Shut The (Bleep) Up


We watched a little bit of the VMA’s last night- just until the latest episode of Torchwood reran- and I was amazed at all the bleeps that were happening. It almost made the show unwatchable.

Not because I’m a prude, but because I have a hard time with interrupted continuity. I hate distractions.

Ask anybody who has ever sat next to me in a movie theater- or watched a movie with me in my living room; I hate talking, interruptions or distractions. Ken has learned to sit on the aisle, and, if he doesn’t remember, I remind him to use the restroom before the movie. I don’t like talking or noisy crowds in the theater, either. I paid my good money to watch a movie, not listen to your conversation and commentary. For me, a movie is like a roller coaster- I pay my money, I get in the car and I don’t get out until the ride is over.

And I don’t bring my colicky baby.

But when something is continually interrupted, it starts to concern me. I have a hard time tracking. Maybe it’s advancing age and/or deafness that’s making me less tolerant of distractions, but it seems to be having its own manifestation in politics. Candidates are actively interrupting scientific communication in this country. Blatantly standing up in the middle of the show and making factual inferences with fantastical statements. Distracting people from the reality hiding behind the curtain with a little folksy humor or superstitious nonsense.

And I’m annoyed.

Thank God that I’m not alone. Paul Krugman today has an excellent article about the trending GOP tendency to deny science, knowledge- and maybe, common sense- in favor of the popularly held beliefs of uneducated, superstitious people. My words, not his. These are his:

According to Public Policy Polling, only 21 percent of Republican voters in Iowa believe in global warming (and only 35 percent believe in evolution). Within the G.O.P., willful ignorance has become a litmus test for candidates, one that Mr. Romney is determined to pass at all costs.

So it’s now highly likely that the presidential candidate of one of our two major political parties will either be a man who believes what he wants to believe, even in the teeth of scientific evidence, or a man who pretends to believe whatever he thinks the party’s base wants him to believe.

And the deepening anti-intellectualism of the political right, both within and beyond the G.O.P., extends far beyond the issue of climate change.

Lately, for example, The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page has gone beyond its long-term preference for the economic ideas of “charlatans and cranks” — as one of former President George W. Bush’s chief economic advisers famously put it — to a general denigration of hard thinking about matters economic. Pay no attention to “fancy theories” that conflict with “common sense,” the Journal tells us. Because why should anyone imagine that you need more than gut feelings to analyze things like financial crises and recessions?

Now, we don’t know who will win next year’s presidential election. But the odds are that one of these years the world’s greatest nation will find itself ruled by a party that is aggressively anti-science, indeed anti-knowledge. And, in a time of severe challenges — environmental, economic, and more — that’s a terrifying prospect.

And if you want more proof that the GOP is pandering to the uneducated you don’t have to look much farther than Michele Bachmann. Her blind-to-the-facts manner is starting to leak holy water as well:

Speaking to a crowd in Florida over the weekend, Bachmann said the historic earthquake and massive hurricane that rocked the East Coast last week was a message that God is upset with the way politicians in Washington have been doing things. The interview with the St. Petersburg Times…:

She hailed the tea party as being common-sense Americans who understand government shouldn’t spend more than it takes in, know they’re taxed enough already and want government to abide by the Constitution.

I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending.”

Emphasis added. Bachmann’s comments put her closer to Pat Robertson’s take on the week than her most prominent rivals for the Republican nomination.

Part of me wants to yell “Shut the (bleep) up!” The same part of me that was annoyed in the theater during Schindler’s List when that woman with the whimpering and complaining kids (kids around 5, 6 and/or 7 from what I could tell), who kept telling them loudly to sit still, be quiet and stop whining throughout the whole movie- instead of taking them out the door and across the hall to watch Beethoven’s 2nd. In my frustration, I threw a dirty look and a kernel or two of popcorn her way.

It’s how I feel when people, jockeying to be the most powerful person in the world, blatantly disregard science in favor of folksyisms that appease- and get votes. This guy/gal is just like me. They should be president.

Huh? Whatever happened to the drive to be intelligent in our culture? When did it become evil? Haven’t we learned our lesson about folksy presidents from Texas?

I guess not. Just like the lady in the theater didn’t know-or didn’t care- that bringing small children to Schindler’s List would wreck the movie for almost everyone else in the room. But this time, I’m not going to just sit there, fuming. I’m not keeping my mouth shut.

Consider this the opening salvo.

Buttered.

7 comments on “Shut The (Bleep) Up

  1. MadPriest says:

    I get pissed off if people talk during the adverts before the film.

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  2. Tom Marsh says:

    Yeah fuming definitely isn’t going to shut Bachmann up… perhaps a cupcake shot from an air cannon might plug the hot-air valve for a while… or next-up a bulk order of elmers and fashion glitter… seems intelligent Q&A on-air isn’t getting through.

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  3. Greg,

    There is a lot of good science behind the argument that anthropogenic global warming is a myth.

    There hasn’t been any statistically significant warming since the mid 1990s. CERN just ran a study showing that most warming has come from the Sun, not human activity. Most of the data used to justify global warming including those used in the IPCC studies has been actively stone-walled and not allowed to be independently corroborated by others. There’s the Yamal tree ring data which was later found to be cherry-picked by using only 12 trees to produce countless studies confirming global warming:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/09/30/more-yamal-tree-ring-temperature-data-this-data-is-flat-as-roadkill/

    Even the New York Times had to admit it was strange how much money Al Gore was making off the issue when he partnered with former Goldman/Sach’s head David Blood:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/business/energy-environment/03gore.html

    If you’re going to take the time to just watch Inconvenient Truth or read the book you should also take equal time to read some of the critics. Otherwise you’re just blindly following this.

    Saying Republicans are anti-science is unfair. If you kept up with ClimateGate and the eventual secret release of the emails involved you’d see how the scientists involved actively manipulated and cherry picked data to get the results they needed. They also actively campaigned against other viewpoints being presented in the scientific community, even going so far as to try and get people with opposing viewpoints fired from their jobs in scientific journals. That’s not science, it’s Soviet Russia.

    Perhaps you should investigate enough to see which side science is really on and not just dogpile on others blindly by ideology. :)

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  4. […] common sense- in favor of the popularly held beliefs of uneducated, superstitious people.” Go read it. Recommend on Facebookshare via RedditShare with Stumblers | Tags: Dan Testa, David Howard, […]

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  5. There is zero scientific proof that humans cause global warming. That is a fact.
    Climate change has been occurring for billions of years. That is a fact.

    Why do you want those of us who don’t believe in the theory of human caused climate change to “shut the bleep up”? Isn’t scientific debate healthy? Is it because deep down you know you are wrong and we are right? And you don’t want to face the truth that one of the foundations of your ideology is seriously flawed? I think we both know the answer.

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    • It’s scientific debate that is getting short shrift here- and documented facts.
      Read the post again.
      I’m not against debate, I’m against people manufacturing positions to support exploitation. There is scientific proof that the impact of industry on the planet has deleterious effects.
      Sorry.

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