Once again, current events are too much with us. The lethal insanity in Orlando. The babbling of the endless Presidential campaign. If you are looking for a rehash of the bad news, turn the page. There is a website or a news channel waiting for you that only carries your version of reality. There is no point in trying to convince other people their politics and religion are wrong and that yours is right. It ain’t gonna happen. You won’t convince them. They won’t convince you. Ponder the words of Mark Twain who pointed out, “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.” JFK may have been predicting social media when he noted, “Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”
This column is going to be an unintelligible mishmash of random quotes attempting to take your mind off the news. You would be better off stopping reading and taking a walk instead. However, if you insist on remaining, let us begin by pondering the wisdom of the late great Frank Zappa who wrote, “Watch out where the huskies go/And don’t you eat the yellow snow.” Your view of life will be more accurate and your breath considerably sweeter if you avoid eating the yellow snow. If you use tunnel vision to only look at one spot in the snow, you won’t be able to tell if it’s yellow or white because you have nothing to compare it to. Your favorite trusted talking head on your partisan TV network on occasion will tell you that the yellow snow is in fact white snow. Better to use a wider field of vision than your preferred social-media outlets to know where the huskies have been.
While the world doesn’t divide neatly into black and white, it can divide into white and yellow snow. The ever-cheery German philosopher Nietzsche explained, “There are no facts, only interpretations.” Mr. Twain explained, “Facts are stubborn, statistics are more pliable.” Your Facebook feed is full of pliable statistics. Just take a look.
Our old buddy, Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius left us with this bit of philosophy about dealing with the yellow snow and getting past troubles. He said, “Time is sort of a river of passing events, and strong is its current; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by and another takes its place, and this too will be swept away.” No matter what happens, no matter how good or how bad, something else is coming down the road. Like George Harrison once sang, “All things must pass.”
A while back, a protestor was standing outside a fundamentalist church where the preacher had been coming down pretty heavily on gay people. The protestor was holding a sign that read, “Zombies are a threat, not gays.” The homicidal morons of ISIS would disagree with the protester. If you don’t want to find yourself in agreement with ISIS, perhaps you might rethink your position on gay people. Is love better than hate?
John Lennon once said, “All you need is love.” That seems overly optimistic when it comes time to pay the light bill but we must allow for literary license. North Carolina’s very own love guru Andy Griffin expressed these tender sentiments about our need to love one another. Ol’ Andy recited, “As sure as the vine twines round the stump/You are my darling sugar lump.” Lately it seems there has been a lot of Roundup sprayed around the stumps resulting in the vines of love being in short supply.
While we may currently be a bit low on love, we have no limit to simple but wrong answers for complex problems. You need to look no farther than The Donald who recently made the curious announcement, “Politicians have used you and stolen your votes. They have given you nothing. I will give you everything. I will give you what you have been looking for for 50 years. I’m the only one.” The Trumpster will give us everything? I would like to have hair on the top of my head. The Donald sounds a bit too Messianic to me. But I have to admire someone with a total lack of self-awareness who announces that he is going to bring the New Jerusalem. Fortunately, I don’t have to vote for him.
The Donald is selling America yellow snow. We will see if the American public has been watching out where the huskies go.