A lot of people these days seem to have their heads buried in the sand. Sadly that does not keep these ostriches from speaking their ill-informed minds. There is no section of my life safe from these myopic birds. From the personal to the political to the trivial they seem to need to comment on everything while adding nothing at all.
Let me be clear: I love debate. I welcome it. But what I do not welcome is someone who brings only talking points to the table and/or lacks the ability to concede that a conflicting point of view can be valid even if it is disagreed with.
Some of the amazing examples of this ostrich epidemic from the past few years are:
People who thought that it was unfair that Nicole and I did not find out the sex of either of our children before birth. I am a fan of not finding out before birth. There are very few genuine good surprises in life, why spoil one of the great ones? Some people took it personally, some asking if we could find out and have the results emailed to them. Sadly they were not kidding. Really, I checked.
This is a minor quibble in the large scheme of things. This has more to do with personal boundaries, but that is part of the typical ostrich’s problem.
People who think welfare and the poor have sunk the economy. Get out of your Fox News Biosphere and welcome to reality. Do our social programs need reform? They sure do. Is there a way to cut waste? I am sure that there is. The funny thing is that while I can agree with those points no one ever gives me solid examples of how. Of if they do they are always so extreme that I then ask them, “what about the people who really need food stamps and other support?”
This is usually met with a derisive, “They can get it the same way I did, hard work.” I then usually point out that they grew up upper middle class, went to college on their parents dime: they had huge advantages. The reply is usually along the ultra-mature lines of, “Don’t punish me for that.”
If I even mention for a second cutting discretionary defense spending a wall comes up. They play the Dennis Miller card and let fear guide their every thought, every budget cut. And I thought us liberals were the overly emotional ones.
Never mind that discretionary defense spending is a fancy phrase for “pork barrel project”. Talking heads from both sides will claim to hate a project when it is named the latter. More often than not they re-frame the project as discretionary defense spending and defend it like their own child; it is semantics in one of its manipulative forms.
And my personal hell right now: my abandoning the Sabres due to how their new owner Terry Pegula made his money has really set some people off. I think that I have been as non-judgemental of them as I can be given the circumstances. One friend brought up a good point, “being a Sabres fan has nothing to do with being a fan of fracking”. You are right. See I can have a civilized discussion and concede points. If only all of my friends who were Sabre fans were so kind.
One said that fracking has, “nothing to do with the Sabres.” I could not agree with that statement less. You can choose to support the Sabres and not support hydro-fracking, but it is now an indelible part of the franchise’s culture.
- Just after Mr. Pegula bought the Sabres he had a new $20,000 carpet replete with the Sabres logo placed in the dressing room. Cool move, to be sure.
- Brad Boyes and his $4 million dollar salary were brought in at the trade deadline and there was no corresponding salary dump made to match the move. Anyone who has watched the Sabres over the years knows that neither of these moves were par for the course.
Without the ill-gotten fracking money Mr. Pegula would not have been able to make these moves. So while no, the Sabres do not frack, it is now embedded in their culture. People argue, ”Let it go, he is no longer in the business.” True but the business is in his blood.
At his press conference when asked about what he would do if he started to lose money Mr Pegula said, “If I wanna make money, I’ll drill a gas well.”
In the link you will find the author thinks this is a highlight.
Correction: I read this out of context and apologize to the author. My misinterpretation was fed partially by many in the Buffalo media thinking that statement was a highlight. That would fit -How sad and typical, the trivial trumps the essentials again. That is clearly not the case with the author who was quoted in the piece.
While the fracking business is not currently in Mr. Pegula’s portfolio it is clearly still in his heart. I find his using it as a point of levity nauseating. It was the final blow that made me realize that there was no way that I could rationalize being a Sabres fan anymore.
I have thought, “if only he had been a computer mogul, ala Paul Allen…” Though I suppose even in that case I could find something to be upset about, like how could he send all those manufacturing jobs overseas? Couldn’t we use those manufacturing jobs? I admit that it would be different. I wouldn’t condone it; I abhor outsourcing. But I think I would have found a way to rationalize it.
And here is where I admit I am fallible.
I don’t have it all figured out, so I keep my head above the Terra. Looking for new information, rethinking and editing your perceptions and positions is important. And to get that you need to look around and dare I say think over your own positions. Because how arrogant is it to think that you have it all figured out at any time, especially in a world where change is rapid and rampant?
Of you could just keep your head in the ground as many do. I would appreciate it if you chose that route that you aim the ass that you are talking out of in some other direction.