Marlowe's Shade

Monday, July 11, 2005

Folkloric Thinking

Reading Garcia Marquez has got me thinking along a certain about how Left views the world. In Gabo's case it was apparent that magic realism wasn't just a literary device, it is how he actually sees the word. In his memoirs there is a surreal episode in the aftermath of one of his drunken parrandas in which he sees a faun get on the streetcar he's riding home. I've also commented before that Leftist Baby Boomers and their protégés are particularly susceptible to the subliminal suggestion via television, although other media (and chemical substances) can also help construct alternative realities.

I've come to characterize this worldview weaving that exists based more on desire than objective facts as folkloric thinking. Sometimes it is semi-conscious (though impervious to irony) as this very amusing article relates:

The next afternoon, I head to a Chicago peace rally in search of normal, non-communist, protesting soccer moms. It's actually much harder than it sounds.

"The media is completely whiting us out," Margaret Kemp says to me. "I mean, they'll probably say there were only about 200 people here today!"

I look around, noting aloud that there are only about 200 people here today.

She stares at me. "See!?!"

But more often than not Leftists make up fantasies out of whole cloth then believe them with their entire being. I admit there are times when I suspect cynically that Leftist must be consciously lying on certain issues, rather than sadly deluded, but the unsettling truths often is that they are indeed that truly out of touch with reality. Let's take a look at the Leftist claim that the mainstream media not only has no liberal or anti-American bias, but in fact has a right wing one! Although leftist bias can be quantitatively demonstrated it is an article of faith with leftists that the media is either unbiased (when it is attacking Bush or Israel) or has a right wing bias (when failing to sign on to the most ridiculous conspiracy theories).

Ex-patriot/expatriate David Druker, in his parting shot to America gives us another glowing example of folkloric political thinking:

How has this changed? Well, it's not only about hating (yes, I must admit it, I hate) the man who sits in the Oval Office, as well as the craven Vice President. It's not only about how the country is clouded over with signs that read 'Call 311 for suspicious activity' and TV Networks that spew political propaganda that Pravda would have been happy to print or broadcast. It's not only about more homeless on the street with no attention paid to their plight, or the fact that children no longer learn music or art in many public schools, or that people seem to think that a magnetic ribbon on their gasoline-gulping SUV constitutes support for the troops in a war that just goes on and on as far as the eye can see. It's not only the growing cultivation of religious fanatics, both here (the Christians) and abroad (the Muslims). It's not only the fact that atheists are not even considered citizens and scientists are seen once again as heretics for teaching the facts of evolution. As far as I look on the horizon, I see decline for the US, socially, politically, intellectually, economically, and philosophically, and that saddens me more.

David's post gloriously illustrates what makes folkloric thinking so hard to address. There are so many layers of partials truths, facts out of context constucted into chains of dependencies, and just plain fables. Which end of the truth spectrum to start with? Certainly untruth in whatever form needs to be addressed, but it is daunting. In the case of Garcia-Marquez and Colombia, folkloric thinking has been what has kept the open political wounds from healing since the time of Bolivar. It's increasing popularity in this country will cause similar anguish.
papijoe 11:39 AM