Unconcious Living

ABC World News Tonight’s “Person Of The Week” was an academician who is now in government who came up with the weight loss breakthrough that people get bigger because they are not concious of what they put in their mouths. He found that while they think they can’t be fooled, they eat more of something labeled “Creamy Mac & Cheese” than something just labeled “Mac & Cheese,” and take more pasta when given a bigger plate, and so on.

His goal is for people to be conscious when they eat so they avoid this “unconscious eating.”

OK, fine. But can he also get the masses to be conscious when they are driving, when they are in a supermarket, when they are at work, when they vote, when they watch TV and so on?

The problem isn’t just unconscious eating. It’s unconscious living, where people don’t apply critical thinking to any area of their life. The US is a country that doesn’t teach critical thinking, where kneejerk mobbing is the goal, making students easier to manage, workers able to be trained like machines without asking pesky questions.

Actually [Yosssarian] was a very warm, compassionate man who never stopped feeling sorry for himself.

“Why me?” was his constant lament, and the question was a good one.

Yossarian knew the question was a good one because Yossarian was a collector of good questions and had used them to disrupt the educational sessions Clevinger had once conducted two nights a week in Captain Black’s intelligence tent with the corporal in eyeglasses who was probably a subversive. Captain Black knew he was a subversive because he used words like “panacea” and “utopia,” and because he dissapproved of Adolph Hitler, who had done such a great job of combating un-American activites in Germany.

Yossarian attended the education sessions because he wanted to find out why so many people were working so hard to kill him. A handful of other men were also interested, and the questions were many and good when Clevinger and the subversive corporal finshed and made the mistake of asking if there were any.

“Who is Spain?”

“Why is Hitler?”

“When is right?”

“Where was that stooped and mealy-colored old man I used to call Poppa when the merry-go-round broke down?”

“How was trump at Munich?”

“Ho-Ho beriberi.”

and

“Balls!”

all rang out in rapid succession, and then there was Yossarian with the question that had no answer:

“Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?”

The question upset then, because Snowden had been killed over Avignon when Dobbs went crazy in mid-air and seized the controls away from Huple.

The corporal played it dumb. “What?” he asked.

“Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?”

“I’m afraid I don’t understand.”

“Ou sont les Neigedens d’antan?” Yossarian said to make it easier for him.

“Parlez en anglais, for Christ’s sake,” said the corporal, “Je ne parle pas français”

“Neither do I,” answered Yossarian, who was ready to pursue him through all the words in the world to wring the knowledge from him if he could, but Clevinger intervened, pale, thin, and laboring for breath, a humid coating of tears already glistening in his undernourished eyes.

Group Headquarters was alarmed, for there was no telling what people might find out once they felt free to ask whatever questions they wanted to. Colonel Cathcart sent Colonel Korn to stop it, and Colonel Korn succeeded with a rule governing the asking of questions.

Colonel Korn’s rule was a stroke of genius, Colonel Korn explained in his report to Colonel Cathcart. Under Colonel Korn’s rule, the only people permitted to ask questions were those who never did.

Soon the only people attending were those who never asked questions, and the sessions were discontinued altogether, since Clevinger, the corporal and Colonel Korn agreed that it was neither possible nor necessary to educate people who never questioned anything.

Joseph Heller, Catch-22 (my favourite book as a teen, by far)

Does this guy in the government actually want the American people to become conscious? Won’t that beat crap out of the consumer culture where people just buy what they are told is right for them? Heck, even the Greenies do that crap.

Conscious living in America.

What a concept!

3 thoughts on “Unconcious Living”

  1. I went to my nephews graduation from the local district comprehensive.

    The salutatorian said they learned more in the local chain restaurant than in school, and went on to list the lessons.

    The class gift was a giant laminated sign of the school mission statement.

    The school is still training aspiring middle managers while the class of middle managers is dying. “Venerate the Mission Statement!” they cry.

    Deviance, especially creative deviance was to be punished.

    And in the students sitting around me, I noticed the same behavior as in my nephew, the distinctive mumble that makes him less than comprehensible, less than a leader.

    They took away his voice.

    He has time to get it back, sure.

    But first, first he has to be able to create questions before he can speak them with clarity.

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