Lidia Yuknavitch’s Weblog

the body of the word

free inquiry vs. indoctrination

Indoctrination is the process of inculcating ideas and attitudes.  You know, inculcate, from the Latin word for “press in”.   The indoctrinated person is expected not to question or critically investigate the doctrine they have learned.  They are meant to believe without thinking, because the thinking has been done for them.

In free inquiry, the fundamental principals call for critical self-evaluation and skeptical scrutiny of one’s own ideas.  Science is based on free and critical inquiry, as are most forms of legitimized knowledge.

i’m not here to talk about old man balls or the human twat.

john mccain is a wanker and not worth my time.

sarah palin? even less worthy of anyone’s time.

but they are speaking to the indoctrinated, and it’s a large . . . posse.  A posse with guns.

I mention the above two concepts because Obama is blowing it.  Nevermind the fact that he’s doing exactly EVERYTHING he said he wouldn’t do when he was all about change we could believe in.  Nevermind the fact that he smells (shockingly) just like a politician desperate for votes and willing to say and do anything to get ’em.  Even nevermind the fact that he’s become the SHOW ME THE MONEY guy par excellence. What started out as grass-roots fundraising is now a race for large wads of cash to make crappy ass ads that look exactly the same as every ad i’ve seen since i was old enough to vote.

What he’s blowing is underestimating the power of indoctrination–both its historic power, which has lead to the current lumps of shit that make up half of our country as well as the severely cripping distribution of wealth and the sorry ass social values, but perhaps more importantly, its present tense power–NEWS FLASH:  when people are scared shitless they don’t want to think.  They want someone to say things in mono-syllabic sentences and repeat the last line several times so they don’t have to form any ideas.  They don’t care about content.  They don’t care about intellectual flourish.  They don’t care about critical inquiry or analysis.  They want to hear the same sentences the founding fathers said, or what the faux patriarchal protector says, or, if they are REALLY scared, say, if the country is facing the circumstances underpinning the Great Depression, they’ll take an old man with crooked arms with a trophy veep.

So Obama figured out he can’t use the BIG WORDS or LONG SENTENCES or three point analyses to talk to the masses.  Nevermind how sad that makes me.  And someone in his camp has convinced him to stop making those extraordinary speeches filled with hope and inspiration, the kind that prove that language can lift a spirit home (nice going, campaign monkeys.  really great).

The CHANGE we need right now is for someone, and I was sort of hoping it was him, though I had my doubts, someone needs to REINVENT how to bring the american mind back into the american body.

Until someone does, it’s all a buncha lip-service and old school dirty politics.

Since I never really thought he was a savior, it seems to me that part of the responsibility falls onto all of us.  And since most of us are flat broke and have no serious influence, all we have is the internet, and some don’t even have that.  But if you do have a computer with access to the internet, I hope that you will consider the virus approach–blogs, emails, podcasts, maybe even somebody can get something hot going on youtube…but if we don’t do something besides stand around waiting for our man Obama to save us, he’s going to get his ass whipped, because the democratic party is a bunch of impotent boneheads.

And if you don’t have a computer, then I hope you’ll mouth off at grocery stores and gas stations and streetcorners.  At schools and churches and movie theaters and airports.  Commit small acts of resistance and mayhem in the face of the indoctrinated. What do we have to lose?  They’ve already got dossiers on all of us.

I mean we can’t leave all the work to John Stewart, Steven Colbert, Tina Fey and Amy Peohler…

Care to don your can of whip ass?

p.s.:  for a great account of what white privilege amounts to, go to:

(thank you sydney for turning me on to that.)

September 17, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. I do! I do! I feel politically inept though. Part of me sincerely cares to the point of making me sick to my stomach. Then there is also part of me that says fuck it all it’s all fucked anyway. I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks this way, but it bugs me because I know I have to get passed this fuck it all way of thinking if I ever want to make a positive difference in the world.

    Comment by Jodie | September 17, 2008 | Reply

  2. I just sent this to everyone I know. It’s a start, anyway.

    You’re a frakkin inspiration as always, lid.

    (and this is off topic, but I’ve been watching (frakkin) Battlestar Galactica, and you know how you (general you) feel watching the Cylons decimate the human race? Surprise and anguish and fear and horror? Just ‘cuz they claim we don’t value god/life the way they do? Well, pretend that the Cylons are us (the Americans, I mean – the white privileged) and the human race is the Native Americans, and, well, yeah – THAT’S how it feels. And what’s frakked is that it shouldn’t be a surprise…)

    Comment by Ali | September 20, 2008 | Reply

  3. I meant I sent this web page to everyone I know. Sorry if that wasn’t clear!

    Comment by Ali | September 20, 2008 | Reply

  4. I don’t think Obama is really blowing it, I mean he is leading in most of the polls and I actually read a mcclatchy (one of the only news services to get things right about Iraq from the frakin (also a Galactica fan) begining) article talking about the right turning away from Palin, primarily because she totally sucks at interviews and is utterly unprepared to be president. I guess we on the left are so used to losing that it is hard to be optimistic, of course I am almost never optimistic about anything in spite of my pharmacist. I have always liked Obama to a point, but you can’t fault a guy (or girl) for playing the game as it has been played. What else could he really do? This nation is roughly 90% religious, so the rest of us are eternally damned and fucked in our hedonistic, free thinking honesty. As an agnostic it is hard to get over the stone cold bummer that is the reality that no politician could ever come out as anything but razor clear about the god question.

    Comment by jesse morris | September 30, 2008 | Reply

  5. j: hey comrade. yes to all of what you say…i don’t think he’s blowing it as in he’s going to lose, though i stopped believing in magical butterflies when i was 7, i just think he’s going to need to account for the gap between liberal intellectuals and god people.

    intellectualism has been massacred in this country and god people have invented themselves into a “mass” that is truly frightening.

    i can name people who have recollected the republic (though i’m sort of in agreement with gore vidal’s assertion that at present there IS NO american republic–it’s been destroyed and we need to rebuild one) — mlk, for instance, could quite easily speak to the god people, the non god people, the intellectuals, the agnostics, etc…

    i’m not wishing obama would transform into mlk. i’m just saying it is possible to be a noteworthy leader and speak to more than one “mass” of people…

    another person who comes to mind is c.s. lewis–the writer–total devout christian, also intellectual, also able to talk across the caverns…

    well of course there are a gazillion such people.

    that made me really sleepy to write.

    Comment by lidiaohlidia | October 1, 2008 | Reply

  6. I still believe in magic butterflies….. maybe just on mushrooms, but still.

    well one cannot underestimate the shit Obama has had to go through being the first black nominee, it is a totally different public vetting process and political strategy than the old white guy one. As far was Christian dogma goes, I don’t overly mind Christians like MLK or Rev Wright (to a point) or Obama, or Johnny Cash or Ben Harper..etc.

    Comment by jesse morris | October 2, 2008 | Reply

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