The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Islands and Old Dogs

"Inspector Clouseau" left a comment to my Saturday rant which had a sentence which intrigued me. Let me repeat it here, "I dare say that 95% of the population could explain what really took place during these events."

I understand the underlying emotion of the statement and agree with it. I dare say that the same 95% would also connect with that emotional point of view. But I would say that nowhere near 95% would understand, truly grasp, what happened in those two filibusters, how alike they were and how different they were. What the 95% would explain, when asked to, is what they each thought happened, some of them more eloquently than others, but less than half would actually get it right. And, even then, only a rare few would get it 100% right. There were dynamics involved, facets known and unknown, which alter perception of the two filibusters.

One's political leanings, for one, would strongly influence one's perceptions. Democrats would (and have already) see it much like the media did. Praise one, denounce the other. Republicans likewise. Even within those larger, more encompassing perceptions, there would be smaller (but significant and different) ones: moderate and the tiers of more radical views of liberalism and conservatism would disagree on what happened not only during the events but leading up to, and ensuing from, them.

There is an old saw that goes, "no man is an island." It's a line from a poem written by John Donne and published in 1624. It means, simply, no person is uninfluenced by people and events surrounding him. It reflects a thought, to me, that is both profound and based on a faulty image... that an island is not influenced by the world around it. I believe it is, thus giving me a very complicated image: "no island is even an island." But the implied image is what we accept, it evokes the concept that each of us perceives things based on a huge multitude of factors that we seemingly do not control. We are each the product of those who taught us, reared us, interacted with us, over our lives. We (the end product) are formed by our reactions to that influence. And that product, I believe, is continuously malleable. Sometimes easily, sometimes with great difficulty. But always subject to influence in spite of that other old saw that "you cannot teach an old dog new tricks."

The lesson of that last adage is "don't become an old dog."



Tom Sightings said...

95% could explain what's going on? Uh, put me in the 5%!

Douglas said...

Don't worry, Tom, the media will tell you what to think... whether you need them to or not.