Tuesday, January 15, 2008

No Chump Love Sucker

Don't Be A Sucker

Literately inclined readers, and even some less so, might be familiar with the descriptive phrase 'cognitive dissonance'.

But as surely as the sun sinks slowly in the West, there will be those who may balk at such multisyllabic fare, and thus a concise description might be in order:

'...the uncomfortable tension that may result from having two conflicting thoughts at the same time or engaging in behavior that conflicts with one's beliefs.

In simple terms, it can be the filtering of information that conflicts with what one already believes, in an effort to ignore that information and reinforce one's beliefs.'

If we look around us, we see many examples of this phenomena expressed daily ...All the way from performers in gay pornographic films claiming their personally robust heterosexuality, to prominent religious figures who advocate murder and torture, to world leaders who trumpet democracy yet reward totalitarianism with cash and prizes.

In order to qualify for cognitively dissonant status, it is not enough to merely spout words that one does not truly believe in, or engage in activities at odds with what one has put forth in public knowledge about themselves...One must actively seek to marginalize factual data that is contrary to one's subjectively held opinion, in order to retain that opinion in as unaffected a state as possible.

As one can imagine this takes a bit of doing, like not thinking of an elephant when the word is mentioned.
Or not thinking 'defendant' when the word 'Republican' is used.


But it takes a special kind of cognitive dissonance to dream up a flight of fancy, assign it a zesty oxymoron for a title, write reams of contradictory and factually inaccurate prose to buttress said brainfart, and then enter into the public fora post-publication in order to cling to the dwindling returns on one's own sanity, while those not encumbered with such an onerous burden make merry sport of the whole sordid affair.