The titles, obliterated in the final rendering, were:
- Love Your Neighbor
- The Good Listener
- The Neediest
- Racism is Dumb: a Primer
- My Religion is to Do Good
- Sharing is Caring
It’s scary because it feels like the desire to eliminate all these books from libraries is, intentionally or not, attacking the basic values of society. They think that we can throw kindness into the pit, if it means we won’t have to be nice to each other, we won’t have to care about being political pricks that undermine democracy, yeah?
But it doesn’t work that way.
What does work, has a track record, is conservative media dehumanizing others. An engine of alienation, it is designed to separate viewers from everyone else, in much the way a cult does. You’re the special one, you’re the among the elect. They are fools for not joining you, they won’t escape when the comet speeds by.
And there’s one thing that conservatives of all stripes are very good at, which is being angry children. They can get mad about anything, and they need to. The real draw of conservative movements is the desire to be pissed off. You see it in all fundamentalist groups, that their main characteristic isn’t some extra belief that the mainstream rejects. It’s being hostile twerps that scream about Latin masses or which came first the father-in-law or the cousin. It’s about getting real sore about the national debt, taxes, and social programs.
When someone gets that mad about anything, it’s easy to be sympathetic, as the media of all types are sometimes to the fundies. They gain the perception as purer than the muddled mainstream, surely they must have some point! No. They have no point except being angry, which isn’t a point, it’s an emotion.
From an evolutionary perspective, the utility of fundamentalists is to provide a sideshow for the afflicted, but it’s never meant to achieve any real prowess or power beyond that. It’s supposed to be an outlet for useless madmen to bark at clouds. Fundamentalism is a fidget spinner to keep idle hands busy.
But when those idle hands start grabbing books and tossing them in pits, it’s a scary design that strikes at the heart of community. So I drew a picture of that pit, complete with the warnings around the pit.
Because that pit is really the heart of the fundamentalists. Deep down, where they have warned themselves off of, those woke values reside and they know it. Only by screaming and being ever-mad, can they distract themselves from finding their way down there and opening a book and reading about the goodness they are inheritors to along with the rest of us, about the capacity of our society to build a more equitable and secure future for all.