Tim Minchin, who is absolutely hilarious and brilliant in his music, recently made a short animation. Now this alone would warrant a post, but the content of the short makes it even more important for me, personally, to write something about it. The reason being is I have done this very thing on more then one occasion. I shall let you watch it before continuing on.
Now that you have had a chance to watch it, my following rant will make a bit more sense.
I cannot stand misinformation (or even more egregious, disinformation). I would rather listen to someone carve out a lecture with a knife onto a chalk board than have to sit through such stupidly wrong garbage as was quoted by the character Storm in this short. It sets me off like few other things can. Now if it is an honest mistake, I can stay calm easily enough and just provide the accurate information and why it is right by current standards. But if it is the kind of newage crap as this was, my brain just wants to projectile vomit.
It is even worse when I'm in the company of others who also have to listen to this idiocy. Because part of my mind is always afraid they will think "they have a point...". The worry that this kind of moronic meme will continue to infect other and subdue minds is more than I can bear. I have to do something to stop it.
So I all to often go into a rant about how utterly wrong whatever it was they just uttered was and why it is so off base. If the facts could simply speak for themselves to your average person, all I would have to do is explain them simply and all would be right with the world. But unfortunately for me and every other rational mind on this planet, people are often painfully stupid. So much so that they listen more to how something is said than what is actually said. Granted I will still present the data as I believe this is key. But a good mocking doesn't hurt either. Not to mention it gets rid of some of that pent up rage brought on by such inane babble.
As I stated earlier, if it is an innocent mistake or misinformation that a person heard and is just parroting, I am generally more kind. This is a mistake that all humans, including myself are guaranteed to do at some point in their existence. And if I know the person and can see that they have just been led astray by others with wrong information. I too tend to be calm and reasonable in my replies. But if it is someone whose words are so coated in smug that I need a shower after hearing them, it gets a bit hard not to see what their bowels look like after I verbally eviscerate them.
Now perhaps this isn't always the best route to go. But I have found more often than not that if you can destroy such an opponent with skill in front of others, whatever they said has far less impact upon those listening. In fact the only ones who tend not to change their view are those, like Storm, who are so ensconced within their stupidity that they are beyond reach by any sane mind.
One of the reasons I react so powerfully to such stupid is that it makes no bloody sense to me. As Tim Minchin stated, "Isn't this enough, just this beautiful, complex, wonderfully unfathomable natural world?" There is nothing I find more amazing than this universe and the fact that we can understand even an iota of it. The fact that we are constantly moving forward, uncovering more wonders than we could have ever hoped to conceive of on our own, is utterly astounding to me. This universe, and all the knowledge within, is the closest to the platonic archetype of beauty that I am aware of. Yet people such as Storm and the others like her are completely unable to see it, either through ignorance or fear. But they are not content with just missing the stunning beauty, no, they have to taint the image for others as well. They have to drag others down into their dank pit of ignorance and relish in their own stupidity. They shun true beauty for the imaginary and want as many others as they can infect to do the same. They are the very reason our species is not further along than we are. They are the ones who feed off fear, they are the ones who feed off ignorance, they are the very cancer of the mind that has kept us trapped where we are for far too long. They are the enemy of reason, of thought, of wonder and of freedom. And they are as annoying as all hell.