Where does tonight's emphasis come from? It was Dilbert that introduced me to the idea that web surfing was equivalent to bouncing around like a ping pong ball in a clothes drier. Today, the ping pong ball of my mind ended up at a blog I've never visited before called Stonekettle Station. Obviously rather liberal viewpoints. I ended up there by way of a blog I've visited a few times and that seemed moderately (occasionally) coherent called Just an Earth-Bound Misfit, I, which I bounced to from The Vulgar Curmudgeon. (Whew! Got that?)
In a post called "Blind Spot", Stonekettle Station starts with the provocative question, "Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality?". In general, most of us go through that by about 18 or 20, usually aided by some substances that alter mental states - except for those of us who go on and read quantum physics, and then reality gets even stranger. Despite the juvenile opening, he drifts to this being a central theme of the new Westworld series, then goes into some better writing about how on rare occasions things that are well known by masses of people turn out to be completely untrue. For an example, he writes about the McMartin Preschool Trial in the 1980s. For those who don't remember, this was a sensational trial essentially conducted in the press in which a lone suspicious mother; a mentally-ill, alcoholic mother (diagnosed as such, this isn't slander on my part) started what turned into almost a Salem Witchcraft trial of our age.
By the time it was over, more than 321 individual criminal complaints had been brought against seven people detailing an unbelievable tale of horrific crimesFor sure, the McMartin Trial was a terrible thing, and an example of some sort of mass, media driven, temporary insanity. From there, he goes into pizzagate and immediately takes the side that not only is there nothing to it, but that everyone associated with pizzagate is innocent and everything being linked to the story in any way is false. From my standpoint, I don't have enough evidence in front of me to know in either way. Frankly, I don't think it's true or real, but as I said the one time I even got close to the subject, these are serious allegations, and "If a quarter of what's alleged in this thread on Reddit is true, the entire Clinton Foundation and everyone in that circle needs to be burned to the ground". I'll note that Stonekettle doesn't present any evidence that he's right, nor did he provide a link to any point-by-point refutation, nor anything else solid, just that he baited some people online and received hostile response that he took to show those people are idiots.
But in the end all of those charges, all of them, were dismissed for lack of evidence.
Every single one.
Gosh, there are idiots online! Stop the presses! Shut down the Internet! There are idiots out there! Who would have ever thought there are idiots in the general population? I mean, besides everyone.
From there, it gets worse. He goes down the road that the only people stupid enough to believe conspiracy theories like these are a ... certain subset of the population
You see, that segment of the population is, after 30 years of being habituated to fear by talk radio and TV pundits, fake news, false narratives, an endless diet of conspiracy theories from bottomless cesspools such as Infowars, conditioned by their religion of suspicion and intolerance and a political party of paranoia, that population, is now uniquely vulnerable to this kind of manipulation.The astute will realize that "habituated to fear by talk radio" means Rush Limbaugh, so I'll cut to the chase: it's the conservatives that are the only ones stupid enough to fall for a conspiracy theory. There are no liberal conspiracy theories after all. I mean besides the ones that two seconds with a search engine turn up. Frankly, there's nothing worthwhile in the column after this. The rest of it is just attacks on the Trump administration for not following his model of thinking, which the previous paragraphs show that he isn't following himself. Another smug self-impressed liberal; nothing new here.
I doubt you'll ever end up here, Mr Stonekettle, but repeat after me: "everything you know is wrong". Once you say that, know that it's an overstatement that's just easier to say than "in all probability, some of the things you know that you hold most dear are wrong". Always keep an open mind. Realize you've probably been misled or lied to about some things, and never stop questioning. Always ask yourself, "how do I know what I think I know?"