The Uphill Slide

There is always something.

Off With Their Heads


My son said he felt like doing a Ned Stark. I asked, “Have your head chopped off?” “Truth.” References to television characters. The box morphed into the flat screen has invaded our lives and conversations. Shows and characters have replaced books. Books still the gold standard of culture with television the poor cousin who comes to work as the governess in the rich household. But she is always the true heroine. Perhaps you diss comparison with some fictional character. But consider that character in book and television came from someone’s mind full of ideas and beliefs that play out in life.

Back to Ned Stark.

“I can’t tell you what to do. I know what I would do. Ned Stark.” But I’m 66 and have been through my version of liar’s lair. So I would say, “F**k yinz!”. Off, not with my head, but shoved into that cell! I can afford principle over pragmatism, expedience. But no one can tell you the path to choose and which will bring you to where you want to go. A few months ago, he played me a YouTube video about Machiavelli. Cartoon simplicity. It was a message. Even people with principles and honesty sometimes need to use cunning to get things done. Politicians, businessmen, lawyers, idealists. Games people play. I’ve never been a good player. Poor players the target for manipulation. Or all’s fair in love and games? Sooner or later you understand the game. It’s so much clearer when you can sit back and watch others play.

I think too much in black and white. I consider it disastrous. It keeps you from seeing evil because you can’t see the shades. My friend said she didn’t believe in the devil. She believes in evil people. What does that mean? That you can’t claim, “The devil made me do it?” So evil people or good people who do evil things or all ranges of a spectrum of evil.

President Trump? People bemoan, “If they would just let him do what he wants, then ….” But forget what he said in campaign promises and listen to him talk in the face of criticism and adversity. What does he really want? What does he ¬†believe? ¬†How did we come around to that man? Like television, he’s invaded our lives. History will decide if villain or hero. Listen to those who think he’s the visionary to bring back the golden past or the doomsayers who believe he will destroy the principles of our country? He reminds me of someone. If I could just remember.


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