On occasion I will post about some of the things that happen in this world that I just don’t understand. Here are some of my latest, or continuing, sources of confusion.
1. Why is it that when someone is brutally murdered these days, the first concern expressed by many people seems to be whether the murderer was: Christian, Muslim, Atheist, black, white, Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative, pro-gun or anti-gun? Their point, of course, is that the murderer is something different from what they are. Isn’t itactually more important that someone was brutally murdered?
Corollary to #1. How exactly does the fact that a brutal murderer is not a member of your particular religion or political affiliation serve as a justification for your beliefs and a condemnation of someone else’s beliefs? As should be absolutely clear by now to everyone, murderers come from every kind of walk of life imaginable.
2. Why do people care what a celebrity thinks about some political issue, or about any issue that the celebrity wouldn’t be considered an expert in? For example, I like Clint Eastwood westerns. He’s starred in many, directed quite a few, and I would consider him well versed in the genre of western film. Therefore, if he made a comment about modern western film I would be interested, although I might not necessarily agree. However, I couldn’t give a crap about what he thinks about any American president.
3. Why is it that when someone proves him or herself to be an idiot, so many folks feel the need to point out that the person is an idiot to other people who already know the person is an idiot? For example: Kanye West. I was blissfully ignorant of this guy until a few years back when he did an idiotic thing at the Grammys. Now he has apparently done another idiotic thing at another Grammy award show, and even though I have never watched the Grammys and have no intention of ever doing so, I now know far more about the event and about Mr. West than I ever wanted to. Don’t get me wrong, the jokes can be funny. It’s more the serious stuff I’m talking about.
4. Why do some people believe that what is happening in their neighborhood is indicative of what is happening world-wide? The best example I’ve seen of this is people who believe that the weather in their little neck of the woods either supports or negates the concept of “global” climate change. When I first heard that people did this sort of thing I thought they must be joking. But having been on Facebook for a few years I have actually found folks who believe this. I used this in class the other day as an example of “Concrete Operational Thinking.”
5. Why is it that, for so many people, the perceived intelligence of other people goes up or down exactly in proportion to which those other people agree or disagree with the first person on a complex issue, such as politics, gun control, or climate change? (Oh, wait, I do this too! Nevermind.) J
6. Why is that many people still believe that calls to boycott a movie or book, or making public claims about how awful it is for humanity, will then make that movie or book less popular? Of course, some will accept the call and boycott the book or movie, but the outcry will inevitably produce greater interest and curiosity about the piece, especially in people who had absolutely no interest in it before. Case in point: Fifty Shades of Grey. I never gave a thought to seeing the movie until I started hearing the attacks on it. Now I have to admit to some level of curiosity. Can it really be as awful as it is proclaimed? I still probably won’t see it but now it is at least on my radar. A similar event happened for me a number of years ago when people were attacking The Passion of the Christ for being anti-Semitic. I grew up Catholic so I knew the story, and had no interest seeing a film about it. It was the criticisms that drove me to see it. People kept telling me what I should think and I ended up pushed far enough that I had to see the movie so I could figure out for myself what to think.
7. Why isn’t at least one literary award show televised like the Grammys and the Oscars? I’ve never watched either of those but I’d watch the Hugos or Nebulas.