Sensible Virtue

Yes, the title is an oxymoron — a glaring one as we’ll soon see.

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The purpose of this blog is to serve as an inspiration to think and create — and to think for yourself, not to think what I think or think like I think — but to think. You’d be surprised, or perhaps you wouldn’t be, how many people don’t think and prefer to have others think for them, or pretend they’re thinking when in fact they’re doing no such thing. The world needs more thinkers — REAL THINKERS. Sycophantic analysts and bandwagon groupies are not thinkers. In fact, they’re anathema to REAL THINKING and despite their emphatic protestations to the contrary, they’re anything and everything but virtuous.

That prologue was necessary for a number of varied reasons, least of which is to underscore that I am not beating the dead horse from the latter part of my latest podcast. It’s clear to me now that the best and most appropriate treatment I could have received from Susan Simpson of Undisclosed Podcast is for her to not acknowledge my existence at all. I consider it the highest compliment and wouldn’t have it any other way precisely because she now serves as the perfect example for the theme and thesis of this blog and this blog post. So, I don’t feel insulted or rejected. Instead, I feel honored, vindicated and validated.

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In the comments to my latest podcast blog post entitled Cherry’s Jubilee, I deposited a Tweet Susan Simpson had made where she adulated Bob from The Serial Dynasty podcast (I wonder if Bob’s regretting this title now that Serial derivative podcast programs are on the verge of Jumping The Shark?) and his guest, an Undisclosed Podcast nemesis, Ann Brocklefruitwurst. Here’s the Tweet that made me laugh out loud. Thank you Universe for all this low-hanging fruit (irony) — such a magnificent bounty tragically goes unpicked and uneaten.

That’s coded language, by the way. Cracker Code. No, it was not “interesting.” You’re wrong about that Susan and I’m smarter than you when it comes to what’s interesting. I’m not bragging. That is a fact and this is one time you can learn from your elders. “Friendly” is debatable, but I’ll give you it as a goodwill gesture. “Well-reasoned?” Not on your life. It’s feel versus critical evidence-based analysis. Feel is subjective and tainted with bias and hate in this instance. But none of that is what you really mean by your statement, is it Susan? What you mean is, like the Cracker you are, you don’t like unabashed in-your-face satire unless it’s been approved for mass consumption by the powers-that-be like The Daily Show, for example. If it’s an unapproved and unknown source, well, it’s crude, rude, illogical and dumb, right Susan? Wrong. Very wrong. But you’re entitled to your opinion and I’m glad you have it, otherwise I’d have to find another example for this blog post, not that finding another example would be all that difficult — such examples are as ubiquitous as bars on Bourbon Street.

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Susan, considering your glowing endorsement of Ann Brockleboob’s interesting, well-reasoned and friendly (the most important feature) analysis, here’s your new best friend with some more of the same after your latest podcast, Episode 10 — Crimestoppers. I’m not going to get your back on this one, Susan. You can squirm like the worm you are and defend yourself against it and the ridiculously naive character assessment you implied with your oleaginous statement about Ann’s contribution to Bob’s podcast — or not. You reap what you sow. And here it is in all its glory — your harvest. Too funny. It really is. Ego and hubris will get you every time. In time, since you’re still rather young, perhaps you’ll learn that lesson, but I’m not holding my breath. You already have your spots, and once you have them, they don’t wash away — they’re part of the fabric of what makes you, you.

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Priceless — for everything else there’s Mastercard. How interesting, well-reasoned and friendly of you Ann, you Medieval Woman — of a different sort than the authors of this song envisaged, but not too far off.

The problem we’re confronted with here, and it’s an all-too-common problem amongst the intelligentsia, is that they believe knowledge is virtue and it most assuredly is not. I don’t know what virtue is, but I do know it’s not knowledge, and yet the intelligentsia pretends it is — hence our pretentious and free, don’t forget free, society eagerly waiting to get its death-grip clutches on Adnan (fresh meat) and ready to thrust its daggers lethally deep into his unwitting back. John Henry Newman described the deceit over 150 years prior, and it’s as relevant today as it was then, regardless of the historical context in which he wrote it. Here’s what Newman has to say about the matter — and I agree, for the most part..

Knowledge and Virtue

Knowledge is one thing, virtue is another; good sense is not conscience, refinement is not humility, nor is largeness and justness of view faith. Philosophy, however enlightened, however profound, gives no command over the passions, no influential motives, no vivifying principles. Liberal Education makes not the virtuous man, but the gentleman. It is well to be a gentleman, it is well to have a cultivated intellect, a delicate taste, a candid, equitable, dispassionate mind, a noble and courteous bearing in the conduct of life — these are the connatural qualities of a large knowledge; they are the objects of a University; I am advocating, I shall illustrate and insist upon them; but still, I repeat, they are no guarantee for sanctity or even for conscientiousness, they may attach to the man of the world, to the profligate, to the heartless, pleasant, alas, and attractive as he shows when decked out in them. Taken by themselves, they do but seem to be what they are not; they look like virtue at a distance, but they are detected by close observers, and on the long run; and hence it is that they are popularly accused of pretense and hypocrisy, not, I repeat, from their own fault, but because their professors and their admirers persist in taking them for what they are not, and are officious in arrogating for them a praise to which they have no claim. Quarry the granite rock with razors, or moor the vessel with a thread of silk; then may you hope with such keen and delicate instruments as human knowledge and human reason to contend against those giants, the passion and pride of man.

There you have it. Knowledge and learning are not altogether the same, at least not knowledge acquisition in the academic sense of that concept. It is possible to be too smart for you own good and you must lay in the bed you’ve made for yourself. As the following fine fellas said many moons ago, “a rock feels no pain, and an island never cries.”

I’d be remiss if I didn’t provide a final example of not thinking. This Free Willy Undisclosed Podcast progeny has jumped the gun and put the cart before the horse. My dear, it’s still just a theory just as it’s just a theory that Adnan murdered Hae because he wrote “I want to kill” in a notebook. Theories without evidence prove nothing. The fact you think a theory proves something so long as it’s a theory in support of someone you favor is foolish and as equally corrupt as Medieval Ann Brockleberg who’s champing at the bit to burn Adnan’s Muslim ass at the stake. Think people, THINK.

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