Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Friday, May 2, 2008

One or the Other

Would you believe it's May 2nd and it's friggin' snowing? Mr. Gore, please take note. And none of that 'global warming causes it to snow'. There's a flaw in that logic a kindergartner could drive a Mack truck through. You know, when I was a kid, we were headed for the next ice age. (And no, I'm not that old.) I heard about the ice age thing on the news the other day, too. Make up your minds, folks, either we're going to die like the burger drippings caked on the bottom of your grill or we're going to die like the pint of pina colada ice cream that's been wedged in the back of the freezer for ten years because you thought it sounded good at the time, but it was just nasty.

It can't be both.

A long time ago I had the misfortune of being acquainted with a rather nasty person. In addition to her many mean qualities, she was the queen of flawed logic. My favorite little piece of information was that she was both diabetic and hypoglycemic. I tried to explain to her that diabetes means hyperglycemic and a person can't be both hyper (too much) and hypo (too little), but she wouldn't be budged. (I even did it nicely. Honest.) Needless to say, we never saw eye-to-eye on that issue or anything else.

It's like the government. Everyone wants lower taxes, but pretty much everyone wants all the goodies the government provides (if not for themselves, than for the underpriviledged). Lower taxes, though, means less money to pay for the goodies. One or the other, folks. You can't have both.

To reword a well-worn phrase: You can't live in your home, and make a bonfire with it, too. Or to dig back into the memory banks to a particular incident*... You can't have your computer and gripe about the evils of technology. (Well, you could, but that would be hypocritical.)

Now, it's true that with new information, one can make an rational change of their opinions. Hard data is usually best. You can think a certain way one day and think a completely different way the next. However, you can't think two different ways at the same time. (And flip-flopping between is generally frowned upon.)

I know, I know. What about the shades of gray? What about "There aren't just two sides to an issue"? Depends on the issue, if you ask me. Whether Sean Connery is hotter than Patrick Stewart? There's wiggle room there. (It's a tie, IMO.) Global warming versus global cooling? Not really room for a gray area there. (Global stasis? Where's the emergency in that?) The whole blood sugar thing has no gray area, unless there's some new disease I haven't heard about that makes a person's blood sugar yo-yo up and down. Taxes versus government bennies? In Star Trek, maybe. They have no need for money in the future, or something like that. Today, though... Money buys stuff, and no money means no stuff. (Unless you go into debt up to your wazoo, and even then someone is going to have to fork over the money at some point.)

What's any of this got to do with writing, you ask? Well, I didn't start this post with writing in mind, but if you think about it, there's something there. A writer can't do his work successfully and not grow. You can't expect to be a writer and never attempt to stretch, to learn, to expand your knowledge base. If you do, you'll stagnate and your writing will suffer. (Okay, so maybe this is a stretch, but I think you get what I'm saying.) Maybe a better way of putting it is: You can't sit on your ass and expect to succeed. You either work toward that success, or you sit on your ass. It doesn't work both ways.

Speaking of getting off one's ass, I'd better get off mine and get something accomplished - even if the tasks of the morning are just errands. Have to get the errands out of the way so I can work later.

And thus ends today's unscheduled rant. Have a nice day. ;o)

*Back when I lived in FL, I used to write letters to the editor on a regular basis. One week a friend of mine had a well-reasoned and rational Op-Ed published in the local paper which pointed out some flaws in the environmentalist movement, and I wrote a nice LTE in response. Shortly after my LTE was published, I got a nasty-gram via e-mail. The guy was positively venomous, called me a few choice names, and basically said mankind should give up the evils of technology because they were, in his opinion, killing Mother Earth. After I pointed out that using techology to write hate mail about techology was hypocritical, I never heard from him again. (Funny. My friend never got a nasty gram from this weiner. *shrug* Maybe I looked like an easier target. Feh.)

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