Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Coup de Tit for Tat

This weekend, we were chatting with a former relatively high-ranking military officer at this place we went to, who did some stuff for the UN during her law degree and generally has a finger on the pulse on the world of power, and it came up the whole government shut down. She observed that for a long time there was this feeling that the people in power are wise and their decisions make sense and the generals are wise and they are making rational decisions and the people in power, somewhere up there, are experienced people and they have knowledge that we don't have and training we don't have and access to data that we don't have and... Then, she got up into the upper echelons and realized it was all just people. They were normal, ordinary people with all the failings and misguided emotions and preconceived ideologies and confusions that people have. Anyone can make it to the upper echelons of power, then. Anyone could run for office and win and do something with power. No one knows what they're doing. Everyone is guessing. Everyone is fumbling in the dark and doing their best with the limited information they could digest. There is no wise and masterful Oz beyond the curtain. It really is just some guy from Kansas, or wherever, doing his best to keep the lights on and the trains running on time. This is both the most depressing thing to realize and the most hopeful. There is no master plan. It really is just a bunch of foolish people throwing emotions around and posturing and trying to push for advantage with their limited set of skills and talents. Also, this is the most hopeful thing. There is no master plan. It really is just a bunch of foolishness, and once it ends, a new wave of perfectly normal, everyday folks will stumble out of the darkness into the limelight of political power and they'll do their best. In the mean time, it's such a depressing coup de tit for tat, and it doesn't seem to gain anyone anything. This is the spot where everyone loses, and nobody wants to be the one who doesn't win. Blah politics. Blah.

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