Truth of the Matter

Given the amount of information available on any given topic, one would think misinformation, myths and lies would be a thing of the past. One would think! Of course, we all know that’s not true, and in fact, we seem to be more confused to what the truth is on any given subject than ever. I’m not talking about flat earthers, or those claiming we never landed on the moon, there will always be a small segment of humans out on a weak limb. I’m thinking more along the lines of climate change, politics, and our media in general. For instance, News. I happen to believe what I read in the headlines of the major markets, but I understand, outlets need to frame their headlines in a certain way, and that all our media is profit based. I also understand that from time to time, they get something wrong. Generally, I believe our media is honest. I do want to draw a distinction here, I’m not including political pundits, on any network. Being somewhat of a science nerd, I also tend to trust science, and yet I know science is always evolving, new theories are always emerging. And then there’s politics, and you can’t talk about truth in politics unless you mention Trump. First a disclaimer, Trump ain’t the first politician to warp the truth. He just does it better than anyone else. Ever! I never believed he had a shot at winning the Presidency simply because I thought people would see through his bullshit. I was wrong. So how is it, people accept his word as truth, and how do you fight it? Well, you can’t fight his beliefs with truth, with facts, as others would suggest. Indeed, it’s claimed that re-framing lies with facts is the way to go. I don’t buy into that. So how do you change peoples beliefs, when their truths are wrong. There’s a lot to unpack in that question, and it offers up more questions than answers perhaps. It starts with an examination your own personal beliefs, your facts, and the reason for them. You simply can’t persuade a person to change their belief systems if you’re using bogus facts yourself, or repeating a viral Internet meme as a foundation for truth. Sorry, that’s laughable. It’s important to establish why you believe a fact is true, from an emotional standpoint. How a fact moves you to laugh, or cry. For example, I find it hard to give any credit to those claiming our moon landings were all a hoax, simply because of the pride I take in my nations, and humanities, accomplishments. They could be right, for all I know, but the evidence is moot because I don’t want to hear it simply because doing so would damage that pride. It’s no different with politics. The question isn’t replacing your opponents facts with your facts, facts can be found to support any position, true or not. The question is how do you get your opponents to start questioning their own beliefs, especially when their beliefs make them feel better. Part of that answer is in the ‘entertainment factor’, part of it is in ‘being special’ and another part of it is in ‘belonging’. Trumps a perfect example, he’s entertaining, people like that. They didn’t see his mockery of a disabled journalist as beyond pale, because he was entertaining, because no one else in the room thought it was disgusting, and it bought them all together as a group, making them all special, even while knowing the behavior was probably wrong. All on an emotional level. How do you think a trump support felt when he mocked the disabled, if that supporter had a disabled child at home? I’d guess they’d be somewhat bothered, but they very well might not be bothered to the point where they withdrew their support. Same thing with his pussy grabbing. It’s bothersome at an emotional, human level, but acceptable. Why? For several reasons. First, it wasn’t too long ago where we mocked the disabled, where the term ‘retarded’ was common place, and talk about grabbing pussy, well, that really was locker room talk, something men just did. While both might stir emotional issues with a person, the emotional issues were able to be swept aside due to a sense of justification at an emotional level. An emotional connection to the person standing next to you, that you’re both part of something special. That’s a strong bond, and the only way to break it is by establishing a stronger bond, from another emotional perspective, and that ain’t an easy thing to do


Disposable People

I suppose the Holiday season is a good time as any to highlight how we treat our elderly and disabled. NBC news does that pretty well with this bit about nursing homes kicking elderly patients who can’t pay, to the curb. Who would do such a thing? 

If I walked in my front door and my mother was setting there in her wheelchair because she couldn’t pay her 10,000 dollar monthly obligation, I’d be more than just ‘pissed’. Truthfully, I can imagine that happening. My mom needs 24/7 care, and doesn’t know her ass from page three, and I say that lovingly. The problem is the system, it’s all for profit, even when the nursing home is non profit. Christ, they stripped her of her life’s savings, her life insurance policies, her stocks, and everything she owned that was of value, and now she’s eligible for Medicare. That said, my mom has it pretty nice, her environment is pleasant, she eats well, and the staff are attentive. More than I could offer here at home. I’m thankful she’s where she is. Like I mentioned, unfortunately, I can imagine a scenario where she’s evicted and dumped off on my front porch. I have a son with severe schizophrenia who lives in a group home. A few years back, he was discharged from a previous group home to live independently, with a support plan in place. A support plan that was woefully inadequate, and lead to his eviction. A support plan that was so not fucking followed through, that he ended up living with us for a year. Either that, or the Salvation army! I love my son, but that was a year of hell, emotionally and financially. He’s in a good place now, and like my mother, gets decent care, and the staff are dedicated. That brings peace of mind that you can’t buy. So to answer the question of, ‘Who would do such a thing?’. People that don’t care, staff that are untrained, and over worked, or don’t care, and organizations motivated by profit. Sons and daughters, family members too, carry some burden. Trusting their loved ones advocacy to their social workers, not knowing the laws, not caring enough to pay attention, being too submissive in having a say, all contribute. All the conditions make for the perfect nightmare, and when I say nightmare, try cleaning up your own mother when she’s shit all over the place. Been there, done that once, and nightmare doesn’t come close to that horror.