Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sleight of Mind

   Magicians often use sleight-of-hand to fool your eyes so they don’t see what is right in front of them. You miss how the trick is done, and are awed by what you’ve seen...because of what you missed. Unfortunately, this is an everyday occurrence in life, notably with the news media, both on television and in print. It’s awesome to watch, but also sad as so many are taken in by the parlor tricks.
   Tuesday, July 17th (2012) edition of the Boston Herald is a prime example of what I’m talking about. Let me preface what I’m about to say by unequivocally stating that I am not a fan of the Governor of Massachusetts. I have been within arm’s length of him four times now...and he has never once thought enough of my vote to even acknowledge I exist. A simply “hello” would have gone a long way, instead of ignored as if I were the hired help (although technically, I was)...but I digress. The issue isn’t the Governor, although the Herald wouldn’t agree. The issue is the non-story being touted as news, but is only really serving as a distraction from the things that really matter.
   Now the State House parking logs are the top story, the most important piece of news going on in the lives of the residents of Massachusetts...not! People are still trying to find jobs, still need housing, still getting smashed at the pump, still besieged by community violence, still living life on tough terms...but all this falls to the wayside as we must know the hours state officials if the parking logs are an accurate measure of that anyway (not!).
   The article sited the fact that there are many variables that could paint an inaccurate picture such as method of travel (not always by car), on site staff providing entry, “off-site parking and extended stays” (page 5). It seems clear that the parking logs won’t be the best indicator of who is and is not doing their job on capitol hill...but the hunt for witches continues.
   No story like this could ever go by without the screams of “it’s my tax dollars and I have a right to know” or “ things aren’t this way in the private sector.” I roll my eyes every time I hear either one of these lame excuses for willfully detracting from stuff that is really important. First, they are not your tax dollars, that money was taken, confiscated from you by the government. It’s not yours anymore, it’s theirs. I patiently wait for everyone to finally catch on when it comes to “their tax dollars.” Second, the constant comparing of the private sector to the government sector is just pure fallacy as a reasonable retort. Such a position reeks of an attitude of haterism...not being able to cope with the fact that others can do, what you cannot. It’s a virus that is infecting society...and fueled by nonsensical articles designed to sleight the mind.
   Is there corruption in government? Certainly, there is corruption everywhere there are people as, inevitably, someone will do something they shouldn’t do. It’s human nature, like eating that bowl of ice cream when you know you’re on a diet. Do I need to seek it out to the point of barking up trees that have no leaves? Certainly not, such corruption always makes itself evident in some someone, and it comes out in the open.
   Ultimately, we should all be vigilant in what our brains digest as mental food. Parking records of the state officials isn’t food for thought, it’s a thoughtless meal. The real meat and potatoes is the issues that effect our daily living, and what our elected officials are doing about them. Show me legislation, show me votes cast...keep the parking records.

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