Thursday, April 17, 2014

I Pledge Allegience

I'm in the midst of an eight-week online course on global climate change, presented by the Scripps Oceanic Institution. The above is one of the optional bits, a brief detour from intellectual curiosity to the reality of what happens when half the country is Foxolimbeckified.

In short, we're screwed. The US is so far off the rails at this point that there's no way back on track. And it's getting worse by the hour: Fox "news" turning outlaws into heroes, fairly begging them to shoot someone. Haters shooting someone. Kids shooting someone. Legislatures turning schools into churches of denialism. Shoe-truthers sprouting like fungi. We're an insane nation, a stupid nation, a frightened nation, long since given up on facing reality with a sense that it can be dealt with. Sinking to the bottom, playing each other for fools, turning to the worst traits of frail humanity and elevating them onto altars.

There was a time when the US led the world in education, in invention, in scientific discovery, in optimism. In generosity, in standing for individual rights, especially toward its own. Now, thanks to the deliberate deceptions of right-wing media, we've become the opposite, speaking of exceptionalism while rendering it true in only the most destructive of ways. Rejecting science, laughing at expertise, ginning up hate and blame, turning to magic. A once-respectable political party, now a haven of insanity and rejectionism. Supported, beyond belief, by half the country. It's too hard. We've made the world too complicated for those who prefer easy answers, and they've thrown in the towel, tossed their lot with the people who refuse to help in any useful, realistic way.

I can barely stand it any more.

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