Kos' SusanG on "The Impossibility of Unknowing"
SusanG writes the following segments that truly resonate for me:
It is like a foundational shift has happened in these last few years. I've personally been at some low, low points in my life and yet these last few years rank as low as any from merely what our nation has endured under the dismal leadership of George W. Bush and his GOP.
I've always considered gaining knowledge an indisputable good, but these pieces of the world I've come to know in the past six years have the feel of being forced into me under threat. They now carry with them a weight and a darkness.
The Ninth Ward. Haditha. Guantanamo Bay.
How much sweeter to have picked up these nuggets of geography and history as I always have, serendipitously led through a leisurely stepping stone process of one book or conversation suggesting another, and yet another, and now a couple of twists and turns ... you start out here, reading Faulkner and next you're drawn to learning about cotton production and before you know it, you're at civil rights.
Instead, in all cases above, I'd begun my acquaintance because of headlines and horrors and a screaming, driving voice in my head: There's something wrong! There's something very, very wrong! Learn about it! Fast!
The jumble of panicked facts I feel I've had to jam into my brain to qualify as a reasonably informed citizen makes my skull feel swollen, as though I've had to take a crash correspondence course - sometimes several at once - at the same time I'm in a sprint for my mental life.
There's a loss in that, a taint on the previously enjoyable process of innocent inquiry. ...
The tone is completely different for, say, my recent thirst for ...
Some nights I go to sleep under this administration and wonder: What new horror am I going to have cram into my head tomorrow morning? What new form of torture? What unfamiliar town or province?
My brain's been hijacked and my eagerness to read news killed. I know too much now compared with how much I knew in the innocent 1990's. And there seems no way to un-know it or bleach it clean of the flavor of its original acquisition. ...
Certainly of all the atrocities and diminishments since Bush took office, having personal fact-flavor problems seems unworthy of even a footnote. Arguably, I should have removed my head from my sorry American provincial ass a long time ago to learn more about Islam or the precise wording of the Geneva Conventions. Still, the knowledge of foreign cities, dodges of the law, how Abramoff's money came to be laundered ... all of these facts feel IV'ed into me on a timetable set by an administration I despise. That seems a final, intrusive indignity, small as it is.
I've felt isolated from my family due to my deviating from the doctrines that some, I think stretching greatly to make these applications, claim are the legacies of our ancestors. That I've been so bold as to show my love and concern for my world by engaging in relatively limited, reasoned, and polite dissent has brought me pain and even more isolation.
To have this this largely brought about by my feeling an obligation, even so far as a duty, to confront this cabal in our White House is bad enough. SusanG is correct in also blaming him/them for removing some of the joy of learning and the inherent rewards gained in seeking understanding. SusanG is right I think also of the fatigue in working so hard to keep relatively well informed. The mainstream media could certainly do a better job in reducing our workloads.
Well done! I'll sleep better tonight simply from knowing there's another that feels the same frustrations and losses. Peace ... or War!