Dealing With the Unreasonable

Anyone paying close attention would have noticed that last night I deactivated my Twitter account. The account for Wost President (Victory Books, actually) is still up and running and will remain so – but I dumped my personal Twitter account. There were several reasons for this, but one of the major reasons was to drop down the level of crazy in my life.

Not to condemn Twitter – which does have some very good uses, especially when there is major, breaking news – but we have in our society quite a large number of unreasonable people. People who don’t know history; are only hazily aware of the facts, but are absolutely convinced of their worldview and determined that anyone who dissents from it be squashed. This is mostly on the left, but it is all too common on the right, as well. Twitter is ready-made for such people – it is impossible to explain to someone in 140 characters or less just how they are wrong but it is very easy for someone to get very insulting in 140 characters. I found myself getting drawn into the crazy on Twitter too often. The Worst President account is easier to handle – as it is not a personal account, people seem less inclined to start a flame war on it; I guess its the difference between insulting Victory Books (meh) or insulting Mark Noonan (woohoo!!).

But this also brings to mind the general unreasonableness of our society – You might have heard that the President of Smith had to apologize for saying “all lives matter”, this a take on the Twitter hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. Because someone made a Twitter meme which has been identified by some as the “correct” position to have, the President of a major university had to crawl in apology essentially for not having the right hashtag in her statement. This isn’t just political correctness: this is crazy. And crazy is a good definition for the modern West in general.

And I do wonder just how crazy we will get before something really goes smash. It might seem cool to encapsulate an idea in just a few words, but the trouble with slogans is that they tend to shut down thought (which is, by the way, the secret of advertising). Mindless repetition of slogans and shouting hate at anyone who questions the slogans is picture perfect for a totalitarian society trying to have uniformity of belief…but in a still-free society like the United States, its the recipe for developing vicious hatred, on both sides.

I’d like to say that our solution is to convince those who don’t know to shut up and listen – but those who are least knowledgeable are most likely to believe they are practically all-knowing. Our actual solution is to try to ignore such silly creatures. In a sense, that is what we’ve done here – and while there are fewer comments, such comments as their are tend to increase the sum of knowledge. Of course, this is just a little-noticed blog – but I think it can serve as a model. Let us who are reasonable discuss what is best and then try to obtain the ability to implement it. Don’t engage every silly screwball out there who has an opinion armored from head to foot in ignorance. It just doesn’t pay – and it doesn’t help advance the solutions we need.

And just in case the crazy seems a bit much, some advice:

A Ballad Of Suicide by G. K. Chesterton

The gallows in my garden, people say,

Is new and neat and adequately tall;
I tie the noose on in a knowing way

As one that knots his necktie for a ball;
But just as all the neighbours—on the wall—
Are drawing a long breath to shout “Hurray!”

The strangest whim has seized me. . . . After all
I think I will not hang myself to-day.
To-morrow is the time I get my pay—

My uncle’s sword is hanging in the hall—
I see a little cloud all pink and grey—

Perhaps the rector’s mother will not call— I fancy that I heard from Mr. Gall
That mushrooms could be cooked another way—

I never read the works of Juvenal—
I think I will not hang myself to-day.
The world will have another washing-day;

The decadents decay; the pedants pall;
And H.G. Wells has found that children play,

And Bernard Shaw discovered that they squall,
Rationalists are growing rational—
And through thick woods one finds a stream astray

So secret that the very sky seems small—
I think I will not hang myself to-day.

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13 thoughts on “Dealing With the Unreasonable

  1. Retired Spook December 14, 2014 / 9:50 am

    Mark,

    I think the dynamic you’re talking about here is just the natural culmination of the direction Obama and his supporters have taken the country. We used to have discussions with Liberals in which one of two things happened: one side eventually won based on facts or we debated to a draw and both agreed to disagree. There were rarely any accusations from either side that the other was racist, or evil or (fill in the blank with your favorite pejorative). And the discussions were mostly how to get to our destination, not where we were going. Facts used to matter. Now one side just makes up facts as they go along, and the truth is whatever they want it to be at any given moment. The end result has been a coursening of our culture to an extent I wouldn’t have believed possible a few years ago.

    • Cluster December 14, 2014 / 11:27 am

      I need you to go out and talk to your friends, talk to your neighbors…I want you to argue with them, get in their faces…you guys are the ones who can make the change.”
      – Candidate Barack Obama

      You can’t have discussions with people who choose to maliciously argue and openly lie. Obama and Democrats have lied so often about so many things that it is impossible to even listen to them anymore, let alone engage them in any type of conversation and how this administration continues to have any credibility is beyond me.

      http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2009/08/obama_and_the_thugs.html#ixzz3Lsyp8cXE

      • Cluster December 14, 2014 / 11:52 am

        A good example of the left’s dwindling credibility and incessant desire to “get in the face” of America is the recent and completely partisan “torture” report. Democrats track record over the last 6 years precludes anyone from being able to take this report seriously. Moreover, when you disagree with the lefts contention that the water boarding of three radical jihadists was torture, you are called a racist, as I was recently on another blog. It is simply impossible for any reasonable, sane American to have a conversation with the current left wing of the Democratic Party.

      • Amazona December 14, 2014 / 12:25 pm

        The RRL had hair-on-fire hissy fits over the treatment of some prisoners at Abu Ghraib, which they defined as “torture”. Hmmmm. Well, as Rush pointed out, most of it was no worse than an average college fraternity initiation. Red ink smeared across a cheek and telling the prisoner this is menstrual blood = torture? To the Left, being embarrassed is torture. So being photographed in underwear is torture. Being made to pile onto a pile of near-naked men to imply some sort of homosexual interest is torture. Being forced to listen to certain music is torture. Being called a big old poopyhead is torture if it happens to a Muslim in prison for slaughtering Americans. Being imprisoned in a benign climate with excellent food carefully chosen to comply with religious strictures, receiving dental and medical care, and being allowed full religious freedom, is torture,even though the imprisoned are there for killing people, including civilians of their own culture and religion.

        What makes this surreal in its level of hypocrisy and lack of self-awareness on the Left is the Left’s open wishing for the actual death of some Americans, just because they have different political views. To them, as we saw in so many virulent hate-driven posts, allowing Dick Cheney to die a lingering and painful death due to heart failure instead of getting a heart transplant would not be torture. Hanging George Bush or putting him in front of a firing squad would not have been torture. Filling the mouth of Sarah Palin with urine and feces would not be torture.

        Those who are on the Left, at least in this country, are for the most part Leftists not because of an objective analysis of and belief in a specific political philosophy. We have seen this here, when for about 9 years Lefties were asked to describe their political philosophy and in all that time only ONE could do so. The rest, and there were many, defined political philosophy as simply hating an Other—–an Other which was, by the way, an invention of the Left created to appeal to the ignorant and hate-driven.

        Any movement which is openly based on appealing to and validating a pathology is going to be represented by people who exhibit those pathologies with pride because they have been told the pathologies are noble and proof of their superiority. Naturally there is no way to talk to those people.

        If you ever find a Lefty whose political orientation is based upon a commitment to a specific form of government, it will be possible to talk with him or her, because the discussion can be objective and analytical. The problem is, there are hardly any in this country aligned with the Left who even understand, much less agree, with the political reality of the movement they support and enable through their irrational hatreds. They are just in it because their pathologies demand the spewing of hatred, and this is what they crave. It is an addiction to hate, and has to deny any fact that might interfere with it.

      • Amazona December 14, 2014 / 12:31 pm

        I think the release of this so-called “report” is really just an example of the Left’s refusal to turn loose of the pathology of BDS, which they found so satisfying for so long. This is just a way to keep it alive, a way of blowing on the embers to try to fan it into a full-fledged blaze again.

        Get some patriotic Americans serving their country killed along the way? Who cares? Sacrifice some who risked their lives to help us? Big deal. Damage our national security, possibly in a way that will result in more attacks on Americans here in our own country? They are fine with that. Make it dangerous for Americans to travel abroad? So what?

        No, it all comes back to the pathology of blind hatred and the pursuit of engaging in acts of blind hatred, no matter what the cost. Trying to wrap these malignant motives in the pretense of an obligation to inform the public just makes it hypocritical as well as vile.

      • Cluster December 14, 2014 / 1:15 pm

        Any non partisan and objective analysis would have to include the current Obama drone program wherein jihadists, including jihadists who happen to be American citizens, are targeted by drone missiles and killed without any chance of due process. And killed along with them is anyone unfortunate enough to be standing along side them regardless of their affiliation or innocence. Yet this program is deemed acceptable by those who think torture is making an admitted murderer uncomfortable.

        It’s hard to wrap your mind around that.

  2. Retired Spook December 14, 2014 / 6:09 pm

    Published just 4 years after Chesterton’s “A Ballad of Suicide”, Kipling’s “The Gods of the Copybook Headings” is actually every bit as relevant, if not more so, today as it was 95 years ago. Thanks to Glenn Beck for re-acquainting me with this marvelous poem that I first read in college, although it didn’t have nearly as big an impact on me then as it does now. What an amazing reflection on the extent to which Progressives deny (and have always denied) universal truths.

    The Gods of the Copybook Headings

    AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
    I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
    Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

    We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
    That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
    But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
    So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

    We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
    Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
    But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
    That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

    With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
    They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
    They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
    So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

    When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
    They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
    But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

    On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
    (Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
    Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

    In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
    By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
    But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

    Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
    And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
    That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

    As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
    There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
    That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
    And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

    And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
    When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
    As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
    The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

    • M. Noonan December 14, 2014 / 11:44 pm

      Odd that you should bring up Kipling; Chesterton had not much use for him…though that may be traced, among other things, to the Boer War when Kipling was Soldiers of the Queen and Chesterton was pro-Boer (he took the name to himself after he and others like him were accused of it…essentially showing his contempt for people who were in favor of a war which really was nothing more than a greedy grab for gold). But, how about we just enjoy a bit more poetry, and sanity?

      A BALLADE OF AN ANTI-PURITAN

      They spoke of Progress spiring round,
      Of Light and Mrs. Humphry Ward—
      It is not true to say I frowned,
      Or ran about the room and roared;
      I might have simply sat and snored—
      I rose politely in the club
      And said, “I feel a little bored;
      Will someone take me to a pub?”

      The new world’s wisest did surround
      Me; and it pains me to record
      I did not think their views profound,
      Or their conclusions well assured;
      The simple life I can’t afford,
      Besides, I do not like the grub—
      I wait a mash and sausage, “scored”—
      Will someone take me to a pub?

      I know where Men can still be found,
      Anger and clamorous accord,
      And virtues growing from the ground,
      And fellowship of beer and board,
      And song, that is a sturdy cord.
      And hope, that is a hardy shrub,
      And goodness, that is God’s last word—
      Will someone take me to a pub?

      • Retired Spook December 14, 2014 / 11:51 pm

        Odd that you should bring up Kipling

        It wasn’t so much the fact that Kipling wrote the poem as that the poem is still so relevant today — nothing new under the sun, as it were.

      • M. Noonan December 14, 2014 / 11:56 pm

        Yep – but it is just odd that we should be using such very different men to make the same essential points. Wisdom does creep in from time to time.

      • Retired Spook December 15, 2014 / 9:16 am

        Wisdom does creep in from time to time.

        Not often enough, unfortunately. I’ve known a number of people in my life who were incredibly intelligent and had accumulated vast amounts of knowledge but not an ounce of wisdom or common sense.

    • Amazona December 17, 2014 / 10:30 am

      As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
      There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
      That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
      And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

      ……proved by the 2012 presidential election…………thank you, Obama voters

  3. Retired Spook December 16, 2014 / 10:02 am

    OT, but oil continues its free fall below $54/brl. and Russia’s central bank just raised their interest rate to 17% in what looks to be a failed effort to stop the bleeding of the ruble. Please take your seats and fasten your seat belts. Extreme turbulence ahead.

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