Have you ever felt you were standing on the corner?
At a crossroads, not knowing where to turn, sometimes it feels like on the digital street corner, where everybody’s soapbox is parked – it’s the intersection of two streets pointed in opposite directions
One is called:
The other reads:
They point in opposite directions – it’s not so much a crossroads of paths we walk as it is an intersection of discussion, it’s two groups of people; you might imagine them as a herd of docile sheep being pushed by their shepherd and dogs toward greener pastures.
They jostle amongst each other to see who’ll get their first – like drivers changing lanes, working their way ahead to gain an advantage, to be the biggest or loudest or fastest, to be the first line (PutUsFirstAgain), or PUFA to be satisfied by green grass and watering holes before being pushed one way or the other, left or right doesn’t matter as long as they’re together just sheep, without minds of their own, not following a leader but being pushed along but someone who wants to fatten them up and then harvest their flesh and their coat but they’ll wait till enough time has passed, for the herd to do the work - and the shearing and slaughtering in the spring gives fresh spring lamb, and warm sweaters and socks.
If you think I’m talking about followers of any particular dogma, those clamouring down any particular internet rabbit holes, political party, or bitcoin trend, that would be hashtag-coincidental …
Down the other road, go those free thinkers – it’s a wide road, as many lanes wide as you want; it looks like a one-way freeway twelve lanes wide, but it’s only as wide as broadband and radio land allow; it’s for both the brave and the fortified because the road isn’t so wide the crowding and bumping won’t disgruntle the free thinkers too. But that road is winding, you have to slow down so crashes can be averted.
There are hecklers on both sides of that road, and they pelt the free thinkers with ripe fruit, insults and slurs, they’re anti-nearly-everything, they are hate and bullying, they are ridicule and criticism. They throw rocks, punches, f-bombs, and real grenades.
There are no cops patrolling this road, but you might encounter militant militia groups, the kind that finds their weapons are more easily turned against ideas. And the people toting those guns are in a one-sided battle against prey that are peace-loving types who obey laws and don’t carry weapons for protection from those hunters in the woods. They trust hunters will hunt because they have a proper licence, and donate to Ducks Unlimited and all the other groups that foster good care of the environment to get their deer, or geese in the fall. These hunters are from the ‘herder people’, and they walk untouched among the free thinkers.
Too often, though, they’d rather take easy shots at sitting ducks.
So, if you’re that duck or goose you’ll want to fly south – no border patrols, no walls, no detention facilities. There are no raiders from some tribe trying to steal cattle or capture people to populate a mini-caliphal state in a jungle or desert, but they better fly high to avoid the aroma of ducks and geese being roasted on an open fire, wafting upward. Or they are detained without charge in a crude zoo prison on foreign shores. Yes, you better watch out, you better not cry, there is no Santa or flying reindeer coming to rescue you.
But if you are a free thinker of any species, if you’ve avoided the herd mentality and stayed clear of the hunter people too, try paying attention to other critters, watch their habits, take note of the company they keep, how they build their families and defend against predators.
For instance, take the rabbits, ones outside your window – they’re still sporting their white coats, but not to worry, they don’t work in a lab, they aren’t test subjects being shot full of some placebo, or drug, so some profiteers can bring out a new drug to inoculate everyone in the herd to stop the next pandemic in its tracks – because, c’mon, it’s spring. They’re rabbits.
If you relax, take a few minutes away from your tasks – pause, look out a window and you might see rabbits doing a spring dance aked, not shedding their coats but shedding inhibitions, those rabbits are making like rabbits and making more rabbits. They don’t make love, they don’t make war, they make rabbits.
Now, hop along your way, and have a great day.
It’s ironic though, when people feel lucky, the ‘rabbit’s foot’ analogy comes up sometimes, but remember that to get a rabbit’s foot, it has to be amputated, which either kills the rabbit or leaves it disabled can’t move far or fast with only three feet and four legs.
Yet it’s probably better than feeling like a sitting duck, not sure if you’ll end your day in a stew pot, eating grain in some farmer’s field as you wing north to lay eggs and restart your circle of life. Hakuna Matata!
Wild ducks are wild, they may have small brains, but they are definitely free thinkers.
Domesticated ducks, before they are barbequed, stuck inside a turducken, or sold at a wet market near a lab somewhere, those ducks were herded.
And when they’re herded they look really funny, waddling fools, and all trying to do voices Disney never imagined.
Do I have to have one?
I’m on the free thinker path, in case anyone wondered about it, but more than playing with words – it’s fun to send readers down a different path to explore lanes and alleys, deal with some roadblocks and obstacles our fellow humans encounter in this post-pandemic zoo of change, bank and political fiascos, inflation that must make someone lots of money because we seem to be always paying for it, paying to bring it down, and even when it comes down, we still pay more for every lamb shank, just as we do for our bbq duck.
There is no road to perfection, or enlightenment – for those, I’m told, you need a backpack so you can travel cross-country across many countries, but some we should stay well away from because they are run by shepherds in black cloaks carrying sharp objects that maim and kill or waving manifestos that call for worse wounds to the free minds of all species.
I’m not feeling lucky because I don’t have a rabbit’s foot, my lottery ticket didn’t win, my ‘new publishing service’ is causing me some anxiety (hopefully it’s temporary), and life goes on.
Which road are you taking?
Keep your eyes open, and watch for rabbits, rabbit holes, and anyone being herded.