On Facebook today I saw a great meme. I ended up 'friending' the person who posted it, as I came across it through another friend. I'm re-posting the meme here, because I think the impact should be felt by everyone.
It never fails to astonish me that so many people make the choice to be ignorant. Anyone who is capable of getting on a computer and using it at all, is fully capable of using Google, Wikipedia, and/or a wide variety of other sites to learn things about the world.
A few years ago it didn't bother me as much to run into people like that, but having dealt with a person who chose television viewing of the most mind-numbing programs, over any sort of mental exercise, altered my perception of it drastically. We have brains, and we have them for good reason. We're meant to use them, and when we use them we actually get rewarded by becoming smarter. A few years ago I thought I was an oddity because the power of my curiosity compelled me, much like the power of Christ compelling demons to leave the body. I had to know things. Actually, that's the wrong tense for the word, because I still have to know things. I just thought I was the weird one out, and that nobody else should be forced to do what might be weird just because it would make my life a heck of a lot easier.
Having dealt with the fall-out from television zombification, however, and seeing first-hand how easily the mind rots, I've done an about-face on the issue. We have a responsibility to this world, to our families, and to ourselves, to use our brains and become as much as we are capable of becoming. Anything less than continuing to educate ourselves throughout our lives is lazy, and means unnecessary use of oxygen for a non-contributing member of society. In other words, lack of a brain becomes a drain on everyone else. In some cases people are in vegetative states for whatever reason, and obviously there isn't anything they can do about it. Those are not the people I'm referring to. I'm referring to the ones who choose to take more oxygen from the planet than they produce in ideas to compensate for the expenditure. If you want to suck up your share of the air, then put it to good use.
As long as we are striving to improve ourselves in some way, we are not wasted. When we stop improving ourselves it's a given that we aren't doing anything to improve the world either. Then all we're doing is consuming. I'm not talking about people on welfare, here. I'm talking about people who eat food that is shipped across the country, using fossil fuels in its transport, or that wear clothing that is processed from either earth-based materials or synthetics. Every person on the planet consumes things, but not every person gives back in accordance with what they consume. This isn't even an environmental issue. It's a humanity issue. Being a part of humanity is a responsibility. We receive our payment by the fact that we breathe and eat. We have been given a life, and the means to sustain it usually, but are we giving any of that back?
People who choose to stop learning, who stop asking questions, who stop caring about the world around them beyond what appears in their living rooms, are mostly humanity vampires. They drain energy from the world that the world will never see again. The responsibilities that should fall on each person's shoulders end up falling on the shoulders of the ones who actually do contribute. I often wonder what would happen if suddenly everyone in the world had doctorates in multiple fields (I'm assuming through the use of biochip implants where information could be uploaded directly into the brain - it's closer than you might think). Instead of only a few really brainy people taking on the responsibility of all the advances we reap the benefits of, if we had billions of people making those advances...wow...imagine where we would be!
In fact, not only does the responsibility of advancement fall on the few, but in most cases we have the drooling masses actually working against them. People dedicate their lives to education, knowledge, and science, only to have someone who has never even looked through a microscope decide that creationism is science and actually succeed in turning it into a law that it can be taught as science in school. People who have never actually learned the genetic details of how babies are made, are legislating birth control morality. The fact that the uneducated droolers, who actually choose not to learn anything and can often be the ones with a great deal of power in this world, happens to be a very frightening thing to me. The ones with the law degrees are telling women they know more about their vaginas than they do. They tell us that women can't get pregnant from rape, when the statistics tell us a woman is twice as likely to get pregnant from rape as she is from consensual sex - which makes sense seeing as there's no opportunity to say, "No glove, no love," to the perpetrator.
It's bad enough when the average citizen turns to ignorance as a part of their lifestyle tenets. They become mentally useless from lack of mental use, and eventually become a literal drain on society because they have to be cared for by others long before it should ever have become necessary. However, it's so much worse when it's someone who is not an average citizen, but rather someone with decision- and policy-making power. They're not just draining society but treating it to a flash-fire that is turning the world to ash. It is my humble opinion that no policy of any government should ever be voted on by those that are not educated in the subject matter and are not qualified to make any sort of ruling. Radical notion, isn't it?
Let's go back to the men who do not have vaginas, and also have no medical training, but make free with reproductive rights for women. They slant their opinions with so-called morality, when in fact they are the most immoral cretins currently walking the earth. They're the same morons who think women are asking for it when they get raped. They choose to be ignorant of the fact that most men are perfectly capable of stopping themselves from raping every woman wearing a mini-skirt. In fact, if all men compulsively had to drop their trousers every time a woman walked by, they'd be too busy raping women to bother legislating those reproductive rights. Most likely we'd have had nothing but female legislators long before now, seeing as many of the men who do rape attack in packs, leaving the remaining women to meander in their mini-skirts to real jobs.
If you think I'm exaggerating a bit, wait until you hear this. There's a politician in the States who wants women to be forced to report every single one of their miscarriages to the police. He's totally serious about it, too. The only time a miscarriage should ever be reported is if it's caused by someone purposely hitting a pregnant woman in the abdominal area in order to cause a miscarriage. It's assault, and causes not just the death of a fetus that may or may not be feeling anything at that point, but a great deal of physical and emotional trauma to the woman who was growing the child within her womb. It's beyond ridiculous to introduce this kind of legislation. Not only for the above reasons, but also because it would be impossible to handle the reports, many women don't even know they're pregnant at the time they miscarry, it's a huge waste of resources for police departments, and there's no actual crime. How the hell is it a crime for a woman to lose her baby? The medical term for a miscarriage is 'spontaneous abortion' and there's a reason for the word 'spontaneous'. It's unpredictable and uncontrollable. Again, not a crime.
These people in power who choose ignorance are actively, not passively, harming other people. I have to wonder, however, whether or not the ignorance is a ruse meant to lull people into a false sense of, "He's/she's an idiot - just ignore him/her and he'll/she'll go away." People can get complacent when confronted with moronic behaviour, many understanding that to argue with an idiot is a fruitless endeavor. We assume the idiots are harmless and stop paying attention to what they're really doing and the kind of impact they're having. They certainly aren't legislating male masturbation and sanctifying the sperm spilled which is more what's in line with biblical thinking. Some such nonsense about it being better to spill the seed in a 'harlot' than cast it upon the ground. If they're so keen on morality as dictated by the Christian bible, then masturbation by men should be a crime.
Of course, now that I've meandered off onto that topic I know I've got many hours ahead of me where I'm constantly hearing the Monty Python crew's stunning refrains from, "Every Sperm is Sacred."