Monday, June 20, 2005

front and center

I promised myself that first thing this morning I would post a father's day thank-you to Dad. My head is spinning so hard, though, that it will have to wait.

What I can say is how completely shocked I am at my own naivete. I guess I've spent so much of the war on Iraq with my head stuffed in the sand of motherhood that I got really good at ignoring things that made me uncomfortable. I can't do that anymore. And now that I have an online voice, even if only a few people hear it, I'm by-damned going to use it.

Anyone wonder why the Downing Street Memos are getting such pathetic coverage? I do. And I've already sent more or less polite inquiries to some of the major news networks about it. I think that's one of the aspects of this whole conspiracy that bothers me the most. The mainstream media, which most people depend on for the information they use to make decisions (such as little day-to-day decisions like, oh, I don't know, who to vote for?!!!) are ignoring this, folks, or they're burying it in the back pages of the papers, knowing that only a few people will dig that deep.

The justifications from the media companies are so far frighteningly similar to the excuses of the party in power. The arguments have gone from "It's old history, what difference does it make now?" to "They're fakes" which really ought to be telling you something.

And what frightens me most about this whole thing, what really makes me want to dive back into that sand, is that these issues are hard to work out. The spin doctors do such a good job painting up the whores of badly made decisions that they look awfully good, especially when it's so much damn work to take all the makeup off. It's just easier not to think, isn't it? It's easier to accept what you're told, accept what you're given, sit down and shut up.

From my late high school studies (I had a killer Humanities class) I always thought that democracy was based on a flawed concept. It had its origins in secular humanism, and "acknowledges an individual's dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason and logic." Somewhere in my studies we discussed how this filtered down to the idea of democracy - that a group of people, given the education and facts and the tools to evaluate those facts (reason and logic), would make the right decisions a majority of the time.

Ever since I was old enough to understand it, I've always had a problem with the idea of democracy via majority rule. The logic is flawed - do you see why? Because, first of all, if the system of logic you are using to evaluate your information is established by the status quo, there is no built-in trigger for examining the system itself. A logical system doesn't want to create a system of thought that would endanger its existence - no paradigm shifts for us, thanks very much!

Another problem in this system of majority rule is a simple logistics issue - how do you determine your system for verifying what the majority actually believes? How do you count votes? Especially when the existing power structure is invested in staying that way - in power, that is? Kinda like the fox watching the henhouse, doncha think? Florida, anyone? Ohio, anyone?

But it's this last problem that's the really scary one for me today. If the ideal of democracy is based on our logical and rational evaluation of facts to draw conclusions, what the hell happens when all the facts aren't available, or when they're being twisted around by people we trust to mean something? What happens when we let other people think for us?

And oh my land, I know this has happened before. I do -- but I really wanted to think I was being paranoid. I really wanted to believe that it was my own mental health that was dysfunctional, not our political and media systems.

I just can't believe that anymore.

You know, just thinking about all this crap makes my head hurt. So I can understand if you, dear reader, would rather stick your head back in the sand and ignore it. Delete your bookmark from this page, miss out on all the juicy political discussions, and wait for your kids, or their kids, to be drafted into another war concocted by a president's pathetic little-boy megalomania.

But I pray that you don't. I hope you follow your own instincts and do the research. I hope you read the articles and think about them, think about the authors and where they're coming from, what they're trying to prove, and then write your Congressmen and women to tell them what you think of all this crap.

If you feel like exploring, here are some places I've been today:

Code Pink: Women for Peace (kinda fluffier than Women in Black, but I guess WIB was too morbid)
The Nation

...and a particularly well-written blog that I'm enjoying (not just for the name, but that was a draw)

And I pray that you come back and leave comments, even if you don't agree with me. We learn from each other, every day. Get educated. Get talking. Go ahead, piss me off. Better than than silence.


james said...

Great post Andi ma gurl!! I love your writing style and your logic. There is indeed something going on with our media and that thing is that it is corporate run now. And we all know how much the corporations love GWB. I saw the DSM covered on Hardball with Chris Matthews tonight and it got average exposure. They kind of showed both arguments but ended with this idea that the documents don't show anything.

COME ON!!! They are the smoking gun for Christ's sake!!!

Anyway, I'm glad that you're paying attention and speaking out.

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