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    Stuff I Want to Learn: Boogey Boogey Boogey

    It’s an election year. That must mean it’s time for Congressional representatives to announce support for ridiculous Constitutional amendments and for state leaders to instill fear in the population by creating all sorts of boogeymen, like (imaginary) undocumented Mexicans running roughshod in the Arizona desert, beheading (imaginary) poor, unsuspecting, hardworking, freedom-loving, salt of the earth Americans.

    Which has me wondering: why is discussing problems and solutions like grown ups so unpalatable in America?

    It’s a chicken/egg argument, really. Does the electorate form their opinions based on messaging because they really don’t care about actual solutions? Or does the electorate not make actual solutions a priority because our politicians and media collude in the bread-and-circus trade?

    I want to know the answer. Any thoughts?



    Well O, ithink it has to do with people actully needing to be gown up.


    Completely agree. Americans need to gown up. WAY more than they do.

    I tell you cmaukonen, you are a misspelling genius.

    (And if it's deliberate, don't tell me.)

    I think people are slipping into lower classes, scared and looking for someone to blame. They react emotionally, so it is easy to point them at blacks on welfare, muslims, illegal immigrants, etc rather than at NAFTA.

    Or themselves.

    But the divide and conquer strategy in that regard hasn't ever really gone out of style. There are so many people who just don't pay attention to anything that isn't new-penny shiny. I have a feeling it's as a result of a number of factors. I think individual economic decline is one of them, as is the decline in quality of education, or the fact that the eduction system has not changed to meet the demands of a post-manufacturing economy.

    True, and news delivery can be tightly marketed to tell groups what they already want to hear.

    There's so much static on the airwaves it's difficult to determine if what you're hearing is fact based or fact-twisted to support the conclusion. For instance, I was searching for a documentary on the Quran by an Australian broadcasting group like our PBS when I found one titled...What you should know about the Islam. After watching 20 minutes of it, I had a firm understanding what I should know about Islam was what the authors of the film thought was bad about Islam. Now take that to the next step...health care reform, social security, unemployment, Bush tax cuts and so forth. Fill the airwaves with authentic looking material...wrap your message into the fabric of the myth the viewer wants to believe and you just made a sale that gets paid in full on election day.

    "What you should know about THE Islam" would have told me that without watching even a frame of it.

    That phrasing is not the mark of a serious work.

    I don't believe they were fishing for people with very much intelligence. Just enough of them that vote and can turn an election in their favor. Not hard to do with simple minds who are looking for an excuse to justify their beliefs.

    I concur.

    I was gonna concur, but apparently that word's taken for the evening.

    In which case, I disagree.


    And your mother.

    I've long come to suspect the whole concept of a "national discussion."  I think it's hogwash.  People write, people read, people talk, people listen, but this whole thing about discussing the issues of the day at a national level is pretty much a sham because what is really meant by this is the superficial shit that is seen on television, primarily on national network and cable television programs.  Except all of that stuff is bought and paid for by a particular sector of society.  So it's nothing like anything that I would call a discussion without a sneer on my face.

    And fear always works.  Get the limbic system firing over-time so the cerebral cortex can't compete.

    EDIT: One more thing - Donal alludes above to the detiorating economic conditions in America.  It's been decades in the making, but the American middle class does seem to have forces aligned against it.  Even so, this is a process that has moved at a glacial pace and what has to be recognized is how rich Americans still are relative to the rest of the world.  So, if by "problems" you refer to the really big issues that must be reckoned with, say long-term energy policy, nearly any serious and adult discussion will require that people are willing to 1.) take responsibility for how they act right now and 2.) at least entertain a willingness to make some changes (and possibly even outright sacrifices).  People frequently avoid doing those things.  Like Bush the Elder famously quipped, "The American way of life is not negotiable."

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