Monday, December 14, 2009

Interesting fact found at World Nut Daily

It seems that the more you expose children to bullshit, the more likely they are to recognize it as bullshit. Apparently they found that children who attend fundamentalist Sunday Schools are more likely to leave fundamentalist churches, defend gay marriage, etc. than children who don't. Probably because if you've been exposed in depth to the actual arguments that these churches use to preach hate against others, you have a far greater chance of figuring out that they're full of shit than if you're motivated by a vague "squick" factor and squicky ads with some surface plausibility if you don't look closely.

Reminds me of my notion that a lot of the kids who are buying the "Lady Gaga" stuff are in on the joke. They know that "Lady Gaga" is a cynical ploy that a frustrated singer-songwriter by the name of Stefani Germanotta came up with when people wouldn't shut up while she was trying to play her pretty songs, and it appeals to their sense of cynicism as well as their liking for bouncy dance music to dance to.

Today's kids are living in a hopeless world. Oh sure, there was the threat of the atom bomb when I was coming up, but after ICBM's and MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) came around, we had hope that they would never be used, and we had hope that we could continue human progress into the future. Today... ah yes, today. They see our government controlled by evil and vicious men who dictate to our leaders what they should vote for and do or else get the Mafia treatment of a cutoff of election funding and the funding of a well-funded opponent. They see our leaders leading us straight into a brick wall threatening mass extinction of most of the human race within their lifetimes due to peak oil and global warming (collapse of technological civilization, which these threaten to do, would kill over 6 billion of the 6.8 billion people on the planet today and pretty much end civilization forever). They see nothing they do being able to change things soon enough to make any difference, so they're, like, "what the fuck, let's dance our booties off to some other cynical young person who gets it."

In the end, that is the worst fallout from the 28 years of Republican domination of U.S. politics that began with the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980: the end of hope. Children born during those 28 years came up knowing that they would have a worse life than their parents, that the good jobs were going to go overseas or be filled with overseas immigrants pulled over to work for cheap and leave only shit service jobs that they'd have to compete with 3rd world immigrants for, that their politicians were either senile morons, genial philanderers, or evil, that the world they died in was likely to be far harsher than the world they were born in, that the chances of dying young due to lack of health care, exposure to the elements, or simple starvation were far higher for them than it was for their parents growing up. What kind of head-fucking that gives a kid is something I don't want to even think about. But it's no surprise that children exposed to particularly high levels of bullshit become more adept at figuring out that it's bullshit... whether we're talking about religious fundamentalists whose kids leave their churches in vast numbers, or our sick culture as a whole.

-- Badtux the Hope* Penguin

* As in, hope I die before the final collapse comes, which seems likely since I am becoming an elderly penguin far more rapidly than I'd like.


  1. Yea , funny how that age thingy creeps up on you in a hurry once you get to a certain point.
    My other thought is about kids straining out the bullshit from a rabid conversation. My Mom was rabidly against all drugs. She wouldn't even take coedine from the dentist cause she might get "stoned". My Dad however got turned on to pot in his 40's and became involved in using psycadelics as a psychological tool with great success. All my younger days Mom preached against taking any drugs, to the point I not only stopped listening, I began to think Nothing could be as bad as she said. When I took my first toke with my Dad I realised that Mom was completely wrong and I am not sure I ever took anyone at face value again.

  2. Don't downplay the demoralizing effects of nuclear terrorism. We Boomers (what a telling name!) were told to trust the governments to not destroy civilization; but they gave use much reason to distrust. I personally waited until the fall of the Berlin wall before I dared to marry and raise a child. Reproduction within a cold-war world seemed pointless.

    Please note that the majority of the world's population has been climbing out of poverty. Note India and China. The cultural and intellectual decline you see in the USA is, fortunately, not global.

  3. Dammit Tux. I just spent 10 minutes wandering World Nut like a lost sane person in the bowels of Bedlam, and now I have to go scour my brain with a Brillo pad.

    Do you have a link to the article you mention? I might want to read it, if I can keep the gorge down.

    Cheers! (so to speak)
    JzB the "Does Obama intend to destroy capitalism?" trombonist

  4. Jazz, I get the nuttiness delivered direct to my inbox every day just to see what they're up to. Agree on the brain bleach requirement, but that is why I lubricate myself well with plenty of kippered herring before opening those emails ;).

    - Badtux the Not-so-helpful Penguin

  5. Well put, BT. I agree with you. Two points I'd like to emphasize: 1) The deadly greed, hatred, and religious delusions from which the USA suffers today flourished with Ronald Reagan's presidency. He was a dangerous, hated-filled non-intellectual celebrity with a happy grin and a homey style. He was not the man the country needed at a time when we were trying to find our footing after Vietnam/Nixon/Ford/Carter.
    2) The country IS controlled by evil, greedy men. I recall the late comedian Bill Hicks saying that the Kennedy assassination was a warning from the military-industrial-intelligence complex to future presidents not to get too uppity.

  6. Festus: Reagan was smarter than you think, at least until he started going senile after he got shot. He knew that the worst evil can be cajoled down people's throats if presented by a genial face. If you look at Ronald Reagan's history prior to the Presidency you see a long-time political activist, not a genial actor -- the actor thing was just how he got into politics and what he used to dress it up.

    Nathaniel: I was there. Yes, nuclear terror was a threat. But we also knew that if we survived, we would likely have a better life than our parents had. Which is in fact what happened. Today's kids... siiiigh. They're fucked, and they know it.

    - Badtux the Elderly Penguin

  7. Please note that the majority of the world's population has been climbing out of poverty.

    I'd sure like to see some evidence. Moving from the depths of poverty to the next to last sub-basement of poverty - maybe.

    The emergence of a thin population slice into something resembling the landed gentry does not constitute the majority of the world's population. And don't forget the declining standard of living right here at home.

    I don't know about India, but China has slave labor. Literally.

    JzB the fixed income trombonist


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