There is no evidence P.T. Barnum ever said: “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
Whether he did or didn’t doesn’t matter.
If he didn’t, he should have …
When I was kid, hanging card tables at family ‘after dinner’ whist and bridge games – hearing people bidding, with no knowledge what anything meant, I heard this phrase quit often, as someone asked about the next hand, “trump or no trump”? Card game question of no consequence – but I feel a that tuning-fork resonance now. Trump or no Trump?
Whether the leader of the free world is named Hilary or Donald might not matter quite as much as issue-hyping talking heads make out. Or as our fears/lack of fear might allow.
On November 9th lame ducks houses of congress will begin winding up – some will pack their agendas and staplers while others jockey for ‘position’. Earth will face uncertainty whichever person wins, whichever party prevails. Does American system democracy need MacGyver fixes or something far more herculean? Four years hence, which two new imperfect choices will duke it out? Whoever they might be, if they haven’t been squeaky clean for their last decade and not gone near a keyboard, never tweeted, never sent or received email – might have a fighting chance. If I’m close to right, what does that say about society’s tolerance for, or appetite for honesty? Its appetite for a reality show run wild?
So, certainty or uncertainty – which would you prefer?
Isn’t that the choice everyone on this planet faces every day – do we accept the certainty of status-quo life, work, relationships. Forget for the moment any qualitative analysis. Yes, forget whether it is good life, good work, good relationship. Is it predictable? Is it certain?
Now, flip that coin over and ask your appetite for uncertainty. Is every day a MacGyver episode – making our way in life, or at least that day, with a roll of duct-tape, a paper clip and a ball point pen? Looking to solve moment-to-moment problems of every kind – some minor, some life threatening?
When American voters vote, and when we watch the results, are we acknowledging there is no possibility of certainty – in insanely wishing it so, as if it might happen that way? Seems to me the pollsters, pundits, politicos and candidates are selling little else than ‘their fantasy certainty show’, so just pick one. P.T. Barnum must be rolling his eyes …
Comments always welcome - please contribute to the discussion. Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn. You can sign-up friends at: MarkMusing.com . This site is updated daily, each column is retained in the archive when the next day's column is loaded ...
I also publish FACILITYCalgary, weekly newsletter, free every Tuesday; to sign up, CLICK HERE