Preface to Tempest in a Teapot
If someone told me that 99.9% of American scientists are involved in a massive conspiracy along with 99.9% of the rest of the world’s scientists to fool the American people into U.N. slavery through Agenda 21-style global-warming strategems, I would say that person should get a copy of the movie “Dr. Strangelove” and take notes. I’d point out they were manifesting classic symptoms of sociopathic paranoia that were identifiable to Hollywood script writers at least as far back as 1964 and that they were a probably a danger to others if not treated, and I’d be right. If that same someone were to indignantly protest that I was misrepresenting her, that she clearly said she believed it was closer to 99% instead of my inflated 99.9%, I’d be forced to add that she was delusional to boot, still just as dangerous, and I’d be right again. If that person then accused me of being a U.N. dupe for holding such unpatriotic views, I’d be amused. Finally, if that person ran for public office and won, deafening fire alarms would start going off in my head and, once again, I’d be right.
Reasonable people who live in Ravalli County, Montana know that this isn’t a hypothetical situation. They’d also recognize that, compared to the toxic paranoid stew of national teabaggery these days, the Bitterroot is just a little teapot’s worth of trouble. But although real tempests are nothing if not localized catastrophes, the tempest we’re experiencing here is our own local version of what's going on all over our great land these days, and a symptom of a grave, possibly fatal, national illness. Every small, rural community is getting hit in similar ways. In a Democracy, Ignorance is Death, and when the burnt scrum of provincial local politics at the bottom of the pot finally builds up and boils over, the stew tastes like nothing more than overcooked personal issues liberally seasoned with jingoist bullshit . Like Samuel Johnson famously put it, “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel”. He was talking about false patriotism, but we’ve all internalized his maxim, so to speak. So we’re stuck with it, and since we are, let’s use it to contemplate mass paranoia fed by corporate demagoguery.
I write this in the interest of full disclosure. Notwithstanding limiting factors such as time constraints and caffeine shortages, this attempt sums up my baseline definition of “paranoia” in any current political sense. All similarities to actual people and events, therefore, are completely intentional, as are references to “teabaggers” and “teabaggery”. I am, at heart, like Pete Seeger once said, not really a pacifist. If someone were really attacking my homeland—as I believe they are-- I would like to think I’d place myself in the front lines—at least rhetorically, eh? Here's hopin' for a more-informed public and please be forewarned.