November 13, 2009
Originally published June 21, 2004
I watched The Right Stuff on TV the other day and thought about how we, as a country, really pissed away a golden opportunity to pursue space exploration. Just about the time we got good at it, we fucking QUIT.
I would say that I don't understand, because that sounds like something a dreamer such as myself OUGHT to say, but I understand perfectly. An old farmer down the road from me still swears to this day that we never landed a man on the moon. "The gov'ment staged the whole thing to hide what they were doing with our tax dollars," he avers.
What were they doing with our tax dollars to inspire such an elaborate hoax?
"They were spending it on welfare checks and foreign aid to countries we should have been nuking the shit out of, that's what the bastids was doin.' Never trust those bastids, son. They make a livin' by lying and the bigger the lie, the better they like it." A lot of people believed such things about the space program. They thought we were pissing money away into a black hole and lying about the results.
I like the old man. He's helped me a lot with farming projects and he's a genuine Georgia Redneck--- he's been plowing fields, growing peanuts and corn, since his daddy ran the 150-acre farm years ago. His neck is as wrinkled as the vent hose on a clothes dryer and his hands are as rough as alligator feet. His dentures don't fit right and he makes clacking noises when he talks. He's been married to the same woman for more than 50 years. And he votes in EVERY election.
He's the salt of the earth, but as full of shit as a Christmas goose. He knows planting and fertilizing and pest-control, and he knows just how much water the crops need. He's also an ignorant sumbitch totally convinced that he's RIGHT when he doesn't know what the hell he's talking about.
We have a lot of people like that in the world. The man can grow peanuts, cotton and corn, but he really doesn't know jack-shit about government or politics. The fact that he doesn't know jack-shit doesn't stop him from venting his opinions, however, and if you dare to disagree, he's ready to fight. I wouldn't want to tangle with the old bastid. He might wring my neck like I was a chicken, or shoot me if he thought that he couldn't take me bare-handed. I just let him rant.
He has his perceptions and they are stark reality to him. I think about him often when I read some of the asswits who compare Bush with Hitler and who believe that the war against terror was a big mistake. I have a troll who keeps calling Bush a drunk. He's as full of shit as that farmer, but the troll believes every word he writes, just as the farmer believes we never landed on the moon.
Perception is a dangerous thing. Just because you FEEL something and you BELIEVE something doesn't make it true. If you never think that you just MIGHT be full of shit, you don't think enough.
Try the occasional reality check.
All content © Rob Smith