Notes from the Perimeter

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Sarah Contradictions: Cowboy Down

I don’t know about you, but I certainly wish to avoid any circumstance where I find myself in the dentist’s chair, a drill the size of a pile driver looming over me, no chance of oblivion or even conscious sedation (which actually is sort of an okay reason to put oneself in harm’s way), and a voice chortling gleefully: Drill, baby, drill ! I want a dentist to puts holes in my enamel only when necessary, as a last resort when the other options have been eliminated. I want the person who drills the tooth or drills the land to be a philosopher and not a cowboy.

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of machismo masquerading as leadership, whether wearing a Stetson or an up-do. This kind of simplistic language, and the recklessness that imbues it, is reminiscent of some of the more regrettable statements of the past few years – remember Bring ‘em on! ? – and the might-makes-right, gun-totin’, cowboy uppin’, my-way-or-the-highway posturing that has passed for policy. Can we PLEASE have a nuanced, intelligent, non-cynical and non-condescending discussion about the things that are so important to all of us?

Really, it’s straight out of freakin’ high school, y’all, (you might notice a theme here) where jocks and cheerleaders rule because belonging is the most important thing, because power is based on looks and personality, and where most kids haven’t attained the life experience to discern flash from substance. The nice thoughtful kids, who might not have the pizzazz of the superstars, are the ones who make the grades and the future. Attend your 30th reunion, which embarrassingly I did, and you’ll see who was worth paying attention to.

Note to self and to country: Grow up.

Coming for the week of 9-29: Meghan McCain and the Bloggosphere AND MAYBE MORE!


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