3.15.2009

Burning Building: A Poem-ish Political Analogy Fable Thing

I now present to you an analogy to illustrate how idiotic the current political debate is and the selfish attitudes I'm seeing expressed in our country today:

Let's say you're trapped in a burning building with flames leaping closer an closer. Meanwhile, the fire department has arrived on the scene, but the firefighters are doing nothing because:

Some of them think it is an electrical fire and

Some of them think it is a gas fire so

There are two very different approaches to how to put it out and

No one can agree on which one.

Finally the Chief issues orders based upon the best available information and the resources immediately at hand, but instead of rushing to rescue you the firefighters merely stay put and begin to debate the validity of the Chief's decision.

Whoa! Who's that rolling up his sleeves to join in the firefighter's debate?
(Sorry, I couldn't resist!)

While you remain trapped and are now choking the firefighters have moved on to a debate about:

How the fire probably started and

Who started it and

How they should be punished when caught.

Then they remember that the Chief once said that, "It is foolish to rush into a fire without first addressing its cause," so they now refuse to follow his orders because:

He can no longer be trusted.

He is a liar.

Liar!


Hero!

Idiot!

Knowing that you are now likely near death, and amidst the demands of bystanders to "DO SOMETHING!" the Chief himself rushes in to save you. Does he succeed?

Let's say he does:

Half the firefighters think he is a hero.

Half the firefighters think it was merely the result of pure luck, rather than skill.

Some still think he acted stupidly and refuse to ever support him again.


The other building occupants have arrived home and gathered together to:

Complain about the fact that their own apartments have burned and

Bitch about the inconvenience of it all and

Bemoan their personal losses and

Demand to know who is responsible and


More importantly, who is going to compensate them for their loss and

Several people even comment on how stupid one would have to be to get trapped in a burning building.


Angry Rich Guy (Get it?)

The building owner has arrived and:

Is furious that his expensive building has been destroyed and

Blames both you and the entire fire department for his loss and

Demands swift and severe punishment for you all and

Rants about how unfair it all is because, Dammit! He worked hard to earn that building and he deserved it!

Now the neighbors have joined the crowd on the street to:

Complain about the noise and

Order several bystanders to move away from their building; asserting to any who linger that they are guilty of trespassing on private property and

Worry about how the ugly burned out building will affect their property values.

Let's stop here.

This ridiculous analogy can be applied to the President; the Stimulus Bill; the economy; the housing crisis; and even the general lack of compassion in our society today.

Everyone thinks its everyone else's fault.

No one believes they could have done anything wrong.

Everyone seems to feel they are entitled to an existence absent from any loss or inconvenience; citing this belief as the "American Dream" while asserting that it promises wealth for everyone who is just willing to work for it. (More on that later!)

One final comment:

What if the Chief didn't save you and instead you were both killed in the fire?

The reactions of the crowd would be exactly the same.

3.07.2009

A Wedding Dress? Or an Attorney?

Let's say I get bored (or drunk, or crazy, or lonely) tonight and decide I want to get married.

All I have to do is go down to a bar (or wherever) and find some willing guy and tomorrow we can get legally married. The law will sanction our frivolous loveless marriage; society will recognise it; and come next April we'll be filing our 2008 federal income taxes together.

But let's say we get really really drunk after the ceremony and my new idiot husband walks in front of a bus. In the hospital they'll ask, "Who is the next of kin?!" and I'll have every right to step up and assert my claim and control over what medical procedures he receives.

Let's say he dies. Do I shout out Bingo? I mean, I've just inherited his estate.

And then, a few weeks later when I discover that the awkward elbow-y sex we hurriedly had to consummate the relationship has left me with child, I need only to fill out the proper forms to ensure that said child receive the full Social Security survivor benefits due to him or her as the surviving child of my deceased husband.

I don't even have to know his middle name! But I can legally use his last name if I want to.

Yes, the sanctity of marriage is alive and well in the hands of the heterosexuals isn't it?

But let's say that instead of getting married, I accept an invitation to my neighbors' home for dinner. They have been together for 20 years. They are very much in love. Their home is beautiful and on the walls are pictures of their family. They would like to have children someday, but since they both have busy careers they are still working out the logistics of who will take leave from their career to be a stay-at home parent. See, they feel strongly that their child should be the first priority of their family. Both are also very active within our community and serve on local committees and boards.

If these friends were to ask me, "Why can't we get married?" I would not be able to even begin to formulate a single logical reason. The sad truth is that they cannot get married only because our society refuses to allow them that right.

Our country, with all of its wonderful freedoms, has decided to draw the line at allowing all of its adult citizens the freedom to marry whom they choose. In this great country of ours the love shared by two persons of the same sex cannot be legally sanctioned. We have enacted laws that guarantee the rights of individuals to choose their religion without fear of persecution or discrimination, yet we refuse to let everyone choose their partner with the same guarantees of freedom.

And don't even begin to talk to me about legal unions. Calling a marriage between two persons of the same sex a "civil union" is a separate, not an equal, right. There is absolutely no civil contract under existing law that can enact the same rights to a couple as the marriage contract does. None.

And yet ...

Prisoners can marry women they have met only via prison mail. Convicted rapists or murderers can marry. Sixteen year olds can marry (with parental approval) their first love. Divorced people can re-marry the same person they divorced - over and over again if they want. Perfect strangers can marry just for the hell of it. Gay men can marry gay women. Gay persons can marry straight persons.

If you really want to argue the sanctity of marriage read this.

There is no more sanctity in marriage. It has become a joke.

The divorce rate is through the roof.

One of our most popular TV shows is one where a single person makes out for weeks with numerous other single strangers (contestants of the opposite sex of course) and ultimately proposes to one of them leading the viewing public to celebrate his or her decision!

We talk of the "starter" marriage, as if it is merely practice for the marriages which will follow.

Sanctity of marriage my ass.

Perhaps if we did have the commonsense to allow for same sex marriages those who chose to participate might actually restore some dignity to the institution.

Having limitations on your lifestyle is NOT the same as being poor.