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...
Hawkins has an article out this morning that is pure gold…
20 Reasons America Is Becoming An Increasingly Nonfunctional Society
1) …children born out-of-wedlock…
2) [widespread]…dependence on the government…
3) Our legal system encourages frivolous lawsuits…
4) Leeching off more productive people has become much more acceptable…
5) The mainstream media has become so partisan for the Democratic Party that it’s not significantly different from a state-run media…
6) Americans have lost confidence in our institutions…
7) …Americans have become more alien to each other and share less and less cultural experiences…
8) Our [celebrity culture is] almost universally hostile to conservatism, Christianity, and traditional American values.
9) We have stopped breaking up monopolies in this country…
10) …Christianity in this country is slowly retreating from Biblical principles, the Public Square, and American life in general.
I do a lot of outlining, probably more outlining than actual writing, and I’d be proud to have done a job like this. Every item on the list fulfills a definable and distinct purpose, and not suffering too much from any functional overlap with other items.
However, it is missing something, probably because the focus is grounded in our government, the law, the economy and our spiritual culture. As I was reading through it I had this sensation of an itch not quite being scratched, as beneath a cast when the metal coat hanger won’t quite reach. Some of what he has included in his list, I think, could be thought of as mere effects, manifestations of a common cause that didn’t quite make the cut.
It’s got to do with the left side of the brain, where we do our logical pondering. Without bothering to wordsmith it at all, I’d state it like this: We’re doing our thinking like idiots. Okay let us wordsmith it a little tiny bit: We’re doing our thinking like large children. If it is possible to think through something in a “rowdy” way, unorganized and undisciplined, then on a nation-wide playing/thinking field, that is how we are doing it. We put chaos in our thinking, when the thinking more properly relies on order.
I mean both kinds of thinking. Pillar I to Pillar II, the opinions inferred from the facts; and, Pillar II to Pillar III, the things-to-do to be produced from the opinions. The individuals do it at the individual level, with some doing a good job of it and some doing a lousy job. The society overall can do some of this thinking. And it’s doing a piss-poor job.
Victor Davis Hanson has an article out this week too. It is the missing piece of the puzzle, and it fits flush on all sides. Further wordsmithing of what is written immediately above, however badly needed it might be, becomes redundant. Let’s go on to the next weekend chore, Hawkins & Hanson have got this thing wrapped up.
The New Age of Falsity
We live in an age of falsity, in which words have lost their meanings and concepts are reinvented as the situation demands. The United States is in a jobless recovery — even if that phrase largely disappeared from the American lexicon about 2004. Good news somehow must follow from a rising unemployment rate, which itself underrepresents the actual percentage of Americans long out of work.
At the same time, we are supposed to be relieved that we are in a contracting expansion, where fewer goods and services are proof of a resilient economy. In our debt-ridden revival, borrowing $1 trillion each year is evidence that we don’t have a spending problem.
At key points, whole controversies vanish without a trace…
We can scarcely remember now that the country tore itself apart over the waterboarding of three confessed terrorists, as it snoozes through its government blowing apart 2,500 suspected terrorists…
An ambassador and three other Americans were murdered, ostensibly because of an anti-Muslim video whose producer still languishes in jail in California. The party line was that Libyan demonstrators, irate over that Internet production and out for a walk one evening, brought along their GPS-guided mortars and machine guns to spice up a demonstration at our consulate. Things can always get out of hand, when a right-wing chauvinist makes a hurtful video.
In this age of fakery, what is legitimate dissent? Is it Hillary Clinton attacking an administration in 2003 (“I’m sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic…We have the right to debate and disagree with any administration”) or Hillary Clinton nine years later, as an administration insider, turning on her interrogators in an effort to deflect inquiry (e.g., “Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?”)?
Suddenly our troubles are blamed on those now known as the 1 percent, who make more than the new moral cutoff line of $250,000 per year. These public enemies are fat cats and they use corporate jets. Worse, they don’t build their own businesses, and they profit when it is no longer time to. They make money way beyond the point where they should have stopped, they don’t spread their wealth, and they don’t pay their fair share. Sometimes we would almost imagine that they worked for Citigroup, vacationed at Martha’s Vineyard, or used insiders to cash in on cattle speculations. Millionaires are rightly grouped with billionaires, who have 1,000 times the money, but they are not the same as thousandaires, who have one-1,000th the money.
There are apparently two sorts of wealthy people: those on the left who reluctantly make big money and seek hyper-profits and tax avoidance as means to a noble social end, and those on the right who eagerly seek needless profits and tax reduction to enrich themselves and not society.
“Impartial moderators” in the media used to go through the motions of declaring that their intertwined Washington marriages or their prior partisan employment did not affect their objectivity; now they don’t even make the effort. If in 2008 Gwen Ifill had a hagiography coming out about candidate Barack Obama, as she was pegged to moderate the vice-presidential debate, by 2012 Candy Crowley had no inhibitions about fact-checking Mitt Romney — and only Mitt Romney — in the middle of his answers, even though her interruption and editorializing were less factually accurate than the statements by the object of her scrutiny. Again, there are no rules per se; the question is who has good intentions and who is without them. The facts follow accordingly.
The finish is strong. He’s been spiraling around the 21st thing, at at the end he nails it and busts it wide open:
Why do now live in an age of so many meaningless things?
Our elites in academia and the media have some culpability. Thirty years of nihilist postmodern relativism — no absolute truth, just constructs based on race, class, and gender privilege — have finally filtered down to the popular culture. An obsession with celebrity also has meant that we increasingly worship the antics of the wealthy and famous and decreasingly worry what they had to do to obtain or maintain both.
In the new progressive age, the exalted ends of equality sometimes require that the means of achieving a place on the public stage should remained largely unexamined. If there is no consistency, no transparency, no absolute standard, then it is because the task of fairness is hard and occasionally requires extraordinary sacrifices for the greater good. And to the degree that someone is deemed cool, then cool trumps most everything else: Google executives don’t outsource. Rappers are not misogynists. Green apostles don’t have conflicts of interest. And men in camouflage with assault weapons don’t just kill less than 1 percent of those Americans lost each year to gun violence, but account for all sorts of vastly more evil things that we cannot even begin to describe.
Not to toot my own horn, but the “diseased thinking leads to diseased morality” aspect of it is something I called, awhile back. And, it should be pointed out, Isaiah beat me to the punch by an even more impressive stretch. I suppose it doesn’t really matter who said it first, or who said it better, it’s a point that deserves more attention in any case. And it’s rather sad that the years keep on ticking by, while the problem only gets worse.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.