Don Pogreba is a fascinating character, one who routinely catches my attention. I am not about party politics, of course, and don’t care about the subjects of his writings, don’t even think he is the author, but rather has a ghost. This becomes apparent when one compares the quality of prose in his posts against his comments. I hear two distinct voices, though lately the posts are ringing more like real Pogie, who has trouble holding his temper. So do I at times. Fits of temper do add to quality of writing, if contained.
These are some of the qualities in Don that I find intriguing, as they seem universal in our deeply propagandize land:
- Cardboard thinking. This can be annoying, but since it is so prevalent has to be studied seriously. Don never looks beyond surface features. If a person is a Democrat, Don supports that person. If a Republican, Don opposes and mocks that person. In his most recent post, he is rife with agitation that Republican Ryan Zinke is using his Navy SEAL past to raise money. Which leads to another feature of his thinking …
- Glorification of the military. This is an odd feature of American life. So many of our youth are drawn to military service, and automatically suck up accolades for having done absolutely nothing important or original – for being so foolish as to risk their lives while not having a clue why, for being brainwashed into group service. It’s a pathetic thing to witness, but Don, like most Democrats and all Republicans, buys in total to the premise that military service, brainwashing, and the accompany invasions and murder of foreigners is not only a good thing to do, but even noble. What nonsense.
- He eats up on the lies of our times. In the Zinke piece he talks about Navy SEAL Team Six and the Osama bin Laden raid. It never happened. Any damned fool can figure that out if any damned fool would actually look at the evidence, but damned fools don’t. They won’t. And this brings me to the most important aspect of Don’s character,
- Fear of being in a minority, or rule by the group. It’s a form of moral cowardice, but one so common as to be thought normal. As Mark Twain noted, in my words, shake a tree and fifty physically brave people fill fall out, but only perhaps one morally courageous person. People do not like being thought odd, or out of the mainstream, and so buy into every cockamamie tale put out by the opinion managers of our land.
If Don and I were to exchange barbs this moment, he would instinctively attack me for my view that John Lennon was still alive in 2008. I guess I am different, because I don’t care if my views are not widely shared, and have no desire to run with the pack. So I cannot be hurt by that sort of ridicule.
And this is what fascinates me about Don – he so exhibits the characteristics of mainstream America that he is a poster boy. Maybe that is why he draws my attention more than any other blogger. He is so typical as to be interesting. The mere fact that I hold a view not supported by mainstream opinion is enough to convince him that I don’t know how to think properly, that it is me who has a problem.
That is the life he chooses, and I respect that choice. He wants to be part of the mainstream, and fears deviance from group approval. That is his source of sustenance, his reason to exist – to be part of a group and to have the approval of that group.
Further, that is, as I see it, the human condition. I was young once and wanted nothing more than to be accepted by others. But something changed in me some decades ago, maybe just part growing up. Maybe that is what troubles me so about our country – people do not develop intellectually. Don, surely a nice man admired by friends and family, and a school teacher too, is yet to develop his brain. He needs to let his little light shine.
Is this you too reader? Are you wanting group approval, or do you draw joie de vivre in pursuit of truth? This is not a mainstream blog, and I do not seek mainstream approval. If you have read this far, perhaps we have that in common, and if so, I tip my hat.