Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Anyone For A Decent Exchange of Ideas?

He noticed that lately those who disagreed with what he expressed disagreed with vehemence and anger. Civility seemed to be lost in the flow of words that came from out from a person, seemingly not from the mouth but from the soul. Everyone wanted freedom of speech but it seemed that freedom only extended to themselves not to any others. Things were reaching a state that he felt he had to keep much of his feelings inside of him, with his ideas, because whenever he expressed them someone was waiting to jump all over him with expletives.

A friend of his recently lost a dog to old age illness. He tried to comfort him but was met with a flow of angry words condemning what was perceived as a lack of compassion and found its way to condemning the Catholic Church for its view on sin, morality and the afterlife. Finally, he felt he should withdraw from this association because it appeared that his friend while mired in the agony of grief was angry at the whole world and really wanted to hear nothing except maybe the possibility of restoring life to his departed dog, who apparently he loved more than his own life.

Since the last Presidential election friends and not really friends of his seemed to want to send him every bit of trash that was circulating around the Internet defaming the President. Now they knew he didn't agree with this junk but they persisted in sending it. He attempted to engage them in an intelligent debate about it but soon found that anger and derision would enter the conversation. It didn't matter that much of what was being circulated, right or wrong, they chose to believe anything that would defame and debase the person they considered to be their personal enemy. So he finally withdrew from any attempt at a conversation that might lead to answers based on fact and not myths, like the President is NOT AN AMERICAN CITIZEN, and he's a Muslim lying in wait to destroy this country with Islam law, and socialism akin to communism. The Rush Limbaugh's of this world have taken over with their rants and raves and he refused to argue ideas with those who only accepted ideas formulated in their own heads that met their preconceived conclusions.

The Public TV production about the Freedom Riders of 1961 and the contribution to this country's advance into the notion that freedom was for every citizen was particularly inspiring for him. He never realized the courage of these relatively anonymous individuals. They were threatened with death, beaten, and jailed yet they remained peaceful and ultimately helped accomplish racial equality, but not really because while it isn't as open as it was and it is a helluva lot better, racism still exists in the good old USA. When President Johnson signed the act that solidified equality within the law he noted that the Democratic party had lost the deep south to the Republicans forever. Today, after almost 50 years, the Deep South is still Republican and will do all it can to defeat President Obama. The Republicans use many reasons but the one they stay away from even though it is the 500 pound Gorilla in the room is because he is BLACK. God forbid, a BLACK MAN leading this country who except for Jack Kennedy has had nothing but WASPS leading it and for many years Jim Crow laws keeping those uppity "coloreds" in their place. He only wished somebody would stop all the flim flamming and just talk the truth for once.

He finally came to the conclusion that rather join all the rhetoric and shouting, he would read, see some great movies like "The Artist", a new silent great flick, and let the ideas ruminate inside his own head until the din around him quiets down. Then maybe before he dies he will be able to have an intelligent, thoughtful, conversation again.

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