If you haven’t done so already, I highly recommend reading a short story by Heinlein called, “Year of the Jackpot“. There’s a point to mentioning this: I seem to be encountering an increasing number of utter lunatics these days. Did I desecrate a shrine, or something?
First, there were a couple of people earnestly promoting a symposium entitled, “The Ancient Ones of Lemuria”. Although it causes me physical pain to write something this stupid, I will give a brief description of what Lemuria is: an ancient civilization, supposedly the Pacific counterpart to Atlantis. A couple of minutes on your search-engine of choice will get you far more information on the subject. Fair warning, the stupid on most of the links regarding lemuria is particularly toxic and may result in bleeding piles, cranial explosions, a mild case of rigor mortis, and possibly rabies.
I find it hard to believe that anyone takes this slok seriously, but there is apparently a whole industry devoted to taking advantage of people stupid enough to do so. Therefore, there must be enough gullible morons to make the support industries profitable. This is a depressing thought.
On the same shopping expedition where I encountered the Lemuria Loons, I saw a flier for a mail-order training program on the secrets of Mastering Alchemy. I can’t relate much more about the flier, because my brain instinctively shut itself off to prevent damage from being exposed to such lethal levels of stupidity. Perhaps you’ve heard Lewis Black tell his joke about “If it weren’t for my horse, I wouldn’t have spent that year in college.” After saying those words, he cautions the audience not to think about them, lest they suffer a brain aneurysm and blood would start shooting from their noses. This is an equivalent degree of ultra-stupid which I generally deem to be “Weapons-Grade Stupidity”.
At home after these traumatic experiences, I read a depressing article which said the Creation “Museum” was drawing record crowds. Sadly, nowhere in the article did it say the crowds were engaged in mocking the owners and their customers. The record number of visitors was made up of actual “museum” attendees, who took time away from their busy schedules of burning heretics at the stake and rooting out homosexual tendencies in everyone but themselves to look with awe at the paintings of Jebus riding a dinosaur and similar atrocities against rational thought. Sometimes I weep for the future of our Republic.
Lastly, I took this past Monday off, and spent the day doing nothing much at all. I did pop onto the web for a while and almost immediately encountered a pronouncement that Tuesday would see the arrival of a two-thousand mile wide UFO to usher in a new era of love and enlightenment. The person spreading this bit of good news was named, “Blossom Goodchild”, so you can tell she would be a reliable source for this information. After all, if extraterrestrial sentients did exist, they would obviously pick someone named Blossom Goodchild as their intermediary. Wouldn’t you?
There are always going to be whackjobs among us. This is inevitable, and can be an enjoyable source of comic relief from the regularity of what can be grudgingly referred to as reality. What is particularly disturbing is the sheer number of apparently-sentient humans that always turn up in support of these wingnuts. Is there something in the air or water that is producing nutjobs in boxcar lots? These people are never individuals. There are always groups of lunatics demanding that the Government stop concealing evidence of extraterrestrials among us, exhorting us to follow this or that collection of metaphysical drivel, or complaining that the CIA is telepathically projecting top secret conversations with the Gnomes of Zurich into their brains.
The real pity about these out-of-focus groups is that the Universe is really a pretty wonderful place. There is a lot of new stuff to learn, interesting things to do, and cool stuff to see practically everywhere you look. Instead of looking at the marvels that surround us, these people are compelled to invent “miracles” which are almost always far less interesting than the real world. Worse still, they often get mightily wroth when you fail to believe as they do.
Another major problem with the fruit-loop contingent among us is their sheer toxicity to rational thought. People of average intellect can sometimes be persuaded by the intensity of the lunatics’ belief or their appealing earnestness, but those who have a passing grasp of theoretical physics (for example) are likely to suffer painful brain collapse on encountering stupidity in its raw form. The best defense against the risk of permanent brain damage from encountering these refugees from reality is scornful laughter. The angrier they get, the funnier it is, and the harder you should laugh. Never try to use logic or rational arguments against people who believe this sort of thing- they’re naturally immune. Howls of derisive laughter is the only effective antitoxin for the mental poisons for which these people are carriers.
“… that laughter is the Gods’ best gift,
so to the Gods our laughter lift.
Aye, though their wrath the Heavens split,
they grant us Scorn, to laugh at it.”
Current status: Shocked
Current music: Hoedown by Copeland