No Favoritism in the North Wind

Harry Drabik

So far the gradual lengthening of days has given the best show of Non Spring that I can recall. The glacier at my door oozes onward ever growing while the Bambi beings line the ditches of 61 like a lot of nervous voting pollsters trying to guess their own next move. The presence of Bambi in repeat form makes even the most innocent trip to town a tense affair. At least I found it tension causing to see a bug eyed Bambi suddenly charging alongside my vehicle as I drove eastward. I did not see a flashing red light on its head and as it seemed badly to want to pass me I let it. I imagine it gave a stirring account of itself around the Bambi campfire that night never thinking it had encountered the likes of Gary Larson who’d headline “Deranged Bambi Runs Amok on 61.”

I believe never thinking applies quite well to the roadside Bambi beings, but unfortunately the same words apply all too well to masses of main and side road humans who claim aforethought without ever getting within sniff whiff distance of the slow and unglamorous route of picking slowly through the underbrush of reasoning out either thought or argument. When I write the word argument I know a good many (probably more than I wish to know) believe an argument is something where people yell and call names. That would be howler argument as seen in zoos and wildlife films, oh and let’s not leave out British Parliament. They should know, as should we all, that argument is one of four primary forms of discourse and is not characterized by loudness or invective (sly snark is, however, generally appreciated). 

But I can say this with assurance. If I drove the spring Bambi gauntlet with even the slightest hope a Bambi would think before it leapt that would be a case of more fool me for doing so. Wild critter Bambi does not think about traffic and stopping distances. It’s a deer and if its run-jump trigger gets pulled that’s essentially all there is. The burden of taking safe and responsible action falls on the human driver who can claim sentient superiority by calling it an accident when she/he turns their high speed vehicular HonDatToy or FoCheyDo into a highway burger maker when it kisses Bambi at 65 in the dead of night. We will still say accident and politely look the other way when the driver admits having “one or two” sometime before the accident which also took place while he/she was having a talk (one of those howler affairs previously mentioned) with her/his copilot. If you’re driving too fast at night and arguing with someone while behind the wheel the elements that make an event accidental get weaker (I’d say very much so). But we let such pass thinking it could have happened as easily to one of us (had we acted irresponsibly) or maybe it’s just a too human trait to not want to judge an individual unless we can have a group behind us to drive home the point of racist, bigot, fascist, or NRA supporter. I wonder, do we need drama and a body politic for support to rouse us to fulsome action? (Again, view material on howlers cheering each other on.)

I had (can’t help myself) to wonder why the body politic is so very slow and reluctant to point at individual and personal responsibility unless there’s a chance to puff up and drum a log like a male grouse (though if they wished to do so and thought about it with sufficient help the female grouse could drum with the best of them and fertilize their own eggs if they were a mind to). But in any case when driving the Bambi route the responsibility for safe driving falls (and rightly so) on the individual operator who may have either a real or ersatz accident all of which we treat the same.

I also can’t help myself from worrying that I might be turning a bit cynical in roughly the same measure as a lemon might be said to grow sour. I hear the expression Grass Roots or Student Led and my instinct is to ponder how much it cost (and whom) to pull that off. Do the organizers or participants simply do a search under “grass roots” and they become connected. There’d be a great many, I’d expect, and not a few would be about lawns or THC; so how long would it take to sort that out and then deal with 10,000 or so individual grass rooters to make useful and valid connections? It beggars reason to see concepts that are swallowed whole because doing so is far easier than asking skeptic questions. But also I suspect there’s a lot to be said for the notion that very few people want to think things through and are just as happy to base their reasoning on what feels good within their group.

I’d bet you’ve seen and heard (this reaches even here where Bambi outnumbers Sapiens) people proclaim the necessity to rigorously insist on fighting Nazism before it’s too late. Of course it seems they do so from within their own group think and it further seems that much of the doing so is done with the security of not knowing two diddles of what constitutes Nazism or National Socialism. Many in the body politic operate is if saying the right words and feeling the correct things is enough. That certainly helps me understand why a lot of otherwise decent people went along with Nazism. They weren’t evil. They followed the group. When it comes to surviving the freeze wind of destructive, silencing, and dominating politics intent and optimism doesn’t offer much protection. To insulate from ill winds we need careful scrutiny of our own and other views. I’ll suggest that if we are not as critical of our own positions as we are of others we become the harsh destructive wind we say we oppose.