Thursday, March 19, 2015
Are People Going Batty?
Rational thinking seems to be taking a rapid plunge as of late. What is up with that?
At the Arts Association the other day, Mark was forced to listen to some old bat drone on about how they don't use the portable GPS in their car anymore because "the government can monitor where you are going!" So she uses the GPS to get directions and then writes them down and turns it off. Smart move. The government still knows where you're planning to go! Buwhwahahahahah!
Of course, a GPS receiver can't upload signals to a satellite in space. It isn't designed to do that and it can't, period. But nevertheless, this old lady got this idea (from her Fox-News watching husband no doubt) and the other old ladies all nodded their heads in agreement.
What is really odd, too, is that even assuming such a farfetched scenario was true, why is she worried that the government knows she is driving to the Cracker Barrel? I mean, is she smuggling weed? Stopping off at the strip club for her nightly pole-dance routine? What? What is it that people feel the need to be so secretive about?
But regardless, let me repeat this in small, simple words, very slowly, for those of you gone batty: Your GPS isn't tracking where you are going. Your smart phone, maybe. Your GPS, no.
Even crackpots like Rick Santorum are starting to look rational compared to this new generation of nutters. In the video above, he tried to answer a question from an unhinged lady who claimed to be a retired schoolteacher who apparently believed a story from a nutter website that Obama has tried to nuke Charleston, South Carolina, in order to start WW 3.
A schoolteacher. Granted, a South Carolina schoolteacher, but nevertheless someone who should represent careful, rational thinking, proper research, and not believing in fringe websites on the Internet.
In some regards, I feel like our society is like a washing machine with a sleeping bag in it. The load is imbalanced and it keeps wobbling back and forth, slowly walking the machine across the basement floor, ripping out its water lines, until it finally unplugs itself. Where is all this batty talk going to take us?
A significant number of people in the United States today believe in absolute nonsense - conspiracy theories and other nutter junk. Yet many cannot tell you who their Congressman or Senator is, or add up a column of numbers or do simple fractions, or even read or write a simple paragraph.
They get into financial trouble, because they make horrifically bad financial choices, and then blame the government for their woes - and there is a host of websites out there to validate their feelings that somehow their money was "taken away" and given to people on welfare.
Part of me sees parallels in this nutty thinking to earlier times in our country and indeed, in the world. In the 1920's and 1930's during times of economic hardship, people looked to Communism, Fascism, Unionism, and any one of a number of oddball political theories, rumors, religious beliefs (including end-times theology, which traces its roots to that period). People went, well, a little crazy back then, and you know how that worked out for everyone involved.
Are we do for another war? Some sort of political upheaval? Are irrational thinkers going to take the day - and take the field - and institute their bizarre political and religious philosophies? They already are, in much of the Muslim world.
What profit is there in being batty? I just don't get it.