“Truthers.” The label has recently conjured thoughts of anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers and QAnon adherents, but the most pitiable of these creatures may be their more recently arisen brethren, the COVIDIOTS, who incorporate elements of the formerly mentioned groups, adding outright pandemic denial (or fairytale origins) to boot.
Mentally crapulent from indiscriminate consumption of every last conspiracy theory available on the tabloids’ buffet table of drivel, and plagued by logorrhea, they seem to have thoughts/lives that are dammed to forever wander a wilderness of mirrors.
The rest of society seems consigned to tolerating their incessant rants and occasional physical outbursts, no matter how damaging, like annoyed imperial-era Russians contemplating how to manage Rasputin.
Mind you, contrarianism has its place, counterintuitive reasoning its uses, and countercultural practices their contributions to societal evolution. Anti-establishment positions are, however, too often assumed for the wrong reasons, chief among them an emotional urge — driven by a sense of powerlessness — to rebel against something outside one’s sphere of influence, irrespective of ground realities and no matter how clear those realities are to centered, cool-headed, rational thinkers.
Propelled by the Dunning-Kruger effect and Kripkean dogmatism, the oppositionist forgets Occam’s razor (among other pillars of sound reasoning and logic) and becomes lost in a sea of passionate social media posts, politically driven sound bites, influence operation click bait, and disgruntled, professionally sidelined alternative “experts.”
Some are then swept into tempests of ochre faces, pumping fists, angry shouts, and flying spittle, all the while insisting that they are right, they are normal, they are “woke” in their own way.
God help us. (God help them.)
Educate the visitors
Certainly your reader’s criticism of “Disrespectful tourists” (Your Views, Aug. 26) captures the anguish many of us feel toward the revitalization of tourism.
She is polite in her description of much tourist behavior. Some visitors who I have encountered are rude and aggressive, as if the behavior they are accustomed to in their crowded, busy places on the mainland U.S. is acceptable here.
Tail-gating on the highway, flaunting face mask protocols in our markets and shops, disrespect for local merchants and servers, and invasive entry into normally secluded places are some of the manners we haven’t seen previously.
The money they bring with them has emboldened tour operators as well, as seen in the reckless helicopter flights over neighborhoods and in quiet landscapes.
Rather than scold our visitors for bad behavior, as a parent would an errant child, we might seek ways to educate visitors by inviting them as guests in our homes. Welcome them with kindly reminders of how we live here — respect the culture and land and resources. Go softly and quietly. Absorb aloha.
Tour brokers, local guides, air and boat pilots might hold a key to finding a solution to this preventable problem.