I ended last month deliberately blending my entries with a little personal stuff and a little current event/debt ceiling allusion in them as well. The style carried over to the first few entries of this month, as I hoped to see if I can write like I think.
Things that I don’t have to ‘think’ about, which for me is the application of my critical thinking apparatus or its engagement for the purpose of solving equations and/or formulas in the resolution or solving for an unknown benefit, is one of the reasons I wanted to be alone. When I am completely by myself I feel empowered to act on my own behalf and apply my own devices as fully as I can because I am only responsible for my own well-being and direction.
My fascination with Nietzsche began when I started reading comic books around the time I needed double digits to record my age. In them I found plenty of references to great literature and philosophy as plot devices (an X-Men story is directly responsible for introducing me to Dante’s ‘Inferno’) making their storylines supplemental to many a lesson plan in my early as well as high school education.
Now I had read ‘Twilight of the Idols’ in high school but it wasn’t until I thumbed through it at the turn of the decade in 2000 that I adopted the ‘the formula for happiness’ that was among his ‘Maxims and Morals’. Before that, prior to even my ‘rules to live by’, F. Scott Fitzgerald (who was someone my Mom really liked) had written that, “The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” Another quote of his, from ‘Tender Is The Night’, along with his ‘test’ quote serves as the bookend to my thinking, "Either you think--or else others have to think for you and take power from you, pervert and discipline your natural tastes, civilize and sterilize you."
It has been a long time since I have read any Chomsky and particularly his book that he co-authored with Edward Herman (who coined the idea of ‘the propaganda model’), ‘Manufacturing Consent’. Written in 1988, the examples of the media and how it was politicized from the late 50’s through the end of the Vietnam War come across even more conspicuously, as that was the era that many of the players currently involved in conservative policy making, first cut their teeth.
Thinking about how the public sphere of policy making along with media consumption has become muddied and contaminated, most notably by Roger Ailes, chairman of Fox News and ‘reality television’, is chilling. Some things like the rabble that make up the Tea Party, riding on their scooters paid for by government programs or the contradiction of Michele Bachmann’s FHA loan for her home and her husband’s practice accepting Medicaid funding yet her wanting to slash these programs are examples of cognitive dissonance. But how many people truly understand what ‘cognitive dissonance’ means or its consequence?
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s point about a ‘first-rate intelligence’ was one I used to argue with because it implies that having the ability to see through ‘flak’ is unique and uncommon. It was partially tongue-in-cheek when I would mention how I measured how intelligent (which is different from being ‘smart’) that I thought someone was. It told me a lot about how their thought process worked and if they had control of their own thoughts. Or if they had ANY control over what they think and believe.
PICTURE OF THE FUTURE (courtesy of a Wind From Nowhere)
Maybe it is the ‘Winston’ in me that shies away from any description of my being a 'profound thinker'. I don’t want to be trying to find a small piece of privacy from an omnipresent viewscreen and cowering at the sound of jackboots in the hallway outside my apartment door.
Just as some people believe in assigning traits or characterizing by presumed social norms by race, I guess I am guilty for assuming that since abstraction is common to everyone, that more people would make use their ability to form their own unique ideas and realize what is happening in society at-large and the policy that perpetuates it.