It’s in my brain now, a spicy mix of frustration at a series of events, public and private. The Sarah Palin phenomenon, where insta-fans love her, simply for saying some sassy things in a speech, and then continue to love her even as they find out that many of the things she said were not true, that she doesn’t know basic things about politics, etc. This has been sticking in all of our craws, of course, but you can shout at the top of your lungs that she is an earmarking, book-burning, creationist liar, and you won’t convince anyone who likes her to change their minds.
Add to that the impending tragedy of Hurricane Ike. Coverage indicates that many people are “hunkering down” and refusing to comply with mandatory evacuation orders. I just watched a CNN story in which a small-town police chief is currently wading through chest-deep water (as camera zooms in on a dumpster floating around in the floodwaters), looking for a boat to commandeer to rescue four people who didn’t evacuate and now want to be rescued before the hurricane arrives in a few hours. What makes people stay, when the warnings say that they will be faced with certain death if they do?
On top of this powderkeg of lies and bad choices, the spark that set me off today is that I just found out that one of Kid’s friends hasn’t been immunized, because his mom “doesn’t believe in vaccinations.” Doesn’t believe in them, as if they are a fairy tale. What she probably meant is that she thinks they are linked to autism. They are not. There is evidence; it is abundant and clear. Plus, this is our community’s health this is my Kid’s health you are messing with! How dare you expose him to preventable disease?
I’m certainly not the first person to express frustration at people who believe things that are clearly not true, but the consequences of these false beliefs make such a major impact on the world we live in that it makes me want to roll up my sleeves and do something about it. The problem is, what can I do? I’ve been searching around for years, and I still haven’t figured it out what to do. It’s a good thing hockey season is starting, so I can get some of this pent-up aggression out on the ice. Otherwise, who knows what I’ll do to the next undergrad who tells me that we never landed on the moon?