Sunday, January 15, 2006

Selective Ignorance

One of the beautiful things about America and the choices we have is the ability to ignore so many things. If a magazine fails to catch my interest, I don't have to subscribe to it. If a TV show is icky or stupid (both very technical ratings terms, I assure you) I can turn my TV off. If a movie's subject isn't interesting to me or if it stars Michael Parre, I don't have to go.

One of the nice things about living in my little corner of the world is that I can regularly ignore Mark Belling. I don't even have to make a lot of effort to let him slide under my radar. His radio station is out of my market and his columns are seldom carried in any of the four newspapers that come to the house.

It's just that, every once in a while, a headline pops up on WisOpinion attached to his byline that makes me think I might want to not ignore him for a minute or two. It's kind of like forgetting that you don't like eggplant or avocados. Someone close to you may crave them 4 days out of 7 but you just can't keep them on your rather ample stomach.

The headline was "Sue-wee!" and It just made me want to see what he was going to add to the debate about the laws that protect consumers from companies that make products that are truly dangerous. Belling and I agree that lawnmower makers shouldn't be penalized if the neighbor picks it up to use as a hedge trimmer and that paint strippers used as hair dryers should qualify the user for a Darwin Award rather than a court award but he was off on a rant about trial lawyers, our governor and lead paint.

And he was on a roll. His dander raised, hackles askew he was preaching to his choir. Apparently he believes that only certain groups should be allowed to contribute to campaigns and that those who stand up for the consumer (for a fee) should be shut out of the political process. He worked himself into a Sykes-class dudgeon, spittle flecking the very words of his screed and then he sailed off into the part of the territory where the buses don't run.

...But some of that paint is still on the walls of older houses, especially in
urban areas like Milwaukee. Kids eat the chipped paint scraps and get poisoned, or so the theory goes... (emphasis added)

It would appear that this Limbaugh wannabe has found evidence to convince him that decades of studies showing the effects (pdf.) of lead paint on those who live in older houses are theories to be ignored along with evolution and gravity.

Well, now. Harrumph. I know who I'll be ignoring for a while longer.

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