I’m 26, unemployed, with a master’s degree in American Studies. I currently reside in what I’ll generously call the DC Metro Area. Mom is putting me up for a while.

You might think that the subject of this blog is popular culture. You’re not wrong. But it’s also about my own stupidity and ignorance, and how I choose to respond to these flaws. I’m not the kind of person one would generally label as stupid and ignorant, but I view my own mental life with more suspicion. My default setting is soft and absorbent, like a towel. Towels are pretty useful, but there’s no such thing as an ethical towel.

My character faults, stupidity and ignorance, are caused in part by a variety of environmental factors. It’s pretty easy to be ignorant about something, even something important. Familiarizing yourself with the important issues of the day is hard–there’s so many of them! And most of us have jobs which lead us into increasingly miniscule areas of specialization. So I lean on others; I depend upon specialists. And this is where I get stupid.

Don’t get me wrong–it’s grand that one of the fundamental principles of our society is mutual trust. And I’m certainly not cut out to be a lone wolf survivalist (I get lonely). But somehow, my long adolescence has produced in me a slavish devotion to experts. I sit at their knees, eager to learn. I’m still eager. But my critical thinking lags somewhere behind and misfires constantly.

It’s this combination which makes me a bad citizen. I’m responsible for other people, all the other people (and even though this isn’t about you, I think you are, too). Too often I let that duty drift to the background when I rely on the comfortable lessons of my own experience, or when I too-easily-subscribe to the ideas dispensed by others.

This blog’s real goal is to help me combat the laziness, ignorance, and stupidity which disconnect me from the rest of the world–in short, to fight acedia. Since popular culture is adept at providing these (dis)connections, I wade through its marshes.

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December 2019
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