I don’t know where Qatar is.

I only vaguely know where Syria is, and somebody apparently just declared war in my name over there. I don’t know where Eritrea is, or South Sudan or Djibouti, though the Jeep radio tells me “we’ll” probably be killing people for humanitarian purposes over there very soon.

I simply don’t care that Robert Mueller is investigating Trump for collusion about something, or obstruction of justice over something, or because he tweeted something, or not at all. I don’t accept that it’s vitally important for me to be outraged that “the Russians” may or may not have hacked some files relevant to the 2016 election, but that I must utterly ignore the established fact that the Democratic Party definitely rigged their primary. Y’know what? I didn’t vote. I don’t care. Do what you will. The real tragedy of that election is that both of those utter assclowns couldn’t lose it.

Some guy drove a van through a crowd outside a mosque that spends a certain amount of time in the news even without vans and crowds and it’s either the worst terrorist act in British history, or a regrettable but inevitable Isolated Incident, or What Those Bloody Wogs Deserve, depending on who grabbed the microphone, and … Okay, I’m a bad person but I really don’t care.

Apparently Megyn Kelly had Alex Jones’s love child on broadcast television last night. I may have made that up. Why should I be different? The important thing is that some parents who were bereaved of their children several years ago didn’t like it because it distracts attention from … something, I dunno.

Somebody (finally?) emptied a rifle at a gaggle of congress denizens at play last week, and people are actually arguing over whether it was terrorism or attempted justifiable homicide. Okay, I’ll confess that was mildly interesting, even though it took days for the highly-trained journalists on the story to agree on what sort of rifle it was. Which was my only question.

A couple of days ago somebody said in a comment, …

This taking everything with a grain of salt is exhausting and I’m not sure it isn’t intentional. Eventually people will just give up trying to understand the facts and swallow the line like a big ass Bass.

Alternately, they’ll just begin to ignore the news or treat it as seriously as a Dilbert strip. “There is no truth in Pravda and no news in Izvestia” said the Russians, who understood these things long before we began to catch on.

Which is a long-winded introduction to a much better screed on the topic by Claire

I was raised to politics at my mother’s knee. In the seventh grade I recall selecting a political assignment from a term project list and not only making up a booklet full of diagrams and photos about How Our System of Government Works. I actually found pictures of all the cabinet secretaries and knew all their names and histories. Coulda told you where the Secretary of Agriculture was born, even.

Mom was so proud.

I also knew the names of the leaders of Thailand, Germany, France, Laos, Indonesia, England, Ireland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Russia (of course; everybody knew that one), and probably Lower Slobovia and Elbonia, too. (And Elbonia didn’t even exist yet!)

And look how much freer the world is because I Informed Myself and Did My Civic Duty!

Now? Pffffft. I wish I couldn’t tell you the name of the president of the U.S.

I used to sneer at that huge percentage of polled people who couldn’t name the vice president. Now I envy them.

Most of them may have genuine apathy. I’m merely post-caring. A recovering carer.

Plenty of people will tell us we’re not doing our duty as citizens, that we’re betraying future generations or the American System or some damn thing if we don’t swallow every hook that comes along. But it’s time to admit the truth: “The system,” if there ever really was one, has betrayed us. As usual, Claire is right. In taking it and its eternally fake news seriously, we’re just acting like a bunch of gullible putzes. It’s time to shrug. To the best of our individual ability and circumstance, it’s time for that belly laugh.

But – weak chuckle – for those of us who remain political junkies in spite of our wiser inner voices, it’s kind of a … process.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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9 Responses to I don’t know where Qatar is.

  1. Ben says:

    The news told me that it was a “high caliber” rifle. Do we need to know more than that?

  2. Bear says:

    As of this morning, they still can’t agree on the rifle type: I saw another column that called it an M4.

    I’ve been a news junkie, and I burned out. But now I’ve been doing gun news aggregation for TZP for the past year and a half… and I’ve discovered what REAL burnout is. I have to keep LOLCats on my browser bookmark toolbar to click when things get too bad. Sometimes I SEARCH OUT cute cat videos to decompress.

    And then back to the freakin’ BS “news.”

    But for several reasons I can’t in good conscience quit. But I’m so toasted that I haven’t updated my own blog for nearly a month.

  3. Joel says:

    The first mention of the rifle I saw, on the day of the shooting, claimed it was an M4. I think we can safely assume that’s bullshit.

    Consensus seems to be settling on SKS, but nobody’s showing the actual gun.

  4. Judy says:

    Since I’m part of the Peasant Class what I think doesn’t matter too much to the Owner Class in this world. Therefore, I keep a very jaundiced eye on the news solely for knowing when it would be in my best interests not to be somewhere at any given time.

    Yup, Qatar is in the Middle East and supposedly they are allowing terrorists to train in their country which are annoying the Saudis. I’m sure if somebody dug deep enough the good ol’ CIA is into it up to their eyeballs; if for nothing more than encouraging that $hit.

  5. MJR says:

    I’ve just about come to the conclusion that watching the news is a waste of time. The news media stopped simply reporting the news and started sensationalizing it a long time ago when the bean counters decreed it must make money. The way things stand now it’s getting too time consuming to wade through all the hype and bullshit to get at the real information. These days I watch just enough news to get a general idea about what’s going on and that’s it. Any more than this will result in my head bursting like the martians in Mars Attacks.


    Once I was one of those “you must vote for the good of the country” guys but not any more. It really doesn’t matter who is elected, the only promise they will keep is that they will make more promises. The only way I would ever vote again is if they added a “None of the Above” box to the ballot. What I see happening today in politics is policy makers trying to fight social entropy by adding more rules and regulations and their battle is a loosing one.

    As for Qatar or guitar or whatever the hell you want to call it, the time has come to stop throwing good money after bad and pull all the troops out of that part of the world. Let them solve their own problems. Between fracking and the Alberta oil sands there is no real reason to be there.The butcher’s bill for this region is too high already.

    Looking around at what happening today i really think the Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times” is certainly coming true.

  6. Unclezip says:

    People are more concerned with the pebble in their shoe. The rest of that crap? Fuhgetaboutit.

  7. Goober says:

    My god. We still haven’t learned, have we?

  8. Goober says:

    The burnt fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the fire…

    …as surely as water will wet us, as surely as fire will burn,
    The Gods of the Copy book Headings with terror and slaughter return!

  9. Kentucky says:

    I’d like your note better without the “have to”.


To the stake with the heretic!