Sunday, August 1, 2010

Objective reality is dead. We are just guests at the wake.

The Portland Police Department have closed the investigation of charges against Al Gore for sexual assault against a massage therapist for an incident that happened in 2006. The public would be completely unaware of this except for the National Enquirer. Over at my other blog, It's News 2 Them™, I have followed the headlines they have had about Al and the therapist. I point you toward this link from the middle of the story, which has a further link to an investigation by Talking Points Memo, a center-left political news blog.

The Enquirer got a Pulitzer nomination for their work on the John Edwards story. This isn't the worst major award mistake in my lifetime. Henry Kissinger has a Nobel Peace Prize, for pity's sake. In my lifetime, Around the World in 80 Days, The Sound of Music, Rocky, Ordinary People, Dances With Wolves, Braveheart, Crash and Slumdog Millionaire were Best Picture winners. The Pulitzer's mistake was just a nomination and not a win, but it ranks right up there with these other mistakes.

I've only been reading the tabloids closely for about seven months now and only the covers, but I'm a quick study. Some of the supermarket rags have reporters who do a good job, but many of the headline writers are grotesque hacks. They are happy to put people in jail who haven't even been charged yet, and in the case of Al Gore, it looks like he'll never be charged in this case. The Portland Police decided the woman's story wasn't credible, and though the Enquirer denies it, the Portland Police say the woman was paid by the Enquirer. In such a case, I believe the Portland Police.

None of this matters a whit. There are people who hate Al Gore and will believe with all their hearts that this was a whitewash and a miscarriage of justice. More than that, they will believe that Al Gore's alleged inability to control his penis is proof that Anthropogenic Climate Change is just a figment of evil people's imaginations.

Before you think this is an indictment of right wing stupidity, let's recall the story that brought the National Enquirer out of the wilderness, their exposé of the drug habits of Rush Limbaugh. By bribing Limbaugh's maid, they got a lot of the details correct about his Oxycontin use. On tape, he told the people who were his middlemen to keep silent or he would be in jail.

They didn't keep silent. He admitted his addiction and went into rehab. Charges were filed against him by the police of doctor shopping to get more pills than a single prescription would fill. He did get thousands of pills in the space of a few months, so the facts looked to be incontrovertible. He hired a big scary lawyer, Roy Black. The district attorneys in Palm Beach allowed him to plead not guilty in exchange for court ordered supervision for 18 months after a three year investigation.

In the eyes of the law, Mr. Limbaugh is a free man. This does not stop some people from thinking he is just a rich person who gamed our now decrepit and corrupt legal system.

In much the same way, but with the split being racial instead of political, the legal system letting both Kobe Bryant and Michael Jackson free are seen as either wise use of the court's power or the end of civilization as we know it.

If you have a particular prejudice, then you are a niche and someone will scratch you. On the Internet, on TV, in the newspapers, there is someone who will tell you what you want to hear, no matter what happens. Obama crushes McCain in a landslide? This is a major victory for a Republican splinter group that will call itself the Tea Party. Even more evidence is present about global warming? The polls can show that the public is turning against the idea.

Science is just "theory", much weaker than its modern rival "conjecture". After all, science said bumblebees can't fly. Stupid, stupid scientists.

In brief, objective reality is dead. We are just guests at the wake.


Anonymous said...

Some powerful thoughts. Good post Matty Boy.

Karen Zipdrive said...

Yeah, very well put.