Article by Barbara Cornell.
Syndicated from Barbara Cornell’s personal blog.
My mother took me out to buy shoes when I was I was maybe 9 years old, and while we were out I observed that there were a great many shoes that were functional, plain, ordinary but perfectly adequate, there were a few that were functional and pretty. And then there were a pair that were just astoundingly, inexplicably unattractive and dysfunctional as well. As I recall they were some species of spike-heeled, platform wedge (yes, they were both), lace-up-the-side sneakers in a rainbow of baby-feces colors. A lot of times, I can see something that I don’t especially like but I can, if I try, see how someone else might like it. Maybe the color is not what I would choose or it’s more clunky or less practical than I like, but I can see how someone else might put less value on those qualities, but these shoes were just inexcusably unattractive, impractical and tortuously uncomfortable (yeah, I tried them on; I just could not wrap my head around them) to the point that I couldn’t even reason my way to how someone else could possibly find them desirable. I showed them to my mother who said some of the most profound words I can ever recall hearing, «Some people just like ugly.»
I’m sure she was just expressing the thought that passed through her mind and never thought about it again, but I’ve thought about this innumerable times in the years since and they’ve explained so many things in so many situations.
Translation: «Some things that people believe simply cannot be explained in terms that make any sense.»
There are two issues that consistently get batted about that fall solidly into this categories: gun control and culturing uselessness among our citizens through redistribution.
I’ll leave you with another pithy tome: A few years ago, I was the Controller for a logistics company whose safety coordinator was dead-set on purchasing «bump caps» for the forklift operators in the company as well as plexi-glass cages for the tops of the lifts. This plan represented an outlay of capital in the neighborhood of twice the company’s best-prospect income for next three years. I was strongly opposed to this «investment», not because I was more in favor of profits than the safety of our employees but because it was a complete waste of resources and actually increased the likelihood of injury compared to doing nothing. The identified danger to our operators was in objects falling from the tops of their loads onto the forklifts. It was an extremely unlikely hazard (there had never been even a near-miss in a million man-hours), but it was possible. The average weight and height of something that could fall off the tops of the loads would easily break through plexi-glass and cause head damage to the employee, the «bump caps» and plexi-glass actually made accidents more likely, and increased the chance of injury. We could have purchased actual hardhats and installed a different arrangement on the tops of the forklifts, but our study determined the cost would be quadruple the bump-cap and plexi-glass investment and would decrease the visibility and range of motion of the employees to the point that there would not be any improvement in safety. I believed we should either bite the bullet and do it right or do nothing, because either option would be better for both the company and the employees than the middling proposal. The safety coordinator was nearly in tears when she explained her reasoning: «Well, at least we can feel like we did something!»
She was perfectly clear that her plan served no purpose other than to make herself feel better when a jar of pickles crashed through the top of the forklift and crushed the skull of a forklift operator. And, ya know, at least the guy could see it coming through the plexi. I guess.
It’s long past time that we cease to labor under the delusion that arguing gun control and letting people earn their own living with logic, sense and facts will ever make so much as a dent in the problem and admit that those in favor of disarming the populace, paying to destroy peoples’ hopes and bankrupting the greatest nation in the history of the world have no honest belief that passing their legislation has anything whatsoever to do with crime prevention, protecting innocents or improving the lives of children. It’s difficult to accept that there are otherwise reasonable people who will reduce their own safety, abandon their own freedoms and destroy their own homes simply so that they can feel like they did SOMEthing, even if that something simply puts a bulldozer to digging our own graves rather than slaving away with a shovel. It will only be after we lay down our own self-deception that we can begin to see the reasonable courses of action.
Until then, we are as guilty of doing «something» just so we can feel like we didn’t do nothing as those who have given themselves over to the hysterics of «but what about the CHILLLLLDRRREEEENNNN!!!!»