Tuesday, November 8, 2016

C'mon Sense (at 17:00hrs, on this Election USA Day!)

You'd think we'd know better. But we persist. Common sense is not what it's urged to be. The rallying cry, "C'mon man!" does not necessarily provoke sufficient hesitation; sufficient checking of facts; sufficient gathering of details. We tend, generally, to leap as though we were angels from cloud to cloud. And very many clouds have no substance. Very many clouds are but wispy and waspish and full of cotton-floss; we best examine carefully their silver-linings. Yes, common sense is not a thing to be taken for granted. After all, sensibility itself is often predicated on the groundwork laid down by one's forbearers. They determined that the snake, all snakes, are to be feared. They determined that the spider (that-sat-down-beside-her) would get in her curds and way. And not all of us have been taught (or have been made aware of) the distinction 'twixt whey, weigh, or way. We learn from our past. So, “C'mon man; you outghtta know more-better!”

What mistakes we continue to perpetrate! Lots of hurt and vengeance and destruction attends our emotional reactions. We hardly have time for response. Response is too cerebral, too calculating. It's not instinctual, nor even necessarily intuitive. We indeed cry, "C'mon man!" And we tend to have a gut reaction. Yes, we go from there. And so we easily accept phrases like "battle-ground", "war-room", and "enemy." But c'mon man, surely we can take pause to choose!

As I type the USA (all that North American territory under the 49th parallel,) is slowly filling up, choice by choice. Two houses stand divided. And the Red and the Blue pours in, blue ink drop by red ink drop, to see who first shall reach that magic 270 number, and break the tension in the withholding meniscus. Interesting word: men-is-cus. (No, it's not locker-talk.) It's the delicate skin that holds back the bulk of liquid potential from spilling over and pouring down the sides of a given containment. The combined States of the USA contain a total of 538 electors. When a single person votes, that ballot goes to their respective group of electors. These electors depend on the number of people in the state. Rep by pop! Each state gets only one elector per representative in the House, plus 2 for each senator. Who spills over first? California has the most electors, at 55. Important to win California. (And according to the pundits, North Carolina will make or break a candidate.) For the populace of the USA, that 270 number is the determinate margin by which so and so will be president, (or is that such and such?) And like ants, the shuffling lines to the polling stations grow and grow. Confusing enough, eh? But, c'mon man, get out there and vote!!

Thing is, history depends. A ferry captain today, reflecting on a dramatic accident, said over my car-radio: "There's a different point of view for each person who was there that day." Yes. Our sensibilities are not quite so common. Yet we'd expect honesty and decency and integrity and consideration and compassion and care and thoughtfulness and even self-control from our leaders. We would think that anyone dedicating so much of their time to the people would be altruistic, operating from the highest of principles. But then, like the proverbial Camelot of Cards, the whole shebang falls down. We do not always follow protocol. We do not always avoid graft and corruption and deceit and selfishness. We do not always trust. No, history, our own history, has taught us to be altogether more common-sensical than simply to submit to blind trust.

If the ship of state is about to set sail with a new captain at its helm, surely common sense would have it that we all (since much of the world is dependent on the mercies of this particular ship of state)... that we all be on board without undermining the captain? That we rally behind that head and do what we can to help keep the whole ship, well, ship-shape! Ha! But this is no laughing matter. It is clear that the starboard side and the port side of ‘our’ USA would have the vessel split in twain.  And the flags from the masts do not fly high and proud, no matter what the result may be; for dissension, like a serpent discovering itself shedding its skin, lashes at the very winds of progress, simmering in anything else but common sense. Really? C'mon man! 

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