Thursday, October 9, 2008

Willful ignorance.

Some folks seem to enjoy wallowing in it. Sometimes the best thing to do is to watch it in action, as well as read about it. It's something I try to point out from time to time. As a public service, once more I offer:
One thing that I can routinely count on as Silly Season (also known as a Presidential election year) reaches its crescendo is the half-truths, lies, and damn lies that circulate both in the course of face to face conversation and via the Internet tubes. If I had a nickel for every mass email I have received about Barack (and Michelle) Obama being "radical Muslims" or other such nonsense, I'd have enough money to get through this month pretty comfortably.

So, in the name of a periodic public service to the rest of blogtopia, I would strongly suggest taking Internet rumors with a grain of salt, and do some basic fact-checking prior to continuing their circulation. One good starting point is snopes.com, which has dossiers on Barack Obama, John McCain, and Sarah Palin. I'm somewhat surprised that Joe Biden (D - MNBA) doesn't have a dossier, but maybe he just doesn't inspire the urban legend tellers the way the others do. At this point, as soon as I encounter someone via email or on the blogs spreading an obvious urban myth on a candidate, I merely find the requisite link to the myth and direct that individual to read up before further embarrassing themselves. Personally, I think there is enough objectionable about all of these folks to fill plenty of cyberspace and newsprint without relying on falsehoods. Keep it real and keep it honest.
Those who are bound and determined to wallow in their ignorance will probably not be swayed by some basic fact-checking (they are after all the "Know Nothings" of the 21st century), but the main point is to catch those who are a bit more conscientious before they fall for an urban myth. As I was saying then, there is plenty objectionable about these candidates to keep us occupied without relying upon falsehoods. Keep it real and keep it honest.

[The usual disclaimer is in order: If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you already have figured out that I'm sour on both anointed prez candidates, and am sitting this one out. Some of the Obamamania creeps me out as well.]

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