Saturday, August 4, 2012


We are beyond coming to terms with each other on matters of culture and politics.  We have degenerated into a quagmire of mutually held bewilderment at the other’s ways of thinking.  Emerson’s words come to mind, “Their every truth is not quite true.  Their two is not the real two, their four not the real four; so that every word they say chagrins us, and we know not where to begin to set them right.”  Both sides of the culture divide can say this, with full sincerity, about the other.  We are not going to come to a collective consensus.  We are not going to reason things out with each other because the very underpinnings of common values and common reasoning are eroded.  Termites have eaten away at the foundations until there is no substance left in the structure.  It looks like it is there, but when you poke a finger at it, your fingers pushes right into the rot.  We use to depend on reason.  But reason itself is undermined.  Facts no longer matter when a lie will do just as well.   In this environment, belief is supreme to evidence.  We use to have a basic civility.  But today there is no longer a hold on the tongue.  The people with the microphones say what they want without regard to offense, and we all learn our manners from them.  Our leaders are emboldened to blather absurdly.  Our neighbors and associates spout the latest telecast lies as if they were God given fact.  Each camp has its own proof and draws its own criteria for justification.  We argue points we won’t win, and shout at the people we think are idiots.  And they shout at us in kind.   But alas, reality is not divided against itself.  Reason and civility, while inadequate holds on the degeneration of argument, still fall subservient to reality.  There is still truth beyond the belligerence of opinion.  There is yet a reality beyond the scope of hyperventilated proclamations.   In the end, what is real will prevail.  All the protestations against the roundness of the earth by the proponents of flatness could not hold off the inevitable evidence.  Ideas and opinions that are grounded in reality will eventually be naturally selected over those that are based in fantasy.  But in the mean time, until the world burns up from too much pollution, or till God comes out or the sky to redeem his faithful, or until the cockroaches inherit the earth, we are destine, it seems, to suffer the plight of mutual bewilderment at each other’s reckonings.

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