Mike the Mad Biologist

More on Mainstreaming Crazy

Following on yesterday’s post, we read that Rick Perlstein has similar thoughts:

Conservatives have become adept at playing the media for suckers, getting inside the heads of editors and reporters, haunting them with the thought that maybe they are out-of-touch cosmopolitans and that their duty as tribunes of the people’s voices means they should treat Obama’s creation of “death panels” as just another justiciable political claim. If 1963 were 2009, the woman who assaulted Adlai Stevenson would be getting time on cable news to explain herself. That, not the paranoia itself, makes our present moment uniquely disturbing.

…You never heard the late Walter Cronkite taking time on the evening news to “debunk” claims that a proposed mental health clinic in Alaska is actually a dumping ground for right-wing critics of the president’s program, or giving the people who made those claims time to explain themselves on the air. The media didn’t adjudicate the ever-present underbrush of American paranoia as a set of “conservative claims” to weigh, horse-race-style, against liberal claims….

The tree of crazy is an ever-present aspect of America’s flora. Only now, it’s being watered by misguided he-said-she-said reporting and taking over the forest. Latest word is that the enlightened and mild provision in the draft legislation to help elderly people who want living wills — the one hysterics turned into the “death panel” canard — is losing favor, according to the Wall Street Journal, because of “complaints over the provision.”

Good thing our leaders weren’t so cowardly in 1964, or we would never have passed a civil rights bill — because of complaints over the provisions in it that would enslave whites.

I think the last sentence is key–and the example is what I’ve called the Cumbaya Fallacy. That is, there is this ridiculous revisionist idea that suddenly everyone decided that segregation was wrong, held hands, and sang Cumbaya. In fact, desegregation was rammed down the throat of the South (and, to a lesser extent, other regions).

The people who are birthers, deathers, global warming denialsist, and creationists do not rethink and reconsider, they regroup and rearm. We defeat them by ignoring them and getting done what has to be done, not by taking their ‘ideas’ seriously.

Comments

  1. #1 Corvus
    August 16, 2009

    *applause* Bravo!

  2. #2 mememine69
    August 16, 2009

    Global Warming is not just a conspiracy, it’s a giant web of conspiracy that is growing like a cancer via a feeding frenzy of personal gain for each and every one of these scientists, politicians, bureaucrats, journalists and a gullible, fear ridden, politically-correct generation or two of climate pu$$ies.
    A as far as assuming professional honesty goes, there is a fine thread of truth that has now naturally sewn itself through the theory but you have to admit even as a believer that predictions of an impending climate crisis are not sustainable for another 23 years. That, is the future of climate change, how will this failed theory end and what will its costs be to society. If we allow ourselves to live with less and be governed willingly by politicians who promise to tax us and lower the temperature of the planet earth with those taxes, surely we will then be heading for a new dark age. I ask all of you believers to consider this and ponder abandoning the theory so we can preserve, not rescue our planet with fear from a mistake.
    When “climate change” is used in place of the word weather, what chance does an opposing view have then? What chance does questioning the theory have when the term “climate variation” has now been replaced with the all-assuming promise of doomsday: “climate change” and or “global warming”? Add in some perceptions of consensus and correlation, feelings of guilt, envy, fearing the future, fearing the unknown and what we have now folks will be history’s view of this CO2 mania as being an insane exercise in modern day witch burners thinking humans can melt planets. The term “melting” may not be part of your personal and convenient definition of global warming but the United Nations only promises global warming will change “life as we know it” so waiting for crisis will be the coming issue. This irresponsible and wishful thinking for misery disguised by global warmers as concern will be viewed in history as leading us to war against the air itself, an invisible enemy and a non existent combatant of climate change.
    We need a martyr to shake us out of this “emotional” science that is taking us back thousands of years as civilized humans. I suggest we arrest and convict Al Gore for high treason for leading us to war against a false enemy.

  3. #3 DJ
    August 16, 2009

    Great post! I’ll begin by ignoring comment #2!

  4. #4 Luna_the_cat
    August 16, 2009

    …And let us never forget, as evidenced by comment #2, that changing attitudes in society is not just dependent on making facts available to people, or even presenting facts carefully and trying to make sure that people understand them. There is this section of the population which has made up its mind; don’t bother it with facts! In order to change some attitudes, the ones who are NEVER willing to change or to consider that they might be wrong need to be marginalized enough for other people to see how it can work without all the distracting noise.

    Personally, I think this is the traditional anti-intellectualism (read: deliberate and wilful ignorance which looks down on education with contempt) which has, let’s face it, a well-established history in the US; just revitalised and legitimised by the “serious consideration” given to it in the media.

  5. #5 mxh
    August 16, 2009

    @Luna

    There is this section of the population which has made up its mind; don’t bother it with facts! In order to change some attitudes, the ones who are NEVER willing to change or to consider that they might be wrong need to be marginalized enough for other people to see how it can work without all the distracting noise.

    It’s not so much that they’ve made up their mind. That implies that they’ve actually thought about the matter. Rather, they’ve somehow come to identify with the right and now will automatically accept whatever they hear on FoxNews, Rush or Glen Beck as their point of view. That’s why you always here the same lies and same talking points from all of them.

  6. #6 mediajackal
    August 16, 2009

    mememine69 @2 said:
    Global Warming is not just a conspiracy, it’s a giant web of conspiracy that is growing like a cancer via a feeding frenzy of personal gain for each and every one of these scientists, politicians, bureaucrats, journalists …

    Speaking as one of those journalist, I have one question: Which one of you elitist running dog capitalist lackies has been stealing my personal gain?

    mememine69 is right, though: We need a martyr. I nominate him. Or her. Or it — so long as him/her/it is a moderately large mammal. Sacrificing squirrels doesn’t, apparently, work.

  7. #7 magic
    August 16, 2009

    very thanks for article sesli chat

  8. #8 mk
    August 16, 2009

    Those last two paragraphs of yours are just spectacular. Really made me stand up and say “Fuck yeah!”

    Thanks for the inspiration… and I will totally be stealing much of what you said for future “debates.”

    Peace.

  9. #9 Mike H
    August 17, 2009

    Mainstreaming Crazy? Sorry, but where the fuck have you been for the past 8 years?

    http://www.zombietime.com/zomblog/?p=612

  10. #10 Andrew Dodds
    August 17, 2009

    mememine69 -

    You owe me a new irony meter after that least sentence, my last one is at the epicenter of a 15 foot wide smoldering crater.

  11. #11 mk
    August 17, 2009

    @Mike H…

    You miss–or purposely ignore–the point. I believe the key word here is “mainstream.”

  12. #12 NewEnglandBob
    August 17, 2009

    mememine69 @2 is a prime example of the obviously mentally deranged crazy.

    Is that really a Poe? How can anyone sane spew that stuff?

  13. #13 Mike H
    August 17, 2009

    MK. Here is a small sample of the last 8 years of “mainstream” crazy from the highly respected Vanity Fair: http://img.slate.com/media/1/123125/123019/2076350/2087850/030902_perle-letterspage.jpg

    You want more because there are thousands.

  14. #14 mk
    August 17, 2009

    http://www.slate.com/id/2087851/

    Comical Mike H. ;^} “a small sample”? Heh. One (1) is small indeed!

    That’s all you got? A stupid, cheap-shot letter to the editor with photo comparisons? Better start digging into those “thousands.” I still don’t think you get the point. Nice try though. (well, not really. Just being polite!)

  15. #15 Paul Merda
    August 17, 2009

    Indeed! Lets’s not confuse the issue with the facts!