Rendered Fat Content


Honoré Daumier: Mélodrame (circa 1856-1860)
"We reap whatever we plant."

The media almost exclusively refers to them as theories, though there's almost nothing theoretical about most of them. Few seem structured following any framework even distantly borrowed from proper theory form, which, I guess suggests that whomever came up with them was not studied in the sciences or liberal arts, probably not very studied at all other than, perhaps, in persuasive rhetoric. No harm or foul for that infraction, though they tend as a result to make little sense, except to those for whom they apparently don't need to make sense to gain their acceptance, those who parse for attraction rather than cogency. These—I'll call them Cornspiracies—might be only what their followers want to believe, their crafters caring little about any underlying coherence or factual basis. Millions have apparently scrambled in line behind them, armies of True Believers following fallacious facts, utterly convinced of their righteousness. Many seem to have taken up arms to overthrow oppressors who never were and never could have been. What do we do with them?

They say that they find it particularly annoying when non-believers talk down to them as if they were stupid.
They claim to deserve respect. I wonder if they'd accept one of those Participant trophies given to losers in lieu of an actual ribbon. No, they'd probably take offense at receiving one of those, too, for they seem to be saying that their fallacious facts should receive equal respect to any given whole truths, to the extent that we can ever discern whole truths or even proper theories which have received adequate validation over time. Most of the rest of us sense that these folks want to creep in through the backdoor, avoid serious study, yet still receive the rights and honors due anyone who actually put in the time and effort to actually graduate. This presumption does not quite seem to equate to equality.

Our social media seems expressly designed to rend our social fabric. Many (most?) dedicated Cornspiricists have taken to referring to The Lame Stream Media, and take great umbrage toward anyone even attempting to deal in facts, just as if that product was somehow beneath their contempt. A Cornspiracy carries no such limitations, as if the fifth grade students carried the absolute—dare I suggest God-given?—right to vote among themselves to determine correct answers, deriding the teacher for her unimaginative self-limiting insistence upon truth. The popular wins, or, in the case of a tie, the resident bully seems to get to decide, if only because nobody has the guts to stand against him and his fists (or AR-15). Nobody might get any smarter as a result, but the purpose transcends both wrong and right, smart and stupid, but instead focuses upon popularity. Who receives the most likes? Who attracts the greatest volume of internet advertising dollars? Whomever riles the most seems to win, at least in the short run.

These movements started as paranoid whispers, in secret meetings seeking some sense of solidarity with something or somebody in a world grown painfully exclusionary. Maybe somebody's job was exported to Mexico. Perhaps someone received an unexpected tax bill. Who knows? Who really cares? Let's say they were scared, however justified their terror, and so they decided to come together to reassure each other that they weren't quite as powerless as they felt in that moment. Their primary oppressor, seeing opportunity, seems to side with them, though they were the ones who shipped that job off to Mexico and were primarily responsible for them receiving that unexpected tax bill, too. They knew a shill when they saw one. They saw opportunity in others' disappointment, and set about attempting to amplify it. They founded a network dedicated to fracturing society. They funneled money into crackpot corners. They stood with them as if they were brothers rather than their primary oppressors. If they succeeded in toppling order, they'd make out like bandits in the resulting chaos.

Back during the Industrial Age, industrialists feared workers. Should they gain equal bargaining rights, that might inhibit the owners—who genuinely believed that they were their workers' rightful owners—holding superior rights to do whatever they damned well pleased. They, after all, held more money than anybody and money speaks louder, votes more frequently, and really should carry superior authority. Wouldn't you agree? They criminalized fair play, accepting only those willing to work for slave wages. The others, they sent away and labeled Marxist, a designation not even Marx ever adopted. They claimed to stand for decency when they only stood for slavery and oligarchy. Maybe a few generations of that kind of thinking produced the willing conscripts, who today so willingly subscribe to Cornspiracy. We reap whatever we plant.

Our Founders anticipated the danger of a Corporate America, one most dedicated to what we now acknowledge as The Almighty Dollar rather than to big D Democracy. Many of The Founders believed that they could create a democracy in name only, one safe for their little autocracy where they could practice slavery to their dark hearts' content. They wanted a monarchy under the guise of democracy, one without a king or any inconveniencing thing like taxes or regulations. The resulting Constitution was held together with Scotch tape and library paste and in increasingly desperate need of considerable tempering. The Corporations inherited most of the rights and privileges the autocratic slave owners held before the Civil War. The second sons and daughters without inheritance moved West, received a stake of largely worthless land, and became somewhat self-reliant, or so we believe. Many died of drink or foolishness still believing in some crackpot Cornspiracy, like The American Way.

I suspect than no society was ever founded upon anything more solid than fallacy. The legacy that cornerstone fosters encourages continuing Cornspiracy, since even the most self-evident truths might prove themselves false in practice. It's just the way of this world. We adapt to these unfolding truths as any True Believer might, perhaps first with disbelief and later with acceptance or begrudgement, or something. Our understanding's evolving toward, as Lincoln insisted, ever more perfect union, HeadingHomeward, but as with all evolution, many unviables emerge alongside more robust ones. Ten thousand characteristics vie for supremacy with perhaps only one of them ever deciding which mutation wins. And any win preservers for less than forever, no truth ever seems ultimately settled. We might take solace by recognizing that we're still growing, exhibiting more vitality than mere stasis, embodying entropy as well as genuine progression. This ever-evolving experience brings blessings as well as curses, with Cornspiracy probably an inescapable part of any HeadingHomeward.

©2021 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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