I never watched the movie, "Thelma and Louise." It's not because of the ladies. My son thinks Susan Sarandon is hot. I think Geena Davis is hot. I have "The Long Kiss Goodnight" recorded on my DVR.
But I never watched T & L. Why? It was a popular movie. It just didn't seem reasonable to watch a movie where the finale was based upon driving over a cliff. Ultimately get away? Mebbe. Thrown in the jug? Mebbe. Bonnie and Clyded? (A new verb!) Perhaps. But I never watched "Bonnie and Clyde," either. And Faye Dunaway was hot.
I find that there are movies out there where the characters make choices that result in predictable outcomes that I find reprehensible. Case in point, the scene in "Support Your Local Gunfighter" where Latigo Smith bets it all on a turn of the roulette wheel. Love the Garner films. Switch channels when he hits the roulette wheel. And then, put it out of my mind. (BTW--Suzanne Pleshette is hot, too.)
I know that my reaction to certain types of activity, choices and outcomes is a human trait. There are others out there who at least wince in their knowledge of the probable outcome of Latigo's bet. Otherwise, how could a phenomenon such as jury nullification occur? It's kinda like tattoos; while I would never have one--and hope that neither of my sons ever have one--some are innocuous enough to escape derision. I just don't get why a woman would ever, voluntarily, have a "tramp stamp" embedded in her skin. And it really breaks my heart to think about women, like Geena and Suzanne, marring their beauty with a tat. Although I know that Geena does have at least one tat. And that Suzanne had been married to Troy Donahue for eight months. And, that would leave a mark.
Thankfully, with the state of the art in tattoo removal being where it is today (due mostly to the evil corporations who are only doing it because they are greedy) one need not rely upon the cheese shredder for tattoo removal any more. That is, some mistakes can be undone.
Driving over a cliff has a low probability for "undoneness."
I guess what we're witnessing is a problem with impulse control. (For more on that, watch an Otto Preminger film.) We've been taught at every turn that doing good is, well, good.
The problem we're seeing here is that the idea of you or I doing good, as a result of upbringing or religious training, is being swamped by the effects of politicians who believe they were elected in order to "do good."
Which puts those of us who don't see government as the source of "goodness" in an almost untenable position. Absent doing good, what is the role of government?
We've abandoned the role of government as it was seen by our nation's founders. The United States of America was founded on a recognition that the national government was going to handle the big lifting on issues of international relations, and certain other activities, while the bulk of the policies that control our day-to-day living would originate, and be the responsibility or, the states. As a citizen of both Oregon and the United States, I would have certain limits put on my behaviour by the state government, but would be protected in my speech assailing or opposing those rules imposed by my state, through my federally protected free speech rights. The national government was formed to make sure that certain activities were regulated by the federal government, in order to protect the civil liberties, including the rights of property, from intrusion by the state governments.
We've now become a nation, and a collection of states, whose agenda seems filled with good ideas about doing good. Tens of thousands of good ideas are presented in the legislatures and councils of our nation's governments. Port commissions, diking districts, regulatory agencies, all filled with good ideas on how to do more good.
Good has become the number product of national economic activity. And when good won't suffice, we'll replace it with better.
Me? I've had it up to here with all the do-gooding that contrives its appearance on the near and far horizons of political activity. Any thought or statement that begins with the premise of "wouldn't it be good," or "wouldn't it be nice," or "wouldn't it be helpful" should serve to reject the corollary statement. Likewise, "we need to protect" should be removed from our legislative process. Who today is at risk, in any greater or lesser degree, than was at risk a day, a week or a decade ago?
Of course, this puts me in direct opposition to every single-issue group out there. And every single-issue group out there is composed of true believers, dedicated to getting more and more from the community, the state or the nation. They aren't sucking the blood out of their neighbors, they are doing good.
I was, in my younger days, an award winning philanthropist. I was conceited enough to presume that by helping others, I could make a difference. I was doing good. But I wasn't doing good. I was creating in others a dependence upon my conceit.
People make decisions in their own lives each and every day. Life, itself, is a great teacher. If you're hungry, eat. Eating is easier if you have food, so...get some food. You can grow it, you can steal it, you can buy it. You can find it in the fields, rivers and oceans. Learning which method best serves you, I would think, would be one of the first discoveries of a human being. If you're neither going to grow nor forage, your best choice may be to buy it or steal it. Again, this fundamental choice we all face seems to be quite a struggle for a great number of people. I don't see how. Grow, forage, buy or steal. I think that pretty well covers the range of choices.
Until government steps in. Or, rather, politicians with the levers of government control in their hands. To do good, your government will assure you that regardless of the series of bad choices, or bad luck, that makes you incapable of performing the single most important act of a human being, inure to no ill-effect. The thing that drives microbes, flies and raccoons will no longer be a driver for a whole, protected class of humans.
We have created a society where no member of that society has a responsibility for providing for his own, basic survival. Because, to do less, would be "not good."
And the State of Oregon is not falling off the cliff.
It is in freefall.
The issues of fiscal responsibility are being ignored by the political class. There are individual members of that class that are attempting to gain your attention of the train wreck looming ahead.
"Sales of new homes in July drop 12.4%, lowest level since ’63."
Learning to say "no."
Learning to say, I have enough respect for the men and women around me that, left to their own devices, they will figure out how to take care of themselves. If they want to feed themselves and their families, they will determine how best to do so; farm, forage, purchase or steal. It might mean that someone, somewhere along the line, will "have to do something."
I really don't care what. All I know is, I'm no longer so conceited that my going out and working to provide others with their basic, human necessities has any value to the recipient, or those who share in my society, in the long-run. Birds do it. Bees do it. Even, the lillies of the field.
But I am a selfish man for wishing that you and I take responsibility for our mere ability to provide ourselves with food. Farm, forage, purchase or steal. Those are your choices.
Unless you rely upon politicians to do your stealing for you.
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