cj#719> back online; “Impressions of Ireland” (resend)


Richard Moore

[resent to test server recovery; apologies if two copies are delivered]

Dear cj,

My operation went smoothly and I'm mostly recovered already - stitches come
out Friday.  How nice it was on returning home to find some half dozen or
so warm encouragements in my in box - my thanks to each of you.  Here are
two samples:

  Hi Richard,

  I just wanted you to know I'll be thinking of you and hope your operation
  goes well and that you are back at your computer blasting away at ignorance
  as soon as possible. May your recovery be quick and your return to good
  health the same.

  warm regards,

  Suzie xxx from the CJ list
  Richard, very best wishes and prayers for a swift and successful recovery!  I
  value cj's incisive and probing commentary  very much (though I lurk, I admit
  it...) and wish you well.

  Best, Clark xxx

There've been many important pieces (re world events) coming across my desk
I want to publish.  But first let me share this letter sent by my long-time
friend Caroline Rose, following her recent visit to Wexford and Ireland.
She's deftly captured so many true-to-life images and in a charming way.
After that is a dialog with Frank Scott.


Subject: Impressions of Ireland
Date: Sun, 19 Oct 97
From: Caroline Rose [visitor from California]

Forty shades of green. Rolling hillsides dotted with sheep. Beautiful
bays, mountains, lakes. Ever-changing weather and light (take photos
quickly!) Tropical-like brief showers, Irish mist ("heavy mist" meaning
light rain), or "overcast with clear spells." Constant after-rain smell
in the air. Rainbows. Wild fuchsia hedges and trees. Wild winds along the
coast. The smell of peat fires on chilly evenings.

Quaint towns with narrow streets. Gaelic town names and street signs.
Charming, brightly painted shops and pubs. Beautiful (inexpensive)
knitted wool sweaters. Lots of music stores. Traditional tunes played by
locals in smoky pubs (where Guiness rules). Fiddles, flutes,
uileannpipes, bodhran (drum). Wooden spoons played by prototypical old
Irish man in our favorite pub. Tenors singing beautiful Irish songs.
Lovely Irish brogue (usually comprehensible). Intimate concert (American
singer/songwriter) in back room of Galway pub. Extreme warmth and
camaraderie, in pubs, in shops, on the street, everywhere.

Driving (and shifting) on the left in our emerald green car. Navigating
through complicated roundabouts. Gaelic radio station with singing. Tapes
playing Irish music. Sheep grazing and resting on the roadside or
crossing our path. Sheep and cows herded at dusk across the road or along
it. Piles of peat on the bogs. Old men with ruddy cheeks and tweed cap,
walking with cane and dog. Old women on bicycles with dogs following.
Beautiful women and children with ivory skin and curly red hair. Handsome
men with gray hair and piercing blue eyes.

Cheap, good lodging. (Great plumbing!) Every other house a B & B.
"Mixed-choice" breakfast meaning eggs scrambled, poached, or boiled.
"Irish breakfast" meaning sausages and bacon, with or without eggs. ("In
Ireland, if it's not cooked, it's not breakfast.") Good tea; so-so
coffee. Good muesli. Whole milk; Irish creamery butter. White-bread
toast, unsalted brown bread. Cheddar cheese to die for. Great (expensive)
restaurants. Seafood and "continental cuisine." Ubiquitous cream sauces.
Not-so-good pub food (avoid Irish stew).

Castles everywhere, from ruined and moss-covered to furnished for
royalty. Roofless remains of old stone houses. Ruins next to new houses;
castles in front yards. Churches with adjacent cemeteries. 250-year-old
tombstones; old Gaelic crosses. Prehistoric antiquities. Round forts,
stone huts.

Grass and mud. Music and love. Beer.

Date: Thu, 16 Oct 1997
Sender: Frank Scott <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: temporary pause

Best of luck with your surgery (RKM). When you've recovered, please be more
specific about the hard-core or fossilized marxists who refuse to face
reality, or look at it through a rear view mirror (paraphrase, in part).

By the way, does refusing to face reality have anything to do with finding
conspiracies, like TWA crashes and Princess Diana murders, as clues to the
all encompassing power of capital??

frank scott


Dear Frank,

Thanks.  (:>)

  >the hard-core or fossilized marxists who refuse to face

The people I was referring to were some on the "world-system network" list
who were arguing that a worldwide workers revolution, followed by a world
socialist government, was the only reasonable path to overcome capitalist

I _argued_ (didn't simply "claim") that both the means and the ends being
suggested were highly questionable and strategically unsound.  As is so
typical with online debates, the lads didn't respond with logical rebuttal,
but simply restated their assumptions and conclusions more loudly, to the
point nearly of citing Marx as an unequestionable divine authority.

  >does refusing to face reality have anything to do with finding

I'm not sure what the sense of your question is...  hope this is relevant...

I think that for most of us there are "things we don't want to believe".
It also seems to be the case that our brains are set up (ie, "defense
mechanisms") to help us filter out uncomfortable data, thus "confirming"
that it's OK for us to _really_ not believe those things we don't _want_ to

Thus some people believe there wasn't a holocaust.  Others think the
unemployed choose their own fate.  Others think the USA is "basically doing
good, even though it screws up sometimes".  Others think "conspiracies just
couldn't happen".  Others think the solution to all problems is to be found
in further scientific research.  Others think government is in principle an
enemy and business is in principle a friend.  (Not to hide my sentiments -
I put each of these particular beliefs in the same "patently absurd"

An interesting observation is that such beliefs tend be held with infinite
tenacity while at the same time being supported by the flimsiest of
"explanations".  For example, someone said "conspiracies couldn't happen
because we'd eventually find out about them".  And that turned out to be
their full testimony - the full depth of their thinking - on the subject.
OK.  So I explained that we _do_ find out about conspiracies - hundreds of
actual documented cases are on record.  But for such beliefs, arguments
just don't matter, the eyes kind of glaze over and humor and other
strategems come into play to encourage dropping the subject.

Such beliefs are held by the "strong binding force" of fear - fear that the
"things we don't want to believe" might be true.  Fear that we don't have
the slightest idea what forces or people are shaping the world; fear that
nothing's being done to solve our problems; fear that our faith doesn't
really have the answers; fear there isn't a wise-daddy God on a throne
somewhere; fear that we have no alternative but to think for ourselves; and
most of all - fear that we should be getting off our butts and doing other
things than what we've comfortably fitted into our lives so far.

One of the primary and intentional roles of media propaganda is to feed
into these mental processes - encouraging people to adopt simplistic
attitudes and beliefs that give them comfort that continuing to do exactly
what they're doing is the best thing they could be doing.  The only waves
desired by our leaders are those caused by market forces.

The TWA crash is an example of how the media can simply repeat an obvious
Big Lie over and over again and succeed in framing all other viewpoints as
"conspiracy theories".  When it comes down to it, the _definition_ of
"conspiracy theory" is: "contrary to what is accepted as true in the media
this week".  It used to be a conspiracy theory to believe the CIA imported
drugs; now it's only a conspiracry theory if you believe it was approved
from Langley.  You have to watch the media to keep current.

"Refusing to recongize reality" is exactly what this is all about -
managing, with the help of the media and the agreement of friends, to not
believe what we don't want to believe.  If we thought our government shot
down airliners, we'd have to "do something" about it, right?  That's
downright discomforting - I think I'll believe the evening news, or better
yet watch a sitcom.  Now don't I feel better?



Posted by Richard K. Moore - •••@••.••• - PO Box 26   Wexford, Ireland
         http://www.iol.ie/~rkmoore/cyberjournal            (USA Citizen)
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