While your telephone goes unsanitized

“We gotta Do Something!” is the cry of 99 and 44/100ths percent of contemporary — I almost spelled that “contemptorary,” which is probably just as accurate — politicians, and of course, there’s a reason for that:

Where prior successful societies might have sent these people off to be officers in faraway wars, or to go convert savages to the faith, or to captain ships on long explorations, or to slay heathens in the Holy Land, or to the Moon, or something else meaningful and heroic, now we concentrate them into oak-paneled city councils and Roman-columned state houses with literally nothing heroic for them to do all day when they get there. Nothing, other than to try to enrich themselves as much as possible so they will feel good in comparison to the other would-be heroes around them who also have nothing heroic to do. So what do we expect? Of course some of them will run all over the place in search of plastic bags to slay, Mr. Pibb cups to shrink, lemonade stands to angrily overturn in the name of the one true Gov’t.

Then again, those were successful societies, the sort that are no longer allowed. Not only can you not slay heathens, but you must exalt them as a matter of diversity; and you dare not go on long explorations, because someone might get hurt. And so the worst and the wussiest, having long since ousted the best and the brightest (who had better things to do anyway), continue to accumulate in government offices from Seattle to Savannah.





4 comments

  1. McGehee »

    4 July 2012 · 12:09 pm

    It would work so much better if we treated those venues like other repositories of like material, and flushed them every so often. Two years and out? No, two years and down.

  2. Nancy »

    4 July 2012 · 2:52 pm

    So the choice is between waging war, converting “savages” to “the faith,” and slaying “heathens” in the “Holy Land” on the one hand and arguing in government halls on the other? I vote for the arguments.

  3. CGHill »

    4 July 2012 · 3:03 pm

    As would I if I thought they’d actually be arguing about things properly within their purview or that they could handle without turning into farce. Right now, we’re in several ludicrous positions, of which I’ll mention only one that happened to blow past the browser tabs a few minutes ago: trying to decide on the appropriate sign for tobacco-free parks. Now I have no fondness for tobacco — never touched the stuff — but if everybody quit at once, there’d be no tax revenue in the coffers to pay for things like signs for tobacco-free parks.

  4. fillyjonk »

    5 July 2012 · 7:14 am

    I have a solution. Holodecks. Build a couple holodecks in every major city, stock them with programs that feature dragons or Napoleon’s armies or Mongol hordes, and turn the would-be heroes loose on the holodecks.

    I think something similar to what is noted in this post is true of health these days. Since we’ve (pretty much) slain dragons like polio and diphtheria, the people who would have been slaying those a couple generations ago now fret over how much sugar John Q. Public puts in his coffee, or how many different vegetables Jane Average manages to stuff down her kids’ throats before they protest….

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