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Inordinate Ordnance: Toppling the Nation of Suck

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

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Written by Chris Carr

What is the statute of limitations on stupidity? I don’t mean this in a glib, quaint way that you might equate to reality T.V., rather my question is directed on general and voluntary ignorance.

The argument can be made that things, generally, suck. There’s no other way to put it, or nearly as eloquently as: things suck. The economy, social disorders, the evils of money—to name the big players in, this, our nation of suck, stand as idols to the new norm seemingly perpetuating unopposed.

Let’s start with a fact that sucks: women, on the whole, get paid less than their male counter-parts for the same job, for example. It’s a fact, widely understood and accepted, but above all else, tolerated. There are people fighting against it, of course, but why isn’t everyone up in arms about this obvious injustice?

Or how about another fact that sucks: there are gross injustices done today in the name of cheap labour and cheaper iPhones. Children working as slaves for people who don’t care about them, just to feed their starving families. This is a fact, it’s happening now as you read this, but when I look out my window or turn on my T.V., I see the celebrity gossip and the latest nip slip.

This isn’t hard-hitting news. You know this. But we still throw quarters at the homeless in exchange for the ignorance of their existence. There are people in this world who profit from every evil done, otherwise, the evil would not have ever taken place. Let’s take this at our first axiom.

So we know there has to be someone profiting, otherwise there would be no incentive to act in evil ways, i.e. people pay money to see killer whales in tiny tanks, so killer whales are forced to live in tiny tanks. Is it a stretch to consider that these people—making money from evil acts—would only further profit from the ignorance of those paying the ticket prices?

In short, no, it’s not a stretch. But what is more pressing to our daily lives is not that our consumption of oil is killing the planet, but rather, our concern is with getting enough gas to get to work on time before those TPS reports are due.

It follows that it would be in those evil-doer’s best interests to keep the general population ignorant to their misdeeds so they may continue unhindered and unopposed. If you don’t know about their horrible human rights violations, how could you lift a finger to stop them.

The question then remains: what is the statute of limitations for stupidity? In other terms, how responsible are you to stem the tide of your ignorance? The legalized slavery that is the American penal system surely has no effect on your preference to watch Keeping up with the Kardashians, instead of reading Noam Chomsky, does it?

Well, yeah, kind of. Follow me on this: if evil is done in the shadow of your self-perpetuated ignorance, do you not have a hand in advocating for the continuation of that evil?

It may sound like a conspiracy theory, but consider Fox News. The only thing factual about there news coverage is the fact that it’s not factual at all. Owned by Rupert Murdoch, Fox News perpetuates an ignorance to hide the evil that Murdoch and men like him are trying to commit.

More Americans vote for American Idol than they do presidents. Only 23 per cent of Canadians read in there spare time. If ignorance is no defense against committing a crime directly, then why is ignorance tolerated for indirect ones?

So where does the responsibility lie? Not in the evil-doers, because, well, they’re evil and their ship has left the port. Rather, the responsibility to battle the suck is in the hands of those who prefer TLC to NPR; to those who prefer French fries to Stephen Fry; those who know LeBron James’ three-point record but have no idea who Dr. Jonas Salk is or what he did.

Ignorance is an affliction cured by a healthy dose of curiosity. If you or anyone you know is suffering from this illness—it’s probably not you, because you're reading this—please contact your local librarian immediately for the anecdote. 

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