Maybe we’re not the bubble boys
Yeah. Time for the Love It or Leave It crowd to follow their own advice. I keep returning to this simple list of admonishments:
"Don't like the gummint? Then stop breathing our clean(ish) air. Stop drinking our clean water. Stop driving on our public roads. Stop listening to the radio transmitted 'cross our public airwaves. Stop working at the publicly-funded defense plant. Git yer ass outta our national parks. Oh, and that social security – give it all back."
There's plenty more to add but it's Monday and my life won't live itself, so I gotta go do it...
I am surrounded by their bubble
It's nothing new. I'm sure I had a " I'm surrounded by idiots " moment when I was 10 or 11. I still have moments where I feel like folks on the left are just now catching on.
I was out amongst the rabble this weekend at a Horse Show in Central Indiana. I'll be honest- they didn't seem very roused. I was at the show at the same facility in August 2016 and the place was lousy with Trump. Somebody made a fortune selling the Rubes those cheesy flags. This year nothing. There was one little kid in an NRA shirt.
yeah to a certain large extent it's a rural/urban divide, but really it's more an attitudinal one. the bubble is more prominent in the sticks because of its isolate condition. I've lived in both the most conservative of states---wyoming and western Virginia---and NYC. you can either be open and receptive to viewpoints opposed to your own, or choose to live in fear and denial of the possibility of the validity of other points of view. in the orbs, we're necessarily exposed to diverse lifestyles; no so much in the rural areas.
Is anything more pathetic than the earnest efforts of media labeled “lame stream,” “fake news,” etc. to report sympathetically on the people who believe that? Professional ethics and simple human decency requires one to treat patients who don’t believe in vaccines, antibiotics, basic reproductive biology, but that doesn’t mean they should be treated as the “real” Americans whose opinions must be respected. Meanwhile, I’m trying (with variable success) to avoid calling MAGAs “nuts,” “crazy,” etc. out of deference to people with actual mental health issues. Nothing beats “wrong” or “lying” for covering the spectrum of their opinions.
Cross-posted from LGM:
If you understand nothing else about conservatives, understand this: They're now well beyond half a century of being wrong about everything all the time, and having that wrongness demonstrated very publicly at every turn. Whether it's "tax cuts pay for themselves" or "invading Iraq will be a cakewalk" or "teaching abstinence-only will reduce teen pregnancy" or "Ivermectin cures covid," whatever principle they've pushed has turned out to be catastrophically wrong.
This has made conservatives feel that liberals are always looking down on them, laughing at them, and holding them in great contempt. Their response has been two-pronged: Become ever more vicious and ruthless, and build an information bubble so that the reality of being wrong all the time can be "corrected."
Thus do we come to Republicans ham-handedly editing footage of Biden speaking. They say he's senile, reality says he's not--so to make sure reality doesn't show them to be wrong again, reality has to be "corrected" to make them right.
Adding: I would not be surprised to see Fox News running colorized photos of Berlin or Dresden in 1945 and claiming the photos were taken in New York city or Chicago last week.
Like all conservative perversions of plain English, sure, let's add bubble.
Everyone has biases. The question or issue is whether reality can get through.
The GOP voters in the heartland support elected officials whose responses to Covid were literally murderous. Problem for those people? Not at all. I'll submit that if Democrat pols were responding like Trump on down did and have, liberals would let's say adjust their biases. Whatever they'd do, adhering to their biases, or staying within the bubble, by and by is not what they'd do.
So, you know, there's biases and there's biases.
As for the media, they provided a real public service back in that anomalous civil rights/Vietnam/Watergate era when reporting was fairly honest. Then, Blacks had issues, Vietnam was an abomination and failure, and Tricky Dick was an unfit piece of shit. Now we have pretty much the opposite: Civil rights is, what? a nothing burger? Nothing the military does is wrong -- killing civilians is fine, Richard Engel gets bitchy because we choose not to continue the military shit show in Afghanistan, and there's nothing wrong with the GOP other than Donnie. (See, again, Covid.) This lack of mainstream honesty has done and is ever doing real harm to the nation; the mainstream is fully complicit in the nation's continuing decline since the 80s. Indeed, 60s/70s-style reporting would be the proper response to eliminating or at least greatly reducing bubbles.
That said, behind the bubbles of the conservatives is the reality of what they want, which is small government, which is what they elect, and what they're getting. So, you know, in that sense, their bubbles aren't all that important, but the inability of libs to see that because of their bubbles is a problem, maybe a bigger one.
I like this -- and it's something we've always sensed, if not known outright. The whole idea of MAGA is a bubble around reality & history, a place where diversity & tough questions are filtered out. This is the essence of the odela-rune* sometimes seen on fascist paraphenalia: a lost 'homeland' where everything was perfect & happy until... mumble mumble whatever happened...
In this way, the basic plot of the MCU miniseries "WandaVision" could not be more relevant: trauma leads to a bubble of sequestration, literalized as pop culture nostalgia. Just because the traumas of the MAGAkin are more Traum than reality doesn't make them any less dangerous, as we are seeing.
* Fun Bonus GM Fact: the odela rune (pronounced 'ethel' in Old English) never meant 'homeland' in the sense that modern people have taken it. 19th century philologists started saying that. The more likely meaning is 'estate' or 'backyard' (as I like to say).
Hear, hear and well put. The right wing Bubble -- more like a cast-iron bathysphere mired in its own ooze but that's a mouthful -- has been impenetrably insane since the day Rush Limbaugh's backers realized there was good money in taking it national. Traditional media, for all of its spelunking in Heartland Diners, has always underestimated the power of right-wing radio and the Fox echo-system, and its role in the creation and maintenance of the grievance and hate we're afflicted with. Trump voters aren't big readers of the Times and WaPost, so they'll never know that Bret Stephens has renounced his former condescension to embrace them unless they hear it on Fox and Friends. This all makes liberal and conservative obsessions with dueling op-eds kind of pointless in the long run, when Trump gained more voters in 2020 then he started with. What I wonder about is where is the liberal equivalent of the non-stop right-wing event tours -- from grifter high school graduate Charlie Kirk's Turning Point to Save/Revive/Restore/America to CPAC -- that not only creates local buzz but gets picked up and blasted through mainstream news -- yet another right-wing Bubble blast that goes unanswered.
I’m not going to spend any time trying to find the full quote in which the following phrase is contained, but what the hell did Cox mean by “fourteen days to bend the curve”?
I keep thinking about the young true-believers who wound up testifying live at the hearings. (I was that young once, if never that crisply turned out.) From the moment they stood and took the oath, they were dead men & women walking, at least professionally. They are cast into the political wilderness for the audacity of growing a conscience, and speaking out about same.
They weren't yokels in the diner on State Routes 5&20. They were inside the belly of the beast, and doing their damnedest to help Trump right up to the second they weren't. So what changed on January 6th? Matthew Pottinger looked like he hasn't had any sleep since then.
Watching in real time, I was sorry for what they're going through. The loneliness and sense of coming unarmored must be horrific At the same time I kept yelling at the screen, "What were you thinking for all that time before today?"
The yahoos will happily die of covid, because they're so far down the rabbit hole. Hell, they'll start murdering their neighbors if they get the go-ahead. The committee witnesses are the ones who should have known better. They had the advantages of education, and years of experience with the real Donald Trump.
I wonder if they regret the decision to turn on Trump. The mass of his followers, with and without real political power are going to stick with him to the bitter end.
The loons, Norman. Listen to the loons!
Good article. What's also odd to me is the conservative miniature bubbles (champagne bubbles?) in blue states like mine. While ineptitude and corruption may exist in public projects, people don't realize how good they have it on the whole because liberals are in charge. The Trump signs, sporadic in my neighborhood, are proof.
Oh ya, it was horrible don’t’cha know! We stopped at the SuperAmerica and they was totally out of those little marshmallows for the green jell-o salad Mabel was making for the church potluck. Well, that was enough for us! We assumed the whole city got burnt down, so we high-tailed it home and haven’t been out since!
Yes, it's true, liberals like me did say Trump was a fascist, and what did we do about it? 1) We encouraged people to vote in the 2018 midterms to provide a Congress that could act as a check on his fascism 2) When evidence came to light that Trump tried to muscle a foreign leader into investigating his political opponents, we encouraged that same Congress to impeach him. When that impeachment died in the Senate, we shook our heads in disappointment, and wrote angry letters to the editor. If "Send an armed mob to the capitol to murder Republicans" was on the list of responses, I guess I didn't get the invite.
I adore the "so you won't listen to people you disagree with" people. Dude. I spent a good part of last night convinced I'm not depressed and am in fact just lazy because other people think I should just go for a jog or try shrooms. "Do you ever think you might be wrong and other people might be right, though?" Fuck off. I'm convinced everybody's more right than I am. The thing is, you can't navigate life open to every fucking useless opinion someone wants to waste your time with. That way lies Amway, Christianity, and also abuse.
So I got very, very good at finding people with more discernment--better bubbles--than me. And I listen to them. Why in the name of fuck should anyone listen to every silly goddamned idea someone they don't know has? Especially when those people have in no way shown themselves to be experts on the subject matter or even vaguely sensible?
You call it a bubble. I call it "not letting trolls waste my time to get themselves off".
I don’t think anyone needs to listen to their day-to-day grievances and engage with them, but legitimate media and the Democrats should strive to understand where those grievances are coming from, i.e. their manufactured nature, and their real grievances that they are unable or unwilling to articulate. Approaching it from that perspective is far more interesting and could conceivably make a difference, unlike the typical response you so ably critique.