Sunny Days in Heaven
Spiritual/Political/Philosophical Blog on the Nature of Truth and Falsehood and Heaven

Friday, November 05, 2004  

The weird ones

Jane Smiley is a novelist who is a classic poetaster. Unoriginal, confessional and lugubrious who attracts no real audience except a certain kind of literati.

Having grown up in Missouri, she turns on her family and others as red staters who are no more than knuckle dragging troglodytes.

For someone who claims to be sensitive to the human condition, one must wonder at her cliched antipathy to her relatives and middle Americans.

The Belmont Club has a marvelous response to the kind of idiotarian position in Slate she occupies, but I felt I wanted to have a say about her nonsense.

“Here is how ignorance works: First, they put the fear of God into you—if you don't believe in the literal word of the Bible, you will burn in hell. Of course, the literal word of the Bible is tremendously contradictory, and so you must abdicate all critical thinking, and accept a simple but logical system of belief that is dangerous to question. A corollary to this point is that they make sure you understand that Satan resides in the toils and snares of complex thought and so it is best not try it. “

This is puerility at its finest. Not even sophomores are quite as sophomoric as this. For adult human beings who flatters themselves on their insight and genius, an observer can only marvel at the obtuseness and egotism that reinforces such opinions. The woman seems to have decided that being something of a misfit in Missouri means that she no longer is required to relate to other people such as her own family members as human beings with their own complexities, hardships, suffering, observations, experiences. The coldness and cruelty of such a formulation as Ms. Smiley’s is remarkable, and yet, what we see in radical liberals across the country.

It’s as if other people simply exist to confirm stereotypes that exalt the superiority of some viewers.

Red State people are evil. There is no other explanation for the election results. Religious folks or conservatives are simpletons. The shame is that there are so many and they all have a vote.

One can only wince and shake one’s head at the kind of psychological insanity which such Jane Smileys represent. They are Legion, too.

(But I’m so glad they are crying, sulking, and whining rather than me and my ilk.)

posted by Mark Butterworth | 9:36 AM |