There are things we are told which are plainly obviously lies, such as magic bullets and aircraft slicing through steel buildings like a knife through butter, all utterly impossible, defying logic and physics. Yet dogged doctrinaire supporters of power demand that we pretend to believe these things to be real and undeniably true. This is the source of our cognitive dissonance, power over our perceptions, to tell us that we see one thing that is actually something else. Those of us who do not see what power tells us to see are indeed the odd ones.
I wrote that, and it is bad form to quote myself. But it does, more or less, add yellow highlighter to the center of my existence. And I’ve been kicking it around for a couple of days here as I avoid writing on the blog. If I cannot get one true thing across, what is the point?
There are degrees of acceptance of the above. For me it is easy. I simply say that if something cannot be true, then it is not true. On the far side, the other end, people like James Conner, for instance, ridicule what is obviously true as a belief in impossible conspiracy, as if saying things that are obviously true is stupid! Most people fall somewhere in between, troubled, wanting to belong to the mainstream and so filing away their doubts in a dark place. That is the definition of cognitive dissonance.
What Conner does is a manifestation of denial, of aggressive stupidity, and yet I know he is not stupid. If the dissonance resides so uncomfortably in him that he feels a need to lash out, then he is perhaps on the verge of internal harmony. Perhaps he will come around. Perhaps his isolation right now is a time during which he is confronting his own internal contradictions.
Perhaps not. His writing lately offers no hint of any forward movement.
In the meantime, there is politics. We always have politics. It does us no good; it solves no problems. It merely keeps us busy. The political system is too corrupt for mere intermittent unfocused anxiety expressed as well-intended votes to have any impact on the power behind the candidates. Perhaps, if one can admit that certain physical feats are impossible, then a clean accounting of the soul will yield yet another hard and undeniable truth: We do not live in a democracy, a republic, a democratic republic, or anything even remotely representing that kind of place. There is only one way that public opinion matters in this country, and that is when it is unified against power.
Unless some entertainer suggests on TV that we should do that, I don’t see that happening anytime soon.