A Blog About Punching People In the Face

Posts Tagged ‘republicans’

Choose your own adventure

In Thoughts by Tyson on November 11, 2012 at 9:39 pm

I do not normally get political, but here it goes. Republican pollsters are having a difficult time of it: they failed anticipate by how much their candidates were losing. It appears that up, until election day, many losers believed that they were ahead. They were surprised and confused when many of their candidates, including the one running for president, lost.

The problem for Republicans is that they have not taken their worldview to its logical conclusion. Republicans have become so adept at creating their own reality that they should no longer feel bound to live outside of it. Creating one’s own reality represents the penultimate pinnacle of human achievement — this is the stuff the religion is made of, the balm that soothes the pangs of self-doubt and fear that seizes all sentient creatures.

The ultimate achievement is to transcend the reality you have created and so occupy the final state, hyperconsciousness, which has no room for the deluded brand of reality offered by Fox News. But this is not easy to do (for a guide on how to reach hyper-consciousness, please stay tuned for my upcoming manual).

I do not condemn Republicans in general because I suspect that hyperconsciousness is not for everyone. For those who live in fear, there can only be the next religion, the next rapture, the next holy war. An incomplete understanding of the universe necessarily divides reality into right and wrong, truth and falsity, good and evil. For some, this is the only way to cope, and we should not begrudge those afflicted with such hobgoblins.

On December 22 of this year, there will be many people wondering why the world did not end. Some of these people will find an escape hatch: they will shift their versions of reality to meet the one that just crushed their own cosmology. Perhaps the world really did end, it is just that the afterlife looks a lot like the life that came before it, et cetera.  For a certain set, these reactions are reasonable.  So let’s cut the Republicans a little slack — the world is a scary place. They’re just trying to adapt as best they know how.

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You are special, America

In Thoughts by Tyson on November 27, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Mike Tyson notes Richard W. Stevenson’s recent article on the Republicans’ plan to use “American Exceptionalism” as a 2012 campaign tactic. Mike Tyson thinks that exceptionalists should be made to watch as a feral mongoose is placed inside a burlap sack and then placed over their heads.

What Mr. Tyson does not like about the exceptionalism argument is that it is devoid of explanation. It is either a bald assertion (“America is an exceptional nation” — Mitt Romney), a salvo targeted at the Left (“In this [present day] liberalism, America’s exceptional status in the world follows from…an indulgence in militarism, racism, sexism, corporate greed, and environmental disregard” — Shelby Steele), or a counterpunch designed to shore up questionable patriotism (“I think that we have a core set of values that are enshrined in our Constitution, in our body of law, in our democratic practices, in our belief in free speech and equality, that, though imperfect, are exceptional” — Barak Obama).

Mike Tyson notes that at least Obama’s rhetorical shift — our values are exceptional — gives him the cover to avoid identifying with the core of the “exceptionalist” argument, namely that America is more “exceptional” than everyone else.

Perhaps the best stab at why exceptionalism makes any sense was articulated by Rick Perry, who said: “See, American exceptionalism is the product of unlimited freedom. And there is nothing troubling our nation today that cannot be solved by the rebirth of freedom.”

At least Mr. Tyson can understand the America is “exceptional” because it is “free” argument. Though stupid, at least draws upon a storied literature.

Mr. Tyson loves America, but he believes that talk of exceptionalism degrades the character of those who seek to use it as a cudgel to beat others into submission, as if there were something in the water that makes us “better,” an idea that is at best undefined and at worst reduced into some inchoate concept of a “free people.” Mr. Tyson feels that this is infantile and hereby challenges all believers to feel the awesome liberation that comes with meeting his fists.