THE PROPAGANDA OF AMERIKA,THE BEST AT EVERYTHINGOctober 15, 2011
As you can tell, I'm in a "political mood" these past few days, with a few exceptions. For myself, my disbelief in the American propaganda about itself began decades ago with my disillusionment with the American academy, and indeed, American education in general. By the time I reached the graduate level, it was clear to me that - well, to put it bluntly - I was oftentimes more informed than my professors about the subject area of my study (theology and philosophy), than they were. And despite my attempts to be heard, or to have my own personal interests and research goals acknowledged, the system wasn't designed to do either, and hence, my journey overseas to do a Ph.D. Since that time, the disillusionment has spread to other areas: politics, the economy, government, you name it.
Well, I ran across this editorial piece, and it resonated with me:
Those opening lines say it all: "Here is the soul of the American approach to existence, bottomless self-admiration devoid of knowledge or curiosity, wrapped like a psychic burrito in the patriotism of overwrought middle-schoolers. And there are many, many of them. We face rule by pajama party. Saints preserve us, someone with the foregoing understanding may become the president of the (for a few moments more) most powerful, erratic, and ignorant country on the planet. Among presidential possibilities we now have Rick Perry, Michele Bachman, Sarah Palin and, in the Great Double-Wide on Pennsylvania Avenue, Precedent Obama—political epiphytes all, fantasists, tent-revival Christians, provincial governors, inward-looking certitudinous naifs."
We have begun to believe our own propaganda about ourselves: that we are the best, brightest, best-educated, most-well-read, informed, when the opposite is true. Our schools and universities are, by and large, fatuous failures."The boobs cannot compare themselves with people of other nations, since they know nothing of remote places and are not interested." All too true, and I, like many Americans, find myself turning more and more to foreign news sources and away from the shrill, endlessly-fighting, faked "town hall" debates and idiocy of the American media.
Our lack of basic cultural literacy, knowledge of European let alone world history, the fact that our "education" system cannot even awaken, and indeed deadens, curiosity, allows our leaders to stumble from one adventure to another. We believe that we are the best and brightest simply because we "are," simply because we are "American", and have to do nothing else other than "be" American. Such blithering boobery and nitwittery led another nation to follow a shouting demagogue down a similar path of blind arrogance and "nation building."
OK...I'm done. Thanks for letting me vent!