There’s ore and there’s or

Harry Drabik

A depleted mine pit has remaining ore. What wasn’t removed was not for one reason or other worth going after. Questions about “what’s there” and “should we pursue it” have long standing with the human animal. When the concern is cost of mining versus value gained decisions to stop or continue can look fairly clear. If a thing costs more to do than you’ll get back it’s likely you’ll quit.

The original Standard Oil Rockefeller promoted pipelines to move his oil as a way to get around the slow and costly process of loading oil into tank cars to trundle it to a delivery point.

Until automation there were more jobs moving oil in tankers. Labor costs plus slower production added to product costs to the consumer.

While Rockefeller was as bad a capitalist as can be painted his greed led to better deals for users. And don’t forget safer. Standard Oil was a standardized product not as dangerously volatile as other brands.

No big deal to us, but it was then when the majority of homes used kerosene oil lamps (the original Standard Oil was made for them) and lanterns. Would you want your barn to catch fire because the lantern you carried made a fireball one night to kill or injure you, someone in your family, your barn, and livestock to leave you near to wiped out?

Common things and everyday perceptions often have interesting histories behind them. If that or sight of it is lost we end up shy of perspective.

Sound familiar? The Horror-Horror-Horror and Emergency-Emergency of selling news doesn’t want to teach us a thing. The goal seems to be keeping news-viewer hyped and on the hook, but with, I have to admit with a wry smile of semi approval, an occasional tidbit of info to bolster a Horror-Emergency tale.

Never thought I’d say it, but gads how I miss the days when news was boring, wasn’t wrapped in production values, and had anchors instead of performance news readers as outside the Forum of old Rome when everyone knew for a fact the news was what authority wished to be heard. How long has it been since Rome ruled a good size portion of the planet? It’s been some time, seems to me. But how much has changed? No more empires anywhere? No more territorial conflict or dispute? None of the news tweaked for presentation according to agenda? But we have sped it up. Propaganda in electronic form is speedier than waiting for the news reader to proclaim daily outside the Forum.

I’d portray the speed of media as being both an addictive quality encouraging the habit of seeking more and more in order to be appealingly and acceptably up-to-date while also having a delicious rumor-like appeal.

The human monkey likes juicy judgmental rumor almost as much as it dotes on grooming, sex and entertainment either chemical or diversional (or both). Once the legitimacy of hype is let in and given a seat what’s left? Let in the library or meeting the screamer takes over, dominates, and drives discussion out. You feel this. You know this. Like me, you’re pretty sure that knowing it changes nothing in a dynamic of who screams loudest and longest.

Bewailing “them” avails me not. The only behavior I can sometimes control is my own. That’s not always easy-simple, either. Frustration or a sense of betrayal are as Everest challenging to an adult as a five year old. For me frustration is the larger mountain to face as I grow increasingly uneasy with entwining themes of narrative trying to drag me in, net me, and keep me on their glory path. Has such frustration added to suspicion? There’s a chance. I say truly, I’d not be surprised to see a tirade against Frosted Flakes over frosting color or accusation of an implied insult to half the population consisting of known flakes of one version or other. The concern may become more dire and upsetting to persons of proper thinking if mention is made of drowning those poor flakes in milk. Cruel and wasteful, that is, and don’t forget the suspect color of milk in terms of wider inquiries and conspiracies that should, could, must question the suspiciously biased hue of clouds. But as I said, is it ore, or, or merely a lot of tail chasing when the goal seems no more than staying on the acceptable side of the merry go round?

Being more than adept at it myself, seems to little me here at pit side there’s a lot more tail chasing gobbledygook seen and heard than once was. I remember (not that terribly remote a time) when charlatan preachers, ordinary hucksters, and crony political persons were somewhat spaced out and damn easy to spot (and avoid) at a safe distance. Well, they seem everywhere now and not adding much by performing acts of noise equals contribution. I still think noise is just that, and loud clamors should be saved for a useful purpose.

Ore and or can still be found in the empty pit. For me at lonely pit side that means looking, most importantly, at views and systems I really don’t trust or am admittedly ignorant of. This is based on assuming (I may be wrong) I’m sufficiently familiar and braced with my own point of view to not need it repeated and reinforced by others. Means, too, I don’t think it necessary for others to agree with me if/when the aim is picking through the difficulties of trying to understand what we don’t know or understand very well. In simplest Harry language I don’t want you or anyone to agree with me. Hell, it’s often enough I don’t agree with me so why should you? In the field of mining for understanding the contrary opinions and views are the ones potentially most useful. Except, of course, to those who already know all. For lucky them others and their views are mere ore without the final e.