Thursday, March 20, 2008

Shallow Hals

Against logic there is no armor like ignorance. - Laurence J. Peter

I will first make a disclaimer: I include myself in the universal "We". I know, at times, all of us are the exception to the rule. I also assume that you are in some way acquainted with the movie, "Shallow Hal". If not, Shallow Hal thinks only of surface qualities in the women he likes and ignores the more important ones. I thought of this while listening to several senior citizens talking this morning about a whole plethora of politically hot subjects. We have become instant gratification junkies. We need sound bite answers to even the most difficult problems. We are satisfied with unqualified "sound bite" news stories from the talking heads in the national news media. It is not a problem unique to any political party, or candidate.

In election years especially, we tend to attach blame for the genesis of a number of difficult problems to one party or the other. The President gets the blame for the war. The Congress gets the blame for the economy, etc. In truth, the problems have too many facets to be explained by any of the sound bite answers being proffered. I could provide statistical data related to the attacks on America, when they actually started, why they started, who is behind them, and on and on. The truth is they have been going on for many years, and they span several presidencies with Presidents from both parties. Our current President was the unfortunate recipient of the worst attack on America since Pearl Harbor. All of America was behind him. The country was united. We wanted Islamic terrorists rooted out and destroyed. Why then do we now hear so much carping about the length of the war and speculation about whether we should be there or not. Well, I'll tell you. In our current age, if you cannot bring the enemy into submission in the time it takes to run a three week, made for T.V. series, then you lose many Americans. It exceeds their attention spans. They are willing to listen to any politician who simply says, "If I am elected I promise....." Without thought as to the possible consequences, or the actual doability of the promise, we jump on the band wagon to relieve our discomfort. No one likes war. But we are under attack by Muslim extremists and we will continue to be under attack regardless of who is in the White House. All Muslims are in tacit alliance with the extremist factions because of the basic tenets of their religion. We had better remember this. I am not enamored by any of the current slate of candidates, but I will vote for the one I feel has the most experience related to our current dilemma. I will not vote for a candidate just because they are the first from a protected class to be put on the ticket. If they happened to be the best for the job, then that would take precedence. If we allow ourselves to think of the "Shallow Hal" qualifications so popular in our politically and socially correct society, then we better be ready for some serious consequences when reality sets in. I wrote a poem about thinking beyond the surface of things and I featured it in a previous post. I believe it is right for my thoughts in this post.

Where Does Space End?

The thought
should be enough to give us pause.

A picture of eternity.

A tiring mind push.

So, we create reality.
A show to watch.
A triviality.
A gothic play
that lacks originality.

So much knowledge.
So little wisdom.

Perhaps if we had no food
we could focus.
We don’t leave the mirror
long enough to care.
Our lives are air.
It’s all about what’s fair.
Rights without responsibility.

It will not last.
It never has.
The cycle will repeat and
we’ll be forced to scratch
for scraps of bread.

for a while we’ll understand
the beauty of a loaf.

Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water. -
WC Fields

America is not at war, the military is at war. America is at the mall.