Monday, December 11, 2006

Plastic Political Tubing With Sand And Conflagration


Every now and then again and again, I find myself walking along the precipitous edge of a political argument, and I feel my feet slip out from under me and I find myself being drawn in to the fracas with both fists swinging, sliding down into the heated smelly morass knowing full well I prefer to remain out of the center of dispute and disharmonious declivities, and then I clean myself up and try to join the rank and file of the not so serious and I am OK again until I slip and fall in again and I don’t know about anyone else, but I see a pattern here...

And the truth of the matter is, I can throw punches with the best and the worst, and can rankle whomever needs rankling, and I can make my position known while not gaining any brownie points for tact and consideration...

And I know I am getting in and up people’s noses and I try to hold myself back, but the amount of vitriol and out-of-balance thinking I see displayed almost everywhere is really quite alarming, and sometimes I think the only way to combat it is to run around with sticks of dynamite and try to loosen up some of the faulty logic structures that give refuge to such irrationality and lack of common moderation.

If one were to try and find a metaphor for what is transpiring in the US, you might think about it like this-- If you had a clear plastic tube and capped both ends after filling it with water and red and blue grains of sand, and then shook the thing, you would get a reasonably accurate visual representation of how “left and right” thoughts are intermingled within the populace. But if you placed a magnet on each end that attracted those aligned in the same manner, you would see what the intellectual divisions are beginning to look like in this country.

And the crazy part of it is, the further you travel to the ends of this thought tube, the fewer rational and considerate thoughts exists. The closer to the ends of the tube you travel, the blinder the thinker, the dimmer the thinking, the greater the hyperbole and the angrier the vitriol.

It is as if huge magnets (being what? I ask) are aligning the thinking of Americans and I wonder what it will take to repopulate the center with pragmatic, contemplative and considerate thought?

The other day I was thinking about a vanishing political middle needing to start rising up and combating the idiocy congregating on the two political extremes. People with calmness and rationality and consideration and the ability to seek common ground and compromise need to start behaving like gorillas whose bananas have fallen in the cracks.

People who are normally too unimpressed by the emotional addictions to the extreme points of view need to start acting like middle of the road FANATICS, or the extreme thinking on both ends will simply grow in size and political mass.
And how do you know if you are pulled too far to the political poles by your thinking?
First clue would be the use of "those people" or "you people" when referring to half of the US population.
If your blood actually boils when arguing with someone of opposing political persuasion, would be another dead give away.
If you find yourself looking around you to see who has your back, when talking politics.
If you are an actual member of a political org..
If you have a neighbor you want to strangle over a political discussion you had at a BBQ last summer and vice versa...


And THAT, my friends, is a sizable MORASSININE ball in the corner pocket...

(This following story comes out of my archives, and depicts my personal political views quite acceptably adequate)--


THE LEVITATING CAT STRAPPED TO TOAST THEORY OF GOVERNANCE--

Once, a very clever man got bored and started thinking. His mind bounced around from coffee tables to electrostatic principles while his eyes watched a cat fall from a tree limb most ungracefully, only to land squarely--and predictably-- on its feet.

"Ahhh, now there is a principle I had almost forgotten," he mused. "A cat always lands on its feet." Just then his toast toppled from his plate (he was too intent on the cat) and it landed--predictably-- butter side down.

"Ahh, now there is another!" he thought. "The dropped toast will almost always land butter side down." And since he was bored and his mind was thinking, a thought occurred to him. He giggled.

"What would happen to our laws, if I strapped the toast onto the back of the cat? Would this? Could this?"

The very clever man proceeded to capture a cat (gently, of course, with tuna on his fingers) and toasted up a piece of whole wheat bread, slathered in butter, and tied the two together with the butter opposing the nimble cat's feet. He threw the pair into the air and the cat, twisting hard, turned and got its feet underneath it just in time.

"Ahh", said the man, "that was what I expected." The man went and got a smaller cat and a bigger, thicker piece of toast. He heaped on the butter, tied the pair, threw them in the air, and watched as the cat twisted and strained and flailed its legs with its claws out, and, finally, managed to get its feet down underneath it, running off and then squatting and turning to lick the butter from the toast.

The clever man was ecstatic, having 'seen' exactly what he was looking for. This time, he went to the pound, got a scrawny, almost sickly cat without much agility at all and the biggest, fattest piece of toast with practically a cube of butter slathered on it. Joining the pair, he threw them in the air.

The cat twisted, the butter fell. The cat torqued, and the butter churned toward the carpet. At the last minute, they stopped. The cat and the piece of toast... they were levitating! Floating about six inches from the ground, the cat trying to twist, the butter obeying the laws that governed it...

Magically... A levitating cat strapped with toast...

Now. Here is the moral: If you can find the subtlest of balances in all situations, magic happens. As sure as a cat lands on its feet and butter lands face down on your carpet.

Don't believe me? Go try it.

8 comments:

kario said...

I love it! I will admit, it was a little tricky reading it after two glasses of wine, but I'm liking it more every time I read it. I agree that the poles are not good representatives of the vast majority of the thinkers in the world. Unfortunately, those of us who are moderate and whose blood does not boil at the drop of a hat have better things to do than pick fights.

And on a somewhat tangential note: Do you watch the show "Mythbusters" on the Discovery Channel? They actually tested the probability of toast falling butter side down on one episode - terrifically amusing.

Scott from Oregon said...

kario, if they disprove my dictum, I'll be out of luck with my metaphor....

Lizza said...

Great post. But finding the subtlest of balances in all situations...now that isn't so easy to do. ;-)

Hammer said...

My toast always has cat fur on it.

I was raised by extremists on both sides of the fence and I had to forge my way out into the world to form my own ideas about things.

I used to argue like crazy with my dad (all in good fun) but after a while I just state my point of view or discuss the topic, then read or listen to what others say then leave it at that.

I'm all over the place on many issues and can't seem to please anyone with my views.

so I figger...No sense in ruining good relationships over silly things like politics.

Nancy Dancehall said...

I apologize in advance if this posts twice. Damn Beta Blogger.

I've always said, "Kill all the extremists! All of them! No exceptions! None! Kill them all!"

See? I'm right in the middle.

Scott from Oregon said...

Well, Nancy, I would agree with you except I tend to agree with Lizza and Hammer more.

I guess the problem is, a graphic depiction of out political spectrum is starting to look an awful lot like a dog biscuit...

Nancy Dancehall said...

lol! Joking.


And our politics look like a dog's something else...

ammogirl said...

great moral. i like this post a lot.