Inspection- On the Sheer Idiocy of Simplistic Literalism
Over my past 61 years of shifting from a Buckley conservative to more leftward in my views there’s been one constantly amusing spectacle: those who are so literal they basically must either be posing as, or actual, simpletons. Take for example Agnew’s somewhat clever, “nattering nabobs of negativism,” comment.
Of course he didn’t write that, Safire did, but it was somewhat clever in an alliterative way. And though his targeting may have been off, way ahead of his time and way too convenient, the essence was right and very applicable today. Think that off? Well, look at the comment as applied these days…
As we well know now in a time when some dare call FOX “news,” yes, indeedy, there are those who act as if they’re just objectively, professionally, assessing an administration’s doings, yet whose blatherings are actually focused on all things negative: some somewhat real, some imaginary, usually with an intent to thwart any goals that administration has, and another goal… to service in the grossest, quite socially perverse, sense certain extreme partisans.
Which is why I find all the tittering coming from some on the Right regarding Obama using the “N” word, and his remark that racism is in our DNA, amusing.
I swear sometimes these folks wouldn’t understand a meaningful metaphor if Goebbels, or the editors of Pravda, slayed a dragon called Speech right in front of them.
But let’s take their kvetching at face value for now….
Well, regarding those who suddenly, finally, all too conveniently find their voices regarding the use of “nigger,” it’s obvious their simplistic objections revolve around, and are only about, the word. Kind of like some think voting for Hillary is only about electing someone with female sex organs, or voting for Barack was only about brown skin.
I’m sorry, Barack Obama was saying exactly what he should have been saying, as if he had been speaking to adults on an adult topic. But good way to prove that some of you haven’t reached that level of maturity yet.
And all their lectures regarding what liberals “really think,” or “really feel,” are exposed by their puzzlement over why a word might be OK to use in one context, one setting, and not another, or why the left won’t vote for any woman, any black. In these cases it’s not the left being overly simplistic, it’s them. And they have come to believe in their own framing so much they have become like Lenin’s never actually said, or written, “useful idiots,” quote.
Then you have the big, collective, baffle over the “racism is in our DNA” comment. I mean. do they really think Barack believes DNA is so readily altered? No, it’s a METAPHOR, morons! And it’s a damn good one. But to simplify for the syntax impaired, yes, considering our long history with the racism, slavery and its aftermath, it’s as if it was permanently planted in our DNA, and, as an aside, since there was so much hoochie screw-chie between the races from the start, it may even BE in our collective DNA in another, ironic, sense. Finding Americans who have no black in their makeup that “somehow” slipped in through slavery’s rape-y back door may be tougher than these simpletons think.
That last comment was mine. I make no claim that Barack believes that.
These folks are not abnormal. Well, correction, not “unusual,” historically speaking. There were those on the left in the 60s who claimed if they succeeded against the establishment peace, love, flowers and rainbows would would conquer all. We would would study war “no more.”
Even many friends I had on the left thought most of them were “airheads.”
Unfortunately we were right. Instead the Right predictably regrouped and used these same kind of simpletons, who exist on the left and right, and used hatred over Nixon and leaving Nam to continue the killing, feed the machine.
How much do we hear of “peace” now?
Ending all war?
What frightens me, as it did then, is the power of the sheer ignoramus idiocy of simplistic literalists. Snow means global climate change is a fallacy? Not going to war means we will lose our freedoms? Going to war, bombing, torturing are the ONLY answers? Privatization solves all… big business always, “yabba dabba do,” government efforts always on the (bed)rocks?
Even Fred Flintstone is smarter than that, and he’s a cartoon.
If enforced political correctness rules to the point you can’t even use a word to refer to the problems created by the usage of that word…
if the kind of people who think God literally created everything in seven days 6,000 years ago are allowed to take over the media’s narrative, pushing without question the kind of literalism that destroy true context…
Common sense, common decency and decent conversation might become as extinct as the creatures Fred Flintstone’s pet, Dino, was based on.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions