Friendly Debate

Alex Symington

Alex Symington

This might be my last contribution for a while. I’m going on a retreat, a literal and figurative dropping out. Don Quixote, I’m not. I enjoy posting my thoughts and some are well received, others, not so much. What I gather from research about government, politics, extreme climate, economy, corporate finance/banking, etc. mostly turns my stomach and I simply cannot continue looking at the big picture of our proverbial hand basket to hell, state of the state without experiencing spiritual and psychic damage. As my wife points out frequently, I am a delicate flower.

I am convinced that the majority of people in this country as well as the global community naturally want what is best for their families and their communities at large. The devil is in the details and that is where we lose sight of our commonalities and get intentionally side-tracked by those in power that want and must stay in power. An example of this loss of sight of our common interests was demonstrated by a reader’s response to my last essay on the marketing of America. My take is the current Pathocracy that is our governance is most assuredly a well financed corporatist right, in the literal sense of corporatism. Conversely the reader is convinced it is leftist caused, muttering something about collectivism, but not disagreeing with my description of the deterioration of our Republic, just the perpetrators of said deterioration. So I would conclude we are essentially on the same side in the sense we are both very unhappy with the current paradigm.

The reader’s pronouncement was as baffling to me as when I watched the Gore/Bush debates back in 2000. After one such debate, my neighbor came over and we were going on about how, “Yeah, he got his ass kicked” sort of high-fiving-chest-bumping guy behavior, but then there was that awkward moment when we realized we were rooting for opposite teams. We had a good laugh and then proceeded to have our own debate, both of us quite sure the other guy was well intentioned but nuts.

In just fourteen short years that scenario of two opposite views being tolerated with friendly debate has vanished. All moderates in the Senate and House have vanished. The noose of intolerance has tightened to such a degree that Washington DC itself has become our latest intractable quagmire. I know everyone recognizes the symptoms of decline, yet we refuse to agree on a cure, to the delight of the power elite.

So put a fork in me, I’m done. (At least for awhile) I will leave you with this poem by W. B. Yeats 1865-1939. I hold with the first stanza, but the entire poem is deliciously old school prophetic.

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;

Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out

When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi

Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,

A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,

Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it

Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again; but now I know

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

About the author

Actively engaged human being distressed by the current global paradigm of destruction of the planet for short term profit by the global corporatocracy and the bovine reaction of the people most affected. I write essays and poetry in order to sleep at night.