The Luv Doc: The Willfully Ignorant
The real danger is believing you've done the homework when you really haven't
Dear Luv Doc,
My mornings usually start with a cup of black coffee and a quick scan of what's been happening on my Facebook feed. The earlier I wake up, the more it is populated by willfully ignorant, insanely racist, hyper-conservative, Christian fundamentalist posts by old high school friends. Most of the time they make me LOL, but sometimes they just make me :( Is it just me or do the crazies wake up earlier than everyone else? – Groggy
All I can say about the Interwebs is, THANKS AL GORE. A scant 20 years ago when you wanted to bone up on some racism, misogyny, homophobia, and xenophobia, you had to pay for a round of golf at the local country club. These days, however, it's delivered regularly to your virtual doorstep like a bag of flaming dogshit.
Personally, I feel truly #blessed to have never talked politics or religion (well, other than to pretend I had some at FCA in order to get laid) with my high school classmates back in the day. Certain of them, it would seem – though they're truly the nicest people you would ever want to meet – are either bat-shit crazy or dumber than a fence post. To this day it actually kind of freaks me out that we came from the same place. The truth, of course, is that we didn't.
While it is true we were all pressed out of a hot, wet vagina on a rotating blue ball hurtling through an infinite void, ideologically we were spoon-fed the illusion that our geographical circumstances somehow dictated our beliefs and prejudices. That may have been true prior to the Protestant Reformation, but since then, geography has played an increasingly unimportant role in the molding of ideologies.
Nowadays, regardless of where we live, we can tap into the collected knowledge of mankind in an instant, but having access to knowledge doesn't necessarily mean we have the ability to harness it or even comprehend it. Every day, the mountain of accessible data grows exponentially, but our data processors stay the same size. It's increasingly hard to keep up. It takes a lot of time and effort to build an efficient and effective data processor, and as our basic needs become easier to fulfill, the motivation for doing so wanes accordingly.
Thus, the average person is left with the fundamental existential question: What has all this access to knowledge gotten me – well, other than a feeling of anxiety about not knowing as much as I should? Why should I make the effort? Why can't I just wake up, go to work, come home, eat a Hot Pocket, watch Must See TV, and go to sleep? Ain't no shame my lame – and truly, there isn't, as long as you don't vote.
The real danger is believing you've done the homework when you really haven't. It's a conceit we all share to a greater or lesser degree. And even though it seems that the crazies are all getting up at the crack of dawn in order to foist their deranged beliefs on us when our heads are still foggy and impressionable, just remember: We have to make our way through the darkness to get to the dawn, so don't hate. Keep the bees in the hive and let out the honey.