The Show Must Go On

Personally, I’m past ready to declare myself a political no-go zone and refuse to touch any and all mentions of politics anywhere in my vicinity. Then I hear from The Husband that the various states are squalling about budget shortfalls this year because – teh horror! – they don’t have anything like the usual revenue from income or sales tax they expected, and they have higher expenses than normal because they’re running unemployment rates in the 20% range even using the doctored numbers that hide long-term unemployed.

Of course, my reaction to said news is not exactly… sympathetic. It’s more along the lines of “Well, duh! You shut your entire damned economy down and expect everything to trundle along like normal?” Then I start getting really sarcastic so it’s probably better I don’t continue on that line. Honestly, these people are supposed to be intelligent.

And yet, we keep on trundling on. This week has featured a disturbing new development in the kitty crazy stakes, with the Midnight not only running to the loo to make sure I’m properly supervised in there and being disturbingly eager to come running and get petted (apparently the safest times for kitty snuggles is when the humans are on the pot or in bed), but he starts purring before I touch him. It’s sweet, but I do wonder what’s going on in what passes for his kitty mind.

I’ve had years to get used to the notion that by my standards the world is run and occupied by morons – but what can you do? I’m Odd, and I know it. I’m all too well aware that I think at oblique and at times abolished angles to reality, and I know damn well I’ve had to make a conscious decision to keep myself grounded in reality and lot go off into my own bloody world. No matter how tempting it gets to give this side of reality the finger.

And yet… The show must go on, as they say. Events have a kind of entropy, in that each decision anyone makes adds to everything that’s gone before to make some things inevitable. Something very like World War 1 was inevitable by the end of the 19th century, but the exact form it took and what triggered it… those were up in the air. Then after the Armistice, World War 2 became inevitable because of the conditions imposed. We’re probably fortunate that it happened the way it did despite the horrors that were unleashed because there really aren’t many reasonable alternatives (unless you go so far back it’s almost impossible to extrapolate in a way that isn’t pure fantasy) that don’t involve mass irradiation in Europe.

The overgrown children of the mainstream who fail to recognize any of this… well. I noticed years ago that very few people have any desire to think for themselves. They want a nice easy-to-follow framework of what’s right and what’s wrong handed to them by authority, and when those in charge fail to provide they flail around looking for something until a good enough snake oil salesman wanders by and gives them something to latch on to. You didn’t think all the new agey stuff was spontaneous did you? It filled in the gap left when those in power decided that morality was completely relative along with reality and everything else.

I’ll admit that there’s a degree of consensus reality in the sense that speakers of any given language will usually use the same words to describe the same things (and the structure and nature of the language will inevitably affect how and what people think – I’ve commented on the difference between Australian English (aka mutated thieves cant) and American English (evolved trade-speak) before, and how it’s left Aussies much more inclined to mess with words and use words in a way that forces people to divine the meaning from context where Americans tend to be much, much more straightforward) but ultimately the facts that are being described are the facts. And facts have a tendency to bite when they’re ignored. Sometimes literally.

Life goes on. We’re crazy adaptable – possibly we Odds more than most. I suspect that’s part of why we keep showing up, no matter how much everyone else tries to squash us. It’s usually when everything else is falling apart that an unwanted or unappreciated Odd turns up with something that will help. I guess that (apart from having my picture in the dictionary beside the entry for “stubborn”) is why I keep going and keep trying to be me as hard as I can. I really can’t see myself being anything or anyone else.

Oh, and have a photo of Shani in the kitty bed and Bugger on my keyboard. Just because.

23 comments

  1. > Then after the Armistice, World War 2 became inevitable because of the conditions imposed.

    That’s a popular view among historians, but it doesn’t fit the historical record well. By the time the NSDAP took over, the Allies had already stripped Germany of anything of value and most countries had already given up on expecting Germany to make any more reparations payments and were normalizing trade.

    How the NSDAP gained power was another of those chains of events that not only wasn’t “inevitable”, but so full of weak links it falls into the “oh, come now!” category. And even then, not even the General Staff had planned to go to war past the initial handful of targets. War? Sure. Wait, every single victim folded like wet cardboard, their allies repudiated their treaties, and Europe is waiting for the jackboot? Well, why not, then? After Mussolini saw how easy it was, surely he’d put those troublesome African conquests on hold and snatch up some prime European real estate that really ought to be part of the new Greater German Reich, so Germany had better move quick…

    WWII happened, but it wasn’t *likely*, much less “inevitable.”

  2. The amount of resentment over what was seen to be a viciously unfair settlement in Germany pretty much guaranteed a populist demagogue showing up sooner or later. As did what looks in hindsight remarkably like a government designed to be ineffective. That it wound up being the NSDAP and Hitler was a different matter.

    Of course, once Hitler was in charge Germany was always going to push until it overextended and wound up losing everything again, because Hitler was a barking mad megalomaniac (how much of that was exposure to gas in the WW1 trenches is anyone’s guess).

    1. The amount of resentment over what was seen to be a viciously unfair settlement in Germany pretty much guaranteed a populist demagogue showing up sooner or later.

      Wasn’t it pretty much “the same **** thing that has had Europe fighting itself for the last several hundred years, bare minimum, but turned up to 11 with better communication and faster travel”?

      Kind of like how the infamous Nazi junk wasn’t novel, it was a throw-back turned up to 11?
      (“blame the other tribe, kill them and take their stuff” and “find a reason to kill people who are expensive to you or annoy you” are both pretty standard historic behavior.)

      1. Which, in case it’s not clear, means that yes it was unfair and yes it was going to make WWII, AKA “the same old garbage but louder.”

        1. Pretty much, yeah. Shocked a lot of people, since they all thought they were civilized now.

    1. I must be phenomenally stressed then, since I exceed FDA Safe Sarcasm levels on a daily basis. That or by employing sarcasm I’m giving my stress to others.

    1. Yes. I was thinking of the same song when I wrote the post. Whatever else he was, Freddie Mercury was one hell of a singer and songwriter.

  3. Having to think for yourself might mean learning something new. Or that you were wrong. Or that you had to change.

    Or, worse, learning that other people don’t think like you and have valid reasons for doing so. That’s a hard one to get across to people.

    1. Funny how that works, isn’t it? On my bad days I find myself wondering if I’m some kind of freak for accepting that yeah, I can get it wrong and that what I believe just might be changed if/when I come across good enough evidence.

      And I like learning new things. And changing.

      I kind of had to figure out the “other people don’t think like you” part, and the valid reasons side a long time back – about when I worked out that the things which are really easy and obvious to me aren’t that way for other people. That was not a fun realization.

      1. I recently talked my way part out of a freakout, because I realized that lots of people can get by on assuming that others are like them, and by waiting around for a teacher to provide them with /all/ of their mental tools. (Of course, of my more notable skills, I’m not sure if I should be embarrassed about how many of them I have learned from instruction, and might never have figured out on my own.)

      2. Maybe I should be more embarrassed by all the things I’ve been competently instructed in, and haven’t quite figured out all the way yet. 🙂

      1. Isn’t every day cat day? It always was in our house when we had cats.
        It’s been months since Olga left us and I’m feline kind of lonely without them.

        1. It’s always cat day to those of us who are owned by cats. I’ve come from the bathroom kitty lineup and now have Westley on the heater looking out the window, Midnight on one of the kitty beds on the desk, looking out the window, and Buttercup on the Husband’s chair making sure that nobody sneaks in through the bathroom when she’s not washing herself.

          They take human-watching duties very seriously.

    1. Must take pics of back porch on a cold night… ten barn cats, plus or minus a couple of ferals.

      1. Oh, my. That would be an interesting photo. The kitty pictures do make everything better – and there’s not much that can compare to a warm fuzzy bundle of purr in your lap.

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