The Toxicity of Seriousness



Some of you may have noticed that I have stopped posting material routinely on by blog.  It’s not been for lack of passion for writing about those things that capture my interests.  It’s not for the energy it often requires to research a subject necessary to give it some sense of factual reality. (well maybe just a bit)  It’s not because I am too busy either with other things, though I could stand to devote more time to being a better husband, father and neighbor.

It all boils down to the depressing sense I get as I continue to write about the serious flaws in our political and social systems and the people who perpetuate these deficiencies out of some pathological mendacity.

It’s becoming apparent that we’ve been betrayed by the noble institutions of government, especially the courts and the fourth estate of Journalism.  They’ve been wooed and won over for the most part by the monetary influences of the self-interests that fail to recognize the social dynamics of humanity and how its evolution still relies on a collective conscience to sustain existence rather than the needs of the individual at all costs.

Notions such as “greed is good”, “corporations are human beings” and “guns are an inalienable right of every person” are part of a destructive mantra that has begun to infect that part of our brain that would rationally reject such imbecility.  We find ourselves more and more surrounded by people who share a common space with us but who might as well live on another planet when it comes to taking action required to fight those forces that destroy our community with toxic waste, housing foreclosures, gun ownership fanaticism along with harder to attain education and necessary medical care.

It seems the more that I and others write about these concerns the more outrageous and frequent the moronic behavior grows.  So I figure, why waste my time trying to convince anyone that caring as much about others as we do ourselves has value?

It’s not that I object to a different point of view about the path we as a society need to take to make it a better world.  It’s the fact that too many people don’t see the merit of making it a better world for anyone outside their own close circle.

As a social progressive I am not opposed to utilizing free market principles to improve life for all.  I am opposed to the notion that such principles can by themselves create a rising tide that lifts all boats.  In my view there is a need to balance the greed of humans that runs amok when left unrestrained.  That’s what government is for and when we elect people who work honestly for a broad constituency we create those checks and balances that prevent harmful excesses.
I also believe a person’s religious faith can serve a moral good not only for those who are searching for meaning to their life but whose example when played out will influence others who are also lost in a wasteland of consumerism.

There also exists conditions where ownership of a firearm may prevent another from harming them or a member of their family.  Women, their children and the elderly are often the victims of violence and having an “equalizer” where a stronger or larger force threaten them is preferred until we can as a society find and eradicate these threats to more vulnerable elements among us.

What I find exasperating though is the abuse of religion, wealth and gun ownership by some as solid answers to overcome threats and fears that are more often than not manifested from our isolation of others.  The conviction that individualism has greater value than the collective self becomes damaging as it slowly destroys concepts of moderation and rationality to fulfill an inner need oblivious of its consequences on the people around us.

Hence my need to avoid shining a light on these discrepancies in any serious, erudite context, which has been the norm for me these few years I have been blogging.  I think there are sufficient numbers of those out there who do a far better job of this than I do.  I hope they continue to publish and expose the bullshit extremism that attempts and in too many cases has, substituted the reality of an America that was once the envy of the world but has of late become a pathetic remnant of what it once was and promised.

Because this extremism has become a laughable farce it seems more appropriate to write about it in such a vain that makes people actually laugh at them rather than take them serious.  Being too serious is a dangerous thing and when people forget how to laugh at what is absurd then it opens the door for them to be easily swept away by the sociopathic charismatics who have always been there in the darker recesses of humanity.  It’s not until economic and social hardships occur however that allows their voices to rise above the confusion that ensues under such travails.

We slowly lose our collective sense of society and become satisfied with merely being individuals within the crowd.  Our true identities, I believe, lies within the social context we have evolved from.  The division of labor and wealth in balance with the needs of all members makes us strong.  Erode that balance and over time society collapses.  Separate yourself from your social environs and the need to be loved is weakened, slowly sucking the life force out of you.

The notion of being the world’s melting pot, a nation of immigrants that ultimately gave us presence in the world of governments where elites ruled is in dire jeopardy of getting replaced by fantastical notions of self.  A self that lives in the world excluding those who don’t look like us, pray like us or raise their children like us.  Without being fully aware we begin to fall back into conditions where oligarchs and plutocrats have their way with people less inclined to avarice claiming the resources this planet affords us all equally for themselves in the name of some inherent right conferred upon them by some unseen force of nature.



So with what apparently is a serious message I will end it with the promise that taking fools seriously will no longer be my writing style.  Instead I will mock them and satirize their ludicrous seriousness.  I want to expose the buffoons that claim such things as more guns make us safe, man-made climate change is a hoax, the human ovum has constitutional rights too, contraception is a permit to have sex, raising the minimum wage will destroy our economy, corporations are people, money is speech, freedom of religion is for Christians only and that American exceptionalism is a divine inheritance.

Until then I may be busy working on my skills to be a better husband, father and neighbor, provided I can get past the handicap of being serious too much.  Events and perceptions of reality in our life can be depressing but we control whether it depresses us or not.


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29 responses to “The Toxicity of Seriousness

  1. LB, I think you are greatly talented expressing your views but I agree focusing on what is wrong becomes a festering wound. You have to step away to recharge and find joy in other things. You are too good a person not to have that joy!

    • Thanks Donna. Yes, upon realizing that beating my dog to take out my frustrations (JUST KIDDING) I needed to make a healthy change in how I address serious fools. 🙂

      • Don’t take your frustrations out on your dog. That’s just wrong!

        Work out your frustrations the all-American way. Pick up your assault weapon, get a bag full of 500 round clips, go to some public place and start killing random people! Odds are pretty good half the people you kill are the kind of imbeciles giving you grief anyway…especially in Texas.

      • “Work out your frustrations the all-American way. Pick up your assault weapon, get a bag full of 500 round clips, go to some public place and start killing random people!”

        Surrendered my assault weapon when I was discharged from the Marines many moons ago. Odd how living here in Texas I have never felt compelled to own a gun. Not that I’m a fearless soul, just not a fearful one.

  2. I think you’ve done a marvelous job to-date, and I’ll be looking forward to what lambasting will come. It does get tiresome zeroing in on the absurd, irrational and straight-out insane, but this is why signal flags were used across battlefields in the past; so friends and comrades can see through the noise and confusion and take heart that others were up and fighting the good fight.

    (I’m taking the winter off from posting)

    • “(I’m taking the winter off from posting)”

      A well deserved rest John. You have had your share of verbal battles that I have thoroughly enjoyed observing

  3. Well said. What I fear is that what we do in our blogs takes the place in our psyches of doing something that has a real effect. It would be easier if real barbarians were at the gates as we could all go grab a pitchfork and do or die, but “we have met the enemy and it is us,” Walt Kelly was prescient.

  4. I agree with you…there is no audience to reach that can be reached any more…everyone who agrees doesn’t need this…I too am floundering in a sea of ridiculous story followed by an even more ridiculous one. My design now is to hone my writing skills to be a joy to read for the humor and the drip drip drip of the sarcasm…frankly the utterly stupid can’t even understand the mocking…it’s way above their IQ level…

  5. I never understood why you -or anyone else- ever treated these imbeciles seriously. The history of America over the last 30 years can be summed up by saying that stupid people are breeding like Tribbles and each generation makes the previous one look like Einsteins.

    The Southern Strategy slowly destroyed anything resembling intellectual debate in America. The deliberate targeting of rednecks, morons, racists, and utter fools who actually think their broke asses can climb anywhere near the 1%. It put an end to “big tent” politics, where there were left & right wings to both parties and substantial overlap. In addition, the media consolidation and corporatization turned news from a public service in just another form of entertainment competing for ratings.

    As a result, the Daily Show classic, Even Stevphen, is the role model for both “news” and “intellectual debate”.

    • “The Southern Strategy slowly destroyed anything resembling intellectual debate in America.”

      That was probably the time we started down that slippery slope. But when Reagan opened the door to corporate largess followed by a willing Clinton, our path became clearly defined I’m afraid.

      • Woodgate, you bring up a VERY important point most Democrats run from. When the Republicans do something rotten, it’s just a political policy. When the Democrats take over and fail to undo it immediately, it becomes permanent US government policy and will never change.

        For example, look at Obama. He effectively made Bush policies like his tax cuts, “too big to fail”, “too big to jail”, due process-free drone strike assignations, constant global surveillance on every human being, torture prisons, etc, permanent. While there were a couple of very minor modifications, I don’t think Obama undid anything the Bush Crime Syndicate put in place, even the stuff he specifically ran against. (Even the Iraq War may not be over yet.) As a result, these awful policies are now permanent fixtures of America, never to be questioned again.

        Meanwhile, anything Democrats do that Republicans don’t like get ended the second the Republicans have enough power to pull it off. For average lefties, America has become a “lose even when you win” proposition thanks to sackless, sellout, Democrats.

      • “When the Republicans do something rotten, it’s just a political policy. When the Democrats take over and fail to undo it immediately, it becomes permanent US government policy and will never change.”

        Good point SM

  6. Good for you! It is utterly exhausting at times to deal with those of whom you speak. I live in a community where there never ceases to be those who express their religious beliefs. There are not many, if any, who challenge them. I, for good or for bad, have taken the calling to be a voice on behalf of the voiceles, challenging the religios norms, being the deviant(or the devil depending on who you ask). This can be very tiresome and seemingly unfruitful. Challenging these ideals, of the religious, so often feels like removing the head from the hydra only to have it return two fold. However, occasionally there are one or two individuals who bravely remove themselves from the shadows, grateful to know that there are others who are not spell bound by religios dogmas. It’s a hard job, but hey somebody’s got to do it. 🙂

    • ”It’s a hard job, but hey somebody’s got to do it.”

      I’ve come to learn that educating the so-called “ignorant masses” is often pretentious. Teaching through example will have the best and most enduring effect. Listening and then asking questions will often get people to reveal more about themselves than “challenging” their views. And then there are times when you are better off just walking away entirely from foolish prattle. I wish that I learned this much sooner than I have and was more consistent with it than I’ve been.

      Good luck with your “mission” Called

  7. Thank you for this. It was heartfelt and direct, and it makes me compare what you say about your country with the one I live in. You’re always really thought-provoking. Good luck with your new direction.

  8. //provided I can get past the handicap of being serious too much//

    oh, stuff…..that ain’t no deal!!! I think I stopped being too much serious about the second time I broke my nose. That was running into a parked car when I wasn’t serious enough. Last year, I broke my finger running into a parked car….course that was when I was mostly blind and was trying to be serious. I think, and bless me and stuff, that the moral is…… fuck serious… is bad for appendages.

    • “I too have stopped blogging… and it’s run its course.”

      At least for now with me Hans. I have said all I can on the subjects that pique my interests in more ways than one. I have become REDUNDANT.

      I’ll be looking for something different and fresh with a propensity to draw a smile or chuckle from the reader. Like what I’m going to post on Sarah Palin’s new internet TV channel tomorrow

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