Woodworking and Politics
We chatted a bit about the nerve of some people as we carried on, looking for a safe place to cross the street, when another fellow sidled up and said, "Not all Egyptians are trying to cheat tourists, you know." Of course not, we said. He was well dressed and well fed, with a comfortable paunch that settled in assuredly under (and a little bit over) the strength of his thick belt, his unbuttoned blazer completing his air of casual authority. He proceeded to chat us up about a couple things before asking us where we were going. "Oh, but the museum is closed for siesta right now. If you like, I can take you to a government bazaar with fixed prices."
Since the site had a certain infomercial flair to it, I thought it best to do what I often do now, check to see reviews or scam alerts. And sure enough, there are many for Ryan's Shed Plans, not least of which says, "Who on earth needs 14,000 shed plans?" After reading google's synopsis of several review sites, I click on one, that seems to do a fairly lengthy take down of Mr. Ryan Shed. They give the product a "very low rating," but offer a link to buy if you're still interested.
What caught my attention though, was the next line: "Instead, I recommend you buy Ted's Woodworking Plans [a link you can click], which includes some decent shed plans (plus much more)."
They show some lovely photos, and then follow them up with this:
"I'll skip to the chase. Ryan's shed plans isn't a very good product. It's not totally useless, because there are some decent plans, but overall it's not great.
In fact, you're MUCH better off buying Ted's Woodworking Plans [a link you can again click] which includes a good number of decent plans."
This is beautiful, I thought to myself. It's like the internet's version of the Egyptian museum scam played out right on my computer screen.
And that's what is going on here. Even in the remotest of remote chances that Donald Trump isn't Ted, he is still Ted. He's a guy selling someone else's ideas as his own, but doesn't even bother to check and see if they are actually good ideas. And like any group of 16,000 anything, there is bound to be one or two good whatevers in there. So people who are desperate cling to the two in 16000, and ignore the rest. They ignore the racism, the hatred, the ignorance, the stupidity, and cling to the one thing. "I want to feel safe." Yes, the thing that some people cling to is absurd, as most thinking people know, like, "We will build a wall and keep them out," or, "We won't let anyone from Religion X into our country."
But it doesn't matter. For millions of people, one in 16,000 is good enough. As long as he's on "my team." And if you follow sports at all, we've sort of been conditioned to think this way. Every team has a guy that you hate. Until he gets traded to your team. Then you tolerate his back-stabbing, his cheap shots, his mealy-mouthed excuses, his biting of opponents, his racial taunts, the showboating, the domestic violence, the assault charges, the endless DUIs. It's all part of the society that has been growing up around us. Growing up with us.
It's our team, or their team, and you are either with us or against us. Polarity ensues.
And if that's the way they want it, that's what they will get.
So my fellow living organisms, the choice is clear. Do you want to develop distinctly anterior traits, or distinctly posterior traits? Do we want to look forward, or do we wish to look backward to the glory days of Robber Barons and slavery? Do we want to be inclusive, and share the world and all of our great ideas with everyone, or do we want water wars and chaos, border conflicts and corporate profiteering at the expense of everyone's health? Do we want our lives to be based on love, honesty, and truth (including those pesky facts), or do we want to be ruled by someone else's ideology that commands hatred, fabrication, and rage? An ideology that considers a search for truth to be a liability?
There's a great Cherokee legend that goes like this:
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”