CSotD: The Truth is Probably Out There

Well, that’s over, or so you might think: Now that the Super Bowl has been played, the season is concluded, right?

Well, no, and this morning’s Mr. Boffo correctly predicted the outcome: Last night’s game was close and so, of course, there is a play that fans of the losing team will obsess over until the draft on April 27 restarts the whole cycle.

Sports-haters, stick with me, because there’s a greater lesson in this.

First of all, the fellow called on the controversial penalty admits he did it, and that ought to settle things but if you think it will, you don’t know much about fans.

Not just sports fans. Donald Trump ordered an investigation that ended up proving he’d lost the election, at which point, of course, you might expect him to stop protesting the results. If you had never heard of Donald Trump and knew nothing about him.

Proof, however solid and irrefutable, doesn’t negate anyone’s insistence on playing the victim and on seeing conspiracies hiding under their beds.

Which irrational tendency is tied into a more complex lesson in logic, which is that, in football or in history, a single event — whether it’s a holding call or the assassination of Lincoln — changes everything that follows, so the game of “what if?” is fun but foolish.

This morning we’ve got people who believe NFL games are scripted, but we’ve already got people who believe the 2020 Election was stolen. I know which group I believe is more consequential but I also know the futility of trying to convince either of them to recognize reality.

Which, of course, brings us back to those damned balloons.

If you’re going to have a foolish discussion over something nobody quite understands, who better to moderate it than First Dog in the Moon?

That was a rhetorical question, because not only is First Dog a champion at demonstrating how something can be misunderstood, but he’s up on his game enough to not only know how many things have been shot down but that Rihanna is pregnant, which may explain why she ordered everyone around her to dress like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

Which we didn’t know until last night or, as they say in Australia, early this afternoon. So good on ya, First Dog.

Meanwhile, Joy of Tech harps on a fairly common refrain, which is that it’s silly to fret over a Chinese spy balloon when we cheerfully give up so much information to a Chinese social media platform.

This falls under the category of “joking on the square,” because it’s funny except that the fact that it’s true means it’s not so funny after all. But, then again, it’s funny because neither TikTok nor the balloon are the only ways in which we are being surveilled.

Once you eliminate the people who believe in little green men, it stops being funny at all, because you don’t have to have been around the barn more than twice to realize how little privacy there is in the world.

But if the notion scares you, do not read this article or even the Twitter thread summarizing it, because this fellow seems to know what he’s talking about, and what he’s talking about is an international system of constant spying.

As the old joke goes, just because you’re paranoid, that doesn’t mean they aren’t following you, though my suspicion is that, if I ever had an FBI file, it was a single sheet of paper listing the more interesting people I knew.

And given how they bumbled around spying on us, I doubt the list would be either complete or accurate.

And that, if it does exist, it’s stored in here somewhere, so I really don’t much care. The more they gather, the harder it is to sort through, and individual sheets are bound to pop up misfiled in someone’s banker boxes from time to time.

In any case, I like the idea that the balloon — now joined by a couple of other Unidentified Aerial Phenomena — was part of a long-term, ongoing system of high tech spying on each other, and that NORAD has either recalibrated to start following stuff previously classed as unremarkable or has been backed into a corner where they have to begin announcing more about what they have always known.

Though, as with Super Bowl penalties and stolen elections, good luck persuading the Roswell contingent that it doesn’t involve little green men or gray men or partially dissected men.

While, as RJ Matson points out, we’ve got an entire Select Subcommittee dedicated to spying on the Justice Department to unearth all sorts of strange, unexplainable events, or at least a list of events whose non-strange, perfectly explainability they are unwilling to accept.

Actually, we’ve got several, and so the House Select Subcommittee on Making Total Asses of Ourselves held a farcical Congressional hearing in which the committee’s witnesses not only failed to prove what they’d been summoned to prove but actively rebutted the alleged conspiracies.

And as they say at the K-Tel School of Government, “That’s not all!”

Given a classified briefing on the balloon, our favorite champion of Jewish Space Lasers, gazpacho police and sinister peach tree dishes reportedly responded by yelling “Bullshit!” at the presenters.

And, of course, being proud of herself for seeing through the facts and discerning the truth.

Speaking of Delusions

I’ve long had a fascination with Ophelia, whose delusional thinking was far more innocent and pitiable.

I’ve also had great sympathy for the fury of her brother, Laertes, who could rightfully blame Hamlet for both her death and the death of his father. John Everett Millais’ portrait of Ophelia singing herself to a watery end is at once a touching piece and a beautiful record of a lovely British scene.

Which Morten Morland has transformed into his own righteous fury over the continuing scandal of sewage being dumped into waterways. Pouring it right onto her face is a grim but absolutely justifiable touch.

As it happens, he reported on Twitter, the same issue of the Times that ran his cartoon also included a photo of that waterway as it is today, filled not with singing, betrayed maidens but with storm runoff and raw sewage.

You’ll note this all puts Morland in the role of Laertes, who had warned his sister but could not persuade her to listen.

Perhaps Morland will have better luck in pursuing justice for these ongoing losses.

Though, as said, “What if?” is a fool’s game.

6 thoughts on “CSotD: The Truth is Probably Out There

  1. “99 red balloons
    Floating in the summer sky
    Panic bells, it’s red alert
    There’s something here from somewhere else
    The war machine springs to life
    Opens up one eager eye
    Focusing it on the sky
    The 99 red balloons go by”

  2. One wonders whether proponents of a certain viewpoint will call the new committee the “Unselect Subcommittee”. Fair is fair, after all.

  3. I’m not a therapist by any means, but I have been a teacher for many years. If MTG were my student, I’d have a talk with a school counselor about her. The more I’ve read about her, and I’ve read far too much, I think that she is bipolar with oppositional defiance disorder aspects. But, as I said, I’m not a therapist.

  4. I did some canal boating around Rugby in England. I was a bit distressed to see raw sewage washed into the canal. You do not want to touch the water.

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