Wednesday, July 22, 2009

a bit foggy

Being that I’m not philosophical enough to ever get all my thoughts properly aligned, nor my writing ability up to scratch, I’ll direct you to Ta-Nehisi Coates' piece at the Atlantic. It’s a bit long – and I’m passing that along as a warning to you, not an critique of the piece – but so perfectly encapsulates for me not only the problem of “-isms” but also the massive divide I see between conservatives and progressives. And to some extent, it ties into how we frame our positions on other important issues; using extreme examples to justify whether we are or aren’t doing something wrong. The most obvious scenario where I see this happening is the ‘ticking time bomb’ line of defense when we talk of torture. I think it’s brilliantly written. What’s always on my mind when talking about social issues is my belief that things aren’t the way they appear because there’s so much still behind the curtain, stuff we don’t see and therefore don’t take into account. We think we have full awareness of everything around us yet we don’t even try to see details that aren't overtly displayed. I have pages of my memory that are filled with why something like disparate impact makes perfect sense. Volumes of thoughts from the ride home that have been penned about how disingenuous it is to see the phrase “reverse discrimination” used in an serious discussion. It always sounds like two kids fighting on a playground. The big kid is always punching the little kid in the face – every recess, every day, all year long. The little kid decides that enough is enough and he buys a catcher’s mask to wear every single recess; sure, he’ll look pretty funny and the damn thing isn’t comfortable but it seems the best option. As they head out the first day for some morning games the big kid hangs out around the corner of the exit and, as usual, punches the kid in the face. Fortunately, the mask takes the brunt of the strike and breaks three of the kid’s fingers. Now, is there any sympathy for the big kid? Should the thug be going to the teacher and claiming the little kid broke his fingers? I’m just saying…

I think I’ll just relax tonight and quit getting wound up. Maybe I can squeeze another entry out of Laurel. She told me the other night that she “doesn’t like deadlines”. We’ll see about that.

Love to all.


P.S. If you are Mad Men follower there’s some sort of unintended second-season spoiler over the first few paragraphs of the Atlantic article. If you’ve seen that season on TV, no worries; if you’re waiting for the DVDs to show up…well, I’ve been spoiled.

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