Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

It is instructive, I tell you.

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU
 
Bonobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 05:33 PM
Original message
It is instructive, I tell you.
Edited on Thu Apr-14-11 05:33 PM by Bonobo
The Japanese situation has become an interesting example (to me) of the problem with the way Americans see "issues" and choose sides.

As it currently stands, in the minds of many DU'ers, posting an article about how the situation in Japan is "not as bad", "stabilizing" or "getting better" has become the same thing as supporting the nuclear industry AND posting an article about the inevitable death of Japan, atomic explosions and poisoning of the Earth forever is considered to be an "anti-nuclear" position.


The way these 2 groups have divided or are perceived to have divided -even that 2 groups exist and must struggle against each other is EMBLEMATIC of an issue, a problem with the way Americans exist in their political world.

They tend to see an issue as having exactly 2 sides, with little room for grey areas and they feel the obligation is to jump on one side and destroy the other side.

It is, I believe, an artifact that comes from the 2-party system and I think it is very limiting and will keep America stuck where it is.

Give it some thought people. Something isn't right about it.

Ask yourself. Does it make sense that people unrec anything even mildly hopeful about Japanese nuclear crisis as if it threatens their political position?

What is behind that rock? It deserves to be unturned and gazed at. It is ugly.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 05:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. I dunno...
I feel firmly planted in the grey area of that particular issue.

People unrec for many reasons... I suspect a lot of it has to do with feudal behaviors between individuals. I for one will be very happy to see that system go buh bye.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 05:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. For one, I really hope things are not just stabilizing, but getting to a point where cleanup can
begin.

You are right; things here ARE extremely polarized, not just evidenced by the reactions of people on DU, but also by the reactions of the professional (mostly right wing) pundit class- Ann Coulter, for instance, screeching about how radiation is 'good for you'.

You have to take into account a couple things; first, people here are used to being lied to, used to assuming they're being lied to, and most people on DU are aware that there are VERY well-funded interests putting out disinformational noise on everything from oil spills to global warming to the so-called 'dangers' of marijuana. And no matter how you slice it, what has happened if Fukushima is very serious; it's a serious accident, and even in the best-case scenario it is going to have long-term consequences for the immediate area around the reactors.

But that said, you're right- and personally, while I am someone who is VERY concerned about not just Fukushima but the blase attitude taken towards these radiation releases by our government, but I also am more than willing to challenge someone who posts, say, Alex Jones or Infowars as a source on a breathless story about how 'nuclear explosions' are imminent. Bad science pisses me off, as do silver peddling, tin foil crisis bloggers.


I do think most of us want the same thing, i.e. stabilization and minimization of any further damage or contamination.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MedleyMisty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 05:49 PM
Response to Original message
3. Same thing I saw with Libya
Edited on Thu Apr-14-11 05:50 PM by MedleyMisty
Our news thread, where we mostly just post news about Libya - we do comment sometimes, but for the most part it's just links to actual news articles - gets unrecced and trolled. Anything honest or real about Libya gets ignored and unrecced. It's ugly. Very ugly.

It seems to be people being knee jerk anti-military intervention at all costs, even though the Libyans asked for it and support it and are even today still demonstrating with American and French and Qatar and other flags in thanks and support for the NFZ - although they are rather upset with NATO and countries like Turkey and Russia and China.

Actually - every time someone who is ignorant about Libya opens their mouth without knowing what they're talking about, it's ugly. I've definitely learned that over the last few months - ignorance is ugly. Next time I find myself being ugly about something, I'm going to stop and ask "Self, do you know enough about this to be talking about it?"

I suggest looking into Buddhist philosophy - it's all about overcoming dualistic thinking. :)

And I don't mean to hijack the thread with Libya - it's just that the two situations seem to be similar, in the way that you observed. Which backs up your theory of it being far more about American culture and psychology than it is about the actual issues.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BlancheSplanchnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
4. Interesting---I never thought of connecting black and white thinking
with the two-party system here.

I wonder what the social gestalt is like in countries with a multi-party system? and how would that filter down and express in individual behavior?

very interesting post.

(I recced it too :P :D )
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 05:53 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Things are REALLY polarized in this country. I don't think it was even like this, here, when I was a
kid.

I mean, even with the Vietnam war, the 60s, and everything else.. Now it seems like anything and everything is up for debate, and causes a fight. Particularly since the right thinks it can make up its own "facts" on everything from global warming to evolution.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BlancheSplanchnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 06:30 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. Oh yes, social discourse is polarized alright!
Once again, I go back to Neil Postman's book, "Amusing Ourselves to Death".

He predicts how the fall of the written word as television dominated society would destroy the ability to think critically. He describes the various scenarios that would likely result as the population's IQ steadily dropped.

Absolutely prescient book..... It seems to me that the polarized factions seem to be the ignorant bullies vs the educated "rationals" (for lack of a better term. I had to come up with something, so I could finish my post!)

And, perhaps there's a third tier? the puppet-masters, the CorporateFascists who manipulate the bullies in numerous ways.



Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 05:53 PM
Response to Original message
5. Big part of the problem- corporations/governments lie to us to cover their asses.
Like with BP oil spill in the Gulf.

Some DU'ers really got overly dramatic about it killing the entire planet. But it's hard to really fault people when the corporate toadies so willingly obfuscate and deceive and exhibit no real concern for the lives of the victims over their bottom line.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
7. It is a mode of thinking most appropriate to crisis, and little else.
Fight or flight.

I would similarly expect encouraging either-or thinking -- the horse race the popular media so adores -- would serve to keep viewers feeling eternally in crisis, as well.

It is simpler to manage a population that feels threatened, eh?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BlancheSplanchnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. good point. Fight, flight (or freeze)
Authoritarians would feel most comfortable in such a social order.

Another description that comes to mind is the Buddhist life-state, Animality, where one perceives their self and the world as a victim/victimizer duality. The weak fear the strong, the strong prey on the weak, the weak fawn on the strong, the strong need the weak....and one can switch roles.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 05:55 PM
Response to Original message
8. k&r for non-dichotomous thinking.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 06:02 PM
Response to Original message
9. I've contemplated the polarised viewpoints
that seem to represent American thinking and think it comes not so much from the two party system but from direct voting.

While you vote for the most popular, we, with a preferential voting system, tend to end up with the less-hated in parliament.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BlancheSplanchnik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. hi toad!
:hi:

Hey, can you explain "preferential voting system"? I'm not familiar with that.....

I assume you're in Australia.... if the U.S. could be called polarized, how would you describe Australia? Geez, I know that's a wayyy too generalized question, but I'm not sure how to otherwise word it.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
canetoad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. Heya Blanche
:hi:

Yep, Australia here.

On the ballot paper you have your list of candidates for the seat and you number them 1, 2,3 etc in order of preference. The primary vote is the number of '1s' that a candidate gets but it's also influenced by how many have voted for that candidate as a second or third choice.

We also have compulsory voting. I believe that leads to less excitable election campaigns; there is no focus on GOTV as we all are required to vote.

It's hard so say without generalising how I would describe the differences between Oz & USA. We have a lunatic right wing fringe too, but they are a lot less vocal and less powerful than your Repubs or Tea Partiers. In general, politicians are not elevated to celebrity status and are regarded more as a irritating necessity!

Take care :hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 06:39 PM
Response to Original message
12. That is not the main reason people are unrecing, as far as I can tell.
Edited on Thu Apr-14-11 06:42 PM by Hissyspit
People are unrecing obvious spin and industry talking points mostly from what I've seen. There was A LOT of bad news this week and plenty of people trying to deliberately ignore it. Yes, there have people over-reacting here on certain aspects of the disaster and ignorance and misinformation gets posted, but if you really want to get instructive and meta, ask why people are so desperate to pretend that this is not a sci-fi-ish nightmare vision made real, even if we have to argue which sci-fi nightmare vision made real it is..

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-14-11 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
13. The other way to see it is that some people are so died-in-the-wool "positive thinkers" that any
hint of reality that sounds "negative" will be seen as divisive.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Mon Apr 21st 2014, 05:13 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » General Discussion Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC