Pointing the finger.

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.

– William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141)

I had a long discussion yesterday with some friends over Facebook about the nature of public discourse in America and how it seems to devolve into nothing but name-calling and finger-pointing.  Just about everyone agreed that the proclivity for degenerating into the equivalent of two groups of chimpanzees flinging their own excrement at each other is something that is encouraged by not just our political system but also the 24 hour news cycle as evidenced by CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, where the vitriol flows like ambrosia and the sneering condescension is so thick you could cut it with a doorstop.

Inevitably I asked myself what exactly created this vile, lumbering beast, as if trying to assign blame will really help in any way. It doesn’t matter who pieced this Frankenstein’s monster together out of Piers Morgan’s abusive sneer and Bill O’Reilly’s bristling rage, but the fact remains that it’s alive – and it’s rampaging through the countryside, devouring small children and shitting in my hydrangeas.

Pointing the finger is a favorite pastime in modern American culture.  We seem to be rather keen on fixing the blame instead of the problem, and it usually takes the form of the three-second sound bite that can be endlessly played and re-played on television for the purpose of apparently driving advertising revenue through television ratings and market share.  Between Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch (and the assholes that run MSNBC for Comcast), the majority of Americans get their news from sources owned by corporate media moguls with ulterior motives and decrepit moral fiber, yet there’s no outcry that these so-called “news” organizations and their employees are being financed either wholly or in part by people and corporations that are not above promoting their own agendas through the judicious application of massive sums of cash (thanks, Citizens United!).

Of course, our own complacency as a culture most likely led us down this particularly dank and decrepit rabbit hole.  There’s a distinct lack of curiosity or interest in how the world works in American society at the moment, which has been blamed on everything from failing schools to violent video games, but unless we turn our scrutiny inward we’re never going to escape from the fate we’ve written for ourselves.

When it comes down to it, the majority of choices that we can make in our daily lives have been markedly reduced while at the same time presented in such a manner as to give us the illusion of choice.  Over-simplification has led to a world where the Manichean binarity is king: the only choices we have are presented to us as black and white, Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal, Red or Blue, even though there’s a whole spectrum of thought (and colors) out there that are being ignored because they don’t provide a convenient or easily understood (or refuted) platform; it’s as if the average American mind has become incapable of acknowledging the fact that there are more than two points of view any more.

Unfortunately, the only way this will ever change is if each of us alters how we react to the world on an internal level. We have to throw out the easy answers and instead go looking for the best ones, all while avoiding the trap of falling into one camp or another and spending more time trying to personally or ideologically discredit our opponents than working to find a solution that leads to the most good and doesn’t compromise the things that are the most important, such as our personal safety and our civil liberties.  Any answer that sacrifices one for the other is never, ever going to be the best solution; I simply hope that enough people will come to realize that before we’ve given up all of one for the illusion of the other.

Enjoy your choice!

Click through for the full infographic.


6 thoughts on “Pointing the finger.

  1. Awesome article Dave. If only more people thought like you. I know and see more than you let on publicly, but as usual Dave you do not disappoint.

    Sadly, it comes too late… At least for some of us. As Far as I’m concerned the time to sound reasonable and Moderate has pretty much passed, or at least will likely have passed within 24 hours of writing this.

    The gauntlet is about to be thrown down here in NY as your well aware from seeing my Venomous outrage over the passage of this bill in the REPUBLICAN HELD Senate: http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S2230-2013

    This bill was only on the table for consideration for TWENTY MINUTES! TWENTY! A bill that strips NY gun owners of nearly every 2nd amendment right we have… in 20 minutes, just like that, Freedom, GONE. Flushed.

    This bill is a declaration of WAR on every current gun owner in NY state save for that small minority that only owns an antiquated side by side for ducks, or a basic bolt gun for deer.

    Our only hope now lies in a Liberal/democratic controlled Assembly who will likely not debate the bill save for adding in more restrictions or find ways to add more taxes to the bill.

    The time for polite debate is about to end abruptly, because frankly the people in power are not willing to debate it. The issue is closed, the matter is decided and WE dear fellow readers of David DeMar’s outstanding Blog are the subjects.

    We are the pathetic unwashed masses, the political turds that they hope some day to flush without the courtesy of looking back at us one last time to marvel at our size.

    My point has been this: We are pretty much on the edge, the cusp of losing the whole ball of wax. But the side effect of this is, more people now, than ever before, are waking up to whats happening. They know this, and so they are moving as fast as they can to lock this thing down before we can really motivate these newly awakened people into doing something worth the time.

    All the polite debate, all the calm level headed political correctness is about to be about as useful as a blister.

    Of course we shouldn’t all go nuts and start name calling (let me do that, I’m better at it than most and can handle the criticism and public hostility).

    But it’s time we stop being milk toast, it’s time we get assertive and when someone says “Hooray they passed gun control.” You whip out a barrage of facts that proves this was wrong.

    Seriously, I know folks who are in favor of Gun control who agree this flies light years past what is sensible or reasonable. Most liberals I know would have been happy with a return to the 94 AWB.

    Well, this is what we get for being milk toast about everything and not standing up for what we believe in.

    People wonder why stuff like this passes here… They think it’s because people like me sound crazy, like red necks.

    Funny that…

    Funny how those red necks don’t sound so crazy down in the states where they know better than to try this shit. They know better because they know people will flip out.

    If more people spoke out LOUDLY and proudly for what they believed in, I think it would have been a lot harder for them to do what they did tonight in Albany.

    I know a few people who will disagree who will no doubt respond to this. I know what they are saying, that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, but I’m not talking about being nasty or offensive… I’m talking about being assertive and saying NO, just like you would when your dog pisses the living-room floor.

    It’s time people who believe in liberty take some fucking assertiveness training classes, or get the fuck out of the way.

    Changed my name by the way… No longer Daniel H Crazybecks. Now my name has meaning 🙂

    • “Turds circling the political drain” is going to be my new favorite phrase. Right before he NY State Police barge in and confiscate my 10-round magazine for my .22 caliber rifle.

      Yes, even though I don’t even live in the state.

      • It’s ok, the bill passed and cuomo signed it. They couldn’t pass gas that fast if you fed them Ex-lax.

        So next Obama, surrounding himself with little children so he can pose as their savior, will be dropping his proposal to the nation for gun control.

        As they say… This too shall pass… Only it won’t be words of comfort…

        So yes, it’s possible that this time next year, you will be staring down the same or similar restrictions they just rammed down on people like me.

        What is really, really bad, is what this means is, either the tree of liberty is about to be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants… Or just patriots as they round up those gun owners who won’t back down and murder them or imprison them one by one, making examples of the most outspoken, so the rest of us who just want to be left alone, submit willingly.

        Fuck that…

        People better stand up and soon or there won’t be anything left to fight for.

  2. Major typo there: “I know and see more than you let on publicly, but as usual Dave you do not disappoint.”

    Should have read “I know you know and see, so you try to keep a moderate neutral tone, but as usual Dave you do not disappoint.”

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