Double Rainbow Guy and The Insane Clown Posse

Posted by on August 15, 2010 in Thoughts | 16 comments

“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.”

"A mountain scene, Val d'Aosta" - William Turner

"A mountain scene, Val d'Aosta" - William Turner 1845.

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

(You can see the full lyrics here.)

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.

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16 Comments

  1. I would love to read your blog but it is so very difficult for me to read anything against a black field. I feel I’m losing out on something interesting. Wish you had chosen some plain little white field blog with black letters.

    My loss.

    ~Peregrine

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    • Just for you, and people like you, I have redesigned my blog, I hope you come back to read. Also I hope you like what you see, in terms of design and content

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  2. Hi Peregrine, I usually copy/paste the content into Word :)

    Hi AtheistClimber, nice blogentry. To me, it resonates what Daniel Dennett wrote in Breaking the Spell. He asks himself (far more eloquently than I can) if research could ‘break the spell’ and cause damage that we cannot amend. Will knowledge break the spell, interfere with the magic? Will the realization and understanding of how rainbows are formed, diminish their beauty and decrease your sense of wonder?

    The answer is, as you already stated above, no. Knowing about molecules and fractions and DNA could possibly even increase our sense of awe. It does make me wonder where the feeling comes from?

    Is it indoctrinated behaviour? The church obviously has a problem with people who think for themselves, since they will…. erm…. leave the church. Therefore religion, in whichever country, setting, culture, you look, been surrounded by mystery and a do-not-question-attitude.

    Or does this fear of investigation stems from losing our childhood innocence? From remembering the wonderment we had as children for the strangest things that we do not really feel that way about anymore. Isn’t that why we find the rainbow man endearing? Does he remind us of our 4-year old selves? (<– I actually still stand by my own conclusion that the guy is on serious dope, but I digress).

    I think your post is a strong encouragement for teachers and educators to keep the magic in their teaching. Replace the ignorance WOW by an educted, mind-blowing WOW. In the accompanying video of the ICP, the programmer actually inserted double helixes in the background when the guy sang about not understanding why their children look like them. A hidden, tongue-in-cheek question to the viewers: what is the real "Miracle" here? Isn't it the mind-blowing knowledge of HOW our DNA is passed on?

    Kind regards,

    Myrre

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  3. Aww, poor ICP. I did come across one of their songs I liked… “Let’s Go All The Way” ? Lots of people diss them, but I think they’ve got a place. Also, allowance for metaphor/poetic lyrics pleeeeze? I don’t think anyone writing songs would like them to be scrutinised on a scientific basis ;)

    I do like your reference to romanticism. I hate to do so, but I’m going to refer to my posts on Atheist Spirituality http://spritzophrenia.wordpress.com/2010/02/11/atheist-spirituality/ as I think it’s relevent to this :)

    Jonathan the flakey weak agnostic from Spritzophrenia

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  4. juggalos: http://www.worldnews.digirookstudio.com/us-headlines/8-juggalos.html

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  5. This blogpost can’t go by without also showing this youtube clip from SNL,the sendup of ICP’s inane stupiditiude.

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  6. OH AND see ZJemptv’s criticism of the ICP song

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  7. ICP is a crime against humanity. Once again, on behalf of America, I’m very very sorry. :/ Also, like the new look. :D

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  8. Good post Marty. It sits well with your last post – with Carl Sagan, who really embodies the way knowing and wonderment are far from mutually exclusive.

    I like ZJemptv’s critique too 8)

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  9. Dude,
    I love this post. Firstly, you’re writing style (in this one especially) has such a poetry to it, I get so wrapped up in it. Very much enjoy.

    Secondly:

    “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.””

    Agreed; I liken the ‘God did it’ response to when we were kids and used to respond to any question with “just coz” because we had no clue as to the answer haha! – so lazy!!

    In conclusion…DOUBLE RAINBOWWWWW!!! :D

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  10. “And I can’t see how not knowing is better than knowing, especially when it comes to basic principles of physics, chemistry and biology.”

    Funny how this doesn’t apply to the naturalistic interpretation of cosmology and the origin of our universe, where science continues to proclaim that it doesn’t know and has no answer, but that’s still better than the answer that the theists give. Even a “God of the gaps” answer is better than no answer.

    That said, I do agree with the majority of your post. I’m glad that we can all still take time to find joy and excitement in nature’s little intricacies, even if we have different opinions on how they got there. That is one thing that definitely likens us to each other as humans in spite of our differences. That and our almost universal disdain for ICP. :-)

    Good post, Marty.

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    • Well Sabepashubo, I actually do apply the same principle to all things, however to know how we got here in the very beginning (assuming there actually is a beginning) is something that we possibly will never know. There is no time-machine, and our time on this planet is finite (we are even speeding ourselves toward a possible demise) so i sometimes feel the likelihood that we will definitely know *for sure* diminishes every day.

      In any case, the excitement in the universe and nature is what started me on my quest for discovery. The more I learn, the more I want to learn. I think that knowledge is key to the survival of humanity past this difficult time, and that ignorance is like poison. Hence why I keep writing this blog.

      Hope you enjoy the new colour scheme. To me it’s a nice change, and it sure is easier on my eyes :)

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    • Most definitely liking the new scheme, although it took a little digging to find the comments section. :-)

      Also completely agree with you that our time on this planet is finite. Strange that the current scientific hypothesis is that the universe has an infinite past, and yet a finite end, isn’t it? I tend to agree with you that science will never find a conclusive answer, which is why I put my stock in the best answer presented, and to me that’s the supernatural.

      But to each his own, and I certainly don’t begrudge you your opinion. You have been very respectful of me posting on here, and it’s part of the reason why I keep coming back. I don’t waste time with those who aren’t willing to be reasonable, but I find you not to be in that group. Thanks as always for sharing, and looking forward to more discussion in the future!

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  11. That great!

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  12. This blog entry is pure garbage. there is no where to be seen the power of love from what was written.
    Life is a miracle. take it or leave it. You are just ungrateful and think everything can be understood by science. You don’t really understand magnetism, just only north and south pole attracts. but can you explain what exactly goes on at the quantum level that brings them together? why what makes the magnetic field exist in 3D spatial enviroment?

    you can’t.

    Face it, life is full of mother fucking miracles, especially the day you were born.

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  13. Hi there! I simply would like to give an enormous thumbs up for the good info you might have right here on this post. I will probably be coming back to your weblog for extra soon.

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  1. Mixed Nuts « Spritzophrenia - [...] of idiocy, Insane Clown Posse’s track Miracles. Thanks to Marty Atheist Climber for alerting me. Mysteries do not prove…

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