Monday, February 01, 2016

Some Kind of Mushroom

I am not sure when it happened.

Some blame the Internet.

Some blame the 1960s.

Some blame TV.

Maybe today it is still, 15 years later, millennial fever, a virus that has infected massive amounts of people.

Whatever the cause, insanity is rampant.

Maybe it was always there. We had Jack the Ripper the late 1880s. And into the 20th century, we had crazy people - Charles Manson, Ted Bundy. There have always been people who have flourished on conspiracy theories - JFK's assassination, we never really landed on the moon. Those folks have always been on the fringes of our society.

But now? In 2016, everywhere I look there is a whacko. Some unthinking lunatic who is spouting out something so crazy that you blink and can't believe it's actually being said.

We've created a time when anybody can say anything, no matter how bizarre. We have people who are "birthers" who question everyone's birth place/date/heritage/whatever. We have the people who believe the mass murders at Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, and other places, never happened, or are a government conspiracy.

Climate change deniers. Holocaust deniers. History re-writers (which might not be so bad except what they are writing never actually happened.)

Crazy people take over federal landholdings and squat there, because they don't like the government. People who don't claim to be crazy (but apparently really are) actually have seats in the government, at all levels.

Scary.

Truly, it is all around me. People who call themselves pro-life but advocate for war. How insane is that? You can't be pro-life and pro-killing-people at the same time. You just can't, not if you have any sense of logic.

Mostly this is on the internet, but also in the mass media. As Bill Maher recently said, the Information Super Highway has become Bullshit Boulevard.

Everywhere I see people spreading lies, and believing them. Truth? Who cares about truth? Truth is boring, and it doesn't fit the current story model.

People used to get their news from real news organizations. Now? You get it from the friend of a friend who doesn't know where s/he heard it, but it is all over Facebook so it must be true.

Facts? Who cares about facts? Nobody cares about facts. Everyone lives in their own little bubble, they believe what they want, they think what they want. If they want to believe the sky is green, they will think that, no matter the evidence that it is blue.

Unfortunately, this doesn't just happen on the fringes anymore. The fringes are no longer fringe. This sort of deranged behavior and the words that go along with it comes out of the mouths of influential people - like people who are running for president, and being taken seriously.

They're all smoking something. They have to be. Either that or the Earth passed through some kind of asteroid trail that left half of the United States in a total state of crazy.

We have become, I fear, the stupidest bunch of people to ever be a first world nation. I haven't been outside of the country in a while, but my friends who live in Europe tell me we're their major source of entertainment. Look at the big fat totally crazed Americans, most of whom believe in angels, and the other half think the world is flat.

Every lie has its believer. It's like Field of Dreams . . . thousands of cars heading to an Iowan farm to watch ghosts play baseball. That's the internet today. Field of Dreams, the place where every nut can go to find another nut to confirm his or her falsehoods.

Every lie becomes truth. Fiction becomes fact.

I wish I were smart enough to come up with some truly creative lie about our farm - something that would bring in thousands upon thousands of visitors, all paying $10 a piece to see a little rock that maybe I claim was brought to me in a dream by a visitor from the Planet Zortania. If you touch the rock and give me $10, you will have good luck for the rest of your life, and pleasant dreams when your eyes close (no guarantees, no warranties).

For another $10, you can join me in my new religion of Zortanimania, where we worship every lie on the Internet, eschew all facts, and drink beer and watch NASCAR. All hail Charlotte Motor Speedway! Of course, we also don't believe in government, but we don't believe in communes either, so I am not really sure yet how we would actually survive. Still working that out, but it's okay. The lie will come to me soon.

Later, you can pay me $10 to buy the Zortanimania Book of Prophecy, which would be of course our guide book to spirituality in the greatest pursuit of Zortanimanian bliss. Which, I suppose, might include the use of mushrooms.

2 comments:

  1. Good post! I suppose in the past many stupid, dangerous, or horrible things happened, but no one reported them so only a few knew about them. But now, they're reported and embellished via social media.

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  2. There's definitely a whole lot of crazy going on these days -- most of it on the campaign trail.

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