Karl loves the paper shredder. I would rather bite a concrete curb than hear the horrible sound it makes.
So on those rare occasions when I have to use it, I break his “one sheet at a time” rule and end up stuffing too much paper into the slot. Then that grinding slows down to a growl and then a groan and then nothing. Basically, I’ve killed the paper shredder because it just can’t digest everything I’m shoving into it as fast as I’d like.
Unfortunately, my brain is beginning to feel that way, too. Not that’s there’s anything wrong with my brain, just like there’s nothing wrong with that paper shredder sitting less than two feet from me right now. But when I’m sitting in front of the computer or the television, there is so much information coming at me—some of it real, some of it false, most of it biased—that I can almost hear the gears in my brain go from grinding to growling to groaning. Unlike the shredder, it doesn’t completely stop, which is why you are reading this column and not my obituary.
It’s almost getting to the point that I can understand why some folks just glean information coming their way and disregard or invalidate anything that challenges what they already think. But, like or not, critical thinking (for those who still care to engage in it) requires evaluating what one hears and sees, even when that new information challenges what we currently believe.
Using Marie Kondo’s “joy” prescription may be helpful in organizing your home (I’m sure Karl wishes I would Kondo this house—pun intended), but it’s decidedly not the best basis on which to analyze what’s going on in the world. And there’s a lot going on—almost too much.
With impeachment becoming increasingly more likely, some Trump supporters like to play the “but what about” game. Nothing new about that one, whether it’s attached to Hillary’s emails or Biden’s son. It’s just that I learned it was not an effective strategy for deflecting guilt the first time I tried that it on Daddy. I’m not sure if he used the “if your friends jumped off a cliff, would you?” bit, but it was something like that. And every one of us who ever tried it knew doing so was a virtual admission of our own guilt.
Daddy was a little bit hard of hearing, probably from all those years on drilling rigs. Mother said he had selective hearing and that he heard what he wanted and ignored the rest. He was a Republican, and I’m tempted to say that would put him in good stead with today’s Republicans, except for the inconvenient truth Democrats do it, too.
No one can blamed for not watching this last Democratic debate as some folks aren’t gluttons for punishment. Clocking at three hours and twelve candidates, anyone who isn’t a political junkie could be excused—just as those of us who aren’t sports enthusiasts don’t watch football until the Super Bowl.
Now I understand that some folks have actually picked a candidate, with whom they will stick until the bitter end. (And it will be bitter for all but one.) For Democratic voters, it’s like shopping for just the right shoes to go with a new outfit, but nothing is quite what you had in mind.
After the debate, I began to question whether I even saw the same debate that some others did. Lots of cheerleading for chosen candidates and criticism of the others. Then I realized I do the same thing, thinking the ones I already like did pretty well and the ones I don’t care for didn’t.
While the professional pundits picked winners and losers, I decided to just give them all a participation trophy. No one convinced me to vote for them, but then none of them threw up on national television.
I’m going to Kondo my thoughts and find joy in the fact that there are still people running who are older than I am and some (I’m looking at you, Pete) who are so young that I have at least one winter coat in pretty good shape and a pair of shoes that have been on the plant longer.
Please note that the shoes were absolutely perfect for an outfit I bought in 1979. And sometimes, they still work today.