Messages Of Untruth Reconsidered

“In order to understand more it is imperative that we improve our knowledge before choosing which side of the fence we feel compelled to belong.” (J.P. Robinson)

You might have fallen in in love with a beautiful mermaid. Or perhaps you could profess holding a meaningful conversation with a leprechaun, elf, or even a green headed space alien. The list of possibilities for alternative truth thus seemed endless at the annual indoor convention of the “Flights of Imagination Society” held during the second week of November in Memphis, Tennessee. You might wonder then what were these predominately unmasked participants like, that so fervently dedicated their vacation time to redefine their own realities of life during this “electric” vibe spectacle. As I curiously strolled amid the energized crowd during the three day festivities, I can share with you some captivating observations where seemingly no one was “playing possum” with their deep seated beliefs.

You might know then the majority of the attendees I met led seemingly routine lives on the surface as tax paying, middle class Americans. Yet underlying such apparent normality, it became clear to me upon closer inspection that an intense level of distrust in scientific fact and established truth pervaded the crowd atmosphere here. On several occasions on the floor of the indoor auditorium, for instance, I noted how so many of them vocally expressed their discontent with scouring traditional sources of information like printed newspapers and electronic social media. It follows from these conversations that they accordingly foresaw no drawbacks in subscribing to alternative dogma supportive of extremist cults and conspiracy theories prevailing amid the country today.

Let’s examine a few individuals more deeply that I conversed with in perusing the various promotional exhibits during these sessions. I thus vividly recall Mary and John, two backwoods rebels in Maine, who swore blind rejection of science in feverish praise, while boldly stating as well that they believed a species of reptilian lizards was currently running a dysfunctional government in this country. Then there was Glenn and Joe from Alabama, whose extreme right wing advocacy as part of the “Bringum Boys” movement publicized that public school children were being poisoned by morning juice boxes that turned them “gay.” Of final note, I reveal my intimate conversation with old timers Wendell and Allie, two devout Christian ranchers from Texas, whose spiritual compass revealed to me a belief in their “flesh and blood” conversation at a crop- circles field with the physical presence of God.

On the last day of the convention, an unexpected event happened that severely impacted the closing proceedings. For on that fateful Saturday morning of November 9th, a “dead silence” ensued in the auditorium upon hearing media reports that the current President of the States had been defeated in the present election. But what happened after that moment can be best described as pure chaos as vengeful shouts of anger intensified amid the stunned throng throughout the remainder of that morning. I slowly concluded then how deeply revered the dethroned “King of Conspiracy Theory” had been to so many of these mutinous disobeyers of fact at this festival. Great optimism exploded in my mind for I now realized that today’s victory for  truth and reason would become the correct path for healing my county’s current woes in the years ahead.

13 thoughts on “Messages Of Untruth Reconsidered

  1. Great post. I’m still amazed that so many people in this country lost their ability to use simple deductive reasoning skills. Early in elementary school we teach children the difference between fact and fiction. We show them various examples and they learn to understand what is real and what is not. What can factually be proven and what cannot. Alternate realities are not the truth. But, Incredibly a huge part of our society decided that if the President had an alternative way of thinking they could too. I’m still baffled that so many were sucked in. I mean I can tell myself I’m 25 all I want but that ship sailed a very long time ago. I’d like to spend money like a millionaire does but if I do I’ll lose my home and be living on the streets. And last year when I was told I had stage three ovarian cancer if I pretended my doctor was talking nonsense and science was wrong, I’d be dead.
    The only place alternative reality works is in works of fiction. Because real life isn’t easy, it hurt sometimes, it’s not always fun, and it’s really, really hard. We don’t have control over everything in real life situations.

    I too hope this country can not only heal, but take off its blinders and once again see the morning light with total clarity. Truth is not always pretty. But it’s real and it’s the truth! And we need the truth in order to move forward.

    Liked by 3 people

      • Yes so true. Perhaps being teachers allowed us to recognize fact from fiction more easily than others. But I still struggle to understand why rational people allowed a buffoon to cloud their thinking. Unless sadly, it was racism that encouraged and fueled so many of his supporters. And yes, the truth does help in dealing with illness. At least it did for me. And I find it also helps in appreciating and valuing life.
        I’m still curious as to where all the anger came from in Trump supporters. No mask, no diversity… no reasoning…I don’t get it. They never seemed content with anything so they just made up their own reality. The thing is… I love science fiction and fantasy too. In fact I’m reading a fun paranormal holiday mystery right now. Fantasy is awesome when you read about it. The trick is to know when something is fiction. And politics is real!
        You know Jim, My boys loved magic tricks when they were little. They both were pretty good at card tricks and Johnny enjoyed playing magician and wearing a hat and cape to add to the whole affect. But they both understood that magic was filled with slight of hand tricks and fooling their audience. Even as children they knew it wasn’t real.
        I sure hope Joe and Kamala can undo the bigotry and fear created by 45 so rationality can once again rule!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. At the risk of sounding like an actuarial statistician, I think there’s simply a sort of normal distribution upon which most people are experientially forced to accept reality and pile into the center. But there’s always that third standard deviation that accounts for about 5% of the population. They’re not all on the right either, though the current carnival-of-mirrors has certainly propped open the doors to that particular asylum while passing off ideological intoxication as therapy.

    That said, the world of a paranoid schizophrenic is no less “real” to that person than that of a scientist, engineer, or mathematician… or for that matter, any well-indoctrinated zealot. It’s just that normal experiences, for those of us allowed to have them anyway, tend to gather the majority of survivors around the things that actually work… like vaccines and airliners (at least those designed and created by scientists and engineers as opposed to corporate CEOs… and actuarial statisticians).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Lightness!

      I’m sure that it is no more than 5% of the total population that seriously believes in the lizard-people conspiracy and they’re turning the frogs gay conspiracy and other outlandish ideas, but 72 million people voted for four more years of #COVID19 malpractice and blatant corruption. That’s about 20% of the population. They may not all go in for everything that Trump has said or done, but they looked at their choice in Election 2020 and said give me four more years of this because we don’t want Biden. I’ve worked really hard at figuring out the psychology behind it, but for the life me, I cannot adequately explain it. It makes no sense.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jack, That’s exactly the thing I don’t understand either. I really tried in the very beginning of Trump’s presidency to give him a chance. To give him the benefit of the doubt even when all he did was spitefully try to undo every good thing Obama accomplished. But when he step by step decided to destroy our environment and pollute the atmosphere, or take away park lands, destroy health care etc. I stopped giving him leeway. The final straw with his unconscionable act of tearing children from their parents was a Nazi like tactic and incredibly it was ignored by countless Baby boomers whose parents fought in WWll. How can you explain their acceptance of such an act? I’m glad my father wasn’t alive to see that the purple heart and other medals of honor he received were basically spit on by This President and half the nation. How do you dignify making white supremacists very fine people? Lunacy is lunacy. Morality has common sense boundaries. I’ve taught students about mob rule, mob mentality in literature. I’ve read about it in the history books. But I did not expect to witness it in my lifetime. Nope. There is no reasonable, logical, moral, understanding of how any decent human being could actually vote for such a monster. And yet countless folks did. I wonder what part of their souls died to turn their hearts to stone and their brains to mush? I will never ever understand the cruelty that enveloped part of our nation.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Howdy Lesley!

        I feel your pain and anguish. I can neither understand or forgive my fellow Americans without them asking for forgiveness. My only explanation is that they are trapped in some real cognitive deviltry consisting of cognitive dissonance and motivated reasoning. It is a thick wall of defense they’ve built around themselves too considering how many are now dying of #COVID19 wheezing at the end that it wasn’t possible because it is all a hoax.

        Huzzah!
        Jack

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well howdy back Calico! And it doesn’t make any sense to me neither! As long as we have a system that allows only for voting for the “least bad” of each party’s anointed profiteers, I can at least understand the sense of short-term desperation caused by the house-of-mirrors that surrounds the utterly bogus campaigning that goes on in this country. I don’t necessarily agree with my Trump-voting friends, but I do listen to them… Filipinos who think their hard work won’t be respected, conservative Catholic Latinos who remember relatives being deported under Obama, Taiwanese who think Biden will sell them out… and of course that guy driving the smoking pickup with the flag on the hitch who just wants to be allowed to marry his guns. No lizard people… though admittedly one person who worries about “chemtrails”. And in this state, we can still vote for “None of these candidates”, which I suspect the most sane 1% of voters here did.

        Me… I’m just mostly worried that Biden will die in office and that we’ll get the political equivalent of a breast-implant — superficially impressive, but fake. America needs to be looking farther forward, toward a long-term solution. God (or whatever) help us all if four years from now an economically and politically flailing America sees voters having to choose between more of that, or a returned-from-the-dead senile-zombie version of our current Boob-in-Chief. Yikes!
        Cheers!
        Kumi

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Howdy James!

    I should take some time to look up some longitudinal studies of these kinds of aberrant (or do I mean abhorrent or maybe it is both?) beliefs. All conspiracy theories have a lifespan within individual adherents. Eventually, reality intrudes and disproves the belief no matter how many others believe it, too. Of course, that was before the advent of social media and easy access to media companies.

    I’m reminded of a story I heard about Albania during its time under Hoxha and later Alia, the best Albanians could expect was a 40 watt light bulb and small blank-and-white TV sets. They were told this was the best anyone had it anywhere in the world. After the country opened up, people were crushed realizing that they were the poorest country in Europe and everyone else had so much more.

    No one can keep the world out forever. I wonder how long these people maintain their beliefs.

    Huzzah!
    Jack

    Liked by 2 people

    • Howdy James!
      I’ve worked on answering the question about the psycological factors that drive MAGAs over on the Psy of Life. I began back in 2016 with a post trying to answer this question and added to it over the years. The latest post is Election 2020: Understanding Trump Voters. I also address the seeming death wish that MAGAs have as they lay dying of #COVID19 and deny the existence of the coronavirus with their last wheezes, The Death Drive of MAGAs and Trump’s Narcissistic Destructiveness Make a National Nightmare. What it tells you is that the psychology behind it is powerful.

      The combination of the persuasive design used by both social media platforms and mass media like Fox News combines with the ingroup tendencies of political and ethnic identification and is reinforced through social support. Once you’ve got the initial commitment, motivated reasoning and cognitive dissonance takes over and keeps people immersed.

      But given the dimensions of the #COVID19 pandemic and frontal assault on democracy, I can’t believe that anyone would accept this from Trump or the GOP.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Like

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