Why Your Opinion on Politics and Religion Means Nothing


Mine Means Even Less


Henry Edward Fool
I once made the mistake of adding a comment to an online discussion during the last presidential
race. I said something like, “Perhaps you should listen more carefully to what McCain has said
about this; it’s not very different from what Obama has said.” In response, I became the center of
the discussion, and, more than immediately the target for a dozen attacks. Taking the opportunity
to teach acceptance and tolerance by example, my new open minded, multi-cultural, diversified
cyber friends called me a puppet, an asshole, a moron, a stupid bastard, a mindless zombie for
the Republican regime… none of which I am. (Well, maybe a moron, but anyone who fires enough
shots into the dark has the chance of hitting something.) These attacks went far beyond
questioning the motives of those who disagree with you (which is small minded enough). Believe
me, these kids put the ‘mean’ in the ME-niverse.

All of this viciousness was launched because I suggested there was not a great deal of difference
between the two candidates on one particular issue. I had the gall to suggest that someone might
listen to what was actually being said instead of remaining dug in, firmly entrenched, deadened,
enshrouded, blindfolded, shackled to thoughtless, mindless ideology and deaf to indifferent
reason. It was a lovely experience from which I learned not a lot, but enough. In the cyber-world
such attacks are, for the most part, ignored but can hardly be, and probably shouldn’t be (for the
sake of whatever we may have left), but (after all) must be, because what, after all, are you gonna
do about it?

Just as an aside, I am basically apolitical, and with no dog whatsoever in that presidential fight, I
had, up until that point, amused myself by observing the process with the casual, superior, all-
knowing eye of relatively smug detachment. (Have some wine.)

Still, it causes one to wonder just exactly what kind of a world is being shoved down our waddled
old throats by the insensible, run-away juggernaut of open-ended, ever-changing I-think-
technology. I mean only this: if someone is some kind of a goddamned idiot, mind ablaze with
psychopathic or socio-pathic thoughts, I don’t need to know about it and I don’t want to know
about it. Nonetheless, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to avoid on the net.

For me, it is a peculiar world in which, embedded in a discussion of fore ‘n’ aft rigging someone
had inserted the Finnish words for duck shit, but that’s my problem. Even more peculiar is the fact
that the commenter should find someone of similar thinking out there who responds approvingly,
at length, in Italian, and they are joined by a third who posts a photograph of the stuff. ‘WTF?’ as
the kids say. As my very dear wife says, “There are whole worlds out there of which we know
nothing.” (And, of which I dearly wish to remain knowing nothing.)