Yesterday we were having lunch at a diner in Anchorage.
In the booth directly behind me were four tourists.
Two older couples, obviously up from the lower 48.
They were talking loudly, excited to be in Anchorage. They were discussing the pictures on the walls of the diner and the view out the window.
Then one of the women said, “I heard Sarah Palin called Obama’s Healthcare Plan ‘evil.’”
They all agreed that Palin obviously was some type of authority on the subject.
Then the same woman continued, “She said that the plan will require that you get counseling when you get to be our age. Say if you get terminal cancer, you have to get mandatory counseling on going into a hospice and ending your life so you’re not a burden on society.”
They all agreed that the Plan is indeed evil.
(You may at this point, visualize me banging my head on the table)
A couple of minutes later, one of the men says, “Look at that picture, the caption says that it was the original diner and this one here is where they moved after the big earthquake.”
Other woman, “Earthquake? What earthquake?”
Man, “I dunno. Are there earthquakes here?”
Other Man, “That picture looks like it was taken in the 30’s. Did they have a big earthquake here in the 30’s?”
And the conversation continues in this vein for a while with the group finally deciding that there must have been some kind of earthquake in the 30’s or 40’s but Alaska obviously doesn’t have earthquakes anymore.
(You may at this point, continue to visualize me banging my head on the table)
There are days I wonder how the Republic survives, I really do.
When these idiots are the ones doing the voting, I really wonder sometimes if democracy is all it’s cracked up to be.
Euthanasia? Really? I mean really?
Sarah Palin says that Obama is going to demand that old people kill themselves instead getting treatment and you buy into this crap? Palin, you’re actually listening to Palin? Because she’s been such a font of wisdom so far, right? It doesn’t occur to you to actually read the bill? No, fuck it, Sarah read it, she knows. Her and Jenny McCarthy and Betsy McCaughey. Then there’s the whole “Obama’s Bill” part. You know, the part where the President makes all the laws and such. These people had to be in their 60’s, somebody explain to me how they could have lived six goddamned decades in the United States of America and not have any clue whatsoever of how their own fucking government works? How is that possible? I mean, we make immigrants learn the differences between the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of the government. You’re supposed to lean about it in school. Hell, they used to have a song about how a bill becomes a law on School House Rock for Christ’s sake. But apparently in these people’s mind TEH ZOMG EVIL OBAMA creates the laws and grinds up old people for Soylent Green or something. Argh!
And just for the record, the 1964 Good Friday Quake in Anchorage, Alaska was the largest earthquake ever experienced on the North American continent, the second largest ever recorded in the world by modern instruments. It’s one of the most famous earthquakes ever recorded. How in the fuck could you be 60 years old and live in America and never have heard of it? It was one of the biggest disasters of the decade. And how could you possibly not know that Alaska is tectonically active, the whole west coast of the North American continent is? And in fact is one of the most tectonically active places in the world? Especially how could you not know this if you’re planning a trip there? How in the hell could anybody possibly be this ignorant?
Both parts of this conversation show a pattern of faulty thinking, of conclusions and worldviews based on false information. What is so damned sad is that accurate information is readily available, but it did not occur to even one of these four people to seek it out. Not one of them said, “Euthanasia? That sounds wrong. Perhaps we should read the actual bill before forming our opinion of its inherently evilness.” Not one of them said, “Geez, perhaps we should read a bit about Alaska before we visit it.”
But yeah, get out there and vote.