August 17th, 2009

consolation

Soylent Granny Icefloe Bars, part 2

It's hard to explain the existence of Willful Cognitive Dissonance - tho' Slacktivist has certainly tried hard enough over the years - and how someone can manage to simultaneously believe and not believe that their mostly-churchgoing neighbors are all just waiting for the signal to come from the Kremlin (or the Mothership, perhaps, or just the Mouth of Hell) and seize them and throw them into concentration camps for the crime of being really Real True Christians (for a totally subjective value of the modifiers Real & True) and happily hand over their lives and their children's lives to the Godless Totalitarian Hippies in a brainwashed-cultists-of-Dystopia scenario.

Not actually knowing a whole lot about the logistics of the world helps, as does not actually knowing a heck of a lot about history and/or contemporary politics and how authoritarian and totalitarian regimes actually have come to power and what was really involved rather than highly-sentimentalized and overwrought stories of valiant Christian martyrs (so long as they were of the right denomination and sect, of course) nobly standing up to the Godless Enemies without any historical context whatsoever...

And hey, they may not be going to throw us to the actual lions today, but the mechanized medical horrors of twentieth-century totalitarianism ("tutelary dentistry" as Messrs. Vandemar & Croup would say) are just as evocative of that sort of pleasurable thrill of horror.

--If you're an adult who has chosen to enter this world and to reject all other counterbalancing info, however, it requires as Fred has said over and over again, a constant active maintenance of this contradiction - you have to work to ignore the cognitive dissonance between what you experience on a daily/hourly/yearly basis, and what you "know" to be the Real True Super Sekrit Truth behind it all: that dentists are all Soviet agents, that demons dictate lyrics to metalheads in their studios, that the Rachel Carson fans at the state university on the PBS special trying to keep all the peregrine falcons from going extinct are actually plotting to eradicate homo sapiens - but if you're a child raised in it, if this is what your parents and your parents' friends and the magazines your parents subscribe to all claim is how the world works, and you don't have any way to evaluate it, and you haven't yet been forced to admit that your parents may not be 100% accurate nor 100% honest 100% of the time, then you don't have to work at it...Collapse )