If you spend any time at all studying the death penalty in America today you eventually come across an immutable truth: No one who digs deeply into these grim cases ever seems to evolve from being a staunch opponent of capital punishment into being a fervent supporter of the practice. The movement, over the past 40 years anyway, has almost always been in the opposite direction: The closer one gets to capital punishment, the more dubious it appears to be.
You need to align your agricultural policies with your health and environmental policies, and you can’t have them at cross-purposes. Otherwise, you have a situation where the government is, as it is now, essentially underwriting both sides in the war on Type 2 diabetes. We spend a fortune as a society – and we’ll spend more now with Obamacare – dealing with the cost of Type 2 diabetes when it hits teenagers and kids. Very, very expensive to treat, and the government’s on the hook and insurance industry’s on the hook, because they have to insure everybody. At the same time, we’re subsidizing the production of high fructose corn syrup and making sugar unreasonably cheap, and underwriting the calories that are causing Type 2 diabetes. That’s insane. So how do you adjust your farm policies to support your health policies?
Yesterday when a friend was all, “Oh my God, have you seen the Kanye video?” I was like, no, I don’t care about the Kanye video and I feel as if it is one of the few signal achievements in my career, if we want to call it that, that I have somehow gotten myself into a position where I don’t need to have an opinion about the Kanye video, and, more importantly, no one really needs to have an opinion about the Kanye video, the fact that you are going to watch something that is widely acknowledged to be terrible—the fact that you are going to watch something and hope while you watch that it is exactly as terrible as widely acknowledged—so that you can be a part of the “conversation,” which is just an empty and ridiculous exchange of self-important jack-offs trying to speak as loudly as possible so that they can drown out the inner voice that tells them just how shockingly bereft of value their own lives are as they careen towards oblivion, is a remarkable indictment of the vacuous, hollow pit we confuse with culture these days. You don’t have to watch ANYTHING, and the less you say about something the smarter you are. Good Lord, people, listen to yourselves, if you can even stand it, it’s horrifying. (I had switched to the second person plural at this point because my friend, having heard so many variations of this monologue already, had long since wandered off.) Anyway, that was before I saw this Bob Dylan video, which is really something. And I say this as someone who doesn’t go in for the concept of “interactive” at all. It’s pretty neat!
Every fact of science was once damned. Every invention was considered impossible. Every discovery was a nervous shock to some orthodoxy. Every artistic innovation was denounced as fraud and folly. The entire web of culture and ‘progress,’ everything on earth that is man-made and not given to us by nature, is the concrete manifestation of some man’s refusal to bow to Authority. We would own no more, know no more, and be no more than the first apelike hominids if it were not for the rebellious, the recalcitrant, and the intransigent. As Oscar Wilde truly said, ‘Disobedience was man’s Original Virtue.’
Robert Anton Wilson