Mudcat Café message #1204504 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #70513   Message #1204504
Posted By: Amos
10-Jun-04 - 02:28 PM
Thread Name: BS: The Basic Causes of Western Stupidity
Subject: RE: BS: The Basic Causes of Western Stupidity
A good argument, Larry. The freedom to be stupid is one of those freedoms that is not made explicit, because no-one would dare own up to wanting to preserve it. But it comes as a corrollary, anyway.

My quandary is not new. A generation before mine, W.H. Auden posed similar puzzles. One excerpt:

..."Except for the war till the day he retired
He worked in the factory and never got fired,
But satisfied his employers, Fudge Motors Inc.
Yet he wasn't a scab or odd in his views,
For his Union reports that he paid his dues,
(Our report on his Union shows it was sound)
And our Social Psychology workers found
That he was popular with his mates and liked a drink.


The Press are convinced that he bought a paper every day
And that his reactions to poetry were normal in every way.
Policies taken out in his name prove that he was fully insured,
And his Health Card shows he was once in a hospital but left it cured.
Both Producers Research and High-Grade Living declare
He was fully sensible to the advantages of the Installment Plan
And had everything necessary to the Modern Man,
A gramophone, a radio, a car, and a frigidaire.


Our researchers into public opinion are content
That he held the popular opinions for the time of year.
When there was peace, he was for peace; when there was war, he went.
He was married and added five children to the population,
Which our Eugenists say was the right number for a parent of his generation,
And our teachers report that he never interfered with their education.
Was he free? Was he Happy? The question is absurd:
Had anything been wrong, we certainly should have heard."


W.H. Auden