Archive for June, 2022

Getting Back to the Cat, Is It Dead or Not?

Friday, June 24th, 2022

We’re surrounded on all sides by people who are working awfully hard to maintain a fantasy that the two sides, conservative and liberal, maintain similarities with each other. That they both have goals, and some maintain that the goals are similar although the methods are different. That each unseemly thought held by one about the other, is neatly reciprocated, with equal justification. A tat for every tit and an equal and opposite reaction for every action.

They must have scrambled around like mad, that weekend when Sen. Ted Kennedy sunk that poor woman in his car, for a Republican senator who did exactly the same thing.

Here and there, now and then, some people outgrow this idea. They’re usually conservatives, who’ve figured out the liberal attachment to truth is threadbare or severed altogether. They get drowned out by liberals and “moderates” who want to maintain the perception of a symmetry that doesn’t exist. Here and there, now and then, events rouse those who’ve been paying attention, from their slumber. “Critical Race Theory is not taught in the public schools” might be the most recent example. The air cackled with the talking point as it flew around thick and fast. This nonsense makes people tired. They read about yes it is, no it isn’t, yes it is and nearly every single one of them, reliable as rain, will tune out of the whole question forever. Well, somewhere someone is taking note of that. So just lie. Say it isn’t happening. You won’t fracture any trust relationships by lying, you’ll tire people out of paying attention to the issue, which is good for you.

Bad for everyone else though. The “middle of the road” people tire of it first, and come away thinking they’re the ones with the right idea, that all the bickering is just that and nothing more.

That’s not what’s happening at all though. Somewhere, detected or not, there is a truth of the state of things. The cat in the box is either alive or dead; one or the other, and it can’t be both. These parlor tricks are being used to tire people out of the whole notion of what’s true. So that they give up on following the whole thing. And it works like a charm. If it didn’t work, we’d stop seeing it, and quite to the contrary it’s become a sort of de facto way of propounding this propaganda.

Which brings me to this excellent article: “That’s not happening, and it’s good that it is.” It doesn’t mention “liberals,” instead it mentions “regimes.” Which is interesting, because a regime is supposed to be a structure of power preexisting, using its various resources to keep itself where it is. But that’s an observation I’ve made before a few times. Our “liberals” these days are what “conservatives” are supposed to be.

The seven methods summarized here are:

– Law of Merited Impossibility
– Celebration Parallax
– Law of Salutary Contradiction
– Smails Exhortation
– Lie-Back Imperative
– Enmity Counteraccusation
– “You’re worthless, baby; and if you even think of trying to leave me, I’ll kill you”

It isn’t hard to see what’s happening here. Relationships with other people are being built, sustained, maintained, replenished and in some cases destroyed based on the taking of sides. Professor Harry Frankfurt drew a distinction between liars vs. bullshitters, the latter of whom don’t need to know anything about what’s false vs. true, because they don’t care. Bullshitters, unlike liars, are just spewing stuff. Well that’s what’s happening here. The allure of building and preserving the right relationships crowds out what used to be a desirable goal, the preservation of integrity. People aren’t worried about damaging a relationship by saying false things, they’re far more worried about damaging a relationship by taking the wrong side. So they say things like “CRT is not being taught in the schools,” not to represent whether it is or isn’t being taught in the schools, but to show that they’re on the right side. If they get caught later with the revelation that it’s being taught in the schools and they fastened their identity to the notion that it isn’t, it doesn’t matter. They showed they were, and are, on the “right” side and they don’t care about anything else.

In other words, they’re bullshitters.

– It’s just a clump of cells, not a baby
– Kyle Rittenhouse is a white supremacist
– The 2nd Amendment only applies to muskets
– High gas prices are not President Biden’s fault
– “Replacement Theory”
– Men can get pregnant
– Masks work

This is playing with fire. I don’t recommend it. But, they don’t listen to me; the “regime” has all the “fact checkers” on their side, and so they’re going around saying questionable things in anticipation of what friends they’ll make, not so much in anticipation of whether they’ll be proven correct or not. Because there’s no reward for being proven correct. They just want to keep the right friends.

But it won’t end well for anyone.

The Worst Political Opinion to Have

Thursday, June 16th, 2022

Supposedly there’s a “red wave” coming. I’m pretty sure it won’t be enough to make me happy. Large numbers of people who voted democrat last time, or who stayed home, shaping up to bring about a better result this time aren’t going to do it for me. Even as power shifts for the next two years, that’s a blip. That’s a course correction, forgotten in another two years’ time. I want to see some attitude, some synapses permanently closed, some “I’ll never do that again.” Like the cat who walked on the hot stove. I want to see feelings of bitter betrayal. That’s what this was, right? Oh…Trump is overseeing slightly lower unemployment rates here, and there, but the Forgotten Man! People being left behind! Put us democrats in charge…oh, ha ha ha you put us in charge, buckle up bitches here comes gas three and four times as expensive as it used to be, to push you into an electric vehicle. Wear your mask, stupid!

You don’t respond to that with “I’ll put these other guys in charge for just a couple years, teach you democrats a lesson.” That would be a legit response to honest error, not to betrayal. The lesson to be learned here is that these jerks aren’t on our side.

Am I asking too much? If my fellow citizens are thinking, and want to succeed in life, this shouldn’t be too much.

I can’t think of a worse political opinion to have, than one that has recently prevailed right before everything got worse, with demonstrable and definable lines of cause-and-effect between what you wanted done & what got worse. One should expect even the faintest desire to have a good opinion, would inspire serious introspection. If not “I can see my idea wasn’t good,” then at the very least, “I can see my idea was open to misinterpretation in ways I did not foresee.” There should be some kind of learning…

But in American politics, we often don’t get that. Instead, the constant shelter of the bad-idea-people, the architects of pain, is some running narrative about nuance and complexity. Oh no, just because I wanted to get rid of Trump, doesn’t mean I’m pro-Biden, Oh no, just because I’m pro-Biden doesn’t mean I hold him blameless for the high gas prices. Oh no, just because I hold Biden blameless for high gas prices, doesn’t mean I want them to be high. Oh no, just because I want gas prices to be high, doesn’t mean I want the economy to sputter. Oh no, just because I want the economy to be wrecked, doesn’t mean I hate people. Oh no…you misunderstand…

It’s like paying back yesterday’s awful ideas, with more awful ideas today, to avoid admitting how awful they were.

For all of us though, if your paramount goal is to avoid ever having made a mistake, well…hope you enjoy that a lot, because that’s about all you’re going to achieve. If you want to accomplish anything else, the time’s going to come sooner or later you’ll have to admit to your own fallibility. That if you do indeed know everything worth knowing now, you didn’t before, and you made a mistake.

Truth is, it’s these “My ideas are so nuanced and complex” people who don’t understand. Their ideas are not complex at all. They are simple. “I hate Trump” is simplistic thinking. It is canine thinking. If a dumb dog doesn’t like you, he doesn’t distinguish “You’re immoral” from “You’re annoying” from “I don’t like the way you throw my ball” from “You support unwise economic policies.” He mixes all that stuff together and barks at you. This is why we don’t let dogs vote.

When you want to get rid of Trump, and you manage to do it and then things start sucking, and you don’t admit your idea was a bad one, it means you’re making the overall collective poorer by way of your participation. It means the rest of us would be better off if we could lie to you about Election Day, or your registration for it, so you don’t vote. Repeating the exercise three more times, or ten, or a hundred, would be pointless because you don’t learn. That’s what that means when you replace Trump with Biden, and with gas topping out over $8 a gallon, start playing these “Oh no I wanted this not that” games.

You opposed Trump because you wanted to be popular.

Now you’re popular like the guy who shit in the hot tub. Serves you right.