A couple of entries ago, I spoke of how bullying is a throwback to an evolutionary mechanism that used to promote our survival, but has now become obsolete. I also spoke of how even though it is a throwback to that evolutionary mechanism, it is still just that, a throwback, and it is one that these days only survives when taught to the would-be bully. Today, I would like to talk about something that is taught by morons to other morons, all in the hope of curbing the spread of knowledge.
A search for the origin of the phrase “ignorance is bliss” turns up some interesting things. In 1742, Thomas Gray wrote Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College, in which he used the line “Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise”. The actual sweeping statement that being ignorant is somehow blissful seems to be more of a modern construct, and it seems to have been the result of someone only partially reading the above quote. Another annoying say that I heard often when I was growing up was “what you don’t know can’t hurt you”. This statement would not be accepted by others who found out after years of complaining about a sore that will not heal no matter how well-dressed they keep it, or how long. Given that I wear the scar of what a sore that refuses to heal usually indicates on my face, and will do until the day I die, I feel inclined to spit in people’s faces when they tell me that ignorance is bliss and that what I am not aware of cannot hurt me.
Even if what you do not know cannot hurt you, a patently false statement in a world of asymptomatic diseases that can be and often are fatal, it can and will hurt others. Exhibit A is autism.
Children whose only crime is to behave in manners that an increasingly corporate-focused and socially unjust world is getting obsessed with punishing arbitrarily are being murdered in numbers that should appall any decent Human being. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Contrary to what seems to be a popular belief lately, murdering people is not okay if they are disabled or causing you enough inconvenience. Imagine if your entire life consisted of sensory torment and mistreatment, only to end brutally at the hands of the people you constantly hear should love you the most. Would the spirit that goes to the Wunderwerck and reports its findings to Odin be angry, upset, feeling tormented, distrustful, or all of the above?
These child murders can be laid right at the foot of ignorance and the promotion of ignorance. Make no mistake about this. Curebies and those who exploit curebies thrive on ignorance. Every day, they pray to whatever asshole god they have that the world at large does not wake up to how ignorant they really are and determine that between autism and extreme ignorance, they would rather deal with the former. When such a thing happens, and it is a matter of when so long as the autistic are not subjected to a reenactment of the Holocaust (something that Suzanne Wright et al are trying very hard to politely vie for), they are finished. Hence, they want people who do not know any better to think that ignorance is somehow a good thing, and that being ignorant is somehow virtuous.
The exact opposite is the case. Will Rogers, a man who was among the world’s best-known celebrities during a time that corresponded to the Great Depression, once said that everyone is ignorant. Only the subject of their ignorance differs. The wisdom of this statement can be seen in the fact that every moment one spends learning something about one subject is a moment they cannot spend learning another. So if one dedicates themselves to learning about films and how they were made or how to make one yourself, one cannot dedicate themselves to learning a new language, about chemistry, or about mechanics.
Which brings us to an interesting question. If we cannot eliminate or destroy ignorance in our population, how then do we defeat it? Well, the answer lies in a couple of approaches. Although we cannot completely eliminate ignorance of every subject, we can reduce it to a worthwhile degree through public education. This brings up all kinds of questions about what subjects a child should learn during schooling, but the mandatory teaching about why people are different and how it is a good thing would also help. Another step is to educate the public that ignorance about everything as demonstrated in great amounts by people like Bible Belters is not cool, does not make you look good, and does not bring you admiration. But probably the biggest obstacle we face in fighting against ignorance is that ignorance is self-perpetuating. In people with a certain level of ignorance, it is masked. A person who is ignorant of things like psychology, for example, will often believe themselves enlightened, and that anyone who points out that they are ignorant is somehow more ignorant than they are. This is why we have so many morons proclaiming some form of government conspiracy to poison us through the use of vaccines and such. The worst kind of ignorance is best expressed in the following paraphrase of a line from Point Break. If these people knew that they knew nothing, that would at least be something. But they do not, and thus they do not merely know nothing, they know less than nothing.
I will get into this subject a little more later, but no child is ever as innocent as their parental units seem to think. Even as we are learning how to walk without falling every few steps, we start to ask ourselves if we can find something beyond our experience, different from what we already know. As we grow, the boundaries we define for that become wider and wider, but at a certain point in our lives, someone or something makes us decide that expanding our horizons is bad, or that our horizons are wide enough. Part of being autistic, at least if you believe my experience, is that even when we feel we have reached the limit of what we can learn in a given subject, we feel a desire to learn more. Possibly in other subjects. This is why little streams of information in subjects other than entertainment, photography, or audio-visuals, often come up when I talk about something. As an example, when I am writing a story, often I recall the basic psychology lesson that our intellect serves our emotions, not the other way around.
And to a child, emotions, especially negative ones, can be very scary things. That is why the original makers of Sesame Street chose to make puppet characters that represent certain emotions. Oscar, for example, represents frustration and annoyance. Telly Monster represents anxiety and that horrid feeling we all get when things do not go exactly (or worse yet, remotely) our way. Cookie Monster, contrary to what the Let’s Dumb Our Children Down As Much As We Can movement seems to think, is meant to show children just how ugly and repulsive gluttony can be. The reason he does this through sketches that are meant to draw laughter from the audience is because children also tend to learn a lot more when they are relaxed, happy, and feeling something positive. And if you think otherwise, you need to sit inside the head I had during my childhood for a while. When I was feeling okay about myself (which, as I got older, was not often), I learned very easily. When I felt angry, left out, or worse yet targeted for unfair treatment, I still learned, but it was literally like pushing shit up a hill with a drinking straw. This is why teachers who shout down at children constantly or talk down to children like they are shit stuck to a shoe tend to have the lowest success rates in terms of teaching children new information. Especially if that child happens to have difficulties with learning.
So those of you who go around lying to us about who supports your belief that vaccines cause autism or that autism is a disease do not merely make yourselves look bad in our eyes. You hurt us in a way that is as real and tangible as the hurt we feel when you rub our skins with sandpaper. You hurt the people whom you lie about supporting your position, because you had better believe that at least some of us will come to them proclaiming anger. And those who are too young, too unaware, or too vulnerable to fight back are always the ones you hurt most. I bet that makes you feel big and strong, curebies.
So for the time being, I would just like to close by reversing a couple of catchphrases to better reflect the truth. Knowledge is bliss. Knowledge is strength. And if you can see the truth in those statements without needing it explained as one would to a child, then thank you for being in existence. It gives me hope that we will, in fact, see a better world if I live to be an old man.
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