Fortune-cookie aphorisms

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SPOOF SPACEYou and I know very well, that most people talk to their dogs. If you have a Border Collie, you also know, but probably won’t admit it in polite company, that your conversations are intelligent discourses. But please don’t be telling any of your government healthcare friends I told you that. You know, any excuse under Obamacare to commit a Conservative! My dog Arbuckle and I were driving around the neighborhood the other day checking out homes that might belong to gun owners. (Just looking for safe places in case some scumbag was skulking around trying to register illegal immigrants for ACORN.) Arbuckle was also checking out fire hydrants and his favorite trees – Dogwoods. Up ahead, on a car we spotted a bumper sticker that said, “I don’t own a dog, I have a Shiba Inu.”

Shiba’s are a wonderful small version of the ancient Japanese Spitz breed and the bumper statement reflected an affectionate promotion of a harmless jest. No problem with innocent humor as long as it sticks with dogs. But bumper stickers have become the vernacular of progressive politicians (lefties) to promote simple, idiotic liberal slogans as the fortune-cookie truths that resonate with politically naïve morons. As political advertisements, bumper stickers tend to reflect unevaluated conclusions that easily reinforce the promulgation of ignorance. Really, Shibas, like many dogs and most humans, only become educated through experience and exposure to responsibility via consequences and parents that teach them to distinguish between reality and fantasy. A good phrase to encompass all that might be expressed as, “Expanding one’s information base,” and is illustrated by the following story.

This article was published in a recent Wall Street Journal. Robert Darnton, the University Librarian at Harvard revealed how millions of Chinese are currently exchanging Internet messages expressing the belief that there are “sayings” intended as proverbial wisdom written on the walls of Harvard’s libraries. He describes the list of such sayings more accurately as “fortune –cookie aphorisms.” Example: “Nodding at the moment, you will dream. Studying at the moment, you will become true.” And, “Happiness may not be ranked, but success will, at the top.” The long list of such drivel supposedly written on Harvard’s library walls are believed by the Chinese to portray the ethos of hard work that drives students at Harvard to successful lives. But in reality, there are no such sayings anywhere at Harvard.

The wide acceptance of this gigantic myth is the perfect example of a failure to grasp reality through ignorance in the form of low-information. The clear analogy in the U.S. is the phenomena described by Rush Limbaugh as the “low-information voter” who helped elect Obama. “The things they think they know, but don’t really know are shocking.” Their minds are cluttered with minutiae and celebrities with no room left for deficits, tax cuts, redistribution, etc., so they believe phony aphorisms (or bumper stickers) described as “war on women,” “climate change,” fairness in taxation,” “protecting the middle class,” etc, etc. Rush suggests the need to start articulating Conservative truths and realities at the second grade level instead of K-12, is the only way to connect them with reality. To help reach the idiots, Arbuckle has asked me to start a petition to nominate him as Secretary of Education. As a Border Collie with a history of herding animals who are low on the information scale like sheep, he has an instinct that gives him an enlightened understanding of humans similarly afflicted. That will begin a conservative articulation to combat future “Harvard library” syndromes in American politics.