Friday, September 27, 2013

Nuts? Yes, We Certainly Are.

With nuts still in mind from yesterday's post, I cannot resist this:
An Even Dozen Signs We’re All Nuts
by Jaime O'Neill at Smirking Chimp this week.

Mr O'Neill puts the 12 in reverse order #12 to #1. I'll summarise them here #1 to #12, but only in a couple or so words, it's well worth skipping to the full piece.

1. Shootings & NRA
2. Repeal ACA?
3. Vets & suicides
4. Donald Trump
5. Heads up asses
6. Bieber's millions
7. Student debt
8. Limbaugh's $$$$$
9. Sports coach pay
10.Bachmann HIC
11.Walmart wealth

“We are in the process of creating what deserves to be called the idiot culture. Not an idiot sub-culture, which every society has bubbling beneath the surface and which can provide harmless fun; but the culture itself. For the first time, the weird and the stupid and the coarse are becoming our cultural norm, even our cultural ideal.”
― Carl Bernstein


mike said...

Well, sadly, O'Neill's article is a funny read. I think he left-out a couple, like number 13 should be America's fascination with Kim Kardashion, but perhaps Miley Cyrus is taking Kim's place. There are countless idiot-synchronies...too many for one small list.

Much like your "Stops on a Mythical Journey" of two days ago, America (and most industrialized nations) should have a Rock of Realism for awareness and culture. So many changes have occurred over the past several decades that I'm not so sure we will ever be able correct the dumbing-down of America's citizens. And no one seems to be too concerned.

In fact, the dumbing-down is fodder for late night TV comedians. Jay Leno has a "Street Walking" skit every week or two. He walks the main drag of Las Vegas and asks people questions that I would think anyone with a third-grade education would know the answer...but, no...most of the adults have no clue, even when Leno gives them clues. Maybe Leno doesn't show the smart ones, but I doubt that he encounters the smart ones often enough.

“Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.” George Carlin

mike (again) said...

One nice thing about my own idiocy and advancing age, is that it's easily explained as pre-dementia.

Leno's skit is actually called "Jay Walking". Here's a sample:

Twilight said...

mike ~ Yes, there are lots more than 12, agreed! A big one, arguably the biggest of all, not featured is climate change.

I saw one of those Leno skits once - it shouldn't have been a surprise, I guess, but it was. I even suspected it was a "put up job" for the camera, but as you say they probably do dozens and pick out the worst examples for the show.

mike (again) ~ Likewise on the pre-dementia ...LOL!

Thanks for the link....LOL! Founding Fathers of what....? - He may well ask!!

LB said...

About those Jay Leno skits (and I laughed too, partly because I related to those being questioned) - being ignorant of something (or not remembering) doesn't *necessarily* mean someone is stupid or even uninterested, in the same way being blessed with a great intellect and ability to articulate doesn’t necessarily mean someone possesses depth or wisdom. And likewise, depth and wisdom don't mean much unless they're put into practice.

Having said that, our current pleasure-seeking, greed-based, media-savvy (and impatient) culture doesn't really promote thoughtfulness, intelligence *or* wisdom. I spent yesterday afternoon approaching the principals and vice principals of schools in my area with potential curriculum materials designed to raise social awareness, specifically, about how some of our choices indirectly affect others and can make a difference. The responses I got were mixed, some *very* encouraging and others not so much.

So we’re all nuts is right, including Jaime O'Neill. His list is compelling because he’s an intelligent guy who’s able to use information to back up his view points, which, based on a casual reading of some of his previous posts, seem to be based on an ‘us against them’ way of looking at things.

What we’re all facing together is much bigger than us or them, which is something we all tend to forget.

LB said...

Adding, I wasn't *selling* any of the materials I dropped off/presented at the various schools yesterday - just making them aware, hoping the information would help to plant seeds and they'd *want* to do something with them.

Twilight said...

LB ~ I liked Mr O'Neill's piece, putting a lighter spin on some very serious issues, but still getting his point over. There are so few writers now who can do that well. I miss David Michael Green's sometimes funny, sometimes explosive articles. He had a blog called "The Regressive Antidote" which has been dark for a while. I contacted him to ask if he would continue, but he replied he is busy with another project now.

It's a very special talent to make serious issues even slightly funny, attempts can go awry very easily.

I'm more or less an us v. them person myself, LB - on three fronts these days.
#1: Us (on the "proper" left) against those on the far right.
#2: Us of the 99% v. those of the 1% + the shadow power brokers behind the curtain.
#3: Us on the "proper" left v. Obama apologists of the faux left who will not hear a word against His Highness.
So that makes me an Us against Them, Them and Them person.
;-) No hope for me, I'm afraid.

I do agree that what we're facing, if somebody doesn't wake up soon, will be bigger than all of us and the 3 Thems together.

Your attempt to raise awareness in schools is a very noble cause. I hope that at least some of your efforts will bear fruit.

LB said...

Twilight ~ While clear-cut villains do exist, there are many more instances where our overgeneralizations tend to oversimplify very complex issues by making it easy to overlook our own shortcomings and hypocrisy. They also make it harder to recognize and acknowledge any gaps in our awareness or wisdom.

I like C.S. Lewis' thoughts on duality and how all things, good and bad, right and wrong, exist only in relation to some separate and higher standard and are essentially reflections of how aligned or misaligned we are with the source of this standard . . . for me its an all-knowing, all-loving God, whereas for an atheist or agnostic, it might be the greater TRUTH.

Twilight said...

LB ~ I understand your point, and yet I'll fall back on astrology, and say that our innate nature dictates our feelings on these matters, modified frequently by our background and experiences.
So while what you point out is 100% right, not many of us can live up to it.

I've just been reading Ted Rall's recent piece about Rand Paul: "Is Rand Paul America's #1 Liberal?"

Which brought to mind that old quote, nobody seems certain of its origin or exact words. Edward Wallis Hoch of Kansas seems to be favourite, though I'd lean towards Robert Louis Stevenson. Doesn't matter:

There is so much good in the worst of us,
And so much bad in the best of us,
That it hardly behooves any of us
To talk ill about the rest of us.

LB said...

Twilight ~ Before judging, it's always a good idea to check ourselves first. Recognizing our flaws -and seeing how flawed everyone else around us is- isn't a good enough reason not to try to do better and to encourage others to do the same. Yesterday evening walking home, I was thinking about how easy it is for us to give up and instead take our cues from the people around us, who are usually as unmotivated as we are - as in, if everyone else is doing it (or not doing it), that must mean it's either okay or else utterly hopeless so there's no point in trying.:( I get it.

In terms of the overgeneralizing I referred to earlier, I tend to generalize when it comes to human beings and what motivates *most* of us as individuals - also what's most likely to happen when we come together in groups.

You're right though, however misguided he may be, there's no question Rand Paul has good in him. Still, he's not someone I'd trust to any great extent or look to for guidance.

mike (again) said...

Rand Paul!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What?! LOL!

LB said...

mike ~ Good link. As the writer points out about Rand Paul, "He is not a superhero . . ."

Like I said, he's not someone I'd put my faith in. Gotta be careful when we're looking for heroes.

Twilight said...

LB & mike ~ I wouldn't trust Rand Paul, or his Dad Ron as far as I could throw either of them, but during these "interesting times" we're passing through strange bedfellows emerge on some individual issues.

Not ideal, not a hero - not even close, but like a broken clock he can be right once a day and once a night. ;-)