I was about an hour away from shutting down this here blog. I'm still thinking about it, but it won't be today. Why? Because I read Discover Magazine last night and I have some gripes. Hell, I read a lot over the last couple of weeks that, frankly, was just so full of shit I won't be able to eat corn without gagging for months. But Discover Magazine. How do I say it? Discover Magazine pissed me off.
There is a huge divide between smart people and people who think they are smart. To me, a smart person is someone who can take care of themselves, they don't have to know big words, they don't have to spell real well, and they don't necessarily have to have a top-notch education. I am reminded of this whenever I look at my paycheck, sometimes being smart is just a another way of saying someone knew when to get lucky.
Some people who think they are smart are actually smart. They have figured out a way to make a living by describing the work that other people do or are doing. These people are called reporters, although they like to refer to themselves as "journalists".
Journalist \Jour"nal*ist\, n. [Cf. F. journaliste.]
1. One who keeps a journal or diary. [Obs.] --Mickle.
2. The conductor of a public journal, or one whose business
it to write for a public journal; an editorial or other
professional writer for a periodical. --Addison.
I would say, this blog makes me a journalist as well. I would say that, but I don't, and I won't. Why? Because I don't have either the sense of entitlement or self satisfaction that a "journalist" has. And while I do think I'm better than you, that has mostly to do with the fact that I quit smoking, produce no sperm without a Y chromosome and am better looking than you, rather than the fact that I've figured out how to make a living doing modified book reports.
The "journalist" thinks he's better than you because, well, you're stupid.
Really, you are. Really. You might have a job, you might be fun to hang out with, but if you don't gush phrases like this:
"you're in the porch-swing of your own bones, you're settled into yourself and are just staring out at the world with a kind of awe"
Or describe your most recent work like this:
"It's so many different things at onceÂmemoir, prose poem, rhapsody, I don't know,"
You are a cave-dwelling idiot with no appreciation of the high art that is reality-fiction. That's right, reality fiction. The real world is dramatic in completely different ways than what will hold your attention on the printed page, so most "journalists" make it up. They always have, and they always will. Here's a f'rinstance for you. I just finished a really well done book on Washington at Valley Forge published by Smithsonian books. Really well done. But I think the author went to Valley Forge maybe twice. Why? Because he repeats, almost verbatim, a story that Lafayette told about his skirmish at Matson's Ford. Lafayette was totally full of shit. How do I know? Well, Lafayette said that cannon from Valley Forge scared off the British so that Lafayette had enough time to wade his forces across the Schuylkill River. The reality is that there is no way a cannon shot from Valley Forge could scare anyone at Matson's Ford and Lafayette got lucky when the Oneida Indians allied with the Continentals and the British Dragoons scared each other shitless.
How do I know? Look at the map.
Bonus points if you can find my parent's house. Or better yet, the Gulph Mills Inn (keep on rockin'). I grew up around the corner from Washington's Picket on Gulph Road, right by the hanging rock.
In what used to be an apple orchard. Hint for the Map, Swedes Ford is in Norristown.
So, you're probably wondering what's up with the blocked quotes up there, well, I'll get to that, but it has a lot to do with my next f'rinstance. All you have to do to make someone feel like a total idiot is to take something that people have been taught all of their lives and write a book about how it's full of shit. Yep. Write a book called "What You Don't Know About Peeing Standing Up" and you'll get the freakin' Pulitzer Prize and probably have the law that bans stand-up peeing named after you.
I read another scholarly tome on the Revolution, called "What They Didn't Teach You About The American Revolution" and evidently what they didn't teach me was that the battles Trenton and Princeton happened after
Washington took the Continental Army into winter quarters in Morristown, New Jersey. Interesting to know that Christmas of 1776 took place in June of 1777. We're also informed that the winter in Morristown (who's town motto really is, "We Suffered More") was was where Washington really got his act together. Right. Let's face it, the only reason they suffered more in Morristown was because they were stuck in New Jersey in the time before traffic circles, thus, no diners. And New Jersey without diners? Hell on earth.
Seriously, all the winters in the 1700's were terrible, we were in the middle of one of the worst periods of the little Ice Age.
A period of extremely cold climate caused by not enough people buying enough gas, hence the Masons start the American Revolution, so that General Motors can be created and build SUVs and the climate can be warmed up again, with the bonus of a few foreign wars. All true, look it up. I read it in "What They Didn't Teach You About Your 401k".
Now, both of these books were written by historians. People who make their living reading and writing history books and supposedly relying on honest-to-God primary source material. They made some cheap-ass mistakes, even though I liked the Valley Forge Book a lot, the cheap ass mistake sorta ruined it for me. So what do you think happens when we take the train from Primary Source land to I read it on the internet land? You get people feeding you unadulterated bullshit disguised as history, fact, law, religion or science.
Sometimes, as is the case of Global Warming and Secondhand Smoke, all of them at once.
More often, you get a guy with an agenda writing stories about people who are researching history, science, law, news or religion in a way that fits his agenda.
If they end up writing articles about people who are doing research that doesn't fit their agenda they write dismissive tripe that usually depends on sarcasm and ad-hominem attacks. These articles are just the greatest, even though they are usually written by pedophiles.
Discover Magazine' latest issue has as it's cover story "Are viruses the mother of all life? Unintellegent Design." Clever, right? Viruses are stupid. So isintelligentt Design, I can dig that. I'm Catholic, and Catholics don't go in forintelligentt design.
Unfortunately, the shit for brains I quoted up above, the author of the story on the Mimivirus, a big ass virus that some scientists think might
be evidence that large DNA viruses like the Mimivirus somehow created the cell nucleus. Just, by accident. OK, great, I had no problem with that. What I had a problem with was thislittlee quote on the Contributors page at the front of the magazine:
"It's probable something similar was the first form of cellular life, so in an age where we still have people believing inintelligentt Design and the Immaculate Conception, that's kind of a wake-up call."
So here we have a guy writing an article about how viruses may be the beginnings of cellular life, and somehow this not only defeats the theory ofintelligentt design, but should also really make Catholics think twice about the Virgin Mary being born without Original Sin. Buy a book, shithead.
Would it be unChristian of me to say that this douchebag needs a good cockpunch? Get your bigotry straight please. It's fine for you to disagree with some specific published theories ofintelligentt design, because, quite simply, some of them are just creationism in scientific drag. But to say that because a couple of scientists think that a couple of billion years ago, by a completely improbable accident, a proto-virus and a proto cell got together and formed the basis for all life on Earth, and that this is proof that there is no basis for any belief in any higher power having any hand in any of this, is a bit of an overstatement, don'tcha think?
There is a name for those supremely improbable accidents that happen and continue to happen against all odds and scientific reason, they are called miracles. Believe in 'em or don't, I don't give a shit, but until you can tell me where the proto-virus came from and how it got the idea to do what it did, gimme a break about this proving anything about God or creation.
So what the hell was I getting at? I honestly can't remember, I've been interrupted about eighty times while typing this manifesto, but one thing I know, Bob Guccione Jr's Discover Magazine has more asses showing in it this month than his daddy's rag. And that's not a good thing. If you don't like gratuitous swipes at those damn Xians, don't bother reading Discover. I'm switching out my subscription with Consumer Reports. At least I know that's all opinion.