Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bliss is overrated

According to the author, Dumbledore is among her favourite characters, and she enjoys writing Dumbledore because he "is the epitome of goodness." Rowling claimed that, if she needs to tell her readers something, Dumbledore speaks for her, as he "knows pretty much everything" about the Harry Potter universe. However, Rowling mentioned Dumbledore regrets "that he has always had to be the one who knew, and who had the burden of knowing. And he would rather not know."

I'm only going to say this once: What is this fucking garbage about "rather not know"ing? Are we grown-ups or are we children? It's so pervasive, so insidious and so utterly naive. Deal with it. Everyone has burdens. The smarter you are, the more responsibilities you have -- responsibilities to yourself, to your family, to the world. Responsibilities to those who can get along as well, to those who just aren't as smart. But as onerous as those burdens may be, why would anyone who was a leader come to the conclusion that they'd be better off as a sheep, as one of those whom they led? That conclusion only makes sense if the person leading you is a better leader than you are...and in that case, that person should have your responsibilities anyways. Ignorance is no picnic if someone isn't doing the thinking for you. It isn't a pleasant surprise or some magical adventure. If you don't know what's in store for you tomorrow -- if limited understanding of history, cause and effect, action and consequences leaves you wondering what's next -- ignorance is generally a pretty frightening condition. Humans have so little control over their lives; ignorance is to have even less. Far from freeing us, it shackles us to a world of apparent senseless variability where everything that happens, good and bad, is unexpected. And the real joke is, of course, on people "in the know" who lament that 'ignorance is bliss' because if you don't know that being "in the know" is better than the alternative, you aren't really 'in the know". But people in the know will at one point or another look at the people looking to them and say, quite foolishly, "Boy, you don't know how good you have it." Bullshit. The grass is always greener. To those who say ignorance is bliss, I say: grab your balls, put on your hat and go outside. Man-the-fuck-up.

Or, if you'd prefer, step-the-fuck-off.


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