Friday, April 15, 2005

Fred Reed: irreverent philosopher

Thanks to jomama I now have yet another good info-tainment website to read. Fred Reed is an ornery former Vietnam War Journalist, as well as one with other colorful life experiences. His columns are thoughtful and insightful. Exhibit A: a bit of his latest rant
People want neither freedom nor democracy. They want a soothing mother domestically and an outlet, preferably overseas, for anger.

While political democracy does not exist, cultural democracy does. It can exist because it does not threaten those who govern. The common run of humanity has no interest in learning anything or in any sort of intellectual betterment. They resent anything they see as indicating superiority in others, though, and want assurance that, as kids used to say in Alabama, “you ain’t no gooder’n me.” The degradation of the schools serves to eliminate obvious distinction, improve docility, avoid unwanted study, and make people consumers of witless amusement provided from above, as for example terrible music and awful movies.

All of the foregoing I believe serve to make the public a somnolent mass paying taxes, buying things, and directing little attention to larger matters. The only freedoms most want are the freedom to drive nice cars, watch 300 channels on the cable, drink beer, and take an occasional vacation. Freedom matters to intellectuals. For most, prosperity suffices.
This guy is like the cool, but half-crazy uncle that you’ve been warned about. You may not agree with him completely…hell, you don’t agree with me entirely either, right?.