Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Why The Future Does NOT Belong to Narrow-Minded Old Farts

Here's my 'open letter response' [my comments in brackets/blue below] to a much circulated by email (and much mis-attributed, recently to Bill Cosby) blog post by Robert A. Hall  <<>>:

This should be required reading for every man, woman and child in Jamaica, the UK , United States of America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and all the world...

[Unless they are open-minded, tolerant and forward-, not backward-thinking.]

"I'm 76 and I'm Tired"

I'm 76
Except for brief period in the 50's when I was doing my National
Service, I've worked hard since I was 17. Except for some some serious
health challenges, I put in 50-hour weeks, and didn't call in sick in nearly
40 years. I made a reasonable salary, but I didn't inherit my job or my
income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, it looks as
though retirement was a bad idea, and I'm tired. VERY TIRED.

[There is a personality-type characterized by people with extremely active brains.  These individuals find it difficult to relax and ‘do nothing’.  Their brains are constantly thinking, thinking, thinking.  They are very ‘high energy’ and are very often well above average on the IQ spectrum.  They often become business leaders, in part because, especially during their early years in business, they are not only smarter, but tend to work 80 hours to the average colleague’s 40 hours, doing twice the work, practicing the skills twice as much, making twice the mistakes (and learning from them) of others.  They also tend to be extremely self-focussed, egotistical, obsessive-compulsive and in deep denial that they have any serious character flaws.  They are 100% right and everyone else can go to hell...]

I'm tired
of being told that I have to "spread the wealth" to people who
don't have my work ethic. I'm tired of being told the government will take
the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it.

[Sadly, not every human being is the same.  If you happen to have been bestowed with genes that compel you to work obsessively versus the majority who are less compelled, does this fact mean that only you and your genetically similar humans should survive a famine caused by drought or an ice-age?  Does it mean they should have to pay for their own health care even though you make an exponentially higher salary than they do?  We’d be a sadly non-diverse species if this was the case, but good for you for (essentially) wishing death upon those who are less work obsessed.  The best countries ranked by quality of life world-wide are all consistent: lots of services, cradle-to-grave care for all, high-taxes to pay for it with the highest rates for the highest money-earners.  The US ranks variously depending on the measure, but it is usually not in the top ten.]

I'm tired
of being told that Islam is a "Religion of Peace," when every day I
can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and
daughters for their family "honor"; of Muslims rioting over some slight
offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren't
"believers"; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning
teenage rape victims to death for "adultery"; of Muslims mutilating the
genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur'an and
Shari'a law tells them to.

[Humans have been finding excuses to kill each other over ‘they don’t believe what we believe so let’s wipe them out’ religion for millennia.  The single common denominator has always been very low levels of mind-opening education.  When an entire culture is undereducated, as countries with Muslims in the majority tend to be both due to poverty driving them to over-procreate to ensure surviving children, as well as their religion dictates which encouraging them to teach from the Koran and no other resource (the Koran being a centuries-out-of-date text with little relevance to living in the modern world), we get a situation similar to the “middle ages” of Christianity in Europe when the crusaders travelled to the ‘Holy Land’ to try to exterminate the ‘non-believers’ in the ‘Holy Land’.  Xenophobia is the natural result when humans are educated in only one narrow ‘belief system’ -- it encourages our inherent ‘us vs. them’ instincts.  On top of this, in large part due to our extraordinarily large human brains, we have a disturbing capability for pathology.  A very small but significant segment of the human population who are prone to socio- and psychopathology, REALLY wrong-headed thinking.  If theses disturbed individuals are given ‘permission’ to obsess over ‘socially acceptable’ outlets for their pathology, like throwing acid in the face of young girls for attending school, or dressing in black and blasting fellow highschoolers in Columbine, they will — they have no empathy, only intense feelings of irrepressible, irrational rage.]

I'm tired
of being told that out of "tolerance for other cultures" we must let
Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries use our oil money to fund mosques
and madrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in Australia, New Zealand,
UK, America and Canada, while no one from these countries are allowed to
fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia or any other
Arab country to teach love and tolerance.

[Interesting that exactly the same people who strongly identify with this paragraph are the same people who will aggressively protest the building of a Islamic Center (not even a mosque) many blocks away from “Ground Zero” in NYC.  Irony is totally and absolutely lost on these xenophobic individuals.]

I'm tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global
warming, which no one is allowed to debate.

[“Debate”?  Like “debating” whether the earth is flat or that “gravity” is “just a theory”?  That “debate” was over a couple of decades ago, just like “debate” over “the theory of evolution”, but then maybe the high correlation between “believers” in the literal interpretation of the bible who are also “non-believers” of “global warming” -- and who are, by definition, people who HATE change and new ideas — should consider commiserating with their like-minded brethren in the Muslim world who won’t accept anything but a literal interpretation of THEIR book.]

I'm tired
of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help
support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ
rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses
or stick a needle in their arm while they tried to fight it off?

[Interesting that those who support this notion across middle-America’s ‘Red states’ are now surrounded by spouses, friends and “God-fearing” neighbours, many of whom are now addicted to Oxycontin.  Addicted.  And permanently unless they enter rehab facilities or 12 step programs.  They were also members of neighbourhoods during their youth wherein, even if poverty was an issue, drugs were not readily available.  Had they grown up in a terminally poor neighbourhood where drugs had been pushed on them as a ‘right of passage’ and they had tried’ either crack or heroin, they’d have a vastly different perspective since both of those drugs, readily available to desperate-to-be-socially-accepted pre-teens in those neighbourhoods, are instantly addictive with a single hit.  Instantly and permanently.  Makes you think, unless you are incapable of thinking.]

I'm tired
of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of all
parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful
mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting
caught. I'm tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.

[And you aren’t alone.  There are kids of the new “Millennial” generation who are ‘tired’ of their lazy, not-so-smart peers who feel vastly entitled to be handed a high standard of living.  Ironically, as quick as these older folks are to blame parents for ‘making’ their kids into entitled brats, recent social research is proving that the entire generation is getting their entitled attitude NOT from their parents and grandparents spoiling them, but from society as a whole, from TV and movies, from the celebrity magazines that their moms and grandmothers pore over every week, from each other.  Even the strictest, most conservative parenting cannot seem to entirely eradicate this generation’s sense of entitlement and it is not restricted to the ‘Western World’, youngsters in the “Developing World” are showing signs of entitled expectations.  It’s highly unlikely that this can be reversed, but one day they’ll all be in charge and they’ll have to deal with each other!]

I'm really tired of people who don't take responsibility for their lives and
actions. I'm tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination
or big-whatever for their problems.

[?!?  Seems like there’s a AWFUL lot of ‘blame’ in all of this author’s content above.  I’d like to see him confront his prejudices, his presumptions, his flaws, faults and all the errors of his past honestly and openly to see just how much real responsibility he’d lay at his own feel for his life and actions.  Most individuals who hold a list of convictions like these are the absolute worst at taking real responsibility for their actions.  Maybe this highly prejudiced, narrow-minded, old-fashioned writer is an exception, but the odds are against it.  There is only one real solution for the future: it involves REALLY listening, finding a middle ground, compromising on even the things you hold closest to your heart. The future is about acceptance of differences, not xenophobia and understanding that the biggest challenge humans face is overcoming our natural tendency to become addicted to things, narrow points of view included...]

I'm also tired and fed up with seeing young men and women in their teens and
early 20's be-deck them selves in tattoos and face studs, thereby making
themselves un-employable and claiming money from the Government.

[What inexperienced, desperate-to-be-accepted-within-their-social-group teens to early 20’s youths without the ability to understand long-term consequences fail to ‘get’ is that tattoos are merely a fashion fad.  It, too, will pass, but they won’t be able to erase their poor judgement.  The real problem with tattoos is not even their permanency, however, it is that the act of getting them stimulates the brain’s addiction regions.  Some kids will get one and be done with it, but many will immediately begin talking about getting ‘the next one’.  This is especially apparent with the phenomenon of ‘sleeves’ -- once one of these sadly poor-at-making-judgement-calls young people gets a tatoo on both their shoulder AND elbow or wrist, they start spending an inordinate amount of time staring in the mirror and at their arm day and night, obsessing over how they must now begin ‘filling in’ the missing spaces.    The phenomenon is virtually identical to the “Michael Jackson” plastic surgery debacle — once he’d ‘fixed’ a bit of his face to more resemble a cartoon character that would be more likely to appeal to pre-teen boys, he just couldn’t stop until his mental image of what he could become had been realized.  Sadly his efforts didn’t result in his attracting the boys he desired, he had to go out and purchase a couple of them.]

Yes, I'm damn tired.
But I'm also glad to be 76.. Because, mostly, I'm not
going to have to see the world these people are making. I AM JUST SORRY FOR

[Yes, indeed!  The world will need tolerance, flexibility and open-minds to thrive, none of which you can provide.]

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