The hardest thing in the world is seeing what is right before your eyes when it contradicts what is in your mind.
In most cases, when someone asks “who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes” it’s supposed to be a laugh line. But when the “me” is someone who’s been lying to you since you were born, the answer is often “you.”
I’m not talking of bad parents, though the mechanics is similar. By evolution and attachment not to mention affection, we tend to believe and trust those who raised us. Which is part of this, but is not quite the truth.
In the modern era, soaked with media, most of us were raised by far more than our parents. And most of us not only trust the earliest things we heard, we tests other things against those earliest things we heard.
In the present era when, for a hundred years, our media has been first infiltrated and then progressively (eh!) taken over and defended by progressives and the “truth” promulgated that which accorded with party directives and propaganda, that means that our ability to test ideas against each other, or even what we see with our lying eyes against what we’ve been told is frankly broken.
Yes, even ours. Sorry guys. We too, like the leftists, grew up in a world in which leftist principles are so inherent in every thought, that if we step outside of them it’s like going crazy.
It’s the little things that get you, promulgated by media, news, literature and arts. All of them. At once. Little things like “Creative people are always of the left.” A little (and stupid, btw, since creative people are by definition people who poke and prod and less likely to stay in any ideological pen) lie, sure, but one that aided and abetted the left’s take over of ALL creative fields because, well, if there are no creative people to the right of Lenin, how could they find any to publish/exhibit/pay attention to? And what if someone appeared to be creative but was obviously not left? Well, see, his/her work is inferior. We know that, because conservatives aren’t creative, so even though this one is pretending to be, there must be something inferior about their work.
Did I make up that myth? I wish I had. Go tally novels, movies, etc, about anyone who is creative, an artist or even a great designer. In every one of those cases, you’ll find the person is portrayed anywhere from mild left to an outright Stalinist, even if they are completely fictional. (A lot of the real acclaimed artists were to the left of Lenin, because, well, there’s always some, particularly early in the 20th century, when the stupid ideas hadn’t shown how bad they were. And if the establishment was looking for leftist artists to promote, those were the ones likely to get the greatest prominence. Since about mid 20th century, being in tune with revolutionary truths, “speaking truth to power” and “exposing society” became the rules by which art was judged. Unsurprisingly, the “good art” was then leftist.)
And yet, even we — even I — fall for it, if you take it out of the context that will make us defensive. 2008 I got up early to go vote with my husband. This meant we were at our precinct early morning , in line to vote, and I looked around, at men in khakis, and women in gypsy skirts with multicolored hair, and I thought “Mine is the only non-Obama vote here.” Then I realized I was wearing a loose cotton skirt and a peasant blouse and my half-grey (It has been since I was 28, so unless freshly dyed, it’s a mess) hair was long and loose. And I realized I fit perfectly with the people around me. In fact, even probing deeper, if they’d found I wrote for a living, that I came from a foreign country, that English was my second language, or that I have a post-graduate degree in the Liberal arts, people examining me would think I was surely as far left as possible.
Were all those people there early morning voting for the leftist candidate. Most of them, I suspect. We lived in a blue dot, in a sea of red, so most of our neighbors were leftist (judging by yard signs.) After all we were talking about people who had SUCCESSFULLY established themselves as college professors or artists, and establishing yourself depended on running the gauntlet of the left’s dominance of gatekeeping. BUT the truth is, I’d got through, and I’m sure there were others. Only we didn’t know it, since both our internal programing AND the rolls of the institutions we worked for confirmed the lie that all creatives are leftist. And those of us who would otherwise have given a lie to it could not talk, on penalty of losing our livelihood.
Part of the problem is that humans are designed by nature to fix certain parameters in their heads very early, and then to test everything they learn against those parameters. I think this is because such an ability saved our ancestors’ behinds several times. “Fast moving, eyes to the front is predator.” “What if it isn’t?” “If it isn’t it won’t eat you. The way to bet is predator.” This type of reasoning saves your life when seconds count. If you can make the snap judgement, it is your cousin Gurg, who was a nice man and gave everything a second chance, rest his soul, who got eaten.
Except when everything you’ve been fed is a lie, and that’s what you’re testing the “truth” against, and when your life is not red in tooth and claw, so that you don’t get immediately eaten when you judge wrong, and never find out you were judging wrong, the … alternate reality builds.
It’s been a very long time since we had a fire-breathing leftist — or one I let through. I put on hip waders and went through the held-up comments the other day, which is the proximal reason for this post — come in accusing us of being things we are not. Oh, they are in the held-up comments, but there’s no point letting them through because they’re a “hit and run” type of thing and even if the commenter came back (they won’t. In most the names are obviously disposable) they would not believe their lying eyes.
Both those comments, and the ones I used to let through, when the spam filter was a lot looser, would paint a picture of the readers of this blog. I remember the time someone came in and accused us all of being Southern rednecks, who had never been out of our states. Now, I suppose some of you are from the South, and some might not have traveled, but in this blog the “have never left the state” is not the way to bet. In the same way, I’ve had the Bible quoted at me (usually truncated and distorted, but never mind) and then been asked what kind of a Christian I am, or what kind of Christians my blog readers are, to believe as we do despite this, “Triumphant verse brandished.” And while some of you are Christians and invested in inerrant nature of the Bible, even in translation, the truth is about a third of my commenters isn’t Christian AT ALL, and a remaining 80% of the other 2/3 (ATH is MATH! Shut up) are from sects where the inerrant nature of the Bible is not a thing.
It goes that way all along the line, with people accusing us, say, of hating women, when many (half?) the people here are women; or gays, when quite a few of you ARE gay; other races, when a lot of you are varying shades of tan or married to varying shades of tan.
The problem — and the reason to no longer approve those comments — is that you can’t prove them wrong. Their assumptions are not falsifiable. I.e. no matter what their lying eyes tell them, they’ll find a reason to excuse it away. Say I’m both a woman (true) and the reason I loathe feminism is because I want what’s best for women (true. For men too) and current feminism is a poisonous ideology destroying the species. I can EXPLAIN to them at length (have done it) how the idea that men and women are ALWAYS exactly alike and there are no biological differences beyond the obvious ignores hormonal influence in the development of the body and brain from the womb; how, though it’s a statistical spread, women aren’t even close to men in the strength department; how it’s not a matter of superiority, but yes, men and women brains are different, since women think deeper and more connected and men faster, straighter, sharper. (Always accounting for that statistical spread.) How we know several differences like men tend to cluster in the moron and genius ranges, but women are better at “Smart enough to function without having issues living in society.”
I can point out how this means that there will be differences not just in choice of professions, but in how women behave in those professions (and arguably for important things both approaches are needed, as a means of reality testing) and that trying to pound all the square pegs in round holes or make women into men or vice versa destroys the fabric of society and the freedom of individuals.
I’m perfectly willing to entertain arguments against it, of the sane and reasonable kind. Stuff like “If we raise the child in this way and expose her to this, she’ll think faster, clearer, straighter.” I’m willing to entertain them and counter them or even bring up “Yes, but why should we? If both approaches are needed, why are they only to be tolerated in the other type of body?”
But the people who come here and accuse me of being a self-hating woman don’t have those facts and are incapable of having that discussion. If I ask why they think I hate women, they’ll bring up something from the Bible. And if I tell them I grew up in a culture where quoting the Bible was gauche and we didn’t believe it was infallible, they double down and either accuse me of lying or say I’ve some how internalized these things and the interpretation put on them, which would be quite different.
It’s funnier when their assumptions about what I believe are not only wrong in detail, or wrong in reason I believe something (like, yep, I do believe men and women are different, but I don’t believe men are superior which is what they assume) but so completely staggeringly wrong that you don’t even know what to say. Take the people who come spinning in and accuse me of being homophobic. Neither in my private life — I think close to half of my inner circle of friends is gay — nor in my writing (no, I have no clue why my character world is near the gay bar region of imaginary land) nor in fact in anything can it be construed that I’m “homophobe” or really even “homo uncomfortable.”
And yet, this is a regular accusation leveled at me.
The problem is that stupid as it is, it can’t be falsified. If someone comes and accuses me of being an homophobe, and I defend myself, and supposing they’re not a drive by, they then will go and comb through all my books, take a sentence out of context and “prove” it. And if that’s not enough, they’ll invent a new “square” that can’t be stepped on. There will be a scene in my book in which a character (there is. A gay character even) heartily dislikes another character and talks about his flamboyant attire. (Keep in mind the second character is Simon, and the flamboyant attire isn’t even part of the reason to dislike him. There are plenty of those. It’s more a secondary annoyance.) Voila. Dipping into their stock of stereotypes, they decide all gays are flamboyant dressers, so hating that means I’m secretly homophobic. (Thereby ignoring the fact it’s not me making that observation, but my character, that no, not all gays are flamboyant dressers, that no, hating flamboyant dressers — which I don’t, but the character at that moment does — is not hating gays.)
It’s impossible to falsify that type of belief. Anyone who has chosen to believe the narrative over their lying eyes can always find reason to. Reminds me of one of the seasons of Soap in which one of the characters believes that he can snap his fingers and become invisible. Every time it doesn’t work, he comes up with an excuse “I was wet”, “I was touching metal” or “you were looking at me.”
The thing is that believing your lying eyes is scary. You have to think everything through anew. It leaves you, in a way, intellectually naked before the world. It’s not how the human mind likes to work.
Which is why most people refuse to do it. (Yes, our side too. The number of times I was accused of being a communist for being less than a whole-hearted Trump supporter at the end of last year. Even though there is NO logical reason why being completely in the Trump camp equals non communist or opposing Trump’s more statist flights makes you a communist. It’s jut the way people’s minds work.)
There are several problems with this right now.
The first is that the narrative is breaking up, but breaking up underground, as it were, beneath the surface of things.
The second is that the “crust” remains intact.
The third is that even for those of us trying to actively reject the narrative there are little things that get by. Like the thing about creatives being leftist.
The first one has the consequence that while a vast number of the population is seeing things that diverge from the narrative, it’s hard to prove to someone who will only accept Mass Media reporting. Also, the way to behave in polite society is as though the mass media were still “truthful” (or not revealed as lying sacks of sh*t). Which is part of 2. The other part of 2 is that the “respectable” academics/artists/news sources are still leftist, and being leftist is still a way to virtue signal, which means people who are nothing in particular will publicly endorse the left. There is a whole post in that, but the fact is that if the way to test and artist or an academician is “promotes/understands leftist theory” being a mainstream artist or academic is NOT a guaranty of deep thought or respectability. BUT it is how it’s still interpreted. Or, IOW the left has gutted the institution, now wears its skin demanding respect, and most people go along with it, because well, that institution used to deserve respect, and look, that’s this institution.
The third is even worse, because it is something we have to fight constantly within ourselves. And the thing is, stereotypes are often right. That’s why they’re stereotypes. It’s just hard to remember some of those were deliberately planted by Marxists to distort what we see.
The truth is, the leftist ideals and beliefs, such as they are now, after the Soviet Union failed; after the bankruptcy of every leftist regime has been revealed; after 100 million dead, are laughable on the face of it.
The idea is that someone — some superior person we assume. Oh, wait, if everyone is alike who is that superior — stands above it all, and more equitably distributes resources than the notoriously “uncaring” free market.
It takes only a second to realize that whether what you’re distributing is money or apologies for past oppression, there isn’t anyone who really can judge “from each according to his ability and to each according to his need.”
Remove that ability to judge, and you realize the people arrogating themselves that right are just tyrant wanna bes. Which explains why every communist country devolves into the sort of tyranny that would make a feudal lord blush.
There is nothing there. Well, nothing but rot and ambition and a desire to control others.
But if you point this out you get the squid ink of accusing you of prejudices you can’t even possibly think of, and of projecting on you what their masters told them all opponents are.
This is what keeps the masses in thrall now: A web tissue of lies and hate.
Through which they can’t even suspect reality. As they are led, inexorably, on the path to tyranny and horror. Once more.