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I Must Be the World’s Biggest Fool?

me in Galicia, Spain (June 2008)

 

            And it really puzzles me where I went wrong? I guess it must be true that the world is full of educated idiots? It really amazes me that I could be so wrong and for such a long time.

 

            I didn’t really think anything of it when they told me when I was in the sixth grade that I was reading at an eleventh grade, sixth month level though it did strike me as  a bit odd when I learned years later that the average high school graduate reads at an eighth grade level. And I didn’t really feel any particular sense of being special in Basic Training in the Army when during the first couple of weeks & after completing a battery of tests, they kept taking me and four or five other guys to these meetings with some high-ranking officers who promised us that we could be stationed anywhere in the world that we wanted & be trained in whatever M.O.S. (Military Occupational Specialty) that we wanted.

 

            No, I didn’t begin to feel different from my fellow citizens until after I first went to Europe a year after my brother, Tim, had died of a heroin overdose. I met a guy named Ruedi, who was a Swiss citizens, and two years younger than me. We hung out together for about a week on the coast of Spain. And in that week I began to learn just how ignorant I was. Not because Ruedi was arrogant but quite the opposite. Ruedi was one of the most humble & most intelligent people I’ve ever met and he knew more about American history, literature, politics, philosophy, etc. than I did. So, I started picking Ruedi’s brain so-to-speak and he would recommend books & authors he thought I might find interesting.

 

            I have been an avid reader all my life but after meeting Ruedi, I went crazy for books and started collecting them. I drove my ex-wife, Jeri, and our son, Ryan, crazy with my obsession with books & learning. I remember Ryan asking me when he was around five or six years old, “Dad, what do you love more, books or me & mom?”

 

            I didn’t know how to respond but his question really blew my mind. In my pursuit of knowledge, I spent 14 years going to various community colleges & state universities and dropped-out sometimes half-way or even three quarters of the way through a semester so I didn’t get credit for the courses but as I told friends who mocked me, so, because I didn’t get credit for the course do you think therefore I didn’t learn anything while I was there? I changed majors several times and went from business administration to oceanography to philosophy and finally ended-up earning a bachelor of arts degree in English literature. And somewhere along the way, I got into the habit of making notes in the blank pages of my books. I either copy a passage I like verbatim or I’ll paraphrase it and I add my own little hierarchy of symbols to show the importance of the passage & sometimes I’ll include a person’s name who I remember either discussing or debating the subject with. I always include the page number so I can refer to it in the future to use in my writing or to show a skeptical person that I didn’t just make it up.

 

            In the meantime, I have worked as an instructional assistant, tutor, substitute teacher, long-term teacher, adult education teacher, etc. for over 20 years and have also recorded video tapes, audio tapes, collected magazine & newspaper articles, etc. on a wide variety of subjects but mostly political. I’ve also done a fair amount of writing including over 2,000 pages on a book I’m calling Truth Against the World.

 

            To conclude, I told you all this because it has absolutely depressed the Hell out of me to have come to the realization that I have wasted my entire life in my obsessive search for truth when all I had to do was watch FOX News & Bill O’ Reilly, Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin, etc. I feel like such a fool! Oh well, I guess once a fool, always a fool? I mean, it’s clear as a bell when millions of viewers & listeners of Limbaugh, Beck, O’Reilly, etc., all agree that these national celebrities are God-fearing, simple, down-to-earth people who are true patriots and are worthy of the millions of dollars they are paid because it’s obvious that they truly love America and the principles for which it stands.

 

            I feel so guilty, ashamed, & stupid for not having seen the wisdom & compassion of these champions of freedom and democracy much earlier. To say nothing of George W. Bush and his honorable service in the Texas Air National Guard. And although Dick Cheney got five college deferments from military service during the Vietnam war, he showed us his true patriotism by leading us into war in Iraq so we could stop Saddam Hussein before he used his weapons of mass destruction against us. It was only right that we took Saddam out because everybody knows that he conspired with Osama bin Laden in the attacks on 9/11. Yep, the FOX News channel makes me proud to be an American because they got our backs and keep us informed 24/7. Only in a land as free as ours, could such a noble T.V. network exist!

The Money Speech from movie “Network”

2 replies
  1. runawayrunaway
    runawayrunaway says:

    thank you…for reassuring me that there are men of my own age who are not fooled by republicanutcases. i shake my weary head at people whom i love dearly but who are utterly absorbed in ultra-conservative belief fed to them by newt, mitt, chris wallace, etc…and worst of all powerful religious preachers. i tune into mike malloy (sp?) for relief and now i’ll add you. thanks again, jc

    Reply
    • Rob DeLoss
      Rob DeLoss says:

      And thank you for your feedback. I too listen to Mike Malloy now and then. I sent him an e-mail awhile back when he seemed particularly depressed. It’s very hard not to give up in these sad & crazy times.

      Reply

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