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Putting it out there on current events

Monday, August 10, 2020

The divisiveness within my own circle has been mind-numbing. The conversations about racism and covert bio-weaponry are enough to make me scream. I'm always a bit on the outside in my husband's circles as an enigma, the "woman who has an education AND an opinion"! I learned years ago I am not comfortable arguing my position with people who think raising their voices and gesticulating makes their opinion the better one.

I've become disappointed in my BFF, a highly respected microbiologist, who is suddenly supporting conspiracy theories. She and I share education in biological sciences. She's talking about odd TV shows and articles. My cousin gets all her information on FB. My in-laws and some in their collective families are letting their social attitudes shine and many of their own beliefs in a 'hoax". There are some very smart, educated people relying not in investigation but in "handed-down" information and prejudices from previous generations.

I read an article today on the 1918 pandemic and came across this quote from Greg Smoak, the director of the American West Center and an associate professor of history at the University of Utah:

“Conspiracy theories are very comforting to people because they are simple explanations for complicated problems,” Smoak said. “They shift responsibility.”

He said Americans are uniquely susceptible to conspiracy theories.

“We’ve grown up with national mythology that teaches us American exceptionalism,” he said. “If something bad happens, it couldn’t be our fault. There has to be some other explanation for it. And these modern conspiracy theories also play into people’s ideas of science fiction — germs escaping from labs. People wouldn’t have thought about that in the 19th century.”

Full article here:

I think this translates somewhat to the social uprisings and my circle's responses. Many of these people have never stepped outside their comfort zones to see how other people live. They view things from their cars, sightseeing on the American road trip, using the interstate and never seeing the inner city. Don't make eye contact. They fly-over "fly-over" states. From 35,000 feet there's no problem.

I don't know where I going with this, but here I am.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Well behaved women ... seldom make history ... or changes.

    My own children have varying opinions of things I feel like as their mother ... they do not know deeply what they are talking about.

    Sometimes ... we know what we know from a single "blade of grass" and never look outside of that for any answers.
    35 days ago
  • SPICY23
    My community is like this. Saw a guy checking out at the building supply, not wearing a mask, even though they are required, make a big show of coughing loudly and with obvious exaggeration toward the retail clerk and others in line behind him (they were not keeping 6 feet away either). He was laughing uproariously as he left the building. Shameful.

    It all makes me despair that we can ever find common ground when we can't even agree on the basic facts.

    Peace and Care
    38 days ago
    Wow! I have to say, I am totally dumbfounded @ some of the ideas that some I thought I knew are spouting. BUT I am w/you. I don't feel raising my voice or more is going to change their minds, any more than they are going to change MY mind.

    So many want to politicize the virus, but . . . it doesn't have a political philosophy.

    Great link. Thank you for sharing that and your POV.
    39 days ago
    Thank you for comments... emoticon
    40 days ago
    Interesting article!
    It is such a stressful time for all of us...not an excuse for some folks’ ignorance or selfishness or disregard of the gravity of the situation, by any means.
    I am sorry you seem to have so many people you care about that appear to be in one of those groups.
    My oldest son (worldly but uneducated and a bit smug, if I do say so) teeters on the edge and it makes me mad and sad.it is hard to be around.
    Take care of yourself and do what you need to do to maintain your inner peace, my friend.
    40 days ago
  • ALICIA363
    Women with educations and opinions are my favorite! I learn so much from y’all!
    Think on, and thanks for sharing.

    40 days ago
    People should do their own researching and informational finding to form their own rational opinions. Too many people believe in conspiracies and hoaxes without doing the thought provoking research and being logical and rational.
    40 days ago
    I can totally relate and I mean the following in the kindest way - it's always sucks to find out that people you love or respected are total morons. I am also surrounded by meatheads. I am the first person on both sides of my family to go to college. My son is the first person on hubby's side to go to college. That being said, if you combine all of us that have ever been to college in multiple generations it is 3. So the 3 of us are consider oddities, especially me, as I'm female and women are just supposed to get married and have children or if you don't marry well you can be a secretary or babysitter. Oh boy!! The only people that really seemed to be happy to have an educated woman in the family were my Dad and FIL.The women seemed to think it was some kind of dis of their way of life and, in my regard, it was true. My mom would squall and rue that I would be an old maid because I was abominable at sewing, not interested in cooking, laundry, cleaning. Dad would curse and tell her, "Shut up. She is going to college, won't be dependent on a man to support her, can hire a maid if need be." Not totally true but somewhat and my mom did later become a feminist, was alone, had her own business, and a maid. LOL. So I tend to give my older, less educated, non-science loving friends and relatives more slack than I do friends who are educated, know the truth, and still want to pass on wives tales, conspiracy theories, blatant untruths. You have to ask yourself what they gain. Financial reward? Control? Some of them are just con-artists who want to maintain the status quo. Me white man, me in charge. Loved the article but mostly I love that you are an intelligent woman who needs scientific proof to make claims. A few wives tails are true but I need more than someone's opinion who thinks they were abducted by aliens and probed last week.
    40 days ago
  • GABY1948
    emoticon emoticon
    40 days ago
    Thanks for posting this courageous blog . . . and for providing the link, which I'll be checking out.

    I picked up a copy of O magazine with the picture of Breonna Taylor on the cover and a quotation from Oprah . . "If you turn a blind eye to racism, you become an accomplice to it."

    The infection numbers are staggering and scary.

    I remain in Phase One . . . going out as little as possible, always masked, sanitized and distancing! Waiting for a vaccine, hoping for a better "normal" in future at so many different levels.
    40 days ago
    I so agree with your last paragraph. I really like volunteer travel for young people between high school and University. Or just volunteer in a different part of their own town. You learn nothing traveling to other countries if you stay in tourist hotels and only talk to tour guides. I have taught English in other countries, living the same way the locals do. Such a different experience from my tourist travel days.

    Thank you for providing the article, very interesting.
    40 days ago
    p.s. my non-sparking sister had already read the book in the link as she was spurred to do so going over Grandpa's and Grandma's letters from 1918 - 1919 (WW I, him overseas, she home in Michigan). She went back to re-read after the current pandemic started. Fascinating about the mask debate, and also that in 1918 era, the public health folks / governmental bodies had NO problem with doing their bit to mandate behavior!

    40 days ago
    You are a thinking person, and at some point, the thoughts have to spill out. They don't HAVE to be going anywhere, if they aren't ready to! I have noticed the same thing with some people I respected and cared about sinking into "if I stay in THIS box I don't have to THINK and it's not MY fault". Blaming the victim when things are just too awful is the easy path. Thinking about how we go forward is hard work.

    Welcome to the hard work club!
    40 days ago
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    40 days ago
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