Getting dizzy listening to the major party politics these days? Are you ready for the ramp up to election day, just a few short months away? I don’t know about you, but the pointlessness of 9/10ths of all political arguments reminds me of a scene from an episode of Babylon 5 “Geometry of Shadows“. The following is from a synopsis of it:
Ivanova is meeting with a representative group of Drazi. Five Drazi with purple kerchiefs sit in the gallery to her left, and five of the greens to the right. A leader stands in front of each group.
Ivanova: As you all know, we’re having a bit of a problem here right now — the aforementioned problem being that you keep trying to beat each other senseless with blunt instruments, banging up against the bulkhead, pounding, mugging, jumping, and generally carrying on cranky. Now, while some of the other species wouldn’t mind if you wiped each other out, even they would prefer that you did so quietly. But — this station is dedicated to the goal of finding peaceful solutions to our problems. And we would like to find one here. [This causes quite some murmuring among her audience.] Now you can start by helping me to understand the precise nature of the conflict between the two sides that you’ve set up.
The two leaders react with pained longsuffering expressions. They have to explain something that is so obvious it needs no explanation. They’re dealing with a complete moron.
Purple leader [gesturing at the Green leader]: Green!
Green leader [returning the compliment]: Purple!
Ivanova: No, I understand that there are two factions, but what is your point of contention? Where do you disagree with each other?
Green leader [pointing and speaking more emphatically]: Purple!
Purple leader: Green!
Ivanova: Yes, but who gets to wear the purple sash and who gets to wear the green sash? I mean, is it based on income, or caste, or rank, or…
Green leader: We put green and purple in great barrel! Equal to numbers of Drazi. Then we reach in, we take! Where there was one Drazi people, now there are two! The two fight until there are one!
Ivanova [open-mouthed in astonishment]: That’s it? It’s totally random? Arbitrary? Well then, how do you choose a leader for either side?
Purple leader: One purple and one green carries mark of leadership. He who takes leader cloth is leader. He who takes green is Green, and follows Green leader. He who takes purple is Purple, and follows Purple leader. [Ivanova catches on sufficiently to lip-sync most of the last sentence.]
Ivanova: Okay, so in other words —- [She steps between the leaders and points out the two nearest Purple and Green followers.] Would you two please step forward for a moment — please? [They’re a bit confused, but they comply.] Okay, so what you’re trying to tell me is that if I take this purple sash off of him, [she takes the sash — much to the consternation of the remaining Purples] and put it onto him, [she puts it onto the Green — agitating all the Drazi, but she’s a bit too wrapped up in her question to notice as she turns to face the leaders] that this one thing alone is enough to start a…
…Bedlam ensues.Full synopsis, Lurker’s guide episode entry
So, when you hear people yelling about ‘war records’ or ‘tax cuts’ or anything else political (which involves most everything these days, what with the expansion of gov’t) Just remember: “Who takes green, is green, follows green leader.” It’s just that simple.
Editor’s note, 2019. What I want to know is, why did I think that it was cool to contract government into gov’t? I’ve corrected that display of linguistic fetishism pretty much everywhere else I’ve run across it on the blog, but I left that one here simply as a reminder of this fact; the stuff you think is cool today? It probably won’t be cool tomorrow.
Also? Green vs. Purple as applied to modern US politics used to be amusing, but that was before half of the structurally encoded two-party system that runs the US today turned stark raving nuts and elected someone whose single goal was attempting to destroy the US government. Then it got extremely un-funny. However, it has made the choice of which side to vote for an issue of crystal-clear logic. So, we have that going for us, I guess.