I’ve noticed something about myself in recent years: Instead of mellowing with age, I’m becoming increasingly intolerant of people. And I think it’s because too many of my fellow Americans are increasingly becoming mindless sheep. I don’t assume they’re uneducated; given the ease with which just about anyone can attend college these days, I assume most of these savant idiots have a sheep skin hiding somewhere in their past. So maybe their sheepliness is based on lassitude? Maybe they’re lazy thinkers, allowing others to vomit thoughts into the universe from which the lazy pick and choose and then act on – without, of course, first verifying the veracity of the vomit on which they act.
Which leads me to the latest example of why it is I’m increasingly intolerant of most people these days.
A new Change.org petition aims to coerce my alma mater, Louisiana State University, to abandon its Tigers mascot. The rationale: the Tigers hearken to a band of Civil War fighters from Louisiana known not just for their battlefield tenacity but their brutality as slave owners.
To the lazy thinkers, the small-minded, the slow-witted and the PC-Nazis who refuse to let history pass without whipping up a tempest of unwarranted scorn, this historical fact means a wrong must now be righted, 140 years later. Damn those slave-savaging Tigers to hell! We must take a stand against their ill legacy now! Rise up, ye affronted, and let us tear down the past. Let us unite to whitewash history so that we might erase painful memories and paint a future where the generations of tomorrow never need know how indecent humans might be toward each other. Ignorance is bliss! Nothing to be learned from history’s darkest periods, so let’s just all move along.
All fine and good, except…
It’s all cockamamie crap – the the steaming, fetid product of a bull’s backside.
The story of these slave-beating Louisiana Tigers sucked in the gullible, the lassitudinous, those prone to discover racism in every (mis)perceived historical sleight, and the rabble-rouser for whom any anti-establishment cause is, by definition, a good cause, even when the cause is rooted in a lie. This revisionist history of the Louisiana Tigers is make-believe. It’s fakakta. And yet it’s still gathering signatures from a platoon of dolts who write comments such as “I’m so sick of white male privilege,” thogh they haven’t a clue about the facts.
Certainly, the Tigers existed, as per the photo up top – Company B, just before they were largely wiped out at the Battle of Gaines Mill in Virginia. And, certainly, they fought tenaciously for the Rebel cause in that War of Northern Aggression.
As for the Tigers being brutal slave owners … well, turns out, not so much, really.
History has a different story to tell those who, today, are passing off their lies/ignorance as fact.
See, the Louisiana Tigers were not landed Southerners who would have had reason (or money) to own slaves. Rather, they were a band of poor Irish, working-class immigrants suckered into moving to New Orleans by ship owners who needed the immigrants as ballast on their run back to the States … and they were then coerced by the Confederacy to join a fight they didn’t much care about or believe in. Actually, in the hierarchy of the Antebellum South, they were lower than slaves. A slave represented a valuable asset; an Irish immigrant represented an expendable worker. Lose a slave, you lose a piece of property. Lose an Irishman and, well, there’s another Irishman somewhere who can replace him.
A basic Google search, accomplished by the most rudimentary mind, would reveal as much. And yet the dimwitted can post a Change.org petition without having done a lick of research – or, worse, passing off blatant horseshit as truth. And a gaggle of hundreds of greater dimwits will sign the petition having done zero independent research for themselves. They just assume that if it’s on Change.org, then it must be factual.
So, it is, then, that I’m so increasingly intolerant of people, so annoyed by most of them.
So many Americans these days are so willfully ignorant, and so blindly adherent to what they want to believe that they refuse to open their mind to the possibility that they (or the greater fool in which they’ve placed their faith) might actually be wrong. We now live in such a post-truth, alternative-fact world that proof, itself, no longer counters lies and disinformation. People want to believe what they want to believe, to hell with the independently verified proof that shatters their “truth.” Proof now needs its own proof … and even then the “true believers” claim proof is just a fabrication to deceives them, not reality. Because if proof doesn’t comport what the “reality” they’ve been told to believe elsewhere (even when what they’ve been told is a proven lie) then it’s just propaganda.
As has been said many times, everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and opinions. Alas everyone is not entitled to their own facts.
Facts are what we all share. They are the common boundaries that society plays within. Yes, boundaries can be altered and tweaked and recalibrated as proof, over time, changes the facts as they were once believed. There was a time society thought the early was flat, but proof shifted the facts to a greater reality.
But when someone’s version of truth leads others down a misguided path and away from proven reality, that someone is suddenly part of the dumbing down of society – precisely what society does not need at a moment in history when the leader of the free world tweets lies and half-truths with abandon to an army of sycophants who (often) angrily refuse to accept that Dear Leader is largely full of the same byproduct spewing from that bull’s ass. Of course, Dear Leader knows this. He knows his words will be praised as gospel, so he knows he can lie without recourse to shape the version of “truth” he wants his minions to mimic. And when he’s challenged – when he’s presented with provable fact – he can scream “fake news!” and know that his army will suspend their disbelief to echo his lies across the land, embedding them deeper into society. As Gordon Gekko told Bub Fox in the movie Wall Street, “The illusion has become real.”
But when the illusion is a lie … when the illusion undermines society?
This is why people increasingly annoy me. They refuse to open their mind, to open their eyes, to test the “truths” they’ve been fed.
Here’s where it gets maddening. Tell those who believe a lie that they’re wrong, show them proof that they’re wrong, and they don’t suddenly see the light and thank you for setting them straight before they go off and make an ass of themselves spouting bullshit. No; they just dig in deeper. No one wants to be proven wrong. No wants to believe a hero is fallible. No wants to change their first impression.
They just want the illusion to be real.
They want to believe a Louisiana Tiger was slave-beating son-of-a-bitch who symbolized everything bad about the Antebellum South. That he was, instead, a poor Irish immigrant no one gave a shit about simply doesn’t make for a compelling reason to change a mascot…