Or, Making Harmony.

So we watch “Hurt” as sung by Johnny Cash in class, and then are asked if we think it’s a good interpretation of the Crucifixion.

My classmates proceed to say some really, really dumb things. I should say for the record, I respect them. Most of these folks are plenty smart, and they have an academic transcript to prove it. But if you know next to nothing about the Man in Black, that was not the right time to run your mouth. You looked like an idiot.

According to them, Johnny Cash caused all of his own problems, was privileged, converted to Christianity on his death bed, and made the cover of NIN in order to be hip on MTV, and get money of Gen X’rs.

WHAT THE $#*&?!

Sorry, but I get defensive. Johnny is one of my all time favorite artists to ever live, and the fact that he’s a complicated dude makes that all the more true. But this is just total misinformation. So I’m angry at two things.

First, people are culturally illiterate enough not to know anything about Cash. I don’t think that knowing his biography is proof of being a decent human being, but I’m surprised that so many folks don’t even know the first thing about him. This is Americana, and especially for the white folks in the class…this is what we talk about when you say you don’t have a heritage, or a culture. You do. You just ignore it.

Second, that in the absence of real information, people feel entirely comfortably manufacturing data in order to resolve their world view. If one does not feel good about a particular bible interpretation, it is okay to start making up facts about their life story so that they can be safely dismissed. We didn’t talk about this for more than 2 minutes before the machine swtiched on, and the misinformation started pouring out.

This is a terrible sign that people so willingly, so unthinkingly…harmonize their perceptions. It makes me doubt if I’m ever speaking to them…but rather that I’m speaking through filtration, and that it may be vain to hope of ever communicating effectively.

The production of knowledge indeed.