Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hunting accident, son Raymond on the way, and Intellectuals continue to aggravate

A very serious hunting accident befell my BIL Floyd's nephew. A horse reared on him, he tried to fall off the side, but the horse fell across his lower body and crushed his pelvis. He was being aggressively treated, but clots kept developing and finally killed him yesterday. He is only approaching fifty and had a son on a Mormon mission in Brazil only a month, who will have to be flown back for a very sad event, his father's funeral. He has several other children, so the effects of this too early death will be felt for years by them and his wife. The men in Floyd's family have always loved hunting, but the King family knows from experience, too, that a horse can become fractious just being at a deer hunt with guns going off.
My sister Ann informed me yesterday that my son Raymond went through her town, after stopping to say good-bye for the winter. He was on his way to St. George where he will stay for a day or so, and then he will come on to Phoenix. I am looking forward to seeing him so much.
And I have gotten aggravated with the intellectuals again through several sources. I have lived for years among the disabled in HUD housing where I had to go or to the street since I could no longer work. Many of them are not educated, but I have learned from years of experience that you do not put down people because they are not educated as though they could not even understand a put down when they heard it. This is what who passes for 'intellectuals' in our society do all the time. It is as though they don't even expect good results, can't be bothered to try to reach anybody, and just indulge themselves in sneering tones that are going to further alienate the people they are complaining about.
I have withdrawn before from a group activity in HUD housing complexes that began to fail because of a lot of fighting, but I know better than to take potshots at these people because we have gotten into a muddle. Impoliteness and lack of courtesy just will not be tolerated. After all, what I am reacting against is the lack of civility so how any insults from me could possibly be productive I fail to see, so I just go on being polite and friendly.
I went to a blog yesterday that is very clearly written by an intellectual which is on my blog list called Writing Life II. He appears to be a professor and is the editor of a review. There was a single quote I read there yesterday about Sarah Palin that stated she was among other denigrating descriptions a 'phony'. Well, Sarah Palin has shown herself to be a very effective supporter of candidates across the nation seeking change, usually identifying with the tea party movement. But what struck me is how this intellectual assumes that like intellectuals will applaud and agree with this very shallow assessment and dismissal of the Sarah Palin phenomenon. What I pick up from Sarah Palin is that she understands and supports what pro life is all about while many intellectuals, especially those heavily influenced by intellectual attitudes since 1973, don't seem to have a clue, especially males. They don't understand why pro life people support a national figure who understands the value of a stance that now seems 'old fashioned' or 'quaint' to people not well grounded in eternal verities. I thought about leaving a comment but decided my opinion would seem too rude to him, so I decided to respond in my blog instead.
That seems like the more polite thing to do. He may never see it since he might not condescend to read my blog. See, this is why I became quite disillusioned with the degree thing back at the university. I thought that it was not going to give me any power after all that meant much. Instead I was going to have to sell out in order to get it. That is, I wasn't going to be able to say what I thought because I would be risking it, and after I got it I would be able to say even less in the job that it procured for me. I felt I had to make a choice between the 'degreed' life that would surely be deemed a success and what I had supposedly gone to the university for or I would have to take my chances with the rough and ready populace out there who might recognize my 'wisdom' when they heard it without benefit of a degree. Because it was very clear I was going to be given hardly any latitude to rebel and say what I thought which was the weakness in a system that awarded degrees for not much and at the same time demanded conformity. I decided that I would not have the freedom to think for myself even less in a state dominated by one religion, Mormonism, which had as its aim conformity of belief not just among Utah people but among the people being proselytized by missionaries.
That was I thought the general weakness of religion, the expectation of conformity. If there was questionable doctrine it was going to be very difficult to do anything about it, if conformity of belief was the goal regardless. Religious people tended not to say, well, this doctrine is questionable so we need to fix it. If you are claiming that the prophet of your church was in touch with God himself that is going to seem odd. Might cause people to question that authority who would accept it otherwise, and so you get an embrace of illogical reasoning by the religious.
I thought I could fight that in a general way. In Utah I might not be able to get a job so readily, but in another state what religion I was would not tend to matter as much.
So long as I felt free to criticize some of the aspects of religions even as I embraced other aspects I thought I would not be compromising my freedom of thought. I find that most people do that as a matter of course, so I was not out of step there.
But I just could not give up my general freedom of thought for a degree. That seemed like a contradiction in terms. I am still saying what do you mean by a degree? I have continued to read widely and to try to educate myself. I write a great deal outside of what I write here, especially recording my thinking. Which I send to others if I can, if I think they will appreciate it.
I am known as someone who will analyze a thing upside down and backwards to be sure I have not left out an important consideration. I have tried to teach my children the love of thinking, as I did my sisters in long letters I started writing them back at the university. I recall writing one sister a 25 page single space letter once, on both sides to save paper! I still write that sister long e-mails of analysis since she is able to receive them without always being able to reciprocate to those lengths, but she does well enough that I consider her one of my most important thinker friends. She also reads constantly and very swiftly. She did secure a degree and eventually even got her masters and was an English teacher for a number of years, which did not seem to compromise her integrity, but then she had me to break ground. I told her there was no point in both of us rebelling over the same thing, to go ahead and get her degrees and approach the problem of being expected to conform in other ways.
She has a better idea today than most anyone of what I tried to do and why, but could she explain it? Probably not. I have a hard time explaining it, so I would not expect her to. I will explain myself given time, because it was a complex move, the point. I did not want to sacrifice complexity. My incarceration in a psych ward added a confounding complexity to the whole university experience that is not easily explained. But since I never had to be treated after that for any kind of basic mental problem like schizophrenia, that would seem to lend credence to my claims of being rational throughout but trying to give voice to important concerns that had been suppressed my whole life up to then. That was caused by the behavior of others, so how could my mind be made to be the culprit? Given a chance I could explain everything, and did for hours to those who had the insight to stick with me and understand what I was saying.
Degrees tend to make people think life is far simpler than it is. A degree or two and we have it mastered. Not so. What a small aspect of life a degree can sometimes cover, so small as to not even be very significant, but yet we give such great importance to the acquiring of it. Even to the approval of the 'dumbing down' that might occur.
That leads to intellectuals feeling superior when their methods are not effective, when they are just spinning their wheels from not getting all the complexities involved in dealing with people. That is the fallacy we have to watch out for in intellectual credentials. They might not mean very much, but by then the intellectual may be so attached to them, he or she can't stand to be honest at all about their real value. Then you have got an intellectual who is not going to be kind or wise or effective.


Paula said...

My sympathy to the man's family who was hurt by a horse and died. I'm very afraid of horses even being a country girl. I know of two incidences where someone was hurt for life by a horse falling on them. I realize you can get hurt anyway but it is just something I'm afraid of.

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