The UFO Iconoclast(s)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mass culture and the death of ufology

dead-tree.jpg

Mass culture is composed of a set of patterns of thought and action which are common to the subcultures of a heterogeneous society.1

The UFO community is the “mass culture” and ufology is the subculture, both adhered to, generally, by a pack of indigenously stupid human beings.

The patterns referred to above “have common meanings and values for all or most of the members of the [UFO] society and serve points of mutual identification and recognition for [its] members."2

UFO study unites a mass of diverse individuals, whose only common link is their inherent dementia, a dementia that is sociopathic rather than psychopathic, but abnormal nonetheless.

Ufology provides a commonality that is as warped as any ersatz culture (motorcycle gangs, for instance), but remains a culture “destined for those who, insensible to the values of a genuine culture, are hungry nevertheless for the diversion that only culture of some sort can provide.”3

This ersatz culture, knows as ufology, has a subliminal fascistic nature, not atypical for group gatherings, as Tocqueville noted in his masterwork, Democracy in America, wherein he describes how those outside certain mental and social aggregations are shunned or punished for having views contrary to the group-think that prevails.

In the United States’ ufological circles there resides a hard-core element, so disturbed, obnoxious, and intellectually vulgar that science, media, and normal folks rightfully eschew the UFO topic out-of-hand.

U. S. ufology’s prominent members have a high visibility, and form a mass that “does not merely describe [a] people: it also describes a certain attitude adopted towards people.”4

This close-knit inconsequential, even insignificant, “culture” has, unfortunately stifled UFO research and new-think, to the point that many now recognize that ufology is dead or surely dying.5

But offering life-support, of an innocuous kind certainly, are a few motherly types who, while not offering anything tangible or sub- stantive to UFO research, do offer aid and comfort to their “mass culture” colleagues.

Such comfort won’t save ufology, just as it wouldn’t save a dying dog, but the effort examples what is wrong with ufology: efforts to keep it alive are enervated and useless. Research is nil or phony.

Thinking is saddled by the UFO history. Many can’t imagine a new paradigm that replaces the UFO sobriquet with something that doesn’t scare away persons afraid to be identified with such a loopy phenomenon.

The ufological flag is needed by the “culture” to keep it intact. Renaming the phenomenon and taking a new or different research tack would obliterate the culture and its members would be persons without a “country," as it were.

E, Lederer in State of the Masses, [ New York, Norton, 1940, p.45] indicates that “The totalitarian state is the state of the masses.” This describes what has happened with the ufological movement and community.

Self-preservation is the sine qua non of the overt, highly publicized, highly vocal members of the UFO community. They care not for truth or the meaning of UFOs. They merely seek to be recognized, giving themselves a kind of false immortality and importance.

The dynamic is self-destructive, however. And the “culture” is coming to an end, its members scrambling to keep it extant. But their efforts will be and are futile.

The culture is, in the context of human society, a bizarre footnote – an intellectual fluke that ultimately went nowhere.

Some will still gasp for air, but normal persons would do well to acknowledge the death of ufology and its faux culture and move on, to more enterprising ventures.
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1. J. W. Bennett/M.M. Tumin, Social Life, New York, Knopf, 1948, p. 609

2. Ibid

3. C. Greenberg, Avant-Garde and Kitsch in Mass Culture, pp. 98-107

4. R. Wollheim, Socialism and Culture, London, Fabian Society, 1961, p. 7

5. See Carrion and Rutkowski (here and via Google)

13 Comments:

  • How delightfully nihilistic. :-D Death to the UFO movement. Shake violently the tree of life, freeing it of all the nuts.

    I think a paradigm shift is in order. However, I don't see the culture disappearing anytime soon. For a great many, it is tantamount to religion. Perhaps what can be hoped for is a return to its youth.

    Without answers for so long, those thirsty for the truth have continually rehashed known information in an onanistic attempt to glean meaning from it all. Confabulation, bias, and fantasy are soon invited to begin the orgy that is "culture" and before we know it, there are belief structures in place and demigods to worship.

    Now, where did we put that lube...

    By Blogger Cullan Hudson, at Wednesday, July 14, 2010  

  • C:

    Onanistic? Oh my....

    But, as usual, you have it down pat.

    We keep harping on a name change - for UFOs and ufology, but that ain't gonna happen, as the post above and your comments seem to indicate.

    (But we can hope...)

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, July 14, 2010  

  • Yes, onanistic conjured images of hiding in the shadowy corners of locked rooms fervently working on... Well, whatever "UFO manuscript" they might be. :-D

    By Blogger Cullan Hudson, at Wednesday, July 14, 2010  

  • C:

    I just liked the reference to the "sin' of Onan; it is so apt of the situation as we (you and us) see it.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, July 14, 2010  

  • Good one!!

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Wednesday, July 14, 2010  

  • Grazie, Nick....

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, July 14, 2010  

  • From the blog entry: "Self-preservation is the sine qua non of the overt, highly publicized, highly vocal members of the UFO community. They care not for truth or the meaning of UFOs. They merely seek to be recognized, giving themselves a kind of false immortality and importance." - - -

    That's it, in a nutshell.

    By Blogger Brownie, at Wednesday, July 14, 2010  

  • Brownie:

    You are particularly perceptive as usual.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Wednesday, July 14, 2010  

  • Sorry, A.L.

    We won't allow comments here by a person banned from teaching children.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Sunday, July 18, 2010  

  • Re a name change for 'ufology', I challenge anyone to type this word using Microsoft Works word processor and see what they get.

    One letter is changed - try it and see!

    By Blogger cda, at Monday, July 19, 2010  

  • Christopher:

    That's a meager challenge, but enlightening endeavor.

    I might have thought that you or Lance Moody would have come up with a unique sobriquet by now for the debased term and practice.

    Ufology is as dead as road-kill, only maintained by the UFO losers who can't smell the stench of it.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, July 19, 2010  

  • RR:

    A great comment re road-kill! I may have to use that in a lecture one day!

    Of course, all royalties will go to the official RR Fund...

    By Blogger Nick Redfern, at Tuesday, July 20, 2010  

  • And the RR Fund thanks you, Nick.

    RR

    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, July 20, 2010  

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