Why Even Child Abuse Needs Analogy

I have been searching for the right analogy to describe the contradiction displayed when a person runs for and becomes elected to public office with the stated intention of dismantling the regulations and institutions that make up the government itself (think Ronald Reagan, at times Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Scott Walker, Ron Paul, Rand Paul, the entire Tea Party, Libertarians…) I will of course report it here first because I think we are in dire need of a way to explain why that is so incredibly destructive to the people who are simply not getting that they are actually tearing themselves and their communities down in the process.

As I am going through this creative process, I am paying even closer attention than I normally do to the way writers use analogy and metaphor to express concepts and ideas, a skill I have retapped from when I was teaching. And I guess because I am so tuned in, I was profoundly affected by the way writer and blogger John Scalzi used an Ursula Le Guin story to frame his very concise description of the way adults failed to protect children in the Penn State child molestation scandal. The story describes a utopia where everyone is perfectly happy and well cared for, with the exception of one child that is kept in a miserable and disgusting solitary confinement. Each citizen is ultimately told of the child and then must make the decision whether or not to accept that their seemingly perfect existence requires the constant suffering of an innocent child. Obviously, this means that everyone who has been living there knows and has done nothing to protect the child.

This powerful and simple metaphor should give every single person who reads about the adults’ lack of action in protecting the children that were sexually abused by Jerry Sandusky the clarity to understand that all of these adults willfully chose to let a child suffer to protect their utopia that was Penn State. And yes, that includes the man at the top himself, Joe Paterno. Few things in life are black and white, almost none. The one exception: there is nothing defensible about doing the least to protect a child from being raped by an adult. Not. One. Thing.

Please read John Scalzi’s excellent piece here.

And stay tuned for my breakthrough analogy on government and it’s elected officials.

Um, So, 28 Days Went By?

Oh how I loathe a 28 day break in posts, because there have been some good stories to share, many were actually promised, but somewhere along the last four weeks of non-posting I allowed myself to succumb to a dip in confidence, mainly related to the onslaught of  my new job, even though it is of the Dream variety.  My boss asked me, “Do you feel like you’re trying to drink from a fire hose?”  Yep, and there’s days I feel like a drowned rat.

Writing works on several levels for me; it is a place to express these normal human lapses, and I can often write myself out of them like a neat trick of self-therapy. Other times I am able to express more confidence here than I might in the real world, the bonus being the written confidence translates into daily life. If I write that I am a brilliant, good-doing, nine-minute mile running, stylish, man-magnet with impossibly long and shiny hair, two handsome Goldens, a tight circle of fantastic friends and family who enjoys both bacon and whisky, than who is not to cheer me on?  Well sometimes there is the exhausting, devious shrew who lives in my head negating all the awesome, and before I know it, 28 days of no posts have gone by.  She is beyond bothersome.

Before I let another day go by, I wanted said shrew to hear me loud and clear that I am on to her, and that because I remembered I am actually way beyond competent, quite awesome in fact, I can get my writing posted and shared thereby shutting her down for a long succession of 28-day stints.  Since I also know I can’t get it all done tonight, I am going to make my partial subject list here, semi-breaking a good rule of thumb to never save it for later, but considering I  have just gotten my professional mojo back, I am granting myself an exception.

My list that mostly means something to me, but is totally filled with good writerly intentions is:

Chick runners rule.  Also, I am having a training plateau.  But I get why.  Need to fix.
Tough Mudder life lessons.
Love Songs to Me.
Beavis and Butt-head have returned, thank you Great Cornholio.