Last time, I discussed the overflowing-teacup minds most people have these days when it comes to taking on new ideas or refreshed points of view. Now it’s time to consider a few examples to indicate how frustrating and dangerous shallow thinking can become. Naturally, most examples surround the killing fields that car drivers make of our roads.
Consider the case of the oncoming car. You are riding up a hill. A car is coming towards you. A car is behind. The result should be a momentary delay for the car driver behind. But NO! Those seconds lost are a calamity to the turkey behind. That’s five seconds lost of reality TV; or five seconds fewer for the irrigation of his system with beer. So he overtakes into the oncoming car. Either you or the victim in the other car will have to leave the road. And so he sails into total ignorance and contempt for all others who use his road. His thoughts and consideration for others extend to the depth of cling wrap film.
And don’t we all recall the joys bestowed by those drivers who pull out from a side road directly into your path? Car drivers do this to each other quite often. They do it even more frequently to motorcyclists. They do it to cyclists all the time; with a passion and a flurry of psychotic contempt. Here’s a transcript of the mental processes involved: ‘ME, in a car. Him, a cyclist. Me bigger. Him small. Bicycle slow. Me big time fast. Off I go… (me, me, me, me, me, beer, sex, me, me, sex, beeeeeer’ – and how DOES my hair look right now?).
And how about the Charlies who measure their masculinity (or feminine charm) by how close they can scrape their cars into your elbows as they overtake? If they spare any thought to such things at all.
When, exactly, did thought become such an expensive facility to exercise? Why do car drivers drive their cars so frequently in mental power saving mode? If the world’s coal-fired power users conserved their electricity as they conserve the energy of active thought, we’d reverse global warming in a day or so.
Then there’s the get-fit-quick-gymnasium crowd. Ever spotted the car parks outside of your local gym? What spectacular depths of thought does it take to recognise the possibilities for exercise on the way to the gym through ditching the car? What feats of imagination does it take to consider just how insidious the car has become to the culture of our times?
All of which pales completely with the policies our politicians make. Even magpies know that defecating too much in your nest will kill the offspring for whom those nests were constructed. Rats know it. Possums know it. So do dogs and cats. So why do politicians continue to sponsor, subsidise and otherwise actively encourage the murderous, self-destructive treatment of biodiversity through which all life on earth is sustained? Even a psychotic pigeon would pull the pin on an economy built on the toxic non-sustainability of oil, if given the keys to the kingdom for a day.
And someone pleeeeeze tell me how it can be that those who feed their faces with chip fat and lolly water can then spend all their time moaning about the injustices of being too fat?
And don’t you dare mention the abject insanity of a bureaucracy that actually believes the inane stupidities of our preoccupation with Occupational Health and Safety these days. Just watch the very notion of riding to work send our OH&S bureaucrats into a mental black hole… When did human kind suddenly decide that hefting bags of ten kilograms or more is too much for the human frame to bear? Especially when most humans are carrying at least that much in excess fat day in and day out; everywhere.
And don’t even start on the idiocies of playing to the tune of being Politically Correct. The rules of this particular game are now so complex that it’s best just to stay indoors watching the TV instead. While there are computer programmes that can master the complexities of chess, there are no analogues with the capacity to master even the most rudimentary rules towards becoming Politically Correct. Not even the best Super Computer has the power to play that game. No wonder that kids these days engage via Facebook rather than He/She/their Laterally Challenged selves having to engage through riding bikes and kicking balls in the street.
Can someone tell me by what astounding depths of thought did it take for every economic egg on this planet to be handed over to the factories of mainland China? What mountain for foresight did it take to imagine that once we have offshored absolutely everything we do and everything we need to the Chinese that we would ever have freedom again? At least we cyclists will have our transport once the Chinese pull the final plug on the troughs of dependency through which we now power, battery-like, the ascendency of the Chinese Machine. No, I am mistaken even there… How many bikes these days are now not made in the PRC?
How blinkered are the thoughts of fundamentalist thinkers of any kind? Fundamentalist economists who still funnel their vision into those very theories that landed us all in the Global Financial Crisis of recent times. Fundamentalist Planners who plan a future only for cars. Fundamentalist scientists who believe that the Science is in (when really, it’s perpetually out – why else then do they continue to seek funding if they already have all the answers they need?)
Then there’s the fundamentalist religious types who each persist in thinking that only their own particular view is the true view and all the rest are wrong. Which view will land their faithful into the eternal Promised Land? Only one can be correct if it’s believed that all others are wrong. Wouldn’t it be fun if the Scientologists or the followers of the Urantian line had the winning ticket all along! But I bet that even then, they’ll still invent religious wars in their Heavenly resting place.
But above all, how deep do we think when we imagine that the contentment of life depends only on money?
Perhaps it’s the pace of modern life. Everything is too quick, including life itself. It’s hard to think thoughts of any depth when you are continually rushing from one thought to the next. Or when thought itself is discouraged as we engage others to think for us instead. You know the solution! We need the space to think at depths greater than the two dimensionality of most people’s thoughts these days. You know where you can stretch your thinking legs. Yes, you know where deeper thinking is free to engage: on every ride; on every run; or even on every walk. No wonder there’s so little thinking done when people opt instead for the mental oppression of the motorcar.