Wednesday, July 14, 2010
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.
1. J. W. Bennett/M.M. Tumin, Social Life, New York, Knopf, 1948, p. 609
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)