Thursday, January 28, 2021

The Easy Life


All is for the best

Believe in what we’re told

Blind men in the market

Buying what we’re sold

-          BU2B, Rush

It took scouring about 1,500 years of history for me to come up with a list of about 100 niceties that we are to believe, as incredible as some of these might be.

“As for believing things, I can believe anything, provided that it is quite incredible.”

-          Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

If I spent a few minutes on it, I could probably come up with one hundred more just from the last five years – maybe even just from the year 2020.  I won’t spend time on this; you know the list as well as I do.

Open your eyes

And turn off your mind

-          Just Let Me Breathe, Dream Theater

I have thought about how easy it would be if I just believed – believed without questioning, believed without thinking.  Heck, I don’t even have to believe it; just act as if I believed it.  I could watch CNN or MSNBC: whatever they told me, that’s what I would act on, that’s what I would repeat to my colleagues, friends, and family.  No muss, no fuss.

How much easier life would be if I truly believed – thus avoiding any internal contradictions.  Of course, if I could turn off my moral compass and my interest in truth, it would be easier still.  Not that I claim to have a corner on truth; just that I would appreciate a more expansive investigation by those deigned to inform us.

But there I go; I can’t even type a few words without falling off the wagon.  It would be so easy if I just believed, or at least acted as if I believe.

Just close your mind

You can find all you need with your eyes

Of course, the “news” tomorrow might be the exact opposite of the news today, just like Orwell’s “Hate Week”:

…at just this moment it had been announced that Oceania was not after all at war with Eurasia. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Eurasia was an ally.

There was, of course, no admission that any change had taken place. Merely it became known, with extreme suddenness and everywhere at once, that Eastasia and not Eurasia was the enemy.

You wouldn’t be so easily fooled, I am sure.  Me?  Why wouldn’t I go along, along with everyone else?  How easy that would be:

He unrolled and read it without pausing in his speech. Nothing altered in his voice or manner, or in the content of what he was saying, but suddenly the names were different. Without words said, a wave of understanding rippled through the crowd. Oceania was at war with Eastasia!

Everyone just “knew.”  How easy it would be to get caught up in that “wave of understanding.”  Life could be just that simple, if I let it.  Just like how several covid restrictions magically have disappeared in the course of the last week.  What happened about a week ago that hadn’t happened in the last ten months?  Damn, there I go again.  I guess achieving the easy life is not so easy…at least for some of us.


Feed my head with simple thoughts

Life would be much easier if I just learned how to swallow.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Bravery, Beaten Out


A comment worthy of note, by Jordan Peterson during his conversation with Douglas Murray, beginning here.  The punchline, which comes a few moments later:

“She’s a very brave person, and I’ve had a fair bit of that beat out of me, I’m afraid.”

Peterson is speaking of Abigail Shrier, who wrote a book: Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters.

Later in the conversation, a lot of talk about the recent US election, Trump, the radicalization of both left and right, etc.  But the focus was on letting go of Trump: if you believe Trump won the election, you have to believe that every institution in America is totally corrupted – and that Donald Trump is the only pure player on the stage.

First of all, it is a false choice – you don’t have to believe either / or.  But second, this was said in the sense of mocking the conspiracy theorists.  I just wonder: is it so hard to believe that every institution in America is corrupt?  I know it is scary to believe it.  But is it hard to believe it?

These comments came after a long discussion about how totally corrupt the American media is – a point on which they both agreed.    The American media – which cannot even find the morality to defend Edward Snowden or Julian Assange – certainly won’t hold American institutions to account.  Yet if it isn’t the media holding the institutions accountable, who, or what is?

In any case, there was much discussion around this.  What there was little of (none of, as I recall) was any statement that said the truth matters.  Instead… “it’s up to everyone right now to maintain their faith in the validity of the institutions.”  Truth – whatever one believes of this election or the one four years ago – apparently, is no longer relevant.  Just have faith.

There is already plenty of tension in the air, what with the covid pandemic (which they both seem to take quite seriously).  Everyone needs to calm down, wait for the vaccination, then we can get back to normal life.  “Don’t burn the ship just before it gets into port.”  In other words, let go of all the conspiracy theories and just believe as you are told…by the corrupt media.

Two people whom I normally find quite worthwhile to listen to.  I couldn’t finish listening to this video.


Jordan Peterson is right.  He has had his bravery beaten out of him.  I can’t blame him; he has gone through quite an ordeal.