April 24, 2014

Maybe Mayans weren’t predicting doomsday, but the end of reason

Danedri Thompson
Columnist
The Mayans may have been onto something.
If you’re reading this, chances are the world did not or will not end on Dec. 21. Maybe the Mayans weren’t prophesying the death of all people, but instead the death of common sense and reason.
It sure seems like the world has turned on its ear and that people of good will and logic are quickly becoming extinct. Like the dinosaurs before us, will future generations pinpoint Dec. 21 or about there as the beginning of the end of common sense?
I’m having trouble pinpointing the exact date that people lost all sense of reality, but I’d definitely put place the it sometime in 2012.
My first inclination that the majority of thoughtful people had lost leave of their faculties started sometime during the 2012 presidential campaign during the debates.
Prior to the third and final debate, we quietly learned that U.S. officials refused to intervene to save or stop an attack on our embassy in Libya. We learned that American heroes died awaiting an assist that would never come. We learned our ambassador had been raped and killed on the streets – pictures available on Twitter.
Meanwhile, our top officials explained away a horrible terrorist attack on U.S. citizens as a reaction to an Internet video. I never underestimate the ability of people in power to say whatever is necessary to score political points. However, I remain flabbergasted at the willingness of the American people to fall for it.
There was a brief discussion about censorship as the masses complained the maker of the video should be imprisoned and punished. (The filmmaker by the way is under attack and was briefly imprisoned.)
And then the conversation turned to things like “binders full of women” and my personal favorite, Sesame Street.
As the Middle East smoldered (and continues to) and as the American economy rushed headlong toward a fiscal cliff, our presidential candidates spent a lofty amount of television time talking about Big Bird and Sandra Fluke’s uterus.
We’ve reached a point in which I can barely stomach the national news – not because of all of the bad things that happen in this world, but because our response to those things is so frightfully stupid.
This last week the mass murder of a first grade class served as a stark reminder. Everyone’s immediate response to that news was of course, horror and grief.
The grief took a strange turn, however. Instead of leaning on family and friends in our collective sadness, our citizenry appears to be turning to government officials.
President Obama’s comments on the tragic event have made it into almost every single story about the tiny victims. It’s weird. And the Connecticut Governor was on the scene of the attack less than two hours after it occurred.
When I’m grieving, I do not look for a visit from a government official. In those times I turn to family and friends.
Seeking the counsel or words of someone we’ve never met is bizarre.
I can’t understand why we need to see politicians flapping their gums about it. There’s nothing they can add to the discussion that hasn’t already been said.
But politicians have gotta politic, which means putting their mugs on television. The truly strange part is that the American populace seems to hunger for that.
Even here in Gardner, our local politicians have spoken publicly about the tragedy and the need to “do something.” This is so utterly pointless. There isn’t enough ink in the world to legislate away all of the problems of this fallen world.
Crazy people gotta crazy, regardless of rules.
We should pray for our country and its citizens. We should work hard at knowing our friends and neighbors and be mindful of our acquaintances so that when someone near us is in personal crises, we’re aware of it and can respond and intervene.
We can’t erase evil from this world, and we can’t legislate away the actions of people who have no regard for the law or human life.
This is a logical conclusion to draw from our current crises. But then, logic is going the way of the Dodo bird.
Perhaps the Mayans were onto a demise — the death of reason and common sense.

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