Steam Whistle News Feed – April 7, 2023

There were two equally disturbing things that made the news this week, between which, despite their having occurred thousands of miles from each another, I found a striking and disturbing parallel.

The first was the release of video of a young Muslim being gruesomely massacred by security forces in Ouahigouya, the capital of Yatenga Province in Burkina Faso. The other was American politician Marjorie Taylor Greene giving an interview on CBS’ 60 Minutes.

Now, what could these two things possibly have in common? 

Well, before I answer that, let me go into a bit of detail about the first.  Against my better judgment.

Several boys were abducted on a roadside by soldiers not far from a local military base, and video later emerged on social media, taken likely by another soldier, of one of them being stoned to death, after having been beaten within inches of his life.  The boy’s rock-wielding killer cursed him as he did, ironically declaring the boy a killer without any evidence, simply because the boy was ethnic Fulani and Muslim, and jihad linked to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State has already killed thousands and displaced around 10% of the country’s population.  The boy, very likely, had taken part in none of that.  It was guilt by association, death without trial or defense.  It was a murderous informal fallacy of reasoning.

And while there are several other things in the news this week that I could draw up to make some kind of weak or spurious connection to the Burkina Faso incident regarding individuals and the consequential decisions they make in their sometimes-vast ignorance, like that fool Matthew Kacsmaryk wringing the law to shape his beliefs like a used contraceptive sponge, or Donald Trump doing Trump stuff because of Trump stuff, I wanted to point the spotlight on Marjorie Taylor Greene.

She had gone (or, more importantly, was invited) onto a major television news network & (again) slandered a group of people—Democrats, in this case—as pedophiles.  Fine.  Okay.  Free speech in America and all that, as long as no one is directly harmed by it and it’s clearly one’s opinion, despite the accusation actually having meaning.  But, see, the problem with that is, the accusation actually has meaning because the word actually has f—ing meaning.  Like all words have meaning. 

As much as I don’t believe in the absolute infallibility of logic—because when human language is involved and what humans actually mean or sometimes don’t-know-what-they-mean when they use it, it can sometimes not be “logical” at all but malleable and opinionated and more or less whatever a person wants it to be—Marjorie Taylor Greene did absolutely and infallibly flub it, logically speaking.  This is how, if logic were part of the cognitive function of her waking mind, the question would be posed:

If some pedophiles are groomers, and some groomers are Democrats, does it follow that some Democrats are groomers?

The answer is “no.”  However, how she seems to see it, along those particular blurry, icy and potholed pathways that make up the functionality of her mind, is:

All pedophiles are groomers (probably), and probably all Democrats are groomers, so all Democrats have to be pedophiles!

The parallel I want to draw has to do with the consequences of ignorance, bred from hearsay, conjecture, stupidity (meaning lack of education, forethought, afterthought, regular thought), or as an exercise of duplicity or disingenuousness due to ulterior motives involving personal gain, self-aggrandizement or any other fruit of pure narcissism, most of which can apply lately to Ms. Taylor Greene.  (There’s serious talk of her jockeying to be Trump’s running mate in 2024, and the possibility of that alone would be enough to shift the stupidity and menacing verbosity of someone like that into overdrive.)

While anyone sensible can watch her interview (and anything else she’s done or said) and think, ‘Lord, that woman ain’t very bright’—or take a look at her Wikipedia page to more or less verify how supremely unqualified she is for any position of power, leadership or to be in politics—others will get angry, certainly, but plenty will be gullible or emotionally vacant enough to nod their heads in acceptance or agreement.  And even be impelled to do something about it, in their fraternity or sorority of vast ignorance.  And while no one in America will likely mirror the same kinds of zealous atrocities seen in Burkina Faso, we do have our share of similarities here, perpetrated fairly recently.  Which, arguably, are bred from the same kinds of ignorance, and sourced and inflamed from the same kinds of incite found in the words of Rep. Taylor Greene, and people just like her.

In the end, the stupidity isn’t even fun to point out, were I to consider myself some kind of Marjorie Taylor Greene antagonist.  It’s only embarrassing.  Really—if I were at some kind of metaphorical mixer in some kind of metaphorical gymnasium where metaphorical non-threatening dance music were being played, and she was someone I’d come to the party with or knew, like a distant cousin or friend’s mom or friend of a friend or cousin of a friend, I’d be absolutely embarrassed.  Because people, no doubt—like they do to Americans all over the world when the subject of that distant cousin shooting her mouth off comes up in conversation—would ask, “Do you believe what she’s saying?  Do you know her?  Is she a friend of yours?  Did you come here with her?” and since the answer to at least one of those questions would ‘yes’, because I’m an American and she’s a f—ing American, too, and we’ve got some kind of connection, I’d be embarrassed.  What I’d want to do is expose her for the vacuous, narcissistic canardist she is, before leaving her behind to find her own ride back to the world she and people like her choose to create for themselves, which will continue to bring them no real information on anything, only, illogically speaking, whatever they want it to bring, because whatever they believe—despite actual information which has keenly documented its reality or likelihood and brought it to bear up on a scrutinizing and intelligent public—is, to them, a truth derived from logic.  Which is poisoned and broken.