To those of us fighting the good fight »« Atheism as Social Justice

Comments

  1. colnago80 says

    The charge that the Fascist News Channel brainwashes its viewers makes the assumption that same viewers have brains to start with. Not a very good assumption.

  2. Ashley F. Miller says

    This bullshit dismissal from liberals is why people let it happen. The reason that the brainwashing is so horrible is that these are often people who wouldn’t be like this otherwise. Fox News fans are not always stupid and hateful by nature, that’s what’s so fucked up. And I think it’s pretty low to assume stupidity of people who are wrong. Not everyone you disagree with is brainless.

  3. haitied says

    While i agree we can’t just call people dumb and move on. I can understand the frustration of citing source after source and tearing apart poorly constructed arguments time and time again. It’s easy to assume the next time you hear the same old lies that the liar is stupid. The facts are most people have no idea that they are their own biggest enemy. They trust one source only, build up a narrative and are amazingly reluctant to let go. I recently ReSponded to a co-worker who shared a Obamacare meme that was absurdly false. I made a couple points and linked him to an expert panel from all corners of the heath care industry only a one hour section of a six hour panel. He never responded. I have no idea if he watched it. He’s not stupid and I know this. It’s a fact. But the disregard of reality in some aspects of his beliefs make it hard to reconcile.

  4. Huginn says

    I wish it was so simple. Both of my parents are pretty intelligent people, but since Bush got elected the first time they’ve really taken a dive into the deep end of the reactionary pool. My mom used to be a pretty moderate Democrat (she voted for Gore!) while my dad was more of a pre-Reagan (i.e. no ”family values” bull) Republican. I can remember him always having Michael Savage on the radio in the morning, but it wasn’t until 2001 that he started moving right and took my mom with him. By 2004 they were devoted enough to spend every spare moment of their time working for the Bush reelection campaign. The TV and radio were both on constantly and tuned to Fox and conservative talk radio, and gawd help the person who tried to change either. At the time, I was still young enough to be living at home, meaning I was completely immersed in the Fox propaganda machine. It only took a couple of months at college for me to shake off the spell and realize how radicalized they had become. That was 2007, and it’s only gotten worse since then.

    Both went from being the most reasonable, open, compassionate people I knew to hardline Glen Beck-style conservatives who are still stocking water, canned goods, and especially guns for when Obama incites the inevitable race riots. I can still see the shadows of the people they used to be, but I’m afraid that now that they’re retired with nothing to distract them from the constant stream of propaganda, no amount of data or reasoning will be able to pull them back.

    Donating as soon as I get home.

  5. lorn says

    When I was forced to watch FOX and listen to the right-wing noise machine it dawned on me that it was structured with a sort of rhythm using mostly three notes. Fear, and comforting references to something within the existing right-wing catechism are up front but often spoken of in code, and a deep base note, so deep you can only hear it in the open spaces, is an implied nostalgic assumption that somehow, somewhere back then, it was all so much better.

    A semi-sad thwarted desire to go back to an imagined place and time. Going back to not quite remembered, almost mythical, nearly halcyon, days that were, in some unfathomable way, better. Nostalgia for misremembered pasts.

    The one thing thing you never hear on right-wing media is a vision of a future spelled out in detail. It is all about fear of losing what you have. They are for freedom, and a dozen other abstractions, but there is no vision or destination beyond the slogans.

    The end result is a sort of addled, unthinking excitement. They are activated by the fear but really want to just go back to the warm pool of nostalgia stirred by comforting ideas that they already know. The centrality of the fear is why the right-wing media is so much about danger and dark-skinned Muslims coming to take away their last few coins. And it is not just a statement of alleged threats, it is a wallowing in the fear. Of how bad it will be, and how nothing else in existence is as important as being terrorized and doing something to stop this or that narrow threat.

    Which is why you have a lot of fear motivated activity but no emphasis on facts. Facts are secondary. Having the right information is always less important than the deep-down, visceral fear. They build the fear and suspicion but then, just before their apoplectic heads explode, they lay on a thick, warm layer of self congratulation and right-wing dogma, complete with chants of “free-market”, “meritocracy” and “exceptionalism”. Then they might slip in some real news, before the cycle starts again.

    It is a propaganda symphony. With introduction and a cycle of rising crescendos, each building and falling off but each rising higher than the one before. Stair stepping higher and higher to an unholy climactic mix of fear, self-righteous anger, maudlin nostalgia, and imagined loss.

    Watch people watching FOX and you can see the waves of tension build then drop, build, then drop.

    And they always know less coming out than they knew going in. They come out more passionate, but less aware.

  6. Felix G says

    Years ago I wondered how any person could be a Militant Atheist, I thought that religious dogma was not harmful and if anyone was stupid enough to want to go to church…let the idiot join a church!
    But now….well, lets just say that everytime I see Bill O’s face or hear his whiney voice…being militant doesn’t seem such a bad option.

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