We’ll grab a couple of them today:
Here’s one way to tell a faith from a racket: If it makes you think you’re better than everyone else, it’s a racket, not a faith.
I kind of love that. It’s the answer to all the “One True Religion” and “Chose People of X” things that drive me nuts.
Today, I spent six or seven hours shoveling. You know that stupid thing writers say about how writing is harder than shoveling? It’s stupid.
Most recently they’ve gone back to featuring the news, but the new gimmick is the readers get to vote on what news stories show up on the page. A day or so ago, the lead story — now keep in mind what’s going on in the world — was a story about a woman whose ass got stuck to a toilet bowl in some place like Idaho or Iowa. Her ass needed to be rescued from the grasping bowl. […] So there you have it. America speaks out. Give them a choice as to what they want to know about — cause the news has something to do with being in the know — and they’ll take a good ass gluing story over the one about 100 Iraqis a day dying as a result of a conflict perpetrated by their own government. Am I being too heavy here? Maybe I’m skewed in my perception. This does give you a good idea as to how Bush got elected and elected again, doesn’t it.
That line is not in bold in the original: emphasis is mine. I feel the same frustation that is so manifest here. On the other hand, I am so tired of constantly running around screaming at people to wake up, and take notice of what happening in the world.
A post over at Making Light about some absolutely atrocious behaviour in Delaware has had its comment section explode with a discussion about the incompatibility of religion and science, the utter failure of the Democratic party, and Trotskyist social analysis. Unsuprisingly, much of this is the result of some entertaining pot-stirring by one of my old poker coaches. If you have time to read the whole thread, and a relatively high tolerance for “you said this, I said this, then you said that” discussions, you should read the whole thing. Here’s a couple of the high points of Steve‘s postings:
There is today no political party in America that is able to answer the attacks of the extreme right, and is able to defend the mass of the American people against the loss of basic rights, and continued economic attacks. [link]
We can’t understand these things in isolation. The attacks on our freedom come at the same time as attacks on your living standards, and at the same time as, let us just say, international events motived by naked drive for profits, and at the same time as the complete collapse of the Democratic Party. [link]
A few people have remarked that we are always learning more, therefore the unknown will always exist. True, but beside the point. The unknown that begs for a supernatural explanation has not grown, nor will it grow. I suddenly have an image of a physicist saying to a colleage, “We have discovered the existence of a new subatomic particle. We know almost nothing about it. It must be God.” [link]
Science fiction and hipster bohemia are full of this kind of thing. You can’t get a cup of coffee in a con suite, or spend five minutes in an internet cafe, without overhearing somebody rhapsodizing about the stupidity of the masses. Two things are always apparent about these perorations. First, there’s almost always a sadistic, dominationist glee in demonstrating that other people deserve nothing from the speaker. Second, the argument, such as it is, almost always hinges on some survey showing that a majority of those questioned had been soft-headed enough to believe a lie they’d been told by someone in authority.
In other words, people are too stupid to resist authority, and therefore the only real question is who the authorities should be. The idea that people–even people we think are foolish–ought to have any power over their destiny is as foreign to Scott Adams as it would have been to a Czarist noble.[link]
I agree utterly with Patrick’s underlying sentiment, which might surprise some people, since I spent most of my teens and early twenties thinking that the masses were unredeemable, and only the elite (of whom I, of course, considered myself one) were fit to lead them. So I find this attitude particularly annoying because I recognise it.