Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
In these years of insanity, I used to be asked on-campus questions, but delivered as lectures, along the lines of “Bush’s polluting pals are ruining the planet when we know Al Gore’s cap and trade would save us. Now it’s too late!” Of course, in 2006 gasoline was relatively cheap, unemployment low, and there was growth in the economy. College students had the luxury of declaiming how George Bush had wiped out the polar bears as they waited for several good job offers.
Do you remember the hysteria over the supposed trampling of the Constitution? Those were the days of anger when Harold Koh, instead of writing briefs defending the Obama’s administration’s targeted killing by Predators and bypassing the War Powers Act in Libya, had been suing various Bush-Clinton-Bush administrations over the unfortunate at Guantanamo. At one time or another, a Sean Penn, a Hollywood producer (Rendition, Redacted, In the Valley of Elah, Lions for Lambs, etc.), a Whoopi Goldberg, a David Letterman, and legions more were all claiming that we had lost our freedoms to the satanic George Bush. These were the glory days of Dick Durbin comparing U.S. servicemen to mass killers, as John Kerry claimed they were quasi terrorists, in Harry Reid’s “lost” war, committing John Murtha’s war crimes — to the chorus of Michael Moore (guest of honor at the 2004 Democratic Convention) cheering on their killers as “minutemen.”
The point about the luxury of desultory thinking, is one worthy of being made much more often, and my own archives drone on about this at some length although I’m too lazy to engage in some quality rummaging at the moment. Our feasts & famines do seem to be driving this cycle. We engage in prerational thinking during those times when we feel like we can afford to do it. Thirty dollars a week plunked down on fancy drinks at Starbucks, and not feeling the pinch, Yay! Drinking water and groceries delivered, a bazillion and one channels on cable or satellite, plus those red envelopes from Netflix to help supplement the video appetite. Don’t feel like cooking? The pizza place is on speed dial.
At home, you do what your wife tells you to do. She does what the doctor tells her to do. The kids do what the teacher tells them to do. You go to work, and do what the boss tells you to do. Pretty soon, you have a life completely stripped bare, 24-by-7, of any occasion on which we have to deal with the situation of our ancestors: Do whatever you like, but be prepared to deal with the consequences. Your mind-within-the-mind, the one that is made of energy and not matter, is nourished by this brand of “oxygen” and over time, will surely perish without it.
Prerational thinking — the kind that reckons with only one consequence, which is banishment from the collective. It has brought us up to, and perhaps past, the brink of ruin. The village has settled on a consensus, for whatever reason, that Pi is three-and-a-half so it must be true. Why not just go with the flow? Even if it’s wrong, we can afford to be wrong. Gas is two bucks a gallon and the unemployment rate is 5.6%. I’m still getting my water delivered and there are still all these channels. Coming up with the right answer, during a time in which we’re only pretending to be oppressed or starving or shorted in some way, fails to retain its value as a cherished ideal.
We got crazy because we were lazy. We got stupid because we got fat.
The unemployment rate, now, is 9.2%. Nearly double. One wonders how well Fahrenheit 911, with all its flimsy connections to reality, would do if it were released today. How about a dingbat House Speaker telling us to pass the bill so we can find out what’s in it, how would that fly now? Economic alarm does have a nourishing effect on the mind-of-energy. We may work like the dickens to try to deny it, but when the cupboards start to go bare we have this instinctive drive to start saying “No…really. Is that true? I have to know, I need this to actually work.”
We actually become hostile to the ideas we can tell are bad, or are so poorly thought out they can only turn out to be good because of some happy coincidence. We engage this feeling of hostility — if we are hungry or if we are afraid we might become hungry. We are not so vigilant when hot plates of Szechuan and Four Seasons, carried right to our door, are just a phone call away. Well you know…the phone call and the forty-five or so highly inconvenient minutes of waiting. Boo hoo.
Hate to say it folks, but we needed a recession. We needed a good kick in the ass. Living this way, for a time, makes you stupid. And this ultra-pasteurized, ultra-sophisticated, zillion-cable-channel Paris-Hilton-rodent-canine-in-a-purse five-dollar-caramel-macchiato citadel we’d built for ourselves, was doing that to us. With the benefit of hindsight, as VDH demonstrates, we can see we had gone very, very far down that road.
I tried to warn ya.
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