Yesterday someone on facebook linked an article that illuminated something for me. And it’s stupid that I hadn’t seen it before.
Yesterday here someone asked about the narrative, how liberals feel a need to control “the narrative” and how everything that runs counter the narrative must get pounded.
I thought I’d posted here, before, about the narrative but it turns out it was in a private facebook site, and one of the members took off from that post and started a podcast series called “Shatter the narrative.” I must look for a link, but for various reasons I’m using my remote computer, so will probably only do that at home.
I can’t dispose of the narrative in a single post, because the narrative has more tentacles than super Cthulhu and infiltrates every portion of our lives. The best way to put it is to say that when Reagan said liberals knew so many things that just weren’t so, he either didn’t realize or didn’t mention so do conservatives. Thanks to full control of the schools for at least sixty and probably more years, the “progressives” have fed us a myriad little lies. Not only the big narrative, the idea that history comes with an arrow and moves in their direction (though that’s part of it) but also a million little ones, things like people who live in the suburbs are unenlightened, smart people don’t get married or have kids, smart people aren’t religious, etc. etc. etc.
Even those of us who came to figure out that the big central narrative that top down government is the answer was wrong will find ourselves taking for granted one or more little tentacles of narrative that have wormed their way into our brain as an “of course”. And even when we know it’s not right, we have no clue why it’s there and why it’s become a piece of the narrative.
See, if it were only the schools they controlled, it would be easy enough to get rid of. Most of us get rid of the vast bulk of blatant indoctrination we get in school as we grow up. BUT the narrative is supported by the news, and more importantly by entertainment. The narrative is supported by movies and books, and by stuff built and embedded into those in such a way that we never examine it.
Take for instance the time a fellow conservative waxed poetic about Splendor in the Grass. Yeah. She IS a little older than I.
I’d never seen it and it is free on prime, so I watched it. And my jaw dropped. Perhaps because I was then the mother of teens and knew their female friends, the whole message hit me in the face like a wet fish.
Wait, what? The girl has a nervous breakdown because – those annoying chastity rules! – the boy is having sex with someone else because she won’t put out. This is not viewed as the boy being a jerkoyd who can’t control himself, but her overrestrictive upbringing making her neurotic.
WHAT? I’m sorry. When is the last time you heard of a teen having a breakdown because he or she DIDN’T have sex? I mean, sure, when we’re teens we’re all sure we’re going to. But most adults know that sex is not just sort of glorified jumping jacks and it’s not about freeing energies that will hurt you otherwise and what not. I’m here to tell you that the worst that will happen to a teen girl who would really like to have sex and doesn’t is that she’ll write so many sonnets she’ll acquire an amazing vocabulary of rhyming words.
Yeah, I was neurotic [Were? – Ed. Shud UP-SAH] but then most teens are, being neither fowl nor fish nor yet good red meat. But because I was neurotic, I imagine what a sexual relationship at that age would have done both to me and the poor dolt saddled with me.
So, why does no one who talks about how this book is a classic and all that mention that its premise is out there, the looniest kind of disproven Freudianism ever?
Because we’ve bought into the narrative.
I’m not knocking sex, mind you, but if you have problems, having sex particularly in a relationship that due to age/requirements of growing up can’t be stable seems like a good way to add to them. (A friend of mind gives this rule as “Don’t stick it in crazy, or crazy will stick to you.”)
Now think on how many movies and books have that premise of “teens must have sex, or they’ll go crazy, crazy I tell you!” as one of the unexamined secondary story lines. Um… most of them? Or for that matter how many books and movies have that premise about adults and sex. I mean, sure, I’m married and well I enjoy the benefits of marriage, but I’ve seen enough of the world to tell you both that it’s easier to be a celibate than in a bad relationship and also that some people SHOULD be celibate, not being emotionally capable of the involvement that comes with an intimate relationship.
However in every book, in every movie, anyone who is celibate by choice is suspect. This has infected things so far that the new Miss Marple series is all about sex and repression.
And that’s just a small part of the narrative – a bit of undigested Freud, crossed with Marx’s aim of ending bourgeois marriage – but it’s EVERYWHERE.
There are other bits that are everywhere, that we know are wrong, but that I at least never understood why. Take for instance the assumption that progressives are smarter.
This always seemed like an odd narrative. I don’t know about ya’ll but the last time I met a progressive who was smarter than I was… was… um… can’t remember. (I know several people smarter and more knowledgeable than I, but they’re all either very conservative or out there libertarian.) There is one among my friends who MIGHT be both progressive and smarter than I (she WAS progressive. I’m not so sure now.) but she never had a chance being born with a red diaper. The others? Pah. Better at repeating the narrative, sure, but heck, I know even that better than they do. And I saw the contradictions, and fought free.
So why does the myth persist? Why is it so important to them?
I’m never surprised when I post something that gets under their noses and they call me evil, or impugn my morals, or cast aspersions on my manners, my ideals or my life. That’s par for the course. It’s stupid, of course, but it’s par for the course. I mean, I remember when I was declared worse than Hitler for telling them that wishing death on those who disagreed with them was evil. Good times. The irony, too, was extra ironical and had more sauce.
BUT why the “you’re stupid.” This is particularly hilarious when applied to someone like me who has all the credentials they adore. Now I’m the first person to say this has absolutely nothing with to do with real-world intelligence, because that’s a complicated, messy thing and as I’ve proven here many, many times, I have both unfathomable heights of knowledge and competence and bizarre depths and black holes of ignorance. (Some of that through growing up in another culture where the cultural referents are different.) And I’ll grant you my typos are often the stuff of legend.
But I do have a graduate degree in Languages and Literature from a well regarded foreign university; I have read most of their “literature” and even like some of it (mostly Borges, okay?); I’ve long since resigned myself to the fact that my tastes in movies and TV run to Masterpiece Theater and BBC (sorry) and I can hold a polite conversation in the salons of the glitterati. I also happen to have a piece of paper certifying my IQ as being in the … well… very far up, and that I have a membership in a society for people suffering the like affliction. (Only I haven’t renewed in years because it is not a marker of congeniality or even rationality or much of anything. Let’s put it this way: Dilbert had it right. Most members of Mensa work menial positions and have issues navigating life. Of course so do most people.)
Again, real intelligence is a messy and complicated thing. One of my sons is a real, bonafide genius, and drives me insane, both with his obsessions with a subject or a puzzle and with his total disinterest in things he (and everyone else) should be learning. My complaints about this to my cousin-sister (we were raised together, so she’s more like a sister) who is a specialist in teaching the super-gifted brought out laughter, “But that’s typical. At that level they only learn what they’re REALLY obsessed with, so there’ s these holes. Oh, also, once they master what fascinates them, to the level they want to, they drop it and never pick it up again.” (which fits younger son and drawing.)
So, why is it the left both awards themselves the “so smart” label and praises anyone who parrots their line as “so smart” and reviles anyone who questions them as “dumb?”
We know they do it, but why?
You see, they have to believe they’re smart and that anyone who agrees with them is smart. That’s because their entire belief system about government and society hinge on “government from the top down” which can only work if “the right people” are in charge. I.e. it can only work if the people at the top are “really smart.”
Hence too, their tendency to cult of personality and their cult-like belief that an ivy league school is the same as an IQ test. (Hint, an IQ test is the same as an IQ test, and even that has nothing to say to your ability to function, survive and thrive in the real world.)
So though I normally don’t talk about my IQ test or my membership in that high IQ society, because I think it says absolutely nothing about me as a person or even about my competence in my chosen field, I now understand why the two times I lost my cool and threatened to scan in my membership card it caused the troll to run away in one case forever and in another case (on Facebook) for a month which with that one is a record.
And ya’ll will forgive me if I do it more often and maybe even scan it in, right? I DON’T think it makes me superior to anyone. The ability to take IQ tests well is not in fact something that’s well paid in the real world. (Which is why I don’t talk about it.) OTOH it smashes the left narrative that all the smart people are on their side, or that intelligence can be proven by parroting progressive slogans.
And that in turn smashes their idea that they can rule by virtue of being “so smart.”
Of course, most of the progressives have the stigmata of not-so-smart kids who have been pushed beyond their depth. Oh, you know them as well as I do. You went to school with some of them. Daddy’s daughter or mommy’s son, usually from money, who had tutors from second grade on, and who were told they were SO smart, even though their grades were mostly bolstered by penmanship and manners. Remember those kids? The haunted look?
They were keeping up the smart façade, but they knew in their hearts they weren’t all that smart and so they struggled.
In the same way, our “elites” have that haunted look of always looking over their shoulder and being afraid of being unmasked. Which is why they’re so loud in parroting what “teacher” – in this case “scientists” and in particular “social scientists” say – says. Because then they can continue being praised for being “so smart.”
And why they must scream so loud anyone who doesn’t parrot received messages is “dumb” and “stupid.”
Which is okay. We bad kids in the back, making jokes and blowing spitballs, are still beating them on grades, and we know what is wrong with the pap we’re taught too.
Because in the end, reality doesn’t care if you’re saying the “approved truth” or if you’ve been “certified” smart. Reality only cares about what works. And top down government never works, not even with really smart people. (Arguably it would be worse – if that’s possible – with really smart people, because of those blind spots and areas they’re not interested in.)
Which is why the narrative that we would be fine with the “really smart” people in charge is a fable suitable for incurious, ignorant children.
And it’s why in the end, we win, they lose.
Smash the narrative. It’s about time.