Friday, May 13, 2011

Talking Endless Nonsense

Boise man arrested for walking
nude, wanting to “end his fear
of walking nude in public.”

I have lost all patience for talking nonsense. We seem to be wasting time discussing things that need no further discussion. I am thinking of subsidies for the oil companies. Usually when there is an argument about something there are two sides that can be more or less reasonably advanced. In the case of further oil subsidies for companies that are currently making the highest profits in the history of the world there really is no valid or reasonable argument, and those oil executives who insist there is are just talking nonsense and wasting our time. This is a case so completely absurd it does not require any further discussion, the subsidies are so ridiculous they should not even need to be an issue. The same thing is true of further tax breaks for the wealthiest people in the country. In fact, continuing oil subsidies and tax breaks for the wealthy are every bit as silly as arguing we should subsidize feathers for birds or fur for Polar Bears. Republicans who insist on arguing otherwise should simply be laughed off the stage and told to go home to collect and save their belly button lint, while allowing serious people to at least try to run the country.

There are other issues that should probably also be settled with no further ado. Torture, for example, as the only people who are defending it are those who illegally and unconstitutionally instigated it. The facts by now seem quite clear, torture (whatever you call it) doesn’t work, the experts have spoken, the research is available, there is no honest argument about it. In any case it is illegal always. There is no reason to discuss it any further, Bush and Cheney and the rest of their criminal conspiracy should be silenced about it once and for all and consider themselves fortunate indeed they are not all in jail. I would include global warming here also as something about which there is no further doubt. It is real, it is happening, mankind is at least partly responsible for it, and it is urgent that something be done about it. There are only two reasons I can think of why this should still be a matter for discussion, either those who deny it believe they know more than the entire cadre of the world’s scientists, or they are so short-sighted and greedy they don’t care what happens to the earth.

Still another even more pathetic subject that seemingly will not go away has to do with evolution vs creationism. The argument that the earth is a mere 6000 years of age was settled in the 1850’s, to maintain otherwise is just talking utter nonsense. Similarly, the existence of dinosaurs existing contemporaneously with humans is even worse nonsense. There is no reason we should have to be now spending time on such absurdities, but we do. We are wasting our time, chasing our tails, baying at the moon, indulging in fairy tales. Those who cling to such outmoded and obviously ignorant views should simply be ignored while serious and informed people try to deal with the real problems that currently beset us.

It seems to me that all of the abovementioned issues are settled, clearly, obviously, and finally. They should need no further attention. I grant there are other issues that are not quite so clear-cut (although these, too, are clear enough for me), abortion, for example. Roe vs Wade is the law of our land, but there are large numbers of citizens who simply cannot accept this. You might think that people should just obey the law and let it go at that. But those who cannot accept this particular law are now going to extreme lengths to try to subvert it in any way they can, by imposing impossible conditions for women who seek abortions, bombing abortion clinics, killing abortion doctors, and so on. Although a majority of Americans believe in a woman’s right to choose what to do with her own body and life, there is a very large number who apparently do not. It is not at all clear what can ever be done about this problem as those who believe in choice truly believe in it, and those who do not, truly do not. Unlike the above issues that should no longer be controversial at all, this one is substantially different and may not even be amenable to a solution. But surely killing abortion providers and bombing clinics should not be allowed. So here is an issue that should be settled but is not, and no solution even seems possible because not everyone is willing to follow the law. Homosexuality is another case in point. There is no doubt that homosexuals are born and do not willfully choose to be the way they are. Thus laws and discrimination against homosexuality are basically futile and impossible to enforce. But here, again, there are many who are unwilling to accept the fact that this is so, and therefore continue to deny reality and the law. You might think this would be an easy prejudice to overcome but that is not the case. The fact of homosexuality will probably be accepted long before abortion but in the meantime we will continue put up with nonsensical claims and waste time.

All of these issues are not merely matters of opinion, my opinions against others, they are factual matters that should by rights simply be accepted. It is not, for example, simply my opinion that global warming is real, or that creationism is not. Nor is it simply my opinion that oil subsidies are unnecessary. But how do you deal with those who simply refuse to accept the obvious and tenaciously cling to opinions without any foundation in fact or demand impossible solutions to matters of critical importance? I guess you just put up with war criminals, lawbreakers, thieves, and the abysmally ignorant and just hope that someday, somehow, someway, it will all go away.

There is no nonsense so gross that society will not, at some time, make a doctrine of it and defend it with every weapon of communal stupidity.
Robertson Davies

The unicorn was once regarded as a wild, woodland creature that could only be captured by a virgin.

No comments: