Visiting blogs since starting this one has been an unexpected learning experience. The general impression that almost everyone is concerned about the state of the world and the nation wasn’t a surprise.
But the fortified positions, the polarization, the nagging thought that a lot of people would gladly enforce their viewpoints on others at gunpoint if they had the option, is troubling if accurate. The middle ground, the concept of a loyal opposition, even the concept of people still potentially being okay if they have different political, religious, differing gender viewpoints just isn’t out there anymore. No live-and-let-live in the mix.
The level of rancor between opposing opinions approaches a level where it wouldn’t be too shocking if, say, a 9/11 happened in an environment limiting US victims to a particular political or religious bias, and sets of blog dialogues appearing to express:
“What the hell! They were all Tea-Baggers!”
“What the hell! They were all pinko liberals!”
Or Democrats, Republicans, Muslims, Catholics, Baptists.
There are already posts on blogs I visit saying, “Let God sort them out.”
I can’t help wondering whether I’m the only one troubled by this.
I used to know a guy, a good man, who was also an alcoholic of the sort you’d rather not be too close to. Jay was his name, an ex-Lieutenant Colonel in the US Army Air Corps, B24 pilot of um-de-umph hundred bombing missions over Germany during WWII. War hero.
By the mid-1960s Jay had a drinking problem bad enough to be placed repeatedly into the hands of the Texas Alcoholic Rehabilitation Commission to dry out. Finally, in those days a bright new shining light among the mental health medicos was the pre-frontal lobotomy, was chosen as the tool of choice for curing what ailed old Jay….. But the unfortunate side effects were that a lot of him ceased to be Jay.
But those wise medicos knew what was best for him, they’d read all the recent advances and articles, so they strapped him down to a gurney and inserted electrodes on his temples and shot the juice to him. Several times.
I’d heard about all this, thought it was fairly awful, but what the hell. A few months later I was among a group of young folks friends of his who got invited to spend a day on Galveston Bay cruising around in Jay’s cabin cruiser down there.
Jay was wearing a tee-shirt that proclaimed, “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a prefrontal lobotomy”. And he did.
It finally killed him, alcohol, the lobotomy didn’t change that…. but he always believed, afterward, that it was a fairly shabby thing for society to have done to him, that lobotomy. Deprived him of his right to make his own mistakes. At least, it attempted to.
If you boil all that down and scrape the leavings off the bottom of the pot, that’s about the way I feel about the likely outcome of the undercurrents at work in this country.
Someone’s going to get the upper hand, one side or the other.
The ones left holding smaller bag might need a bottle to soften up the resulting enforced prefrontal lobotomies and attitude adjustments.
A Great Cultural Revolution
If old Jay were alive he’d probably buy a tee-shirt.