Friday, November 25, 2011

beachy keen

"New day. New outrage."

~~Bil Boyd

waves on the beach.

they never stop. one pretty much like another. with the occasional tsunami to break up the monotony.

it could get damn tiresome, if people didn't love the beach so much.

you know what else people like?




thanks to our nonstop news cycle and general obsession with celebrity scandal football reality survival dance-offs, we're in a constant state of uproar over something or other. every day.

this is, in part, because the 1% who own our media find it profitable to continually stir us up. they broadcast something provocative and loud, we howl at the moon. or the television, as the case may be.

this is also, in part, because of our collective tendency to react to whatever perceived threat is most immediate. back in the day, it was the saber tooth tiger prowling outside the cave.

now it's a politician or some foreigners or a former assistant football coach. lather endlessly, rinse, repeat.

for those who do the stirring, there is no limit to the exhausting supply of outrages. not a day goes by that someone somewhere is doing something illegal, reprehensible or otherwise objectionable. should that day ever come, a suitable outrage will be manufactured.

if you, like me, are prone to regular fits of high dudgeon, the only way to reduce your dudgeon levels is to remove yourself from the line of fire. take the pot off the stove. unplug. decontaminate.

trouble is, doing so also takes you out of the game, civic responsibility-wise. if you don't know that your elected officials are rigging the game in favor of their wealthy benefactors, it never occurs to you to protest.

which, of course, sets in motion counterprotests and chain reactions and fresh outrages, during which most with short attention spans forget what was being protested in the first place. they just know that it all hasn't been wrapped up in time for the next very special episode of "dancing with NFL survivors," and there's no quick fix or happy ending, and they find it all very boring and annoying.

and so it goes.

it's a very successful formula. just like waves on the beach. one pretty much like another. on and on.

with this in mind, there is a hawaiian proverb that is strangely applicable across a multitude of life's little adventures: mai juli’oe I kokua o ke kai.

"never turn your back on the ocean."

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