They thus function as shortcuts to long drawn out arguments, save us time in research, and let us feel sublimely satisfied that we have done our part to enrich the grey matter in thousands of heads.
Yes, we have wild dreams don’t we?
The trouble is, that like every shortcut, we try to use it all the time, even when we are going in the opposite direction, because we are en mass, lazy. Lazy breeds error Louise, or didn’t you know that. And if my meanderings through the Facebook hallways is any indication there is plenty of arrested thinking going on out there in the Internets.
Breaking News: ALL MEMES AREN’T TRUE, IN FACT PROBABLY MOST OF THEM AREN’T.
See, creators of memes are sometimes well-meaning people who look shit up and then save you the trouble of doing the same. They create these precious memes that say so much with so little. But not all creators are well-meaning. Some are just snotty kids with lots of time to screw around, and they too create memes. Except these memes aren’t vetted for accuracy. Their only point is to superficially make some “point” that is amusing, or anger provoking, or otherwise successful in making your nod your head in any direction as long as it’s vigorously.
And these memes, the gawd-awful not true ones create havoc among the mostly rusty and ill-experienced body politic. For some reason, I end up trying to correct this nonsense, at least as to those that piss me off the most.
And I end up arguing with idiots.
And that is boring, irritating, and not worth my time.
So for once and for all:
- LOCAL MAYOR REFUSES TO REMOVE PORK FROM SCHOOL CANTEEN MENU AND EXPLAINS WHY. This meme goes on to explain in great detail that the mayor of Montreal received complaints from Muslim parents and a request to remove pork from the menu of the local schools their children attended. He basically told them, according to the meme, to adopt “Canadian values” or move some place else.
This was accompanied by a lead in that said, “This is what every country or city should feel and mandate!!”
Now folks. First of all, this meme is a hoax, a common problem on Facebook these days with fact being stranger than fiction. In fact the original hoax started with it being a Belgian mayor.
Several posters exuberantly agreed, however, one explaining to me that “they should not impose their values on the majority of this country.” When I asked who “they” were, and what values she was speaking of, a huge silence ensued. I tried to explain that dietary laws of one’s religion are not “values” but actual laws, the same that Jews have engaged in for centuries.
Of course the meme is harsh, cruel, and would not seemingly reflect the beliefs of any thinking normal person, but thinking normal people aren’t posting and agreeing with it either. Non-thinking folks are, because they have bought into the Fox Noise scare machine.
Seemingly the poster and those who so happily agreed, forget that back in our time in the 60’s we all had meatless Fridays in the cafeteria at school year round because we respected the dietary laws of the Catholic church. Protestants went along even though their faith traditions carried no such restriction.
Somehow with Muslims it is different. The conclusion is obvious.
This one refers to “illegal aliens” or now refugees. It similarly is nonsensical.
There is no doubt that vets are being denied a good many benefits, but there is no relationship between that and either undocumented workers or refugees.
When we talk about veteran benefits, we talk about increases in pay, increases in disability pay, better services at VA hospitals and clinics, better educational opportunities, perhaps in grants and loans, better job opportunities such as preference in the job pool. We may talk about the availability of food stamps, something used by thousands of vets to get by. These issues have nothing to do with immigrants or refugees.
There are no benefits coming to either. Neither group is entitled to food stamps, assistance, medical health care insurance, or anything else.
It is a false dichotomy. When prodded, posters and those in agreement refuse to explain what veterans are not getting that these other groups get instead. That is because they cannot answer. They just find the meme soothing to their anger.
Their anger arises because they have bought into the hate machine that is Fox and other right wing fanatics who tell them that immigrants and “others” take their jobs, use up their tax money on free stuff the government gives them, and destroys their culture (meaning the way white folks like to do stuff). None of this is true of course, but Fox and right wing crazies depend on deflecting the real anger of how American operates back on victims of the system rather than the perpetrators (business oligarchs who control government).
The point is, the meme creator knew that using veterans in the meme would get immediate sympathy. We love to tout our love for the troops. We aren’t so good at touting our hatred of war as a solution but we sure wave flags at the wounded. So the veterans is the “victim” and the immigrant the “bad” guy as the meme creator intended.
The fact that there is no logical nexus between the two is irrelevant. A statement is made and hopes to find fertile ground in the untilled soil of the average non-thinking American.
3. Perhaps the silliest of them all is the perennial “war on Christmas”always resurrected in November of each and every year and harped on by Fox and the rest of the right wing babblers.
A string of seemingly defiant posters and commenters all shout dramatically, “Merry Christmas” and feel that they have done as much as anyone who hid a Jewish person in their attic during World War II.
Except folks, it’s all in your imagination.
The first question I ask is “who is telling you you can’t say Merry Christmas”? Silence.
“They are trying to change our values.” Who? Silence.
Who has ever objected to your use of the phrase Merry Christmas? “Someone has. . . .”
Silly folks, this crap goes back to the late 50’s and the John Birch Society. It rose again under the tutelage of Foxy Noise and is brought up every year.
The truth is that SOME businesses find it PROFITABLE to use more generic terms (INCLUSIVE?) to refer to the holidays in the hopes of engendering a BROADER clientele who will come shop for the “holiday”. Unless you work for them and are constrained in how you speak to customers so as to abide by this PROFIT DECISION, you are not similarly constrained.
You may shout Merry Christmas all day and night and the secular police won’t be knocking at the door. There is no secular police. There is no “they”. There are no “values” at stake here.
So take your Starbucks cup and paste on some fake snowflakes and tell yourself that now Jesus is happy and shut the fuck up.
Look, memes are fun. They can be informative. But they can be both misleading and deceiving. We all make mistakes. We live in a world where truth is stranger than fiction oftimes and insane memes can sometimes be absolutely true. We have all been caught by hoaxes. We all must be more diligent.
There are serious issues that confront this country and this world. Poverty in all its ramifications stifle the best that humanity has to offer in favor of the few who live easily and can devote their time to discovery. Climate change threatens us all. The rule of oligarchs endangers every so-called democratic system. We are woefully under-educated in other people, other places, and other ideologies and faith systems. We need thinking meaningful conversations on these and many other issues.
We don’t need to waste time on hating the OTHER. We don’t need to waste time on non-existent dangers. We need to focus our meagre free time on information that is truthful and enlightening.
Take a moment to think before you post. Cuz I’ll be foaming at the mouth and leave nasty remarks if you don’t.
See, I can’t seem to learn the concept. I heard a bit about the returns last night of some of the elections. I figure, well, that ups the ante. More like fifty percent of the damn country is so damn crazy that they are fit for tie-down jackets.
Kentucky, home of the 4 times married, childed by various men, new princess of Christianity, Kim Davis, can bite me.
After all that we have shown to be the GOP mantra of give to the rich, take from the poor, and hate every blessed thing that is not white nor male, this is what we get? Then to top it off, Rethuglicans revel in the bliss of plain old adultery, with dirty gay sex on the sly while protesting that them sexual perverts belong in jail, and screaming “one man one woman” while whispering, “in any quantity you like.” Have a mistress? Pregnant? Oh, tell her to abort, and then turn on a dime and decry single mothers who can’t keep their vaginas in check. Need a man for that huh?
So Kentuck hires itself a loon who is tea drunk and promises to roll back the Medicaid increase from Obamacare and thereby throw out up to half a million people back to being “uninsured.”
I think you all deserve each other.
Hey I’m the first to accept that reality is often a shade or two off what any of us thinks, but shit, this is insane.
Vitters hasn’t been set on a rowboat at the mouth of the Gulf and given a franc should he be lucky enough to float there without a paddle.
You all are nuts.
I recall some years ago, reading a first hand account of a woman who was able to extricate herself from a dangerous fundamentalist church. Her guts told her that the pastor’s propensity to wale on kids to “beat the love of God into them” was wrong. But the pastor continued to terrorize her with visions that her “gut” was in fact Satan who was whispering that evil in her mind.
She eventually got free of the church, but she said the little voice of doubt was still there.
See, no matter what you believe or think is real, there is always somebody out there rainin’ on your parade. There is always that doubt.
Folks, that doubt is what politics thrives on. Fox Noise is expert at planting, watering, and fertilizing that doubt EVERY DAY. It never wilts, that doubt.
There are a hell of a lot of folks who are calling for the death and defeat of ISIS. Hell there are a lot of folks who are calling for the death and defeat of all Muslims. That’s what fear does. It causes you to lose your humanity. Fear becomes the intractable determination to end the subject of your fear.
You don’t stop to examine the validity of the fear.
You just fear. And then you hate. And then you twist it all around until it becomes justified by whatever the hell you believe in.
My anger is volcanic at this point. I am tired of arguing with people (and I do use the term loosely), who can’t get past their high school civics class in terms of actual knowledge. I’m tired of arguing with people who wouldn’t know introspection if it tore their leg off.
I just realized something.
I’m 65 1/2 years old. Soon I’ll be, God willing (no I don’t believe that at all but it always sounds good), 66. It does not matter much to me what most of y’all do about most anything. I won’t live long enough to see it impact me negatively.
I got a husband, a great home, loving pets, a great city to live in, friends abound, just enough in all the right places. I got money. I got brains that still function mostly normal most of the time. I have curiosity that knows no limits. I have the ability to create stuff that makes me happy.
It does not matter to me if you all want to vote away your health care.
It does not matter to me if you want to vote away your right to control your bodies.
It does not matter to me if you all want to work for the MAN living in his shacks at the edge of the factory, and buying from the company store.
It does not matter to me what you do in regards to gay rights, marijuana, transgender rights, income inequality, help for the poor, protection of the arts, the environment.
None of it matters to ME. I ain’t gonna live long enough.
I’ve fought the good fight for better than ten years. I’m tired. Nobody listens, nobody cares, because stupid shit like “positive mantras” about how to get more sales in your job are vastly more important than clean drinking water or whether whales should be held in captivity no matter how benevolent captivity is made to appear.
You care about how much you pay in taxes and only barely care where it goes, unless directed to hate some group of people for making them higher and for the “wrong things” like other people.
More people in this country claim allegiance to Jesus while condemning “welfare queens” and people who might be lazy. They nary bat an eye while telling me they will pray for my sick soul as they divorce their third wife and avoid child support cuz it’s hard to make it with a new family and all.
You elect people who candidly tell you they hate the job, go as little as possible, but beg you to install them in a job that takes twenty-four hours a day just to keep even. And they are pretty sure you will oblige.
One asshat tells you that he learned more from God about the inner workings of the human body than from the physiology class he obviously ignored. He is considered by the very savvy electorate to be the most trustworthy of all the candidates, while Politifact wonders when he will tell his first TRUTH about ANYTHING.
Another candidate did this all for a lark and found himself at the top of the heap. Now he’s taking it serious. Seriously?
Another is a Dominionist intent on turning Merika into a new theocratic state, something the Pilgrims were hot to do, but were prevented eventually by a few elite men who figured their goose might be cooked with that sort of government.
The list is lengthy. In fact if you check into those “waiting in the wings” there is no limit to how stupid candidates have become.
How does one jerk in the House convince another jerk in the House that he can be speaker if the entire party gives up any intent to engage immigration reform? Write off the entire Hispanic population in one fell swoop. Not worth it, since of course the first jerk and probably the second, would love to deport ’em all were it feasible, and even if not.
Not that they personally give a rat’s ass. They don’t. But they found it profitable for running a campaign on. Them wetbacks–stealing your jobs, using up your taxes, making everyone all brown, with their Spanish, with their Customs, with their kids who will make my white privilege kids not so privileged? I mean there are memes going around that blame whatever is perceived as lacking in “veterans rights” on “illegals” who are I guess getting it instead.
Which brings me to the last point, or not.
Do you actually read them? I know they sound all smart and all. But if you actually think about it, about 10% of them are not even logical. Yet when I try to explain that to you, you get all huffy, and tell me that that’s my opinion.
Which makes yours, what equally right?
‘Fraid not, bozo.
And if you don’t know why, I sure ain’t explaining obvious no more…Loll around in your stupid.
We live in a culture where what feels right is right contrary to every piece of evidence. It remains right, because you need it to be so, because you poor deluded asshat, you can’t live in a world where it isn’t true. You don’t have the guts or fortitude to push on and figure out what is true.
So, I’m done with it.
It’s making me angry. My husband keeps asking, “what can I do?”
Nothing. Because nothing can fix stupid.
I just need to stop wasting my preciously dwindling time trying to bring coherent thought to those who haven’t ever experienced it.
Not that I’m a genius. I can prove that I’m not. I just have a brain that connects to my heart, and all this stupid stuff hurts. That’s the rub. It hurts because we know what is truth in general, yet we can get none of the brain dead to see it. And they never will.
If I were younger, I’d study work-arounds. I’m old, so I’m just opting out. You know. hippie style. Gonna just make me a garden and smile at the flowers. I live far enough inland that the rise in sea level won’t affect me.
And then again, in a week, I may feel better…
Don’t count on it.
I’ll write, but of what?