Sunday, December 19, 2004


During this season, it may seem strange to mention the subject of arguments, but there's a lot of them going on right now. People fascinated or simply obsessed with Politics are still arguing various elections, from the Presidency (long decided in most people's minds, yet a point of contention on many websites apparently dedicated to beating dead horses) to the Governor's Race in the State of Washington, to perpetual debates on every conceivable policy issue (and several inconceivable issues). In this season of goodwill, over on BeliefNet (check the Discussions Boards), there remains the apparent need to destroy the evil one, that designation applied to whomever happens to be opposite one's own predilection, especially with innuendo and implied condemnation. This is not to say there aren't some very good souls at work there also, but I notice a distinct lack of goodwill at the present moment, no matter what is sung in the carols. I find the churches similarly lacking; the sentiment is cloying and persistent, yet artificial and impersonal. I may have discovered another reason why the Santa Claus paradigm continues; there is such a strong expectation of having to hold and defend a specific doctrine and position, that it is difficult for someone to admit to simply wanting to do something good, to be kind just to be kind, so they pass it off as someone else's work.

My office is rather quarrelsome just now, with different groups vying for limited resources and credit for the company's successes. There are also the arguments over directing next year's strategies; as a Risk Analyst, I am viewed as something of a Grinch, for having to be the one to explain why this plan or that is unfeasible, risky, or, though I won't be so blunt when I address it, stupid.

There are sports contests, with coaches and players arguing calls. There are stores advertising their wares, arguing that their prices are the lowest and their quality is the highest. The message is reinforced that anyone who truly cares about their family will purchase from the "right" store. And of course, there are court cases, with arguments about money, about responsibilities, about custody and guilt and liability. I recall that this is the time of the year where summons servers are likely to carry gift-wrapped boxes, in order to gain access to their targeted recipients. And then there's family squabbles, which often show up this time of year.

Being a blogger, I know all about arguments, and I work up a lot of them. I am, in fact, arguing right now, though you will be the judge as to whether or not my writing is persuasive. But after the last week, with some very serious issues tossed about as if I was the President, Pope, or some other entity with the influence and position to make things right, if I could just be made to see the light. It's fascinating, in a way, to see Atheists and Fundamentalists argue with equal fervor about their beliefs, to hear Republicans and Democrats match each other's energy almost exactly when in dispute, to read positions from every sort of advocate, even if 90% of them would not work as envisioned.

Anyway, it occurs to me that as much as I enjoy discussing all sorts of issues with people, there is only a small chance that anything substantive will change. I enjoy hearing perspectives, and I always like information, but it occurs to me that this is also a time when people are likely to be a bit tired of arguments, and exasperated at having to defend their opinion, even if they bring it up themselves. So, while I am quite satisfied with my own opinions and conclusions on all of the standard issues, since my readers at the moment are unlikely to include anyone who did not already know about me from other sites where I write, and so I am likely to have exchnaged opinions with you on one issue at least, I would like to extend, sans dispute, my sincere thanks for your attendance here, and for your contributions of opinion and thought.

May you all find joy in the coming week, and may it brighten your life and the world you bring to life each day.

Thank you.

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