Posted by: jamesthethickheaded | September 10, 2008

Tired of Being Guy-Dependent

I’m a simple guy. Really. I try not to complain. I work in my little bubble and go about doing my thing. Whatever it is folks want, I’ll do my best. But we don’t and can’t stay in the bubble. We have to move about, network, and rely on others. We all have a lawyers, accountants, “financial guys”, priests, doctors, teachers, clients, customers, vendors and managers. We rely on a whole distribution system full of folks to make our modern world work. And mostly it works pretty smoothly. But somewhere down on another planet far, far away (I wish) we have politicians, and believe it or not (Not!), we even need these people… some of us even are these people.  And as all this back-and-forth and exchanging makes a wondrous system work… it makes for a rich sense of mutual dependency. But it doesn’t mean it’s always a happy one.

Take my digression about how I woke up to re-thinking the Church-bit a few years back for example. There was this day when I decided I was tired of being guy-dependent. “Come to my church, we gotta new guy. He’s/She’s great! We going great guns!” Now I don’t know about you or the next person… but I get kind of nervous with guns in a church. So it seems there’s something wrong with the premise. And it didn’t take me long to figure that I needed not just a church where they don’t pass out the ammo, but a place that doesn’t depend on the “take” of one person – especially me. I mean, the only figuring out of God I could safely manage was to determine  that the whole problem lies in who decides. If it’s every man for himself, then all bets are off and there can be no such thing as a Body of Christ. Hands, Feet, Shoulders and all the rest simply can’t go separate ways without coming apart in a bloody mess.

So it’s literally at that moment that I woke up and realized I was living a catholic dream trapped in a protestant body.. and it was time to ooze my amoeba-like protean form over to the Orthodox Church where they sell a different brand of craziness. And believe me, the brand packs a punch! Literally.  And for all you Baptists and Methodists out there, it’s real booze, too…. or at least it starts out that way. But that’s another story.

Anyway, it seems to me as my geezing increases that the same principle applies more generally. Take the Body Politic. Leave the guns and booze out of it for a moment if we can, ’cause I think we have dependency issues there, too. Boy do we. And I don’t think I’m just bein’ the carpenter for whom every problem starts to look like a nail in search of a hammer. I mean tempting as it is, no not every problem is solved by the Orthodox Church. No, that’s not the suggestion. Rather I wonder that we’re not having guy-dependency issues here in the Body Politic, too.

Today I got an email wondering about this certain Alaskan person in the news. Now I don’t have strong feelings here, but I recognize that opinion seems to be running hot and cold in a nuclear kind of way on both sides. So since the inquirer pays the light bill, I classically redirected in a bit of a rant that allowed me to be “one with the borg” of attitude without quite requiring that I be on the same page. I am perverse, huh? And since we gotta have a little fun every now and again, I share it here:

So this doesn’t give me warm vibes about our collective desire for outsiders, mavericks, and some sort of knight in shining armor…. I’m not sure this is in fact our desire, but something stirred up within us for the way the story plays. It’s a great story, and it plays well… but does it provide great leadership? These guys are window dressing on a bad package. The record’s a lot sketchier. We’ve had a run of luck from time to time, but as I see it, the can of fairy dust seems increasingly empty.

And the only way I see to re-fill the can is ordinary hard work. So what I want I’m not offered: I want a democracy of the common man for the common man and by the common man. It’s dull, it’s boring, but it gets the job done.

I’m “done” with the elitist thing we have now. Elites can’t lead the common man out of a paper bag and seem to think the whole thing is some sort of game. They’ve gamed it very nicely for themselves judging from their personal balance sheets and income statements. And both sides can offer only “Yeah, we know our guy’s got issues… but you should see the other guy”. And whenever they’re done windbagging, sure I agree with them: the other guy… whoever the other guy is… is definitely worse.

But in truth, I’m tired of being guy-dependent.

I want real honest to goodness change. A system that turns out only 30% of the vote year in and year out definitely doesn’t promise it. The dirty little secret is that while fixing this is precisely the sort of thing that would get my vote… real change… this is not the sort of change anyone running the system wants.

So we continue to have guy dependency issues. Change the name, change the face, change the party… the same results seem to transpire. Okay, maybe things went a bit astray this time, but we’ll be back on track in no time. Often there are virtues in this, and it serves the common man’s interest by not upsetting his life. But when “things” go off the rails as they have, and life seems to bearing down on his side of the ledger unnecessarily and unfairly for more years than I can remember – regardless of which party’s in power, then the risks of change diminish, and it’s time for a reset. Frankly, I’m looking for a Progressive like Teddy Roosevelt. And I’d love to see one of our political parties go the way of the Dodo and The Whigs and disappear… putting the fear of God into the other. But obviously, this ain’t happenin’ anytime soon. But one day… I believe we really will get a Progressive.. and so I am optimistic… but we’re not there yet.

And yes, I’ll vote in the Fall. I always do. And no, I’m not moving out of the country. I love it here. But that doesn’t mean I’m drinking anybody’s Koolaid.

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