Godmama Says…
a buncha stuff.

the argument from ignorance

I generally don’t get into politics here in blog-land because doing so could open the kind of worm cans that I don’t want to slip around in,  but there has been a surprising amount of anti-Obama conspiracy theorizing in the wake of this past week’s headlines.   The surprising thing isn’t really that it’s happening, but who it’s coming from.   The theory (as I understand it) goes something like this:   Osama bin Laden has actually been dead for at least 8 years,  and his recent assassination is all an elaborate hoax by the government… designed to raise the president’s approval ratings and get him re-elected.  This theory, mind you, seemed to be fully formed before he even finished giving the infamous address last Sunday night.

Okay,  let me try to break this down:   The previous administration sat on this bombshell secret information long enough to make themselves look like complete asses for not being able to find the guy.    They kept sitting on this info and never played the sacred “We Got Him” card even as they were losing the presidential election to their charismatic opponent.   When the other guy won they really, really HATED that.  Even within the government itself,  they continued to oppose the new president and do everything in their power to dismantle, discredit, destroy, and block any progress that the new guy tried to make.   They simply refused to let him get anything done that might make him look good.   I mean they fuckin’ hate this guy!  Enough so that they even try to disparage the simple fact that he’s American at all!    Still, they let him take credit for the thing that they all know happened on their watch 7 or 8 years ago.   They let him be the hero, because… wait… here’s where I get lost.  Was it Obama that knew all along?  Or was it the previous administration…and then…they told him?  To make him look… better?  Well, “credible sources”  including “former top US officials” are insisting that this is what just happened.

Look, I’m not a completely naive idiot.  Does the government lie to us?  Yes.  Is a LOT of stuff in the news a load of crap?  Yes.  But if you’re telling me that the most believable scenario is that Obama pretended to kill the bad guy (who probably wasn’t even really a bad guy) so that we would stop bothering him about where he was born,  and then even Dick Cheney congratulated him for it… well that to me is also a big load of crazy-train dogshit.

It’s one thing to be smart enough not to believe everything you hear,  but it is exhausting when people insist no one should ever believe anything they hear ever, ever, EVER.  That is a form of boring small mindedness that I find just as disturbing and destructive as ignorant blind acceptance.

I am hearing about “credible experts” who say that the president is lying.  Preying on an emotional soft-spot in order to…well I’m not sure what his ultimate evil agenda is,  that’s not clear.  Well, if the president can be misleading, then who says these “credible former US officials” can’t do the same thing?  The agenda there is quite clear:  discredit anything Obama does or says by tugging at the emotions of people who already don’t trust him.

I am a big fan of Neil deGrasse Tyson.   If you don’t know, he’s the astrophysicist who made us all quit calling Pluto a planet.  My husband thinks I have a little crush on him, but you know… whatever.   Once during a panel discussion he was famously asked what he thought about the possible existence of UFO’s.   He explained the “argument from ignorance”.  He said that as an astrophysicist, it is his calling and nature to look up at the sky for new things to understand.   And as much as he has spent his life watching the sky he has never seen a UFO because, frankly,  he knows what he’s looking at.   Most people simply don’t.    He said that when people see something they don’t understand, they have a need to fill in the blanks of their understanding.   To call something an “unidentified flying object” means you can’t identify it.  You don’t know what it is.   Saying “I don’t know what that is, and therefore it must be a craft from another planet here to conduct sexual experiments on humans”  doesn’t make much sense.  Neil points out that once you have admitted “I don’t know what that is,” then you should probably stop talking about it!   You can wonder,  but to make wild declarations based on hearsay and your own fear of ignorance is entertaining, but ultimately childish and not at all useful.

New York City was my home on September 11, 2001.  I lived it,  I literally breathed it,  and I can still vividly imagine the smell of death and burnt air.   I lived directly across the street from a firehouse, and I knew a firefighter who died that day.   It scarred me.  It’s personal.  I am also fully aware that there is a lot “they” are not telling us about what went down that day.  I could theorize, but my theories would be uninformed and based on my own emotional need to fill in giant blanks with wild speculation in an attempt to make sense of nonsense.   This week I was told that The Bad Guy is gone.   Now,  I’m not a child and I know there’s no big red devil with a pitchfork out to get us.  I know there are lots of bad guys.  I know that sometimes the we’re the bad guy.   I’m a pacifist at heart,  but I know the world I live in has very little room for those ideals sometimes.   When I heard that Bin Laden was dead,  I sighed and smiled.   I felt a glimmer of relief in that broken part of my New York City heart that still has nightmares about That Day and the months that followed.  I needed to.  That part of my heart has been holding its breath for…something.   This was something.   I also felt something like a wave of pride– not for my country, but for this president who has been so disrespected and shot down at every turn.  I was happy for him.

There are those who would call me some kind of a brain-dead moron for having those feelings.   There are those who are seriously using this moment to compare Obama to Hitler again.    I wish I could say these were internet “trolls” who live for knee-jerk negativity and need to be the first to be contrary (“That is SO FAKE!”) , but it seems I am good friends with some of these trolls this time around which is the only reason I even give it a second thought.

This is an age of instant tweets and status updates,  things which encourage people to grab the mic and blurt out the first thing to cross their minds in 160 characters or less.   Shorter attention spans, shorter thought processes.  Think less, analyze less, listen less… just everybody yell at once…

There’s a light in the sky… Quick! What is it? UFO!  NUCLEAR MISSILE!  A UFO CARRYING NUCLEAR MISSILES, BEING FLOWN BY BARACK OBAMA!!! I knew it!

Simma down, y’all.  It’s just a light.  Now check out my nerd-crush:

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