Purposeful Ignorance

Written by Burl on July 13th, 2010

I get email from all over, and some of it is naturally groupmail. Which means that if somebody thinks something is funny or amusing, they forward it to everybody they’ve ever emailed. It’s like a virus.
Some of the stuff is funny. Some of it is appalling. Those are the breaks.
But a lot of it is single-mindedly nasty under the guise of funny. Today, from the same guy, I got an email that was supposedly pass-along from a D.C. airline employee about the really stupid things passengers say, and all the passengers were named as prominent Democrats. Then another that was supposedly a sign erected in Arizona claiming that California welcomes illegal immigrants. Then another that showed a couple of protesters with misspelled “I Have a Dream” signs. And then another showing a rogues’ gallery of arrest mugshots and all the perps are wearing Obama t-shirts.
About 20 seconds of fact-checking — thanks, Snopes.com! — showed that the first two were pure fabrications and lies, the misspelled-signs one was real, and the mugshots were real but taken wildly, absurdly, out of context.
The guy who sent them says he doesn’t know how to check things on Snopes. Huh.
His point is that black people who commit crimes are Obama supporters. Funny, huh?
So. The facts don’t matter. What matters is feeding the torrent of abuse, undercutting and constant, daily whining and bitching about the current office holders. It never stops. It’s like these emailers feel they’re soldiers in a holy war against American democracy, and they keep pitching crap furiously. These are the same guys, BTW, who screamed that any criticism of the last president was treason.
Just try to debate one online. You’ll be shouted down by an avalanche of cut’n'pasted catch phrases. Most of which are ill-thought-out or plain crazy. At this point, something like a third of all conservatives claim that the president is really the AntiChrist. They’re not kidding. Scary.
Support for our nation’s democracy is eroding as it is constantly chipped away by these inflamed sore losers. Schadenfreude is described as “pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others,” but that’s not it, exactly. This is more like self-important puffery gained by reckless nihilism and crazed xenophobia. There should be a phrase that fits that definition. I’m open to suggestions. A better fit, perhaps, than “Tea Partier.”
It’s going to be an interesting election year.


2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Primo Kimo says:

    Burl? You act surprised by all this?!

  2. gigi-hawaii says:


    (This is what your blog said after I tried to post the above comment: Your comment was a bit too short. Please go back and try again.)

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