Double Rainbow Guy and The Insane Clown Posse
“Double rainbow, all the way! WHOOOOAH!!!” – Hungrybear9562.
“Fuckin’ magnets, how do they work?” – Insane Clown Posse.
Above are 2 examples of seeing the wonderment of the world around us, and appreciating that all we have is amazing, but with one big difference. The former is someone expressing wonder in a beautiful world, the latter is a stupefying display of ignorance proclaiming that everything is a miracle, so stop asking questions about the world.
The seemingly drug-addled words of Hungrybear9562 (the Double Rainbow Guy), while maybe a little overly emotional are heartening in that he is brought to tears by a particularly beautiful rainbow. I have felt this kind of wonderment before, and revel in it when I do. It’s the feeling that something is so beautiful, so awe-inspiring that words fail, and it’s all you can do admire this beauty. And sometimes we feel the need to get “back to nature”, to get away from the trappings of the modern world, computers, blogs, Twitter, Facebook etc., and simply be in a natural environment.
In the latter half of the 18th Century there was a movement in literature, art and music, dubbed Romanticism, which arose as a reaction to the Age Of Enlightenment and all the upper-class trappings of that period, and which sought to bring this kind of wonderment in the beauty and power of nature to the forefront of people’s minds. From Wikipedia comes this description of Romanticism:
“The movement validated strong emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic experience, placing new emphasis on such emotions as trepidation, horror and terror and awe—especially that which is experienced in confronting the sublimity of untamed nature and its picturesque qualities.”
The Romantic movement gained momentum during the Industrial Revolution, I think partly through fear of the industrialisation of the time, and partly because people felt there was a disconnect between man and nature, and wanted to bring this back into the sphere of the arts, hopefully to remind people about the grand wonders of the world. And while much of the Romantics works were of a given religious significance by the artists, writers or musicians, the fact is they were dealing with subjects that are universal among people, because these subjects are about our world and what it means to be human.
I find the reaction of Hungrybear9562 to be refreshing in a world driven by economies, products and politics. He asks “What does this mean?” repeatedly, in a naive and almost endearing way. And while it was perhaps an overreaction to the chance refraction of light through drops of water in the air, to see someone sufficiently moved by this act of nature and physics is endearing, albeit a little uncomfortable.
In contrast to this honest reaction to the wonders of the world is the pseudo-philosophical song by The Insane Clown Posse “Miracles“.This brazen spouting of inane rhetoric is an embarrassment to all the progress we’ve made as a species. It asks questions about the world, and proclaims everything to be a miracle, but anyone with an 8th grade education should be able to refute most of this drivel with at least some kind of plausible answer. proclamations such as “Music is all magic,You can’t even hold it, it’s just there in the air, Pure motherfucking magic Right? This shit’ll blow your fucking mind.” And blow my “fucking mind” is exactly what it has done. Surely they can’t be dumb enough to call the interaction of sound waves in the air causing the vibrations inside your ear magic right? Wrong. Consider mind shattered. It goes on:
“Music is a lot like love, it’s all a feeling
And it fills the room, from the floor to the ceiling
I see miracles all around me
Stop and look around, it’s all astounding
Water, fire, air and dirt
Fucking magnets, how do they work?
And I don’t wanna talk to a scientist
Y’all motherfuckers lying, and getting me pissed“
The most embarrassing thing about this verse in the song is the fact that the question of how “fucking magnets” work can be fixed with a simple Google search, but then again, they give the game away with the next line. They are touting living in an ignorant and insular world, one where science is wrong, and all that is real is what we perceive to be real, and nothing more. This kind of willful ignorance is not only embarrassing, but really seems plain lazy. If they spent as much time thinking about the world as they spent doing their freaky clown make-up they might have an actual thought worthy of some merit. And to get angry because a simple physical process like magnetism is beyond their grasp shows the level of intelligence we are dealing with here. To say everything is a miracle is much like the religious view of the world, where instead of really making a concerted effort to try to discover why things happen a person will throw up their hands and claim “God did it”. Richard Dawkins has variously stated things like this:
“One of the things that is wrong with religion is that it teaches us to be satisfied with answers which are not really answers at all.”
And I can’t see how not knowing is better than knowing, especially when it comes to basic principles of physics, chemistry and biology. While I can’t fault ICP for trying to draw attention to the wonders of the world as I think the idea itself is quite good, to look around you and see that everything that exists is special, what is problematic is the way they portray this is in a dumbed-down quasi-philosophical manner, or at very least, in such a non-intellectual way as to make me embarrassed for them in their complacent and willful ignorance. This kind of rhetoric, where you can’t believe ANYTHING you are told is dangerous, because bring too close-minded means you are not willing to accept facts. It’s this kind of attitude that has given rise to the emergence of anti-vaccine lobbyists and the teaching of creationism in the classrooms of our kids. I really hope this is not a sign of the dumbing-down of society, and I hope that the kids that listen to this trip are smart enough to know blatant stupidity when they see it.
Luckily the song is completely laughable to anyone who went to highschool. And besides, who would not believe a grown man in clown make-up?
And we do live in an amazing world. One can feel a sense of wonder and amazement at the natural world by simply taking a walk in a forest, swimming in the ocean, sitting in a serene park or watching a thunderstorm. And I think it is really very healthy for our minds and bodies to feel this, it can put into perspective some of the things we take for granted, and also make us wonder why we worry about the trivialities of modern life. But while this awe of our natural world can help to keep us humble, one should not be so close-minded (or open-minded for that matter) that facts are dismissed as propaganda or lies.