For the most part, the things I complain about in this space don’t stalk my thoughts late at night. Sure, it’s disturbing that a citizenry that prides itself on its collective smarts is crawling with methodically superstitious yip-yaps who think the height of responsibility is applying their misbegotten moral imperatives to everyone else’s personal freedoms; this tendency in turn signifies how little value most people place on the truth when it competes with the satisfaction of their emotional appetites.
Charles P. Pierce was thinking along these lines when he wrote a splendid piece for Esquire a while ago. In short, it’s become not only acceptable but fashionable, even de rigueur, to willfully be wrong and scream about how right you are — and to believe all of it.
I don’t want humans and Earth to be perfectly ordinary; I want us made special by divine fiat. So evolution and modern cosmology have to go. What’s more, I don’t want a flabby heart the size of a basketball to impact the quality or quantity of my life, so it would help if doctors and researchers would quit publishing scare stats and hollering about diet and exercise. You get the idea; I don’t want x to be true, therefore x is false; we don’t know everything, so therefore we don’t know anything. Any takers?
The process, in some cases, is almost that explicitly fairy-dusty, almost that devoid of any pretense at rationality.
But so far, my life has been marginally affected, if that, by other people’s bad ideas (and affected to a huge degree by my own). I watch television footage of halfwits brandishing crosses on the lawns of mechanized corpses when a family member has made the heart-wrenching but honest decision to pull the plug, or I listen to some fearlessly stammering envoy of fate make a effort to link human sexual behavior to the apocalyptic severity of windstorm damage — here in the 21st century, no less — and am struck more by recalling the wicked genius of Vonnegut and Orwell than by a need to curb the insanity. As long as it’s not my lawn or my kid on TV sounding like a ketamine-soaked auctioneer, I just crack jokes about it and switch to the Daily Show or House, M.D. Or log on to Movable Type.
One thing I really don’t like, though, is people complaining about the concern over childhood obesity. The work of jackholes is depends strongly on inverting reality, so it’s not shocking to hear the apologist clowns at Big Fat Blog proselytize about how uncouth and even irresponsible it is that health professionals continue to remark on the obvious issues here. It’s no secret that kids are getting fatter (the BFBers don’t even argue this fact, only its implications). It’s also no secret, and not disputed by anyone in medicine not wearing a funny hat, that this is causing all sorts of endocrinological mayhem.
I assembled my earlier “jackhole” post mainly to produce a template I and others might refer to when criticizing anyone or anything; after all, this Internet windbaggery is serious business, and standards for properly marauding it are in order. But I did have a specific target in mind, and not for the first time. I’ll get into the details at a time when I can curb my limitless drive to lay groundwork by ranting about rants to come, but for now I encourage you to read this diatribe about this, which is fundamentally about this, and ask you if there’s not some true-blue ‘holery afoot.