When I turned 30, I asked my dad why I felt like I was getting dumber as I got older, like I didn’t know anything anymore. I was frustrated that I didn’t feel like I was gaining wisdom or insight. My dad snorted into his beer and told me that it was the first wise thing he’d ever heard me say. Uh, thanks, I guess? It wasn’t until years later that I understood what he meant, because the more I learned about a subject, the more I realized how little I actually knew.
I think I became smug and complacent about learning as I rolled into middle age. I read a lot and labeled myself a critical thinker but the rise of Trump has exposed how so many thoughts and opinions I have are not necessarily my own. I’m like a big, fat flounder, flapping around on the bottom of a big propaganda ocean, sucking up whatever garbage happens to float into my big dumb mouth.
The past year and a half has been infuriating and depressing and I hate how cynical I’ve become but it has also been invigorating to see the world and human beings a little more clearly. I’m grateful that I’m getting the chance to learn about slavery and racism without the patriotic whitewashing or the southern revisionism of my Deep South education. I’m glad that I’m finally aware of the deliberate, relentless fire hose of bullshit being aimed at all of us from think tanks, bored billionaires, corporations, foreign countries, and religious bedlamites. I’m glad I know now that we don’t all define liberty, equality, or human rights the same way. Hell, we don’t all define human the same way.
So, what’s the goal of this new blogging adventure? I’ll let you know when I figure it out but I’ll probably just mock things that irritate me like I did on my last blog.