Links and Comments: Conservative Resistance and Fears; Narratives; Reality Checks

Salon: Kim Davis is the new face of the religious right: Angry, marginalized and increasingly desperate

No doubt Davis is a comical figure whose self-righteousness is only equaled by her ignorance both of the text of the Bible she clings to and what it means to have a job as a government employee. But she’s being used by her legal team and other religious right leaders to spread the idea that religious conservatives are entitled to ignore — or even overthrow — democracy and seize power just because they feel like it.


Mike Huckabee has been at the frontlines of pushing the claim that Christian conservatives simply have the right to ignore or overturn democracy to impose their will, and not just because he’s been running around Kentucky, trying to get himself on camera as much as possible in support of Davis’s attempt to ban gay marriage by fiat. He’s also been using the campaign trail to argue that the president should be able to simply end rule of law and start ruling like a dictator.


This essay at Vox by Todd VanDerWerff claims M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village is an underrated masterpiece. This is not unrelated to the previous item; the story is about an attempt to retreat from the perceived threats of reality into a mythical, idealized past.

The desire to retreat into an imagined past in the wake of trauma is an understandable one, but The Village shows just how empty this idea ultimately is. See, this is a story about what happens when you abandon logic in the name of safety.


And one more on this theme–another piece from Vox, this by Adam Mongrain: I thought all anti-vaxxers were idiots. Then I married one. Bottom line: it’s all about fear.


Next, via File 770, excerpt from a Facebook post by David Gerrold about how the ideal of the electronic global village hasn’t quite worked out — and about how we are driven by certain kinds of narratives.

We have built the kind of technology that gives every person on the planet access to vast libraries of information and the ability to communicate with people all over the globe. But even if we’ve built a global village, we haven’t yet learned how to live in it. We’ve brought our prejudices and our beliefs and our parochial world-views.

Here, on this continent, we’ve built a cultural monomyth that carries within it the seeds of our own destruction — the mythic hero. We believe in John Wayne, the strong man who comes to rescue us. It’s a variation on the Christ myth. Or Superman. Or Batman. We’re incapable of being responsible, we need a daddy figure to sort things out for us. (The savage deconstruction of this monomyth is a movie called “High Noon.” It’s worth a look.)

Belief in superheros is an adolescent fantasy — it’s a way of abnegating personal responsibility. Whatever is wrong with the world, the Justice League, the Avengers, SHIELD will fix it.

The counterpoint is that whatever is wrong with the world — it’s not us. It’s THRUSH or SPECTRE or HYDRA or some other unnamed conspiracy. It’s always a conspiracy. …

The underlying idea here is perhaps why I’ve never been interested in superhero movies or stories, any more than I have religious saviors.


Reality checks:

The True Size of… shows why Greenland is much smaller than the familiar Mercator projection world maps imply, and Africa is much larger.

Interesting YouTube channel: Stated Clearly

And a website: How Do We Know?

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