Ignorance May Be Bliss: But Get Ready – It’s Going to Get Ugly

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The Big Picture

by Glynn Wilson

Sitting here on the screened-in porch in the cool of an autumn morning with my loyal dog Jefferson, sipping a good cup of coffee and ignoring the news on radio and TeeVee and listening to jazz instead on Pandora radio on the iPhone, it is almost possible to imagine that all is right with the world. I know it’s not true.


But at least for this brief moment, there are no noisy lawnmowers running, no weed eaters or leaf blowers disrupting the morning quiet.

Over the past eight years, however, since I moved back to my native state from Washington, D.C., I have often watched official reactions to events in the nation’s capital in wonder. How can I ever explain to my friends in New York, D.C. and on the West Coast how this state can be so backwards and behind the times, so ignorant of what has gone on over the past few decades?

The only answer I can come up with is that down here in Alabamaland, if you depend on local news sources for your picture of what is going on in the world, what is important, you can live a life of relative ignorant bliss thinking nothing that happens anywhere else really matters.

Alabama is winning at football, again. There was no drought to speak of here this year. The non-union Japanese and German auto plants are still hiring, some. Even in the small-town city of Birmingham, the Baron’s moved back from the suburbs this year across from a local brewery making some of the best beer anywhere. Even the New York Times said this is not such a bad place to live, after all.

They celebrated a couple of infamous anniversaries here this year. George Wallace’s stand in the school house door in Tuscaloosa and the 50th anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. I guess for history’s sake they have to remember those things, but I’m not sure they are something we should be celebrating.

In one of the poorest state’s in the country, often propped up by federal spending, the state government has refused to take part in a new law program designed to help poor people get health care coverage. Now as someone who has followed the debate over federalism ever since asking Fob James a question about this in public back when he was a Democrat, and understanding the ambivalence about the federal government here that goes all the way back to Reconstruction after the War Between the States, the issue was supposed to be opposition to the fedral govm’t.

But in this case, the state had a chance to take over caring for its poorest citizens. Instead, it is ceding that authority and responsibility to the federal government. What?

The idea is supposed to be to oppose federal authority and federal taxes, like the colonists opposed British taxes without representation. But some people interpret the anti-tax sentiment to also include opposition to state and local taxes. Here was a golden opportunity to stick it to the feds and show the world that Alabamians can take care of themselves. But NOOO!

Let’s stay glued to the federal tit, and don’t give a shit if they shut down the government over it. Is that really what people here want? Or are they so confused by the debate in the media that they can’t get an accurate picture in their heads of what’s really going on?

I think you know how I feel about that by now. So let the confusion continue, I guess.

As for me? I’m working on an exit strategy not totally unlike President Obama’s exit strategy from Bush’s war in Iraq. Like the American people, I am getting tired of fighting, busting my chops in the battle to inform readers here. It is becoming obvious that people are so hooked on the traditional sources of misinformation that they just can’t bring themselves to seek out the truth on the Web. The truth hurts too much. Better to live in ignorant bliss.

At least you get a temporary reprieve from the inevitability of climate change due to global warming as the fall leaf season is about to commence. Enjoy it while you can. The next financial meltdown is right around the corner by 2016 or ’17. Either wise up, and quick, my people, or get your end of the world prepper setup ready. It is going to get ugly. Remember, you heard it here first.

© 2013, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.

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