The Legend of Wooley Swamp

What ever happened to nuance? Jabberwocky is being spewed up by the left and right as they try to drag us into their Wonderlands. This blog charts a path out of this swamp of simple truths and false certainties. And from time to time, it'll be a place for more light-hearted musings.

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Location: Palms - L.A, California

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Kansas vs. Pennsylvania; plus the Radical Center

Maybe it's the obvious change in season, and Berlin sure is getting darker and colder by the day. Maybe it's my strong dislike (or fear) of partisanship, i.e. the tendency to see every single little thing as a positive or negative proof of one's own worldview. But something's got to give in the Wooley Swamp.

The U.S. House of Representatives (link may not be updated just yet) last night debated U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, and from the reporting I've seen and heard it was a VERY partisan affair. Necessary though such debates are, it hurt to watch this one. Yes, I have an opinion on this matter, but you won't find it here. For that kind of remedy you know where to go: e.g. the Guardian or Wall Street Journal's op-ed/editorial pages. Read some pieces and see if you learn something about yourself. Especially when you read opinions on the other side of the divide. And then re-read your favorite pundit's stance. You'll find that they were 'wrong' on certain aspects. That they ignored plenty of details to make sure their point of view appeared to be closer to the truth.

As you may have gathered, I try to avoid this in my posts by linking to different takes on issues. And so I shall continue. But to be honest with you, it is exhausting not to hind behind ideology. And perhaps it's futile to not seek such refuge. I have certainly dabbled with either side of the mainstream spectrum, but when there I became frightened by how similar the ugly side of the left and right can be. So here I am stuck in the broad, boggy middle. Sometimes it's like being at sea with no land in sight and other times it's a feeling of unadulterated freedom. The latter tends to happen when you take a plunge into the wonders of the undersea world, far away from the shrieking seagulls and even farther from the sheep on the shores. If you've been surfing or even better, scuba diving, you'll understand.

Let me close by bringing attention to a couple of items:

1. In yesterday's Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer points to one of the key 'forgotten' aspects of this year's U.S. November elections. Namely, the debate that pits creationism vs. evolution, which resulted in very different outcomes in the states of Kansas and Pennsylvania. For all you smug secularists who think 'intelligent design' is just some nutty religion thing that doesn't concern you, think again.

2. And in today's Guardian, Martin Kettle highlights an interesting reality in today's political landscape. Supplanting the fringes, there are increasing signs of a radical center. This sounds like quite good news, but I for one need to think about this a smidgin. Any prospect of one dominant party in the center definitely raises some major alarms bells in me. Still, may the arm-flailing of the revisionists, theocrats and demagogues - you know, the motley crew of Chomsky, Robertson, Moore, Buchanan, Le Pen, Haider, Chavez and co - begin.

On that somewhat cheerier note, I wish you a pleasant weekend. On this end, I gotta say that Erin was right...I never doubted it :-)
'Tis snowing!! Time to try out those winter tires.


PS Major kudos to the Onion for giving a voice to the people.


Intelligent Design Ousted

Voters in Dover, PA voted out eight school board members who supported an intelligent-design statement being read in biology class. What do you think?

Asian Man

Steve Morton,
"Yeah, but check out who they replaced them with… an 18-year-old politics nerd and a local drag queen who’s always running for office."

Young Woman

Peggy Ramone,
Computer Programmer
"I feel kind of bad for them. Where can they be ignorant and influential now?"

Young Man

Christopher Osburn,
Legal Secretary
"Splendid! Now the only authorities left who subscribe to these wacko theories are safely contained in the highest echelons of executive, legislative, and judicial government."


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