Thinking For Ourselves

Today's post is an opinion piece. I don't do them often but it's been bitey-cold this week, and I do a lot more broader thinking when I'm stuck in the house. 

It's no secret there's an unsettling herd mentality in the world today. You can point to all kinds of reasons but I think I've narrowed it down to one very specific cause.

The majority of people no longer think for themselves. They no longer question the status quo. 

In a way it's hard to blame them. At every turn, we risk cancel-culture, or being accused of political incorrectness, or outright censorship. I think I feel sorriest for comics. Everything they say nowadays is offensive to someone.

There are memes so we can nod our heads in communal agreement, and a myriad of "experts" to guide us through tougher concepts.

Covid is a prime example. There has been so much back peddling in the last two years, saying one thing and then another. Vaccinated people are still getting sick, and scientists still don't know why some infected people don't get sick at all. Weird, huh?

They. Don't. Know.

The media no longer reports facts, but a narrative on how they want you to side. I go through a great deal of trouble digging through the detritus to get to the kernel of actual fact. It takes up a lot of my time. Good thing I'm retired. It allows me to the do research whenever I find something particularly puzzling or unanswered.

It's very easy to blow holes through a lot of the investigative reporting I read. It's like they're not even trying, yet the public gobbles it up and repeats it, until you guessed it, it becomes "the truth". 

There are still real investigative reporters out there, people who ferret out the truth no matter where it leads, but most are independents, and aren't as likely to be hired by corporations with agendas. How convenient is that?

If I could ask for anything, I'd want people to start questioning again, doubting, demanding proof, and holding the liars responsible. If history is any indication, that last part will never happen. But the rest of us can do our small part to make it difficult for those pulling the strings.

I know I'm not the only one who feels that way. I also know I can't sway anyone to do anything that's difficult or tedious. It's easier to go with the flow. Fortunately, I am made of quartz, and that flow will have to go around me until I die.

As for covid, I keep thinking back to how the "ignorant" masses of 1918 treated the Spanish Flu. The ones who were most successful treated their patients with sunshine (providing Vitamin D), fresh air, and clean hands. Back then they had absolutely no medicines to treat this virus. (They didn't even know it was a virus at first. They thought it was bacterial.)

A lot of people died back then. So many, that some communities didn't even bother keeping records. It was far and away much more lethal than covid. Yet to listen to the media today, you'd think the Spanish Flu was only a footnote by comparison.

So what do you think? Are we too willing to accept the news as fact? Do you ever investigate any of the claims? For myself I keep a huge folder full of articles and reports and I've been doing this since 2020.


It's February in north Texas and we're starting to thaw out after our mini ice storm. We lost power for a little while but only because ice accumulated too quickly on our power lines. Once they got the lines free, power was back.

We were well prepared this time. We brought the quail into the house, gave the chickens more bedding and insulated their coop, and we've been feeding the wild birds and squirrels with extra rations of feed. I took out plenty of comfort food for the week of cold: chili, homemade deep dish pizza, meaty ribs, mac and cheese, and a new recipe for me, Greek chicken (very garlicky).

We're over the worst now. Hopefully, that'll be it for the year. We shall see.

How are you faring?


Jackie said…
Over the weekend read first book in a trilogy by author Joelle Charbonneau called Verify which captured your post perfectly and hope to continue with book 2 Disclose as soon as library allows me to borrow the Kindle copy Maria.

As for us over last 4 days we did okay because Karl stayed home Thursday and Friday so he monitored his Freeze Miser drippers on outside faucets along with dripping water in the house as well.

Our birds and racoons were fed well as he made sure they had plenty of fuel to keep them going.
Maria Zannini said…
Jackie: I hadn't heard of that book. I'll have to check it out. Thank you!

I'm glad Karl didn't have to go out during the worst of it. Our roads were completely iced over. We didn't even bother walking to our mail box because we knew no one else could make it.

With any luck that might be the end of our winter, but I won't count my chickens until March. :)
Jackie said…
Maria have to say that forgot to tell you it is a young adult series so not exactly world shaking reading but it's plot points do make the case as to why all of us need to wake up and start thinking more about what is really happening along with just how much misinformation there really is.

Karl was informed by his supervisor that all offices in affected areas had employees work from home those two weekdays. The man got a lot more done for sure because his cell phone was not ringing as much like the hard wired one does at his office every day with interruptions that had to be taken care of.

Our winter for last however many years has lasted with snap freezes till some time in April and even some in May.
Maria Zannini said…
Jackie: Ah! YA isn't my usual read.

I generally have cool weather plants in the ground by March 15. In ten years I only got hit by a freak cold snap once. But you never know. I am always watching that weather.

If I can get my plants in early enough I can beat out many of the bad bugs long enough to get a harvest.
Mike Keyton said…
Speaking to the converted here, Maria. One day the official line is Wuhan lab leak disinformation. Next day true. Now we have the official line on the Ukraine, and there still trying to establish an official line as to what is going on in Canada
Maria Zannini said…
Mike: In my search for answers I find that it's sometimes necessary to get information from other countries that aren't mired in the politics of my own.
Lynn said…
Stay warm and safe. I was thinking about you as I checked the weather this morning.

In regard to the pandemic I follow the science, not the politics, but I don't rely on or even trust anyone or any media source anymore. They've simply become too politicized. I rely on common sense and my own training as a medical professional to make decisions on what we should or shouldn't do. It helps that we live in a rural area with a low population; we don't face the same risks as folks in the suburbs and cities.

That said, I've gotten some dismaying doses of reality about people's opinions lately. Most people here are anti-maskers, and many have always given me dirty looks for wearing mine. The other day I had someone I've known and liked for years criticized me for wearing my mask in public, and compared it to being forced to wear a burka. The sound of my jaw dropping and hitting the floor should have reached you, Maria.

I am vaccinated, but I choose to wear a mask in public because I'm older and a diabetic, and the variants are worrisome to me. But why would something I choose to do to protect myself be offensive to others? Now I wonder if I should have that printed on a pin and wear it when I go grocery shopping, if just to keep someone from ripping it off.
Maria Zannini said…
Lynn: It's got to be regional. We haven't faced anything like you described. We mask up and no one bats an eye. There are plenty of people from both sides.

My gripe is more with people who mask up incorrectly. If you can't protect yourself properly then don't bother wearing a mask. You're just wasting a mask if you don't cover mouth and nose.

Ah well, people will be debating this long after I'm gone, I'm sure.

PS I owe you a package. I haven't forgotten. It's just that we haven't been out much. Our little remodeling job got bigger than we expected so we've been focusing on that. I'll write you soon!

Jenny Schwartz said…
You've been freezing while we've been melting. Hottest summer ever! Ugh. Unlike with the Winter Olympics, there's no joy here when records are broken.

I can't work out whether I was more gullible when young or if, as I keep insisting like an old fogey, journalists were held, and held themselves, to a higher standard thirty years ago. "News" back then meant a truthful account of events and any analysis tacked onto the news could actually stand up to having its reasoning process scrutinised. It meant as a teenager I learned from journalists' work. I shudder to think what teens are learning from today's media.
Maria Zannini said…
Jenny: I hadn't even thought of what today's youth was taking away from all this. To them this must seem normal. They've never know any differently.

I do remember when journalists used to deliver the news without opinion. I miss those days.

I'm not looking forward to our summer. It's so hot and dry for two solid months. But, it's always this way, so I know what I'm in for.

Hope you can cool off soon!
nightsmusic said…
I'm wholeheartedly with you. Most people don't make up their own mind anymore. They've turned into the proverbial lemming who follows all the others over the cliff rather than stepping out of line and actually digging a bit for the truth. We're vaccinated but chose the J&J because we didn't like the delivery method employed by the other two. I can't tell you how condemned we've been for that so it's not only whether you're vaccinated or not, but how. I choose to not wear a mask in most situations but where we're at, almost no one wears one. I think you're right, it's regional. But these are my choices. I don't tell others what choice they need to make. Respect my choice. I respect yours. The science has proven that the choices make little difference at this point.

My parents and my entire family on both sides survived that 1918 pandemic by using common sense. Yes, many, many more died than now. But so many survived with no medical anything like you said. And we're still in that pandemic but no one will tell you that. Every flu that we have had since 1918, every strain that people catch every year is a variant of that 1918 flu strain. History dot com has a few good articles citing scientific sources on it all. But if you don't go looking for it, you'll never see it. Just like 1918, we'll live in this pandemic forever, I think. It too will continue to mutate and stick around until common sense prevails and the powers that be finally allow us to build our own immune systems enough to let them fight off the virus, just like so many who don't ever get the flu. I read a really good article about testing going on to find out why there are many, many people who just aren't catching covid who haven't been vaccinated but have been repeatedly exposed, even sharing food. Maybe it's that same immune system. But if they try to keep us in boxes, we'll never build it enough, will we?
Maria Zannini said…
nightmusic: You bring up so many good points. This will be with us forever. It'll become part of our genetic makeup. One more virus for our descendants to survive.

I don't mind wearing a mask (especially in cold weather) LOL. And because of Greg's profession, he's worn masks for over 40 years so it's second nature to him. But I seriously doubt the masks that most people wear are adequate, so again, they follow the outline, but not the goal of the mask.

The latest in confusion is the John Hopkins study that found the lockdowns did not help diffuse the virus. I could've told them that. The only way to beat the virus is to achieve herd immunity. Since the vaccines don't seem to work or work weakly, the only other course is to get sick. It's still not foolproof since viruses mutate, but it gives you some shielding.

I've been flabbergasted of late. My friends, my neighbors, my family who have all been vaccinated all came down with covid. All became seriously ill for anywhere from two to six weeks. All recovered thankfully, but it made me angry. If the vaccines worked, why didn't it do its job? It's ridiculous.

I think in the end, the vaccine was at most a chance of help for those compromised, but mainly a panacea for the masses.