Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Culture of Idiocy

From the back of The Culture of Terrorism: "The exposure of the lies and corruption surrounding Iran/contra dealings in early 1988 finally revealed to the world the means by which US administrations have used the state apparatus to organise a clandestine network of global terrorism."  After picking up the book, which I was reading but had set aside, the person read the back and asked, "So you want to learn how to be a terrorist?"

Seriously.  That was the question?

How can one read the book description and think that Noam Chomsky's work is a handbook on how to be a terrorist?  Where does that even come from?  What words were in that paragraph that would lead anyone to believe such a thing?

My response was, "I already know how to do that.  I want to see how the pros do it."  What else could I say?  Anything I said would be unheard anyway.  If someone isn't going to pay attention to a description they just read, they sure as hell aren't going to listen to whatever answer I have to offer, so why bother trying to enter into a debate or even take the question seriously?  Exercises in futility are not sins, but they should be.  Frankly, even if the person hadn't read the book's description, the title in no way says that it is a how-to manual.

Lesson learned on that cloudy day?  If you read a book like this in public, be prepared for people to think you are a terrorist in training.  Don't try to explain any differently, either, as it is highly unlikely they will accept your answer.  How did this guy respond to me?  He just nodded his head and went on with his business.  Seems about right.
Mandatory FTC Disclaimer: I paid for this book, and if you click the link to order it, I may earn a commission.

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