Right on Occasion

Ask the Cleveland Browns why consistency isn’t necessarily a virtue. Even those who occasionally win can be maddening in their unwillingness to obey patterns.  Give us a break.  We’re trying to be lazy here.  It’s easier to praise or condemn everything about any discussion topic.  But nobody’s great or awful 100 percent of the time.  The mighty Who inflicted Squeeze Box on us, while the Star Wars prequels made us appreciate Mark Hamill’s relatively impressive acting.

There’s no way someone for whom I voted could ever let me down.  Why would a politician be hurtful like that?  But maybe it’s time to learn that everything will be at least occasionally disappointing, at least for those who didn’t start learning that crucial fact at age 10.  Sea Monkeys are designed to create cynicism. Humans hope to ink up one rubber stamp and finish the day’s work by lunch.  But we have to actually decide if any random incident is actually worth complaining about because life is full of challenges.

I know it’s not fun to have to think about every action.  A blanket approval or condemnation would be a great timesaver.  It’s especially nice to have predictability when the person in question seems demented in general, but that would require sanity in the first place.  Judging every single person on a case-by-case basis is exhausting.  But welcome to life.  Worshipping every presidential decision is as unthinkingly unpleasant as bitching constantly.  Join us in mocking them.

Among greater joys, it’d be convenient if Republicans would always limit government’s cloddish reach, and not just so we could have an actual damn choice.  But, like alcohol’s assurance that we can dance well, it’s not always true.  Ceaseless suspicion is especially crucial now with an oft-statist president from the party that used to be nominally known for letting free enterprise exist.  Now, we can’t trust the GOP to quit bothering us any more than we can expect its president to do as he says.  That’s not necessarily bad.  Making the mistake of thinking the oafish things he’s said will become law is a uniquely gullible form of fear-mongering.  Be thankful for his established inability to get things done.

Backing someone is just the start.  I know that you should never have to exercise again after getting to an ideal weight, but reality is cruelly arranged so calorie burns must continue.  Likewise, those on our side deserve continuous scrutiny.  Do we even have one anymore? Try to keep an eye on the last Jedi Knights and make sure they’re doing their sit-ups.

You should be most concerned about policing drunken loutishness at your own family reunion.  It’s especially important to hold those for whom you backed accountable.  Presume the other side will act like jagoffs.  It’s the free ponies your people guaranteed that should concern you. Letting them get sloppy does them no favors, which in turn ends up making you look bad.

Can’t this stupid universe be ordered?  We prefer to recognize patterns out of logic and comfort.  It’s easy to classify Republicans as heartless money-hugging poor-slappers while deciding that all Democrats are wine cask-smashing vandals who think they need to supervise our wallets.  In truth, they’re both pretty much the latter with one slightly more obnoxious.  The exceptions make life exhilarating. Well, at least it sucks less.

Can everyone please pick a side?  We’re trying to make stupid life easier here.  The quest for tendencies is natural.  Many things fall into categories that make it easy to decide what’s worthwhile.  Sam Raimi movies rule, duh, while I wouldn’t watch anything with Melissa McCarthy on a bet.  It’s nice to know what will suck or be awesome ahead of time.  But many present trends defy easy categorization, possibly because those in power haven’t thought ahead of what’s for lunch.  It’s a reflection of lunacy that nothing makes sense, so appreciate arbitrariness for the surprises it contains.

That yin-yang symbol you drew on junior high notebook covers is useful to recall now.  Remember that even bad presidents may achieve something laudable while good ones can slip.  Or, we can have an exhausting gasbag that could blunder into occasional success. Checking whether the delinquent is finally behaving is what contemporary politics is about.  Even a broken clock is right twice a day unless the hands snapped off.

Restrain the reflex to scold automatically.  It will take far more self-restraint than the president displays, so at least you’ll feel important.  Trump has intermittently been useful by instinct, accident, or advisor coercion.  Not knowing when it’ll happen makes it fun like the slot machines which he couldn’t make profitable in Atlantic City. Besides, automatically agreeing is as dull as Tim Kaine.  How do partisans stay sharp when they always either praise or bitch? Oh.


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