Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Cynicism, Tyranny, and Blueberry Pie

I’m paying for my stuff and the clerk asks:

“I haven’t seen the news today. Have they killed Trump yet?”

Unsure of where she stands, I answer diplomatically:

“Well, I think he’s pretty tough to kill, really.”

She says “They’re certainly doing their best. Once they can simply ignore attorney/client privilege, where does that leave all of us?”

I reply “Nothing simple about it. There are procedures in place, and it’s not something the system takes lightly. You need sign-offs from high-level judges and justice department officials. It’s very rare.”

“Ugh, judges. I don’t trust them!”


“In fact, I don’t trust anyone!”

“Wow, that sounds like a terrible way to live! A world of chaos, 100% dog-eat-dog?”

She smiles bitterly and nods in satisfied agreement.

“But that’s obviously not the case! When you went into the back to get my pie, it would have been easy for me to steal all sorts of stuff. But it never entered my mind. Or yours. You’re predisposed to trust, and that impulse is right way more often than not. And, for my part, I trust you not to poison my pie.”

“I don’t trust,” she says. “I just hope.”

“I don’t think that’s the case. If you didn’t trust me, you’d keep a rifle under this counter, and you’d have been eying me suspiciously from the moment I walked in. You’re not, and with good reason! I love your pies! And I’m a nice guy, just as most people are!”

And that’s where we left it. I don’t believe hearts and minds were persuaded. In fact, I may have rattled her some, with all the talk of rifles, poison and theft (hey, I was improvising!).

Anyway, this is what happens when people lose faith in institutions. When you feel everything’s wholly rotten after being subjected, year after year, to Fox News, et al, and their sordid, alarmist, highly lucrative bullshit, stoking a toxic Soviet mindset of cynicism and fear, it’s hard to imagine reaching any other conclusion.

And if that’s where you stand, then what’s your move? There’s only one possible salvation: “Belligerent strongman, protect me!”

You can't deny her internal logic. And I, for one, am loathe to scorn people doing their best to apply internal logic to faulty assumptions which ring emotionally true to them.

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