A Rooster in Dublin: Thoughts on 2020 America

Enter: That Dublin “Rooster”

From Dublin to 2020 America

  • We believe what we want to believe, what keeps us comfortable, what makes the world look and sound as wholesome as we want it to be.
  • Con artists exploit our desire to trust, our desire to not be conned. Even in these cynical years, we want to believe what the ‘tellers’- the government, the lobbyists, the assorted power brokers-tell us. Are some of them lying or colluding in each other’s lies? These past four years, yes. We have the footage and the facts to prove it. Yet, according to a recent Gallup poll, 49% of us still approve of the way the U.S. presidency is being handled.
  • My uncle’s neighbor understood the power of seductive truths and the allure of being part of a shared belief. Equally, when we see a posse of important-looking men in good hair cuts and crisp dress suits standing around a podium, we’ve been conditioned to believe that there must be something real there. Something substantive? Truthful? Adult?
  • On some level, our Dublin egg merchant also understood and exploited the self-deceptive power of nostalgia. I mean, what could be more wholesome, more nostalgic than the sounds (rooster) and taste (eggs) of a remembered or imagined Irish countryside? “Make America great again.” Translate: Make America white again or, more accurately, downplay or delete the non-white part of the story. Or make America what you think you remember or got told around the kitchen table or what you and your associates agreed upon as the story.
  • Maybe our Dublin man bought his cassette-player and his rooster tape as a social experiment. Or maybe he knew that, even when we know or suspect we’ve been duped, it’s easier to persist in our shared fallacies, our own gullibility, than it is to cop to the flaws and the inhumanity in our long-held belief systems.

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