Saturday, January 7, 2017

Resistance is Futile

     Ever since November 9th, when I read the morning headlines and felt like the air had been sucked out of the room, I've been thinking over how to respond to the news. 

     My first response was dread, then anger.  I wanted to fight back, but how?  I thought of posting several cutting remarks, such as: 
What is the definition of kakistocracy?  Government by the least qualified or worst persons.  Ka-pow!
"Remember, when the judgment's weak, the prejudice is strong."  (Kane O'Hara, 1711-1782)  Zowie!
 "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."  (Voltaire, 1694-1778)  Take that!
"Do we need weapons to fight wars?  Or do we need wars to create markets for weapons?"  (Arundhati Roy, b. 1961)  Hai-yah!
"No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society.  If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed, and love of power."  (P.J. O'Rourke, b. 1947)  Whammo!
"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been.  The string of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'"  (Isaac Asimov, 1920-1992)  Gotcha!
      And while that may feel really, really good, resistance is, ultimately, futile.  Why?

     Because resistance breeds resistance.

     No doubt you have seen people arguing, or even protesters facing police.  This is how it looks:

(image courtesy of

     Not pretty, is it?  And you can't really tell who is the aggressor anymore, since both sides have completely stopped listening, demonized the other side, and dug in their heels, avoiding any potential for understanding, compromise, or growth.

     So, if we shouldn't resist, what is the appropriate response? 

     We'll discuss this more next week, but before I leave, here's one final, delicious quote:
"Anger is a great force.  If you control it, it can be transmuted into a power which can move the whole world."  (William Shenstone, 1714-1763)

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