The Putin Interviews

You might think, and it’s probably a common belief, that copying correspondence into a blog shows some combination of laziness and arrogance. But who cares? I don’t. To some degree both accusations are true. What’s more interesting is the extent to which they’re not true, and the degree to which there’s something else in it anyway.

Rob: Watched half so far of episode 1 Putin Interviews. Great.

Don: Yeah. Nothing controversial about it, but I found myself arguing with people who probably didn’t bother to watch, who seem to think the guy is a murder and a dictator, among other things. I think if they just watch, they’ll see he’s quite rational.

Rob: It’s an American character flaw. I think I’m going to start writing about that. What the hell is it about American psychology that it can sustain year after year after year, for decades, of demonizing every country and every leader, and never get tired of it?

And as Americans, as we’ve launched how many wars of choice and aggression in the last 20 years now? How can any reasonable person believe that we have any ground to stand on yelling about dictators and murderers?

Don: The person I debated is from Canada. Same propaganda is all over the west these days.

Rob: I tried to address the difference between Russia and US foreign policy yesterday here

Don: Have you seen the Century of Self documentary? This is the problem we’re dealing with here. People are conditioned. They can’t be rationally talked out of their condition as they’ve been tinkered with on an emotional level. A small percentage of them are thinkers and the rest are just beyond reasoning with on these issues.

I was raised in a very religious family and I bought into it all when I was growing up too. It took me years of self reflection and hard questions to break out of that mindset. Most raised like me, never do. I see many parallels between political positions and religious belief. I think while some will be like me and deconvert, most will just respond with deflection and anger as their cognitive dissonance keeps them from confronting uncomfortable truths.

It may be that the only way to reach people is through the same methods they were conditioned in the first place. Dunno, I’m not a psychologist.

Rob: I’d like to copy what you wrote and keep it, as a blog post. I can’t think of anything else that explains it.

Don: If you wish. It’s just my ramblings. I don’t feel any ownership need.

Rob: I’ve noticed it’s easiest for me to write and anything I write is best if I’m rambling in response to something someone said

It’s the same as how some people look their best when they don’t know you’re taking their picture. Once they know, their whole expression changes. Same with writing. Best when relaxed. Maybe that’s why dialog is always the best part of any book, play, movie.

Don: I think you’re on to something here. I keep thinking I’d like to start a blog about my life here in Russia, but find it hard to motivate myself to get started. Much easier to write when someone triggers an idea for me than it is to sit down and do what Caity does every day over there in Australia.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Tom Foster says:

    Me too – always write best in ‘reactive’ mode – find a coherent article from-scratch much harder

  2. says:

    Tom, absolutely. The ideas we always want to communicate are there in some kind of fog (I mean in some kind of unorganized way) in our heads. If we try to begin to verbalize those without a prompt from conversation with another human being, most of us don’t do a very good job getting those ideas out. What comes out sounds stilted, unnatural, and boring. I’ve gotten old enough now to just not care if I’m boring or not, though I’d rather not inflict my boring self on another, so this method works much better. (am I boring you now?). I also don’t care anymore to put on the appearance that I do it (whatever it is) the harder way. Who cares, really? đŸ™‚ Nobody cares.

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