The contagion once again sweeping the nation is indiscriminate in nature; failing to recognize race, gender, or age in its deadly attacks (though curiously, it seems to have little of no effect on the very young). Neither does it have any respect for political persuasion, finding victims among Democrats, Republican, and Independents alike (though again, Libertarians seem mostly immune). This scourge, now found to have been a recurring and often overlooked affliction has been called by many names over the years, most popularly "having you head up your own arse"; but has currently been designated by the CDC as: ... Cranial / Rectal Inversion.
Those afflicted with this deadly malady may be recognized by the following symptoms.
- A willing and unquestioning belief that the stories they read in newspapers and see on television news programs are both factually correct and true
- A likewise intransigent belief in the pronouncements of politicians regardless of previous records of fallibility or the suspension of common sense required to do so
- An unsupportable belief that things were much simpler and far better in the "Good Old Days"
- A strange inability or unwillingness to check the facts on which they base their most fervently held opinions, preferring instead to have their basic assumptions about life handed to them on a silver platter by media personalities; many of whom pick and choose their own version of the facts for no better reason than to make their shows entertaining
- A marked certainty that things will get better if we can just put one political party in charge of government for a while (For some reason, it doesn't seem to matter in general which one, though individual sufferers are adamant about their particular choice, once made.)
- An assurance that the US can spend its way out of the horrendous debt that it has incurred if it only spends enough
- An absolute inability to perform simple math functions, manifested by attempts to subtract government spending from government revenue and always coming up with a positive number.
- An unaccountable faith that Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D Roosevelt, and Lyndon B Johnson were good presidents (Many others feel the same way about Richard Nixon and George W Bush, in the red vs blue strain of the disease.)
- An almost dogmatic conviction that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid will be just fine if we can pick the pockets of a few of the rich bastards in this country
- A misguided though adamant presumption that the results of the next election will put things right
Regular self-examination is not required (and can be rather messy anyway). You should be able to recognize whether you are showing symptoms or suffering from the disease by the expressions on the faces of friends and family around you, as well as their willingness (or lack thereof) to be close to you. Be careful however, when you recognize these symptoms in others, as all contractors are carriers of this dreaded condition.
While there is no cure for Cranial / Rectal inversion, the disease can be put into remission through daily use of doubt and skepticism, and minimal contact with newspapers and national television news. Broadcasts of most of cable news networks should be carefully rationed; and "The O'Reilly Factor", "The Sean Hannity Show", or anything with Chris Matthews on it should be avoided at all costs. (Hell, just avoid MSNBC all together.) Regular attempts to reach your own conclusions through facts unedited by news readers, talking heads, and pundits pimping their latest book can also be an effective prophylactic treatment.
Good luck out there, and by all means ... Keep you heads up!