Posted October 5, 2015on:
If loss of innocence is the price you pay for life lessons, the shipping and handling cost for such discovery is the disappointment one feels from unrealized expectations. Trouble is, unrealistic expectations are always moving targets scampering about like over-caffeinated bunnies.
Personally, I was well into my fourth decade before learning that silently projecting even minimal expectations on others, be it family, friends, or business associates, was nothing more than rolling out the welcome mat for world-class disappointment. That’s a hard lesson and one I’m not sure I‘ve yet mastered.
What I have learned is that constantly reminding oneself of unmet expectations is the surest way to keep things in perspective, thereby making sure every tomorrow surprises you with new discoveries. For example:
When I’m reminded thinking it was impossible for someone to set back women’s rights more than a vice presidential nominee who couldn’t name a newspaper or magazine she read while passing the time surreptitiously surveilling Russia, Carly Fiorina then comes along as a presidential candidate.
It begins with Fiorina living some kind of Sixth Sense type existence where she’s the only person who sees videotape that isn’t there. Next, her major selling point is a lie about a hardscrabble upbringing rather than the real one of privilege, further built around a half-truth of working as a secretarial intern, and wrapping it up in a fiction of her being something other than an abject failure as C.E.O. at H.P.
But, Fiorina’s greatest talent so far is tearing down another woman with lies, innuendos, and half-baked conspiracy theories. That might be politics as usual, but to me there’s plenty of disappointment there.
When I’m reminded that it can’t get worse than someone killing 20 first graders and six of their teachers, then there’s another mass killing. Last week on the 274th day of the year, the Oregon killings were the 294th mass shooting of the year. Yet, the country hardly works up a collective whimper.
We add to the toll of senseless death not just with “event murders,” but we pile up bodies with over thirty deaths every single day. Succumbing to the inevitability of the NRA’s omnipresence, we blithely accept there is now loose in society the equivalent of a gun for each man, woman, and child in the country.
We know that reducing the numbers of guns through commonsense regulation reduces the number of suicides, but the NRA is made rich by being a pro-suicide organization. Our government, with what little background checking there is, accedes to gun lobby demands that if the check isn’t completed in 72 hours, the applicant gets the gun by default no matter what the results are. Think about that for a moment – first, the default position is giving a gun to someone whose background hasn’t been checked, and second, and by far the most anger-making, the inconvenience of a mass shooter outweighs the lives of anonymous victims yet to be selected.
If that’s not disappointment enough, sober up on the fact that one of two major political parties finds it expedient to prostitute itself to the NRA and other trade groups whose sole job is to make it politically palatable to accept increasing numbers of mass killings. That’s beyond disappointment, that’s just pure evil.
There’s the reminder that trickle down, supply-side economics has never worked – not once, not ever. Armed with that undisputable fact, you find the Republican candidates like Jeb! Bush and Forrest Trump trotting out tax plans recycling the same failed plans to enrich the rich and add Trillions with a “T” to the deficit.
This economic/political sloganeering, like every other identical plan to lower taxes since 1981, is the divine inspiration of an actor and a football player who became star-struck with the buffoonery of an economist who believed tax rates alter the brain function of the world’s wealthy. The economist believing in magical, mystical brain remodeling is ironically named Laffer. Honestly, does any more need be said?
Disappointment grows almost as fast as does the self-indulgent quackery.
You don’t need a reminder to remember congressional inquires sprout like toadstools after a spring rain when Republicans are in charge of Congress. After seven (7) independent inquiries, the Special Super-Dooper, immaculately conceived, spiky-haired chaired, Benghazi Committee has lasted longer than the Watergate Committee, the Iran/Contra Inquiry, the Warren Commission on the Kennedy assassination, the Church Commission revamping the nation’s intelligence agencies, and the investigation into the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Benghazi is a tragedy looking for a scandal that isn’t there, but of course, never being satisfied with the mere waste of money or the futile waste of energy, the fact checkers want to focus on the “gotcha aspects” of four obscure congressional inquiries having lasted longer than Benghazi. Disappointment always follows when you try to plumb the depths of the contagion known as HDS (Hillary Derangement Syndrome).
This list of disappointments is long and virtually inexhaustible. Here’s what takes the sting out of it for me: I remind myself of what it must be like to be a traitor to feminism like Carly Fiorina, an NRA executive paid to write press releases excusing mass killings, or a politician making political points on the deaths of Americans. When I do that, being disappointed isn’t such a bad thing at all. In fact, I’m reminded of how gratifying disappointment can be.
I’ll be out-of-pocket some this week so if I don’t quickly respond to comments, please don’t let that slow you down. I’ll catch up.
This is an open thread itching for your thoughts and insights.
Have a most glorious week!
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