Tag Archives: Eric Robert Nolan

Reality Bites.

This is your daily reminder that the attack on America’s Capitol on January 6th, 2021 did, in fact, happen.

No, it was not perpetrated by FBI agents.

No, it was not perpetrated by Black Lives Matter.  There is an ocean of evidence contradicting those claims.

Yes, we understand that you “don’t watch the news.” No, we don’t agree that this is a shrewd and careful method of preventing yourself from being “brainwashed.”  It seems far more likely that you are protecting a cultivated worldview from information that might contradict it.  And some of us suspect that you might also be lazy.

No, we will not always personally relate to you “what happened” so that you are able to respond to our online comments.  Being your personal news provider isn’t our responsibility.  It’s weird that you think that.  If you cannot provide information to support your own position, that’s your problem.

Yes, we understand that “the media” is biased.  Virtually all news sources are biased, because they are all staffed by human beings.  Some news sources are biased toward the Left.  Some are biased toward the Right.  The challenge for us as adults is to recognize and account for that bias — and then weigh the relative merits of any individual news report accordingly.

Willfully constructing a worldview in an information vacuum is not a viable answer.  It isn’t wise or shrewd.  It’s actually a childlike way to think, because we too easily fall into the trap of telling ourselves what we want to hear.

Some of us have noticed that you indeed DO trust “the media” when a story appears that corroborates your position.  If you so wisely avoid reading information that you deem “fake,” how are you even aware of news reports that you deem “real?”  No … we do not always believe you when you say you “just found it at random.”

When you describe “the media” as being “an enemy of the American people,” there is an outside chance that you are actually talking to a member of “the media” (or maybe their friends or family).  I was a news reporter for a couple of years.  I was young.  I was too dumb, too poor, too idealistic and too disorganized to be part of a conspiracy against the American people.  You think news reporters are organizing a plot against America?  There are news reporters who are incapable of organizing a sock drawer.  I was one of them.

No, we will not always “Google it!!” to seek information supporting your position.  It is your position — you are responsible for supporting it with facts.  If you choose not to do so, some of us might reasonably point that out.

If you present an opinion without evidence, that’s … actually okay, if you simply acknowledge it when asked.  Saying, “I don’t have evidence to back this up, but this is what I think” is perfectly alright.  It is a normal part of adult discourse.

If we do “Google it!!!” and the search results only appear to debunk your claim, some of us are quite skeptical about your claim that “Google removed it” or “Google took the information down.”  We do suspect that the evidence was never there at all.

Conspiracy arguments can be a two-way street.  If you claim that my information is fabricated by a conspiracy, can I make similar assertions about your information with equal credibility?

Here’s what I mean.  If you claim that CNN is controlled by the New World Order, can I reasonably claim that your YouTube videos are fabricated by The Freemasons?  If you claim that CDC data was planted online by the Illuminati, can I claim that the website you shared was constructed by S.P.E.C.T.R.E.?  If not, why not?  Why should your conspiracy theory be deemed credible, while mine is not?

Finally, not all of us believe that avoiding information is somehow edgy or subversive, or a heroic defiance of nefarious, unseen, powerful influencers.  There is a chance that you are simply propping up and protecting a system of false beliefs — in a way that is transparent to the rest of us.



Throwback Thursday: “M*A*S*H” (1972-1983)

“M*A*S*H” turned 50 years old this past Saturday, folks.  It debuted on September 17, 1972, and ran for 11 seasons.  (The “M*A*S*H” feature film preceded it by two years — the movie was itself an adaptation of Richard Hooker’s 1968 novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors.)

So the show is as old as I am.  And that’s pretty old.

This show was an institution when I was growing up.  It was just one of those shows that seemed like it had always been there — like the original “Star Trek” (1966-1969).  It was beloved of my dad and older siblings, even if I was too young to fully appreciate it at the time.  Dear lord, did it make people laugh.



640px-MASH_TV_cast_1974

“Blue,” by Eric Robert Nolan

Blue is burning bright and deep
in the gardens of my sleep.
The ordered flowers of my dreaming
Mirror summer mid-day’s gleaming,
at attention, standing guard,
all about a child’s yard.

I am aging now.  Does this
set the night to reminisce
and move my dreaming eye to roam
the backyard of my boyhood home?
There a firm azure replaces
all the old remembered faces.
There the bright battalion smolders —
upright rows of bluebell soldiers.

(c) Eric Robert Nolan 2022



Hyacinthoides_non-scripta_(Common_Bluebell)

Photo credit: By MichaelMaggs – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2704582

Throwback Thursday: Action Park!

I never actually went to Action Park — the infamously dangerous 80’s-era  amusement park in Vernon Township, New Jersey.  But the name alone conjures childhood memories because it was a perennial source of rumors and urban legends for kids at the time.  (And we all lived a few hours away in Eastern Long Island.)  I remember the commercials too.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard the name mentioned since that time.  (The park closed in 1996, in part because of the same recession that was giving my generation so much anxiety in our first  post-college job searches.)

So I was surprised when a friend in Britain, of all places, sent me the first video below.  Not only does Action Park’s infamy live on, it extends across the Atlantic.

Anyway, it turns out that the park was one dangerous place.  There was even a 2020 documentary about it on HBO Max.

Wild.



Roanoke River around Franklin Road SW, September 2022

I’m kinda happy with the fortuitous composition of the last video and photo.  That swan just lined up perfectly in the center of the shot.

The building that you see in the distance in the second clip is Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.


IMG_20220907_190232999