THE VOIGHT CONUNDRUM: WHY SHOULD WE WORK TO CHANGE STUPID PEOPLE’S MINDS?
If Jon Voight doesn’t get our name out of his mouth in a hurry there’s gonna be a whole new kind of Deliverance for him.
The Most Wanted actor offered unwanted perspective last week with a two-minute Twitter video/cry for help declaring a “battle of righteousness against Satan–yes, Satan.”
As with his roles in Anaconda and Tomb Raider, it’s not really clear what the hell Voight is talking about. He thinks this is about the 2020 presidential election, but the election is over and his party lost, which as someone who worked on the McGovern campaign he should already be quite familiar with.
“There will be a price to pay,” the transparently out of it Out Of It star predicted, which is pretty rich coming from a guy who never managed to pay Marcheline Bertrand $200K in alimony.
Last week we talked about the dangers of denialism. Apparently the Jon Voights of America didn’t read it, which is not surprising, since judging from the scripts he pulls Voight doesn’t appear to read much of anything.
And, just as predictable as the ending to Pride & Glory, the nation’s non-silent non-majority has decided that they did not lose to Joe Biden but rather to Satan, and also that they did not lose.
Florida man “prophet” Mark Taylor said that Biden voters are “implementing the dark agenda, Satan’s agenda, the kingdom of darkness,” all phrases that Mark Taylor actually just mumbles in his sleep at this point.
And humanoid spittoon Ted Nugent said of the election outcome, “The devils are about to take control,” which is also what Mike Pence says whenever a woman breaches the 20-foot perimeter around his person.
As usual, the real irony is that I’m in full agreement, Satan is very much against what these men stand (or in Nugent’s case, stagger) for.
But of course, when I say that I mean something radically different than they do. And this is a distinction they’re just plain never going to understand, much like, well, any other distinction.
To say that I’m running out of patience with this kind of rhetoric is like saying the 27 million-degree heart of the sun is a bit temperate this time of year.
I’m also getting tired of treating childish disclosures with kid gloves. On NOLA.com, writer James Gill says of the post-election electorate, “There are millions of people walking the streets who believe that Satan-worshipping pedophile Democrats secretly rule the world.”
Sadly he’s not more specific about which streets so that we can more judiciously avoid them. That’s called burying the lede, James.
Gill man gets a little fishy, however, when he alleges “it would be folly to write off believers as no-account suckers.” Uh, why, exactly?
He attests that “there are so many of them that they must run the IQ gamut,” but the word “must” is really working against its will here. Even if this were true, I think it would do more to discredit the idea of IQ testing (which is shit as it is) than to vindicate conspiracy assholes.
For more years than I have lucid recall of, I’ve been told (ordered, actually) not to call conspiracists stupid. Belittling them doesn’t change their minds, according to behavioral science.
Okay then. But what if I don’t want to change their minds? What if I just want to accurately characterize their thoughts, beliefs, actions, and behaviors, and affirm these observations for every thinking person on dog’s green Earth?
Tying to change the mind of a person like Jon Voight is like trying to change the oil in an electric car. The phrase, “There’s no there there” has rarely taken on such potency.
When we do nothing more than merely exist in the first place–and by “we’ I mean the gamut, from Satanists to queer people, immigrants, feminists, socialists, people of color, and anyone even a micron to the left politically of the bust over Mussolini’s bullet-riddle corpse–people like Voight respond by strangling democracy in its bed and then shitting themselves in public as their equivalent of radical praxis.
Since we cannot do less than nothing, we probably shouldn’t make a priority of managing these people’s expectations.
In this way, reflexive Anti-Satanism is quite useful. If you need a clear and conspicuous indicator that a person just needs to be relegated to the Phantom Zone, you could do a lot worse.
To be clear: I believe that fundies, Anti-Satanists, conspiracy assholes, Qanon fuck-ups, Flat Earthers, anti-vaxxers, and other technically literate brainstems can reform. They can change. They can learn. It’s possible.
But I don’t believe that it’s practical. I don’t believe that it’s worth your time. And I don’t believe that it’s necessary.
Between you and me, I think we can get by without the stupidest people who ever lived as fellow travelers. Call me controversial if you must.
It’s very worthwhile and even noble to reason with reasonable people. But when it comes to unreasonable people–well, they’re unreasonable, so why would we even want them in the discourse?
At the heart of Modern Satanism is a radical, affirming evaluation of your own worth. That being the case, let me tell you: You don’t have to waste time on these people. You don’t have to let yourself be gaslighted about them. You don’t have to coddle them. You’re better than that
Because, for the sake of all that’s unholy, how could you not be?