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Teaching Pigs to Wrestle

Monday I spent the morning in a board meeting discussing mundane but critical matters that should not need to be addressed, but, due to the creativity of the human race and its uncanny ability to wiggle through loopholes, inevitably must be addressed. Just as nature finds ways around obstacles such as the Claymore mines of pesticides, antibiotics and natural disasters, so humans dodge rules, regulations and Arizona Revised Statutes.

Never build flexibility into covenants, conditions, and restrictions. They turn around and bite you on the butt like a ferocious bear market. Not unlike a total lack of regulatory policies.

As we finished our meeting the conversation turned to current events. For the life of me I cannot remember the topic that precipitated the deterioration of the discussion, but it went downhill faster than a luge on Mount Everest. Believing one does not get into a pissing contest with a skunk or a political discussion with an associate, I held my tongue and demonstrated diplomatic skills even I did not know I possessed. We were almost out of the woods. I could see daylight through the trees when one of the gentlemen at the table threw the axe he was grinding squarely at my head. I ducked. Had I not done so our working relationship would have burned with the forest.

As everyone but the axeman, who was blissfully unaware that he no longer had axe in hand, held their breath in horrified anticipation, I allowed the moment to pass. In retrospect, his parting comment was not unreasonable. He said, “With the daily outrageous announcements in Washington, I’ve quit listening to the news. I won’t watch ABC, CNN, CBS or NBC. I only listen to FOX News because they always tell it like it is.”

Silently I railed, “Ya got that right, Mr. Ultra Conservative Right Wing-nut. You have stopped listening to the news. The last time FOX told it like it was, was in September 1996. Rupert Murdoch would kill his mother for a quarter and you can bet that if he could make more money with MSNBC he’d drop FOX like an ugly cheerleader that refuses to put out.” 

It was only later that I realized this gentleman’s statement was true. From his perspective FOX News tells it like it is. 95% of us choose publications and news programs, form friendships, attend church services, join organizations and seek entertainment based on our view of the world and our place in it. We choose to segregate ourselves from the outside influences that might threaten our belief system or take us from our comfort zone. Clinging tightly to dogma to the point of ignoring the facts, we delight in the cultivation of our own ignorance. Indeed, we will roll in the manure of misinformation, disregarding the stench, if it reinforces the personal convictions on which we fly our flag.

Gone are the days we would actively seek a different point of view and enjoy a lively discussion of the issues of the day. Opting instead to jump in the slimy mud of a smelly swamp of innuendo, rumors, and seething anger, we tussle with the right or the left in an unproductive show of reality TV pig wrestling. I have news for us, the pig always wins. Even if the pig loses, the pig wins. Laying in a gutter with a pig only wastes your time and pisses off the pig.  

I’m guilty as charged. But the road to recovery begins with realization. Know your limitations. Recognize your Achilles Heel. My first step toward breaking my addiction to left-leaning entrenchment and widening my perspective is to invest in a news publication that offers a glimpse of both sides. In very small doses. I figure it’s like the recent method of overcoming a peanut allergy. Minuscule pieces of peanut over a long period of time may increase tolerance for the little legume. Perhaps I’ll come out the other side with a refreshingly expanded approach to life. Besides, what pisses you off only makes you stronger.

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One Response

  1. Good luck on this endeavor, Babs. Several years ago a friend gave me a book by Bill O’Reilly. I began reading it but could not get through it. A few years later I received another Bill O’Reilly book from another friend. I really tried to read the entire thing. Curiously, I made it to page 52 in both books. Sometimes when I am in my car I try to listen to Rush Limbaugh but cannot stomach more than 15 minutes. I’ll take the peanut allergy any day!

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