Joined: Sep. 2006
If you ask me, we spend way too much attention on the presidential campaign. It goes along with my hypothesis that Americans personalize experiences too much, and are impatient with process and analysis. The presidential campaign is too much like watching sports, like worshipping/dissing this or that player (as opposed to analyzing the plays, and as opposed to playing the game oneself). We’ve already spent too much time on who is of what religion, as if I care – whoever you vote for, the theist gets in, and that has nothing to do with how well or poorly that person represents me. (I do, however, wish that an atheist could run for President and actually have a chance to get elected.)
What I care about is how the candidate is going to uphold a secular (as opposed to atheist) government. (I’d high-tail it to Canada if government officials started talking about who is or is not a true atheist.) I’m hearing quibbling over religion, who is or not a true Christian (how could anyone know?), and how scary the Mormons are because they allegedly believe the devil is Jesus’s brother (so what?), as if that has anything to do with how we’re going to tackle the national debt or overturn the Supreme Court’s noxious eminent domain ruling (anybody remember that?), or what in blazes we’re going to do about Iraq, or how we’re going to fund our public libraries and veterans’ benefits, or when the U.S. government is finally going to embrace the enormous opportunity that presents itself as a result of global private industry tackling global climate change on its own, because their CEOs see what the denialists don’t.
Even if we have a science debate, which I support, I’m afraid it will also degenerate into more “is it/isn’t it evolution” with no discussion of why we can say that something is (provisionally) true, because that sounds “weak,” right? People want black and white (while strangely not accepting the rather plain-spoken statement that there is no scientific evidence that “contracts evolution”). Likewise, we’ll get the old “who is your hero, Richard Dawkins or Rick Warren” routine, and miss the whole point that even an eminent scientist has to be viewed within the context of his methods and peers. We need each other to keep ourselves relevant, and we need process – this isn’t just about “heroes.” (There’s nothing more exciting than challenging your “hero” on some weak point of his and perhaps advancing an idea yourself that no one else has yet, but people don’t get that. They see things in terms of “debate,” simplistic either-or platitudes. This is why I haven’t watched any of the debates.)
Which came first: the shimmy, or the hip?
AtBC Poet Laureate
"I happen to think that this prerequisite criterion of empirical evidence is itself not empirical." - Clive
"Damn you. This means a trip to the library. Again." -- fnxtr