FACING THE SERIOUS STUFF

Blessed is he who takes himself seriously, for he shall create much amusement. –Strictland Gillian

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Picking up from my last post, this post will re-print selected serious parts of old clippings left hanging on July 15. If you’re still into that post’s humor act, this character (actor) should help set the stage for transitioning from reacting like this  😀 to reacting like this.

Now that the appropriate mood has been established, I trust that you are in a frame of mind to engage in some serious Trump-like introspection as you consider the following. It’s going to be great, believe me:

No matter how many prayers uttered, no mater how many [guns fired] or coffins draped, a nation cannot heal itself without self-awareness. We seem not to want to recognize that we are the problem. –Kathleen Parker

We learn not from what we know, but from what we don’t know. — T. C. Collins

What is it in the American character that squirms in the presence of eloquence, that revels in barroom disdain for brainpower? The irony is that this country was founded by intellectuals, the Constitution written by men enlightened by the top thinkers of the day. We’ve gone from Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton to [Donald Trump*] and Dan Quayle. What happened? –Joe Robinson  *my proxy for a long-forgotten senator 

Never underestimate the power of very stupid people in large groups. –John Kenneth Galbraith

There is still another reason to grant literature an important place in the life of nations. Without it, the critical mind, which is the real engine of historical change and the best protector of liberty, would suffer an irreparable loss. This is because all good literature poses radical questions about the world in which we live. –Mario Vargas Llosa

What is woman’s basic physical metaphor? It is mystery, the hidden. Psychoanalyst Karen Horney speaks of a girl’s inability to see her genitals and a boy’s ability to see his as the source of female subjectivity and male objectivity. The female body’s unbearable hiddenness applies to all aspects of men’s dealings with women. Mystery shrouds woman’s sexuality. This mystery is the main reason for the imprisonment man has imposed on woman. Modern feminism’s most naïve formulation is its assertion that rape is a crime of violence but not of sex, that it is merely power masquerading as sex. But sex is power, and power is inherently aggressive. Rape is male power fighting female power. It is no more to be excused than murder or any other assault on another’s civil rights. Society is woman’s protection against rape, not, as some feminists absurdly maintain, the cause of rape. Whenever social controls are weakened, as in war or mob rule, even civilized men behave in uncivilized ways. Sex crimes are always male, never female, because such crimes are conceptualized assaults on the unreachable omnipotence of woman and nature. –Harper’s Magazine, May 1990

The great physicist Hans Bethe said, “Well, I come down in the morning and I take up a pencil and I try to think.”  It’s a notion that appears to have gone the way of the rotary phone. Americans not only seem to be doing less serious thinking lately, they seem to have less and less tolerance for those who spend time wrestling with important and complex matters. If you can’t say it in 30 seconds, you have to move on. Donald Trump (“You’re fired!”) and Paris Hilton (“That’s hot!”) are cultural icons. Ignorance is in. —Bob Herbert, Feb. 2005

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There are more clippings where those excerpts came from, but the above should be enough to chew on for a while. If you like to fantasize, perhaps a few of these topics will be raised in the upcoming Presidential debates, as I’m sure The Donald would be more than delighted to discuss his views on such matters in depth — not that his supporters (or even the average American) seem to believe the capacity to think in-depth is an asset of any particular value for a President.

A penny for your thoughts?

   

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19 comments on “FACING THE SERIOUS STUFF

  1. If I were to vote today, I would certainly vote for Donald Trump. I take it that makes me a stupid, unthinking, illiterate, unintellectual idiot.

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    • mistermuse says:

      Only if
      1. I thought you were serious, OR
      2. You’re voting for what many consider the lesser of two evils, OR
      3. Your better angels believe, as I do, that there’s no accounting for taste (in which case, it seems to me, our better angels are highly overrated).

      Like

  2. painkills2 says:

    Isn’t it funny how we pay people for their thoughts. Their opinions. There’s a so-called expert on just about every subject. But it seems like most paid opinions have nothing to do with actual experience. Unfortunately, the American public is easily fooled, especially by media-hype.

    Trump doesn’t have opinions (or experience). I don’t imagine he does much thinking (except about himself). Perhaps that’s what supporters really like about him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse says:

      I wouldn’t say that Trump doesn’t have opinions – the problem is that he has almost nothing but opinions, the quality and civility of which (to say the least) don’t pass the smell test. But I agree with (and herewith quote in part) “Jill” from MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN — THE PROBLEM WITH DONALD TRUMP’S CAMPAIGN SLOGAN:

      “Trump’s supporters have some legitimate grievances. But instead of blaming the political forces that cut holes in the social safety net (if such a safety net was even built in the first place) and that prioritized the desires of the wealthiest segments of American society while the working class withered — those “political forces” would be the Republican Party — Trump supporters blame the long-oppressed groups who have finally gotten a toehold on the American dream.Trump promises his supporters that if he’s elected, he’ll put them back on top. The problem is that “back on top” means stepping over those who don’t share their race and gender.”

      Liked by 2 people

      • painkills2 says:

        What do you call it when someone’s opinions change from day to day? Someone who has such a difficult time communicating that I can’t figure out exactly what his opinions are. Ramble, ramble, ramble, build a wall, ramble, ramble, terrorists, ramble, ramble, Hillary’s a criminal, ramble, ramble…

        And I’d just like to say that I’ve tried to understand why anyone would support Trump. I’ve listened to what his supporters have to say. I’ve listened to what Trump has to say. Anyone who thinks this man has the experience and temperament to be President of the United States is just fooling themselves. They’re not supporting him because he’s qualified — his supporters are supporting him for other reasons, mostly because they hate Hillary. Trump supporters hate Hillary as much as they hated Obama.

        I’d also like to say that if more people in this country support Trump than Hillary, then that is their choice. If I want others to respect my choices, then I also have to respect theirs. Ya’ll want Trump to be President? I say, bring it on. Let’s see what happens.

        Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse says:

        No matter who wins, there isn’t the proverbial snowball’s chance in hell that he or she will unite this hopelessly divided country. And as for getting things done, the only chance of that happening is for the majority in Congress and the Senate to be of the same party as the newly elected President, and I don’t see that happening either. Hopefully I’m wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. mistermuse says:

    Cynthia, after sleeping on it, I am going to apologize (something Trump seldom, if ever, does) for the somewhat uncharitable tone of my previous replies. I wasn’t sure if your comment was serious or humorous, but assuming it was serious, I would re-word my reply to say that PERHAPS your Trump vote would be for the lesser of two evils, or PERHAPS your better angels believe as I do, that there’s no accounting for taste (in which case, it seems to me, our better angels are highly overrated).
    A small difference, perhaps, but better intended.

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  4. There’s a whole lot of opining going on that is based on judgement without knowledge, judgement without real experience of what is being judged. I submit that you KNOW very little, actually, about Trump, or about most of his “followers” when it comes right down to it. Like the rest of us, you must rely on hearsay (the media) whatever “authorities” you trust, guesses, and your own gut.

    Politics are a game at the very center of the Inferno, and most often involve a choice between the lesser of two evils, yes, but also the evil of two lessers.

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  5. arekhill1 says:

    Trump’s character, or lack of it, is manifest. We all know someone just like him–fortunately, most of those people never rise higher in life than being the boss you simultaneously hate and have to clean up after and, in off hours, the biggest jerk at the country club. Anybody who thinks such a character should be President betrays the fact that their years have taught them nothing.

    Unlike Sr. Muse, I don’t suffer fools gladly, so call yourself any synonym for stupid you want–you’ve earned it.

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    • mistermuse says:

      Ricardo, I don’t know that I suffer fools gladly (SADLY is more like it), but there does come a point where trying to meet the other guy (or gal) halfway only gets you so far (and I don’t mean halfway). I suspect that if there’s one thing Obama has learned in the last 7 1/2 years dealing with Congress, that’s it.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. mistermuse says:

    Cynthia, what I don’t know is how you can know what I do or don’t know about Trump. If you’re implying that my knowledge of Trump is superficial, that he has depths only his supporters can plumb, I beg to be enlightened beyond the point of my limited understanding. Until then, I must remain agnostic.

    Like

  7. Carmen says:

    Hi mistermuse,
    I’m visiting in Australia (and suffering the question daily, “WHY would you come here in winter?” – to which I always reply, “Grandchildren!”) and it seems that the Aussies are as incredulous as Canadians as to the popular nominee of the Republicans. (I can’t bear to utter his name). What else can anyone say, except that there’s just no accounting for some people’s tastes? I can’t think of a worse person to be a leader. Unfortunately, there’s already been one person in history with the same personality traits and, although he did achieve territorial conquests, his name is another that doesn’t bear repeating. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  8. mistermuse says:

    Good to hear from you, Carmen. As incredulous as I am about what’s-his-name, I’m even more incredulous at the sheer numbers of supporters he has seduced. I still think Hillary has the electoral edge despite her perceived untrustworthiness, but anything can happen between now and November. Time will tell.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Carmen says:

    As I’ve said on other blogs, I trust the good sense of the majority of Americans; they’ll support establishment over flamboyant, egotistical bluster. To go out on a limb here and think outside the box, if the worst happens, I think Canada might be getting an influx of the very best Americans. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Don Frankel says:

    I like that one from Harper’s 1990. Some people obviously get up in the morning and have nothing much to do all day.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. mistermuse says:

    Don, you’re the first one to comment on (one of) the quotes themselves, which I appreciate, as this post became such a lightning rod for all things Trump that the quotes seemed to get lost. And how true your last sentence is!

    Like

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