responded:
“If you’ve not yet done so, read the March 2015 cover story in Nat’l Geographic Magazine, “The War on Science,” that explores the roots of America’s antagonizing ideologies (“egalitarian and communitarian” versus “hierarchial and individualistic”) and how most Americans are still in high school; more devoted to the warmth of their tribe (to fit in with those they identify with) than they are to the cold, dispassionate truth.”
That lit my fire. Cold, dispassionate truth is what we need — just about everywhere you look. Especially truth. Unfortunately, it’s going to take some passion to make the argument. So, I got passionate.
But, I decided on second reading of my responses, they had become “too long and laborious for the friendly forum of Facebook.” But not, mind you, for this old gringo’s Gazette. They’re gone from the friendly confines of Facebook, but not forgotten. Here’s the rest of it, in all its passionate glory.
“Kim,” I responded, “I’ll read it. Before I do, and at the risk of sounding too much like the old fart that I am and too little concerned about this nation’s many v-e-r-y s-e-r-i-o-u-s problems, it seems increasingly clear that far too many Americans are dumber than a pile of posts, proud of it, and unwilling to face the fucking facts of a very threatening future. Too many of those who would agree with me, unfortunately, are so mired in a wimpish wallow of political correctness that avoidance of controversy and criticism is their creed. It should be just the opposite. Those dolts who honor and are honored by Fox News should be roundly and regularly humiliated. If they’re allowed their continued cult-worship at the altar of ignorance, we’ll soon have a President named Bill O’Reilly.
Then I read the Nat Geo article (you should too.)
“Kim — marvelous article. Thanks for pointing it out. Applies certainly to far more than the science tribe. There’s the conservative political tribe and the liberal one. And there are several thousand religious tribes. And the “patriotic” tribe, all warring over the definition of patriot. On and on — humans in search of other humans who affirm their beliefs without knowing exactly why. I’m still pondering which tribes I belong to, but I’m pretty sure baseball is one of them, football is not.”
Among other things, I was struck by this from that National Geographic writer, Joel Achenbach:
“Evolution actually happened. Biology is incomprehensible without it. There aren’t really two sides to all these issues. Climate change is happening. Vaccines really do save lives. Being right does matter—and the science tribe has a long track record of getting things right in the end. Modern society is built on things it got right.”
& Passionate in believing Achenbach got that right, I’m truthfully outta here.