Thursday, December 15, 2016

Chasing the Red Dot

Beansie, my beloved and still mourned cat of very little brain, loved very few things more than a nice long game with a laser pointer. She would chase the red dot tirelessly. She was also, more than once, convinced that she had caught it: she would pounce on it with both of her front paws, thinking she was holding it down, and then slowly, cautiously, lower her head down to the floor and lift one paw away, thinking, "I've got you now, red dot" only to discover that it was --GASP-- gone.

Since she was, as I have mentioned, a kitty of very little brain, all it took to raise her spirits back up was the sudden reappearance of the red dot in another location. One glimpse and she no longer was able to recall that she had a one hundred percent fail rate of catching the elusive dot. She only knew that she must chase it because this time ... this time might be the time! It could happen!

And if it didn't, well, she'd just go to sleep.

I've been thinking about Beansie and the laser pointer because the latest round of American politics feels an awful lot like chasing the red dot. I sometimes used to get the laser pointer out to distract Bean, or to herd her in the direction that I needed her to go. Need to get her into a room where I can shut the door behind her? Get the laser pointer -- she'll be so focused on catching the dot that I can get her to zoom into the bedroom and she'll NEVER EVEN KNOW that she's been hoodwinked.


While there is so much that I am uncomfortable with in America's politics right now, I almost feel as though the president-elect IS our red dot. American politician are doing some increasingly horrifying things and we, as a country, are willfully blinding ourselves to horrific global events and we're just trying SO hard o catch the red dot. We can't look away from it. Oh, the president-elect is meeting with Kanye? KEEP YOUR EYE ON HIM! In the meantime, please don't look at Aleppo. Please don't look at the "qualifications" of proposed cabinet members or notice the laws that states are passing that restrict abortion rights. Instead: CHECK IT OUT. Dude's on TWITTER! What's his latest tweet?

Catch the red dot.  Don't look away from the red dot.

The thing that Bean never figured out (because 1) she was a cat and 2) she was an intellectually challenged cat) was that the red dot didn't really exist. It was not a thing that could be caught. Every time she lifted a paw to gloat over her successes, she found that she was not holding onto a damn thing. 

And I'm afraid that, if we as a people continue to act like my intellectually challenged cat, we're going to be left in the same position. If we continue to chase that red dot -- if we continue to focus on the wrong part of the story, both globally and nationally --we will not notice as we are herded into a place we didn't want to be and that place? Will be morally and spiritually empty.

We need to focus on more than the red dot.

No comments:

Post a Comment