(noun) The practice or act of intentional and blatant avoidance, disregard or disagreement with facts, empirical evidence and well-founded arguments because they oppose or contradict your own existing personal beliefs. This practice is most commonly found in the political or religious ideologies of “conservative” Americans. Many times it is practiced due to laziness–people not wanting to have to do the work to rethink their opinions, the fear of the unknown, the fear of being wrong, or sometimes simply close-mindedness. -Urban Dictionary
“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” -MLK
“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is as good as your knowledge.” -Isaac Asimov
“Ignorance is a virus. Once it starts spreading, it can only be cured by reason. For the sake of humanity, we must be that cure.” -Neil deGrasse Tyson
Free is not free anymore. It’s now just free to be stupid. -worstwriter
“Given this overwhelming tendency to stupidity and selfishness in myself and among our species, it is somewhat surprising to find the light of reason penetrating at all. The brilliant Schiller was wrong in his “Joan of Arc” when he said that “against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.” It is actually by means of the gods that we make our stupidity and gullibility into something ineffable.” -God Is Not Great, Christopher Hitchens
“The battle for the survival of man as a responsible being in the Communications Era is not to be won where the communication originates, but where it arrives.” -Umberto Eco, Travels in Hyperreality, Towards a Semiological Guerrilla Warfare
But seriously. If/when the communication arrives at the #Americant in the comfort of his credit card, never-paid-for lazy-boy, how should then the battle be waged?
“These were the saddest sights of that woful day; and no man clasped the hands of these two passing figures of the present-past; but, hating, they went to their long home, and, hating, their children’s children live today.” -WEB Dubois
“Thus did the United States government definitely assume charge of the emancipated Negro as the ward of the nation. It was a tremendous undertaking. Here at a stroke of the pen was erected a government of millions of men,—and not ordinary men either, but black men emasculated by a peculiarly complete system of slavery, centuries old; and now, suddenly, violently, they come into a new birthright, at a time of war and passion, in the midst of the stricken and embittered population of their former masters.” -WEB Dubois – The Souls of Black Folk
“May all members be mindful that the institutions and structures of our great nation guarantee the opportunities that have allowed some to achieve great success, while others continue to struggle,” he prayed. “May their efforts these days guarantee that there are not winners and losers under new tax laws, but benefits balanced and shared by all Americans.” -Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, Chaplain US House of Rep
Other than the K-Car from Chrysler, a piece of $hit car that was made because the US government provided corporate welfare to one of its largest automakers, my beloved #Americant’s next worst achievement was making politics ideological. I suppose it was inevitable that politics eventually go this route. I’m just wondering if the founders would find it all a bit extreme. Then again, considering who/what the founders really were–white men through and through–they might be more than proud of what #Americant has become. Except, of course, there no longer being race based slavery. (There is financial slavery galore, though.) Yeah. They might be pretty pissed at that. But I digress.
The quote above is from a prayer given by a chaplain during a congressional session where the latest tax bill was being voted on. Because of his words, according to various news reports, the chaplain was then asked to resign by the Speaker of the House, Paul (Eddy Munster) Ryan. I mean, come on, #Americant. Is there really no room in your extreme right-wing greed ideology heart for even a priest to wish the meek a few loafs of bread? Whaaaaaa, you say? There is no bread. Let them eat cake. Indeed. Well played Eddie Munster.
“I think it’s probably more of a privilege. Do you consider food a right? Do you consider clothing a right? Do you consider shelter a right? What we have as rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We have the right to freedom. Past that point, everything else is a limited resource that we have to use our opportunities given to us so that we can afford those things.” -Sen. Ron Johnson
Quote above is a response by Sen. Ron Johnson (R) when asked by a student last year if he believed health care is a right. What better exemplifies the skewed if not screwed right wing political ideology that has been made normal these days? Now don’t get me wrong, dear worst-reader. I too believe in personal freedom and inalienable rights–especially when it comes to failing and simply exiting the rat race (which should also be an inalienable right). What I don’t believe in is how some are able to twist words like freedom so that what should be a basic right get turned into money grubbing privilege so that a few rich people can scam everybody else. Indeed. That’s ultimately what Ron Johnson’s words mean. We all are free, he says. But some are more free to be able to screw you over–if you can’t pay your way. And so. As someone who found a way out of this awfulness, my hat is off to Republicans and conservatives in my beloved (and missed) #Americant and how they have so brilliantly twisted and skewed the game to their favour–and gotten so many people to vote against their own best interests. Yeah, baby. The land of free to be stupid is steadfast in its faith of Lord Greed, the God of Money and those who would follow.
“It is a recurrent joke among writers of farces that wives rejoice in being beaten by their husbands. It reflects, however, an eternal truth–that there is a great comfort in knowing that those who love you love you enough to take the responsibility for marking out the permissible. Husbands often er–but in both directions. Caesar is a tyrant–both as husband and as ruler. It is not that, like other tyrants, he is chary of according liberty to others; it is that, loftily free himself, he has lost all touch with the way freedom operates and is developed in others; always mistaken, he accords to little or he accords too much.”
-LIII. Cytheris to Lucius Mamilium Turrinus, on the Island of Capri, The Ides of March, Thornton Wilder
Let us at least say of religion that it means that every part of the body is infused with mind, not that the mind is overwhelmed and drowned in body. For the principal attribute of the Gods, without or within us, is mind.
-Caeser’s Journal XLII-B, aka Thornton Wilder, The Ides of March
Even if we assume the existence of a God who, as Homer says, pours out from his urns his good and evil gifts, I am amazed at the pious who insult their God by failing to see that as this world is run there is a field of circumstance that is not commensurate with God’s providence and that God must have so intended it.
Ok. Obviously there are better things to be done on a Friday night before flying to my beloved homeland Sunday morning. The only question that remains is: what the hell to do Saturday night? In the mean time, here another fabulous quote as I re-read a book.
“When individuals are finally emasculated and alone, bereft of the help of competing collectives, they cannot defend their rights or question the abuses of their overlords. When there is no other place to turn for help other than the world of miracles and magic, mediated by those who grow rich off those who suffer, when reality to an ideology becomes a litmus test for individual worth, tyranny follows.”
-Chris Hedges, American Fascists – The Christian Right And The War On America.
But I used to have great confidence in understanding. Now take a phrase like “father forgive them; they know not what they do.” This may be interpreted as a promise that in time we would be delivered from blindness and understand. On the other hand, it may also mean that with time we will understand our own enormities and crimes, and that sounds to me like a threat.
-Saul Bellow, Henderson The Rain King
I don’t know what came first, dear worst-reader. The title of this worst-post or the quote in it. Nomatter. Move on. And…
“For example (and thanks to Doug Korty for this point), the total deficits of the federal government from 1950 to 2009 were $6.6 trillion. During those years, three Republican presidents (Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush) accounted for the vast majority of those deficits. All the other presidents (Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton) combined accounted for a small fraction only. The three deficit-happy Republican presidents were the most conservative and subservient to major capitalists interests. They all increased spending (chiefly for military and counter-crisis purposes) while cutting taxes (especially for corporations and the richest individuals). Such policies forced huge federal deficits and rapid national debt hikes. The Obama administration ran very large deficits and boosted the national debt through stimulus outlays and costly wars without offsetting tax increases.”
-From the chapter Capitalism, Democracy, and Elections (2013), Richard Wolff’s book: “Capitalism’s Crisis Deepens”
Keep that in mind the next time you vote for someone on account of your taxes, your debts, Her emails, your general nonsense of living as an #americant soothed by pharmaceuticals and/or Disney and/or the lie of the mind that is your hope and desire of exceptional-ism. And now. Go buy something.
For a man like Cornell West to say that he’s never seen this kind of hate in his life says a lot about #americant, the lost American way, about being played. Indeed. If you still support #Trump or anything GOP you have been played to the hilt. Congratulations sucker.
“So, in that sense, you know, I think what we’re really seeing, though, Sister Amy, is the American empire in decay, with the rule of big money, with massive militarism, facilitated by the scapegoating of the most vulnerable, of immigrants, Muslims, Jews, Arabs, gay, lesbians, trans and bisexuals, and black folk. The white supremacy was so intense. I’ve never seen that kind of hatred in my life. We stood there, and nine units went by, and looking right in our eyes. And they’re cussing me out, and so forth and so on. They’re lucky I didn’t lose my holy ghost, to tell you the truth, because I wanted to start swinging myself. I’m a Christian, but not a pacifist, you know. But I held back. But that kind of hatred—but that is just the theater. It’s big money. It’s big military. And it’s the way in which this capitalist civilization is leading us toward unbelievable darkness and bleakness. And the beautiful thing is the fightback. It was a beautiful thing to see all the people coming back. But they had more fascists than anarchists, more fascists than fightback.” -Cornell West
For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
-Matthew 13:12 KJ
Just gettin’ my kicks this morn, dear worst-reader. Woke up to the rain shimmering across the Flensborg Fjord and dabbled in what is known as the “Matthew Effect“. A fine endeavour, indeed, before one starts his or her day reading about the downfall of the western world caused by mindless consumerism (yours truly) and inept democracy (my beloved #americant). But don’t worry. Have a bite of cookie or juicy kernel from biblical pomegranate. You’ll feel right as rain as soon as you do.
“Now what I observe in ethnographic studies is that people actually can become proud of their ability to exhaust themselves in this struggle. So that they say we are coping, we’re good, and others are less good or bad at coping. So it becomes a matter of pride to subject yourself to this rigid discipline imposed on you by the market.”
“But what of the freedom-to? Not just the freedom-from. Not all compulsion comes from without. You pretend you do not see this. What of freedom-to. How for the person to freely choose? How to choose any but a child’s greedy choices if there is no loving-filled father to guide, inform, teach the person how to choose? How is there freedom to choose if one does not learn how to choose?”
-David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest, 30 April/ 1 May, Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment
Speculators at megabanks or investment firms such as Goldman Sachs are not, in a strict sense, capitalists. They do not make money from the means of production. Rather, they ignore or rewrite the law—ostensibly put in place to protect the vulnerable from the powerful—to steal from everyone, including their shareholders. They are parasites. They feed off the carcass of industrial capitalism. They produce nothing. They make nothing. They just manipulate money. Speculation in the 17th century was a crime. Speculators were hanged. -Chris Hedges
“Like most North Americans of his generation, Hal tends to know way less about why he feels certain ways about the objects and pursuits he’s devoted to than he does about the objects and pursuits themselves.”
“Much as warlords seized land in the Norman Conquest and levied rent on subject populations (starting with the Domesday Book, the great land census of England and Wales ordered by William the Conqueror), so today’s financialized mode of warfare uses debt leverage and foreclosure to prey away land, natural resources and economic infrastructure. The commons are privatized by bondholders and bankers, gaining control of government and shifting taxes onto labor and small scale industry. Household accounts, corporate balance sheets and public budgets are earmarked increasingly to pay real estate rent, monopoly rent, interest and financial fees, and to bear the taxes shifted off rentier wealth. The rentier oligarchy makes itself into a hereditary aristocracy lording it over the population at large from gated communities that are the modern counterpart to medieval castles with their moats and parapets.”
“But it transcends the mechanics. I’m not a machine. I feel and believe. I have opinions. Some of them are interesting. I could, if you’d let me, talk and talk. Let’s talk about anything. I believe the influence of Kierkegaard on Camus is underestimated. I believe Dennis Gabor may very well have been the Antichrist. I believe Hobbes is just Rousseau in a dark mirror. I believe, with Hegel, that transcendence is absorption. I could interface you guys right under the table, I say. I’m not just a creatus, manufactured, conditioned, bred for a function.”
“College educated elites carried out the neoliberal assault on the working poor and now they are being made to pay. Their duplicity embodied in politicians like The Clintons and Barrack Obama succeeded for decades. These elites, many from east coast ivy league schools, spoke the language of value, civility, inclusivity, a condemnation of overt racism and bigotry, a concern for the middle class, while thrusting a knife into the back of the underclass for their corporate masters. This game has ended. There are tens of millions of Americans, especially lower class whites, rightfully enraged because of what has been done to them, their families and their communities. They have risen up to reject the neoliberal policies imposed on them by college educated elites. The democrats foolishly anointed Hillary Clinton as their presidential candidate. She epitomised the double-dealing of the college educated class, those who speak the feel-your-pain language of ordinary men and women who hold up the bible, of political correctness, while selling out the poor and the working poor to corporate power. And unless there is a resurgence of left-wing populism, which can only occur outside the democratic party, to defy the neoliberal order, we will cement into place an American fascism.” -Chris Hedges