Arkansas’s first environmental education state park interprets the importance of the natural world and our place within it.
[Start with big agitated sigh.]
I'm so tired of these peckerwood know-it-alls who know it all and are ready to tell you all about it. It's all so obvious to them.
So obvious that you wonder if you shouldn't suppress any midnight doubts you might have about it — any questions that dart up furtively and unobviously from the shadows.
Here are a few such questions that have occurred to me just lately.
How come we have more purported job creators than we have purported jobs they purportedly created? When did wombs become common property, for mainly a bunch of old dicks to decide the fate of the fruit that groweth therein? When was it decided that those who merely hanker for breathable air and drinkable water qualify as environmental wackos? When did exceptionalism become a given, the proper response to inquiries about it, however innocuous, being if you don't like it here in the best country there is or ever was then get the hell out? When did a religion founded by an uncompromising turner of the other cheek become one whose theme song is the martial air onward Christian soldiers marching as to war? When and by what manner of torturing logic did it become "the politics of envy" to suggest that the really really rich folks pay a fair share?
And a few more, for good measure.
What's the difference between the venture capitalist and the vulture capitalist except that one has become your opponent and the other your role model? What's the difference between "European-style" socialism and plain old anywhere-else socialism? Which are the one percenters, which the 99 percenters, and where do the 56 percenters come in?
Answers to those and similar queries come easy to the peckerwood. Because they all relate back to the plan. Ah yes, there's a plan. They know it well. They lean often on its everlasting arms. It's been in place, unamended, steadfast, oracular, since the first bite of the original apple. It's what makes the obvious obvious to those who "get" it, and what so confounds those who don't, or won't.
The plan's obviousness is such that the true truths it reveals are self-evident, while the less holdable truths are left beside the highway trying to hitch a ride. Marse Tom enumerated the plan's self-evident true truths, and I'll give you an example of the other kind if you'll give me a little time.
[Wall clock booms off the seconds. Distant ominous train whistle blows. Forsaken Tex Ritter rhymes prison with his'n. ]
OK, I've got one: Even if there is a plan, wouldn't free will immediately undermine it? A million last-second decisions with every boom of that wall clock, and just one of them incorrectly anticipated and the plan's walls take a Jericho tumble. They crash and burn like a Newt Gingrich comeback. They crumble to ruins as Huckabee's new beachfront mansion is doomed to, built in knowing stiffnecked violation of Matthew 7:26. A plan with so great an element of the capricious in it just couldn't be. It would die aborning.
They say if you pluck a flower you trouble a star. I'm not sure I believe that, but I find it considerably more plausible than the notion that the bewildering jitter of human contemporaneity might be taking place under the strict governance of a plan instantaneously conceived and put into effect in 6006 B.C.
How could you keep a plan up and running with a George W. Bush as president? A minimum requirement would be a gram of predestination; maybe a ton of predestination. You'd have to cheat, in other words. And we all know that the one Great Planner, when it comes to monkeying with the Creation, does not cheat.
He does well enough to keep the plan one jump ahead of all the dithering that all our notorious ditherers daily do. A half jump ahead of all us ordinary ditherers' dithering. [Do I walk to school, or carry my lunch?] Just to last that long, the plan would've already had to do some tall anticipating and incorporating. It obviously anticipated and incorporated the Holocaust. And the 40 megs of dead souls one-way trudging the gulag. And the Long March. The Trail of Tears. And so on.
Once World War III has come and gone, it will become clear that the plan had anticipated it too. It anticipates the Rapture, and gets the date right, though at this time, because the plan doesn't honor FOI requests, we're denied access. It anticipated and incorporated Darwin looking into the eyes of a chimp or a baboon or a gorilla and seeing himself looking back at himself. It anticipated and incorporated you and me having to cope with that same shaving-mirror awkwardness, although probably not Rick Santorum. It anticipated and incorporated an entire political party with a one-word vocabulary — the one word being no.
All so glibly obvious to the know-it-all, who sleeps like a baby every night.
Bob Lancaster, one of the Arkansas Times longest and most valued contributors, retired from writing his column last week. We’ll miss his his contributions mightily. Look out, in the weeks to come, for a look back at some of his greatest hits. In the meantime, here's a good place to start.
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