Is it better to bury one’s head in the sand and be happy, or to keep one’s eyes open to the insanity around us and live in anger and frustration? That’s a difficult question, a helluva question in fact, as it not only defines a daily personal struggle for me, but equally looks to be one that a multitude of us are faced with each week.
From a personal perspective, I’ve spent the better part of the past two years re-educating myself – recalibrating my thought processes to better understand my reality. During this time, I’ve swung from extremes of anger, disbelief and disappointment, to periods of deep satisfaction and relief upon reaching an epiphany or listening to a truly knowledgeable speaker via a favourite podcast.
The truth however is that through any process of learning or personal development, I suppose one could call it a quest, the one constant I come back to appears to be that the more one learns, the more one realises that there’s a subtle loneliness and depression that goes with that knowledge, never more evinced than by the self-censorship and uncertainty that comes from often being the only person around that happens to share the knowledge and opinions that one does.
I’ve written about this before, but it’s a theme that I find myself coming back to more and more; there’s an unmistakable marginalisation (often self-imposed) that comes from the frustration and annoyance one feels at the lack of sensible and coherent opinion that one hears and sees every day. “I can’t be alone in thinking this, surely” the internal monologue asks.
What makes it more difficult I believe for those of us of a conservatarian outlook is that we don’t suffer from the same authoritarian moral certainty that those on the left seem to espouse, which allows them a righteous certainty that their ideology or opinion is perfect and unimpeachable – immune to debate, reason and challenge. No, I find myself in a permanent state of doubt, particularly because my viewpoint always appears to be against the grain and in the minority, other than in those rare moments when I find myself able to discuss a topic without fear of judgement or condemnation.
Am I just contrarian by nature?
Why am I always “that guy” at the barbeque?
Do I just have trust issues?
Why don’t I believe what the mainstream media says anymore?
Why can’t I watch anything on mainstream TV or emanating from Hollywood these days without going into paroxysms of head shaking and sardonic laughter?
Why do I dread social gatherings and the inevitable gritting of teeth when someone brings up politics, religion, climate change or – God Forbid – immigration or Islam?
Did I remember to buy Alfoil at Woolies this weekend?
A large part of the reason I’m writing this is down to a Facebook comment which I noticed in response to my “Dumbmentia” article. The commenter noted that they’d given up – been “beaten into defeat” as they put it. I can relate – I’ve been that person before. But I think there’s a better way.
A quick side note by way of hope for the author of that comment:
As recently as 2015 I would have classed myself as a bit of a clueless liberal. A BBC-panel-show-watching, have-a-good-guffaw-at-the-expense-of-Nigel-Farage, Guardian-reading, Barack-Obama-Appreciating, everything-is-awesome liberal. Hell, I used to watch John Oliver when he first aired on Comedy Central and was a big fan of Stephen Colbert [yes, I know].
I recall vividly conversations with an American colleague at the time of the Sandy Hook and Aurora shootings in 2012 about his rural, Idaho, red-state, gun toting politics, and being quite taken aback that he wasn’t a fan of Obama or that he supported the second amendment. I recall a similar conversation with a friend from the UK about the early Brexit discussions possibly late 2015, and my consternation that he seemed to be suggesting at the time that Brexit was possibly a good idea. Shock Horror.
The reality at the time was that as sure as I was about my understanding of the world, the less I had bothered to (a) truly understand the nuances inherent in the topics at hand or (b) listen to the other person’s point of view.
They say that there’s no cure for stupidity, but nor is there an excuse for ignorance. We’re just extremely good as a species at not recognising this, led as we are by ego and the need to create a stable vision of the world that we can be happy in.
And therein lies the problem. My own personal journey from liberal to conservatarian over the past couple of years didn’t just happen – it sprung from reading a great deal and opening myself up to the thoughts of those that speak and write far better than I do; but most importantly from burying my ego and realising that there is a far greater nobility in admitting one’s ignorance than proclaiming to have all the answers. Those on the Left, as I’ve come to understand via social media and the curse of online discussion, are very firm proponents of the latter.
As with the famous [to some] case of the brutal reality check of former uber-Liberal commentator and podcaster Dave Rubin – and then – oftentimes it just takes a moment, a ripping off of the band-aid of liberal idyll, to wake people the hell up. For me, it was the Brexit debate and the absolute faux hysteria that the mainstream media conjured up around the issue, followed very swiftly by the utterly bizarre US presidential election race in 2016, and the realisation that I was, with the exception of one mate, the ONLY person in my personal orbit that watched Trump’s victory without thinking that the world was LITERALLY going to end that night. Even close friends and family were at best bemused at my reluctance to be horrified at Hillary’s defeat; they knew that Donald Trump was literally Hitler, or that anything remotely critical of Hillary Clinton was sexist.
But my interest in the insane world we inhabit today was first and foremost piqued by the first appearance of Dr Jordan Peterson on the Joe Rogan podcast circa November 2016:
Obviously in the intervening months Peterson has become a beacon of free speech to his supporters while simultaneously becoming a lightning rod for leftist vitriol of every persuasion, feminists and gender warriors alike, and for this reason alone is someone worthy of admiration. But it was his deep understanding of the psychological aspects of the gender pronoun hysteria that had engulfed him, as well as his extremely considered viewpoints on personal responsibility and the truth, that really popped the bubble for me.
OK, so why share this? Yes, I’ll admit that there’s a certain hubris in the assumption that my own story can serve as some sort of life lesson for those facing the same problems, but if you’ll bear with me a while longer I’ll get to my point.
You see, there’s something powerful about the truth and an inquiring mind. The Left, as I’ve written about before and as many of you no doubt understand, do not deal in Reality. Theirs is a world of make-believe, a non-binary, non-rational miasma of feelings and emotions, of victims and transgressors – one in which men are apparently the same as women, and damn you if you suggest otherwise. To the Left, honesty is victimisation, facts are threatening and criticism of any part of their carefully constructed and ever so fragile house of resentment cards is tantamount to rape or physical assault.
Naturally, those of us who don’t subscribe to this mindset are confused and often frustrated beyond belief that Liberals can operate this way, that those in the bubble can deal so loosely with real issues and twist them to suit their own pre-conceived ideological framework so often and so easily.
By way of illustration, let’s look at a few choice examples (of which there are an endless supply):
Am I right in thinking that this “comedian” is now a spokeswoman for the Fat-Acceptance Movement’s War on cancer research, because the research is suggesting that her own particular truth may not be correct?
As with any number of Post Normal Science debacles these past 12 months – think the James Damore memo as the most prominent example of these, but really consider any number of insane examples of bizarre claims by those on the left lately – who really has their head buried firmly in the sand here? Me, or the emotionally crippled SJW’s and their media and corporate enablers that keep proving that no matter how far I think things have gone, or how moronic the situation has become, there’s always another fatuous attempt by the left to raise the bar even higher.
These days even height and weight are seemingly enough to infuriate the gender-challenged into a full hand-wringing, roll-around-on-the-floor toddler fit a la this next intellectually stunted full time victim:
Is this the sort of mental breakdown that’s making me angry, I wonder?
What about this piece of magic from Qantas CEO Allan Joyce this week?
Am I really reading about a major airline banning offensive words like “guys” in the spirit of creating an “inclusive work place”? Of course I am, but only in the fairy land which these people seem to exist in. Whether it’s Joyce, or any other SJW masquerading as a business leader or politician promoting any number of divisive social policies under cover of “diversity and inclusivity”, these powerful people have decided to acquiesce to the Leftist mania, and as a result they must be ridiculed mercilessly, and their folly bleached in the light of common sense.
For you see, much like any fantasy novel in which the unwitting heroine looks through the magic portal into the sinister alternate dimension beyond [from which unspeakable tentacled horrors always emerge], I can look into the unreality in which the Left lives every day via my television or smart phone screen, and witness how their toxic ideology is impacting every facet of my life, the future of my kids, and, its not a stretch to suggest, the future of a functioning Western society in all respects.
I realise that I can’t let this gibbering foolishness and the underlying ideology it portends go without response; burying my head in the sand and pretending that the Dumbmentia Dimension doesn’t exist isn’t a feasible strategy. Understand it, shine a bright light on it, mock it, act. But, never allow the foolishness to defeat you; for every Qantas employee that’s reading the corporate directive about newly-banned words this morning and updating their CV, there’s an employee at Coles or Commonwealth Bank quietly contemplating what he or she (or zim or zer) assumes will be the inevitable roll out of the same daft, self-congratulatory HR mumbo-jumbo within their own organisation. If we all assume a posture of defeat, we’re simply accelerating the inevitable decline. Let’s all keep our heads up. Yes, some of the denizens of the Dumbmentia Dimension are purple-tinged monstrosities, but I’d rather know exactly what they’re on about rather than pretend they’re not planning the next insipid takeover strategy to remove yet more of my freedoms.