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Friday, May 03, 2024

We're All Going Mad!


Is it just me or are we all going crazy?


The news industry has been obliterated by social media. Now, we have no trusted sources, but those we randomly select. Pick your news and stay with it! They could be blowing smoke up your a$$, but at least it will be YOUR smoke.


A case in point is the current anti-Israel fervor on campuses across the U.S. Where are these kids getting their news? What information has made them so angry with Israel? Oh, wait! It’s simple, right?


People are dying in Gaza. The IDF is killing them. Therefore, Israel should stop. <- note the period there


If the world were only that simple. Wouldn’t it be nice if every issue just had one or two important factors? Sadly, we have so many issues facing us and every damn one of them is complex.


Once upon a time, there were people labeled Renaissance Men (they were all males -- sorry ladies and thems). The word may still be in use, but the definition has changed. These people used to know everything there was to know about human knowledge. 


Millions of people are inventing new things and ideas every day now. Nobody can be expected to keep up. We are inadequate to the task. With no universally trusted sources and growing complexity, there’s no answer in sight.


Back to our anti-Israel example. This current episode is part of a series. The kids who are protesting only watched the latest one. Their perspective is limited and narrowly focused. They need a “bad guy” to pin this human tragedy on, so they picked one -- historical perspective be damned!


Historical perspective could save us, but it’s too much work. Who wants to study the background of every issue facing us, when we can just pick a side and go with it? 


In the 1930s, the German economy was bad. People needed a fix. Along came Adolf Hitler, who blamed the whole thing on the Jews. Just get rid of them and we can go back to…oh, let’s just call it MGGA! We’ll use fear and intimidation to get everyone in line. Sound familiar? Hamas does it. Trump likes this strategy, too. 


If you’re a fan of Mazlow, you might know his hierarchy of needs: physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization (in order from base needs to the more esoteric). Note that if you threaten someone with fear and intimidation, you are messing with hard-wired reactions. It’s powerful…and effective. Despotic leaders everywhere know this.


The profile of the despotic leader throughout history is well understood. Yet, our lack of historical perspective leads us back to these people again and again. They offer us simple solutions to complex problems. Those other guys were making our heads hurt with all of their nuance. Why can’t the world go back to being simple? Maybe the slogan should be MASA (make America simple again).


Unfortunately, nobody can do that. Our puny brains can’t keep up, so we make stupid choices in the name of simplicity. 


One more case in point before I leave you, dear reader. DEI, which stands for diversity, equity, and inclusion, sounds like something everyone can get behind. Why is the social justice movement corrupt? The answer is complex, but Liberals would have you think it’s simple.


We have a history of racial discrimination in this country. Few would deny that. Those who do probably long for the “good old days” when being white meant you were special. The reality is that the vast majority of people don’t feel that way anymore. They accept that we’re all just people trying to live together.


DEI comes along and it casts our problems in racial terms. There’s a fundamental flaw with that thinking. Since the 1980s, rural America has been under attack. Agribusiness, bankers, lawyers, and insurance companies have decimated once-thriving economies. The mechanization of many jobs held by people across this country has destroyed the economies of small industrial towns.


While there are a lot of non-whites who suffer economic hardship due to the historical facts of their lineage, there are a lot of white people in the same boat for different reasons. When DEI initiatives exclude them from the party because of the color of their skin…let’s just say that it’s no surprise they want to burn the whole thing down.


Once you do the work to understand the whole picture, people’s crazy behavior starts to make sense. But that’s just too much work for most people. We just don’t have the time to keep up. So, we pick a side and hate the other one. Our technology is destroying us, and we’re helpless to stop it. Happy fucking Friday!