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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why Nobody Cares What You Think (And What You Can Do About It)

Let me start off by stipulating that I am TOTALLY in your corner, homes.  I completely feel your pain, the frustration of having to repeat even the simplest proposition over and over and over (and over) again and just not being heard.  It's a real cross to bear, no?

But we can't just drop it because some lunkhead refuses to see sense.  We've got a point here, and even if we personally are not inclined to waste our time on trying to educate some feeble-minded half-wit, the integrity of our position is at stake.  It's not like we can just abandon ship in midstream here.  Not without seeming to concede our point to some feckless, uneducated buffoon, anyhow.

I'm sure that's what most of the problem is here.  These people just don't have the smarts or technical background or personal experience to see things our way.  After all, they say, "No sense, no feeling."  That HAS to be why they seem to absorb round after round of our impeccably crafted logical salvos and still keep coming back parroting the same tired old chestnuts in response, as if they hadn't heard a thing we've said.

Not that this is very comforting or useful.  I'm sorry.

Yet maybe there is another way around this thing.  I've toyed around with this notion for a while, and it's still sort of germinating, but this is probably as good a time as any to bring it up.  In fact, this may be the PERFECT time to bring this up--cross-pollination of our ideas could just beef this thing up into something workable.  Something that can take leg and really get the show back on the road, if you know what I mean.

What we need to do is streamline the process--not waste another decade of our lives trying to educate willfully ignorant morons on how to work the existing process.  The undeniable fact is that, whether through malice of incompetence, they've never been productive members nor will they ever be.  Not that we really need them to.  Because, as I've let on, there IS another way around this problem.

What am I talking about?  Choke points, me dear boy, choke points. 

No, not around their necks, ha ha!  That's a good one, chief!  No, not around their necks.  It's an approach with a certain undeniable appeal, true, but not terribly efficient.  Very labor intensive, you know.  And it generally only stokes up their wacky protests in the short term.  Probably gives them an attention and glamor that their ideas wouldn't be able to earn, if they had to play it out on the level field of rational, informed public debate.  No, not the most efficient way to go about it.

What I'm talking about is looking at the problem systemically, understanding how the world really works, and reserving our efforts for just the most responsive bits, the "choke points", if you will.

You and I are men of the world.  We know how this show is set up, a lot better than most, I dare say.  So why have we been wasting our lives trying to milk the cow by its horns?  That pack of ignorant louts may believe they've a right to participate.  And on paper maybe they have.  Let them continue to think that, I say.  That doesn't give them a veto on what we have to think, if you catch my drift.

There are probably only five people in any given system whose opinion really counts for anything:  the guy setting the agenda, the guy counting the votes, the guy assigning committee posts, the guy doling out the budgeted cash, and the guy recording the minutes.  Anyone else can hang, as far as we're concerned, right?  We only care about results.

What's that?  Yeah, I heard you: on the surface that's not a lot of comfort.  You're right--they're all held in the bag by the other side.  No, ordinary guys like us don't get invited to their parties.  Yes, I agree with you.  There is less than zero chance that either one of us will ever get invited to any of their summer homes in the Hamptons or fancy-schmancy Hollywood soirees.  Gold Coast elites, the lot of 'em.  I think you have to be a registered Mayflower descendant five times over or something before they even let you attend one of their fund raiser dinners.

But what I'm saying is that we don't have to.  We don't have to befriend them, we don't have to persuade them, we don't have to buy them.  Sh*t, we may not even have to talk to them.  All we have to do is keep them from talking to one another--at least in private.  Get where I'm coming from?

The other side thrives on secrecy, stealth and thuggery.  That's how they're able to successfully (on their terms) complete their plots and totally bypass our side.  While our dumb*sses (no offense) have been trying to play by the rules, behaving honorably, and watching the committee hearings like hawks, they've been leading us by the nose, because all the real action goes on sub rosa.  We win an election?  They throw out a procedural roadblock.  We get around it through an administrative regulatory action?  They tie it up in court.  We force their hand by appealing to a superior court?  They sick their goons on our grandmothers trying to intimidate us.  There is literally no measure so low, so deceptive, vile and despicable that those bugs wouldn't resort to it given the chance.

THAT, mon frere, is exactly how we get them.  All we have to do is light up those dark corners, no?  We've already established that they can't win on the grounds of fair play.  And we know that there are really only five moving parts in the system.  So why don't we just go in and light that m*ther f*cker up with a freakin' 2,000 watt HMI?  Let's see how they like us then, the smug bastards!

I say that each of the five aforementioned empty suits be required to wear a welded iron collar containing a GPS tracking tracking unit, spycam, microphone and strategically placed generator capable of delivering a 50mA electric current, all by remote control.  Pretty freakin' brilliant, eh?  Let's see the rotten trash throw out a line of baloney to tide them over until the next election cycle with 300 million people with their fingers on the trigger of THAT!

Well, maybe it doesn't have to be 50mA exactly.  That could be lethal.  We don't trade in death, only justice.  It only needs to be strong enough to get their attention.  Maybe only a couple hundred volts.  Just enough to remind 'em who's boss, eh?

As a matter of fact, we probably don't want it to be lethal.  Returning to where we began, so to speak, we're only trying to make an intellectual point.  And you know better than me that it is possible to take a thing too far.  If you do any permanent physical harm in so crude a way as that, you're only going to encourage the loonies to crawl out of the woodwork to oppose you even harder.  Take our eyes off the ball.  As the brilliant Sun Tzu said in "The Art of War":

"Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness.  Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness.  Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate."

Which sentiment again underlines the genius of my plan.  The collars can easily be wired in a way that will only activate them when a minimum threshold number of users press the button.  Because the trigger requires mass, remote action by a very large number of individuals, there's a diffusion of responsibility effect that takes the heat off any single person, keeping them from feeling too guilty to act and too anonymous to target.  Hell, for all we know it just might convince one or two from the other side to get off their *ss and do the right thing for once.  Pansies.

And number two, but maybe more importantly: here's the freakin' democracy the other side is always so desperately whining for.  Please tell me how great Senator Bumblef*ck from the other side is gonna look when he's seen to stall public debate on a measure that will unquestionably provide a level of transparency and immediacy to the political process that the Founding Fathers only dreamed of!  And at a relatively trivial cost, too.  I'd really like to know what fancy rhetorical rabbit he'd pull out of his hat to counter that one!

What's that?  A downside?  Eh, I don't know.  I suppose everything comes at a price.  If it means that a few of our own boys sh*t themselves now and then due to a poorly timed jolt of electricity through the nervous system, so be it.  It'd probably have to happen at some point, even if our side is behaving in its usual, meticulously honorable and ethical manner.  Even if only as a token gesture, just to convince the rubes on the other side of our integrity.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with you, except I'm unsure what to actually do. Well written though.