Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mushrooms on the Menu

It's not a new aphorism but apt: Mushrooms live in the dark and are fed shit. And there is a great deal of shit available on the Internet, on the airwaves and in our political institutions. We, who can tell shit from Shinola, must fight those who want to turn us into fungi.

I know how dangerous it is, and often unfair, to make generalities, but generally speaking, the truth contained in them often seems overwhelming.

As an inhabitant of the 21st century, and somewhat indolent as well, I read all the news sites and blogs that are available to me at the touch of my ten fingers. I've long since stopped being amazed at the amazingness of this and just dig in. It is a feast for the curious and I drink deep at the e-Pierian Spring.

Not all conservative commentators are as idiotic as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbog. Some, like George Will, often have a cogent argument. This does not hold true for the followers of the Beckian/Limbogian lunacies.

One of the things that stands out when you read the comment sections of sites where political views are expressed is how often those that take the far right side of the arguments appear borderline illiterate and are frequently misinformed. This does not impede them in any way, however, and the postings are rampant. And incredibly single minded.

This morning, a friend alerted me to a Buzz Flash story entitled Fear of Facts Endangers the Nation written by Peter Michaelson, a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

He writes, "A University of Michigan study found that misinformed people, particularly those loyal to their politics, rarely change their minds when exposed to corrected facts in news stories. Instead, they often become more strongly set in their beliefs."

It's disturbing enough to find that these kinds of people cannot change their beliefs, but even more alarming when you realize these are the people who want to keep others from learning....anything. Witness the Texas textbook boards who are making every effort to set education back 5,000 years.

In order to ramify their credo of keeping people in the dark and feeding them crocks of that well-known fecal substance, there are quite a few states where Republicans are trying to enact the "make it harder for Democratic-leaning groups to vote" part of their agenda.

Up to 32 states are, in fact, attempting to disallow college students from voting in the state where they are attending these institutions of higher learning and forcing them to return to their homes....perhaps 3,000 miles away - in November while classes are in session - if they want to vote.

New Hampshire's new Republican state House Speaker William O'Brien, in a recent speech to a tea party group, damned college kids' voting choices by questioning the validity of their vote because, in his view, they're "foolish."
Well, we are all foolish on occasion, but not necessarily uninformed. If the far right keeps on attacking all things intellectual, and continues to force the witless to keep multiplying, I wonder if human DNA will alter and we will return to our apehood ancestry.

How ironic that would be for the creationists. 


  1. Well done! Someone way back in the Bush years wrote an article about Bush's base hovering around 30% supportive no matter what he did. Even when you inform one of those 30%'ers of the truth, they stare at you like deer in headlights. They just don't want to see it. Author's conclusion: You will not change these minds, so give up trying. I have come to recognize lots of 30%'ers, and they're added to those other groups I ignore, like drunks, psychotics, neurotics, bigots, bible thumpers, etc.

  2. Laughing outloud, Len! I'm with you ignoring the loons...except when it becomes overload. Thanks for sending along that Buzz Flash story. It got my adrenaline going this morning.

  3. Last night Rachel Maddow devoted half her show to this same thing...even quoting from the same piece you sent me. You were really on top of it, Len.