Cognitive Dissonance

There are a couple of things we do pretty well in this country. One of them is complain incessantly about things we have no control over, like the weather, or the price of oil. The other thing we do well is accept with a kind of noble stoicism the consequences of things we can do something about but can’t be bothered; like the dwindling state of education in this country. The ratio of children passing their A Levels has gone up in every single one of the last 23 years and instead of seeing this as clear evidence that the standard is in terminal decline we somehow translate this into something to be proud of and loudly congratulate the functionally illiterate children pouring out of our schools in their thousands as though they were a gnats whisker away from a Nobel prize for literature.

 The rising rate of young unemployed indicates that employers find them ill prepared for the real world where lolz is not a word and thoughts are commonly expressed in cogent grammatical sentences lmao. It should, therefore, be a point of national celebration that at least one person whose critical faculties were left at the school gates has, not just a job, but a well paying job in a position from which she can actually have a hopefully positive influence on the way the nation thinks. Introducing, stage left, Ms Julie Burchill.

Ms Burchill writes a column in The Independent. I know it’s a column because it is filed under Home > Opinion > Columnists > Julie Burchill, so we can put to one side any pretence that she is a journalist and bear in mind that her writing is just her opinion. The Independent is in business to sell newspapers so we must presume that the editor thinks people will buy The Independent because Ms Burchill is in it, but I can’t help thinking that there are cheaper sources of tinder for starting bonfires next week.

This week she has produced a column in three parts; the first part is about Lauren Booth, the second is about gaps in teeth and the final third is about happy countries. Or at least, that is what they are notionally about, because they are really about Julie Burchill.

Lauren Booth is a woman whose recent conversion to Islam was covered in some of the press, though quite why escapes me. Maybe I’m just old fashioned or something but, “Woman Changes Religion” doesn’t strike me as an eye-catching headline promising an article of unremitting news, but such is the press, I suppose. Ms Burchill had a go at changing religion herself, to Judaism though from what she doesn’t say though she does mention the “Father, Son and Holy Ghost free-for-all” which narrows it down a bit for those sufficiently interested to find out. La Burchill freely admits that after trying Judaism for a while she changed her mind because she wouldn’t have the commitment to do it (Judaism) properly, or presumably the foresight or insight to know this in advance. She also said that she found going to shul on Saturday more ridiculous than going to church on Sunday, which doesn’t strike me as being a particularly profound way of deciding how to pay homage to the creator of the universe, but there you go. We live in a multicultural society so all views are equally relevant. Except those that just aren’t.

 Then, she helpfully summarises these deep and meaningful decisions with the revelation that it boils down to hating phoneys, you know, those people who change their religion, exactly like Ms Burchill did, twice. Which I guess makes her a phoney phoney, not even honest about how phoney she really is.

 Buried deep in the mire of this tortuous logic is this little nugget: I’m well aware that everyone who isn’t a complete self-deluding fool finds themselves preposterous at times… Someone please tell Ms Burchill that the self deluding fools are the preposterous people and those of us who have our philosophical ducks in a row and do not suffer from cognitive dissonance might legitimately be considered all sorts of things by phoney phoneys like her, but preposterous is not one of them.

Relevant Source:

The Independent


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