11/11/2005

Spontaneous Rant of the Day (#3)

You know what really annoys me, in all its myriad facets? Blind obedience. I don't understand it. I don't get people who would simply follow something, a person, an idea, without ever giving thought as to why.

This is a topic that can veer off into so many different arenas. People blindly follow everything from religion to sports teams (which, so some, are religions unto themselves). Writers, artists, bands, politicians. There are people out there who simply accept anything and everything that comes out of certain people's mouths, and I just don't get it.

Religion and politics are probably the two biggest hot-button issues in the world today, the ones that really fire people up, and for the most part, these people aren't speaking, or even thinking for themselves. They merely spout whatever the talking point of the day is without ever really giving any thought to what it is they're saying, let alone why.

Just because something is written in the Bible, or the Qur'an, or the Torah, just because some politician rattles off some bullshit excuse for whatever he's just gotten into trouble for, that doesn't make it truth.

We are born with the ability to think and to reason, and with that comes a responsibility, not an option, but a responsibility, to question the world around us, to question everything. That's how we learn. That's how we better ourselves.

"Question Authority" is more than a snappy motto that looks good on a bumper sticker. It is our obligation as people.

Politics and religion are, of course, not the only domain in which obedience is given without hesitation. It happens everywhere, in every walk of life. There are people who will defend their favorite author and declare that anything and everything he or she has written is brilliant (I will admit to succumbing to this every once in a while, though I'm aware of it and I try not to).

The same goes for music, and art, and poetry. There are some people who will absolutely swear that music begins and ends with the Beatles. Or Led Zeppelin. Or Pink Floyd. They will say that every album is the best ever, and if you dare to criticize it, they will vehemently defend the work as if it were their own.

Sports is a huge part of life all around the world. People are downright fanatical about their teams, and if you're not, too, if you innocently comment about how poorly a team is playing, or how management is ruining a team, you will be branded as "not a true fan."

Take Nebraska, for example. People here love their Cornhuskers, which is fine. There's not much to do in this state, so people rally around the university's football team. It is as much a religion here as Christianity is. And what have we already said about blindly following religion?

I was born in Kentucky, but raised in Omaha. I grew up surrounded by sycophantic football fans who would, to this day, kiss the very ground Tom Osborne walked upon. I rooted for the team, sure. Everyone else was doing it, but it was the extent to which people rooted that always annoyed me. To these people, Nebraska could do no wrong. Even when they play like crap, especially recently, people will defend them to no end. It's one thing to be a fan, but it's entirely another to ignore reality.

A true fan, and this goes for any and all of the above examples, religion, politics, writers, whatever, would be critical of the object of their adoration. A true fan would always want the best effort, but would be able to acknowledge when a less-than-stellar performance is put forth. That doesn't make you any less of a fan. It makes you more of one because you so badly want the best, and are disappointed when you don't get it.

If your team isn't very good this year, it's okay to admit. If your favorite band's new album isn't as good as the last, then say so. If your president lies to you about pre-war intelligence that he knew was bogus, then call him on it.

You point out faults so that they can be improved upon next time. If you constantly, blindly agree with someone, if all you are is a "yes" man, then things will never change, never get better, be it art or religion or what have you.

If you always say that everything is great, then how do you truly know what greatness is?

Question Authority. It's not a slogan. It's a way of life.

End of Rant

3 comments:

mEg said...

What if you don't think anything is great? How do you truly know what mediocracy is?

1031 said...

Well, in that case, you just gotta take my word for it. ;)

rainbowponi said...

i'm scared.