"Our D-I-V-O-R-C-E becomes final today," sing it Tammy. Some of us still miss you, George too. "Me and little J-O-E will be goin' away."
Divorce, the Big D, it's over, rip the sheets, whatever we call it, it's an experience that comes with a very high level of emotion, especially when there are children involved. But even with its emotional intensity, there are people who come to the conclusion they just can't live together any longer so they need to be adults and make the best of a bad situation, fully understanding that both will lose something with the end of the relationship but having a goal of minimizing the affects.
.. until the lawyers get involved. Then the blitzkrieg of accusations begins, outsiders take great delight in stirring the pot, and before all the screaming's done those people who had decided to behave like adults are quoting Loretta and Conway... shouting "You're the reason our kids are ugly!" at one another.
And the biggest losers are those who have no say in the outcome... the children.
An extreme example perhaps, but a very good one to illustrate the process of converting people from thinking, reasoning, hopefully mindful, individuals to quivering blobs of human protoplasm who are reacting to external stimuli on an emotional or instinctive level without thoroughly evaluating the consequences of their actions. Poke here, they move in this direction. Poke there, they move in another. Get that adrenaline flowing so the fight or flight instinct takes over and the person no longer thinks before he reacts.
Instead of responding as even a mediocre chess player might, they behave like Quickdraw McGraw... ready, fire, aim.
But if we watch those who live with the possibility of dangerous, potentially life threatening situations occurring at any time we can take several lessons. First and foremost of these would be as a budette once commented to someone, "You're the only person I know who has a cool mode. The angrier you are, the more intense a situation, the cooler you get." Oh my. She was really cute too.
Cool, focus on the immediate issues. There's always time to fall to pieces later, after the situation is resolved.
Watch an EMT reach into a gaping wound to pinch off an artery that's squirting blood while explaining to a bystander how to apply a tourniquet, a cop or fireman run toward a situation where they're needed, or a member of our military march into battle. They have a job to do, a mission to accomplish, and their focus is on the matters at hand. There's always time to fall to pieces later, if necessary, but while the emergency is in progress their minds are cleared of everything that might be a distraction.
Then we have those who would use the tendency of many to respond emotionally in furtherance of a personal agenda.
After Adam Lanza inflicted our nation with his atrocity at Sandy Hook Elementary School, during the 27 December 2012 edition of MSNBC's "The Cycle," co-host Touré stated he has a right to know the identity of every gun owner around him in an apparent effort to gin up support for new gun control laws, laws that would have absolutely no positive affect on incidents like Sandy Hook. One must wonder if this cat would support, since he feels he has a right to know personal information about private citizens who've done nothing wrong, publication of lists of recipients of welfare, free school lunches, subsidized housing, and any other government programs supported by those tax dollars confiscated from hard working citizens with the force of a government gun. I mean, like, don't the rest of us have a right to know where our TaxBucks are being wasted? What causes someone to rip loose with such an ignorant, and one sided, statement?
It's yo-ung, emo-tion, ahh-uh-huh... sorry Ricky.
The past few years politicians have become quite adept at pitting groups against one another. Richard Floyd, for example, takes great delight giving a group of personal behavior control fanatics the power to call out the paratroopers when a business owner is reported smoking a cigarette at his own desk, the desk paid for by his own labor with no assistance from Mr. Floyd... and at the same time Mr. Floyd turns a blind eye to the fact that very same group refuses to ensure food service workers have up to date health certificates as required by law. He enjoys poking those emotion buttons, or trying to.
Back in the 60s Brenda Lee had a hit song that began something like "Dumb, dumb, duh deedly dumb..." Are we? To keep sending someone like this back to our Tennessee legislature?
City and county officials generally go to that endless, and bottomless, money pit, our wallets, for funding of their frufru feel good projects. Then we have those like Knox County's Mayor Tim Burchett. I've known the good mayor since he first went to Nashville as a brand spanky new State Representative, then Senator, now County Mayor. He drives his own vehicle, a paid off Jeep, refusing the one provided by the county, and boldly states he's paid a ridiculous and obscene salary to do what he does. Neither does he hire a lobbyist for the county. If there's a county issue requiring attention, he goes to Nashville himself while candidly stating "If I get more than one head of state in the car, I may have to clean out the back seat." I always knew there was something I liked about that guy.
Burchett sells county property so they can fund school buildings with cash. He frequently organizes what he calls "cash mobs" to help businesses in an area of town that's been cut off from traffic by a bridge construction delay. Other areas too. The county is going through each and every department looking for ways to cut waste and redundancy. Many elected officials don't like him much. While he acts, they push those buttons trying to get constituents to get up off of their wallets. Schools want more money, so they threaten to cut bus service or sports programs. Cities get "grants" from the federal government, neglecting that there are matching funds required for all of those and they eventually come to and end. Schools too. And artsy tartsy programs, but all of these hit on emotional buttons don't they.
As a kid I pumped beaucoups of 19.9 cent a gallon high test gasoline in Newport Beach and Huntington Beach. California minimum wage was $1.65 an hour. I worked for a buck and a half because only companies with government contracts had to pay minimum wage back then. The other day when The Gang and I handed over cash for our gas to that little cutiepie at the store, it was $3.21 a gallon. What's that ratio to the current minimum wage? And all Tennessee Congressman DesJarlias, M.D., can speak to is oil from our allies to the north, Canada, being sold to China or that President Obama pitched a good old fashioned hissy fit about losing his tush over new gun control legislation? How about our own oil in the Bakkan Formation and the Williston Basin? We don't hear much about ANWR any more, do we, or natural gas. Chuck, Esquire, isn't any better... and that guy from over in Middle Tennessee, Congressman Jim Cooper, is trying to push a constitutional amendment that would allow convicted felons to vote. And these folks expect us to send them back as our champions on the battlefield of Washington, D.C.?
Dumb, dumb, duh deedly dumb...
We don't even get platitudes from our congressmen, do we. More like trititudes, because that's all they have.
Thomas Jefferson has been given attribution for stating "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." I haven't been able to find that statement in any of his writings, but still a rather sage comment one might attribute to a polymath such as Mr. Jefferson.
In matters of principle...
We hear complaints about the EPA putting the quietus on business with over regulation. We hear complaints of the Obama administration spending too much money, that its alphabet soup departments are hording ammunition in order to keep it off the civilian market, neglecting that congress holds this nation's purse strings and can easily correct the situation. The Obama administration throws money around the world at people who hate us like there's a bottomless source of it, while 1 household in 5 here home is on the public dole in some shape, form, or fashion... ad infinitum. And what does our congress, including the senate, do instead of simply defunding them?
Tutle float... because they don't even know how to do the sidestroke much less the Iron Butterfly.
But they'll certainly try to poke those emotional buttons in their attempts to deflect blame toward another target won't they, without doing anything more substantial than flapping their jaws about how horrible those other people are. Fear, anger, and sometimes even hopelessness is all they know how to sprinkle around when they should be standing up to be counted, counted as they told us they would when they ran for office. Duke it out with the opposition? Ha! With powder puffs maybe.
They want the goldmine while we get the, well... yeah, that.
And the biggest losers are those who have no say what-so-ever in the outcome... our children and grandchildren.
Royce Burrage, Jr.