Clowns To The Left Of Us, Danger To The Right

Is it possible to have too much information at your fingertips?

The question came to me as I was watching two sports analysts go at it on a debate show recently. The topic of conversation had to do with the best NBA player of all time. This isn’t something the vast majority of the population gives a flying Wallenda about, to be honest. But these guys deliberated until they had created a dually believable narrative, whittling it into a potent mash. Of course, well enough wasn’t left alone for very long, and as often happens inside this time of nonsense and instability, the shit went south. Further south than a Lynyrd Skynyrd Key West tour.

The succinct nature of their respective points soon gave way to a volatility whose pitch was a bitch, on wheels. And so the evaporative nature of modern discourse held sway until I stopped trying to figure out whose opinion was most valid and started wondering who was going to break out a “Yo mama!” first.

Of course, I recognize that information doesn’t fool people . . people fool people. But armed with enough information, anyone with half a brain can paint their argument into Van Gogh. And half the room will toast the bold and dramatic brushstrokes while the other half of the room reaches for a carving knife with which to cut off their ears.

The touchstone, regrettably, has been bastardized. As if Rob Zombie got hold of the Constitution and turned our fundamental principles into a kill count. Educated opinions have given way to a zealotry that seeks to deify even the most corrupt of men. Meaningful dialogue has been relegated to the ash heap thanks to dissociative politics that attempts to guilt us into confessing to crimes we didn’t commit.

What good is having all this information at our fingertips if we’re going to dis- it and mis- it into an interpretation?

During this sports debate, as the decibel levels increased, so to, did the tells; those easy to miss points of entry that had been glossed over initially were now much easier to hear. Both sides, using their information not as a map, but as a boxing glove with which to punch out their opponent. Much the same way a peaceful transfer of power might stage a coup, or a state might flout the concerns of a pandemic, or a city council might consider me the enemy because I’m an aging white dude.

I don’t know how we can possibly achieve a middle ground, because to quote Buffalo Springfield, nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong. And I have not a blessed answer residing under my cap, except for one.

Michael Jordan . . . duh.




36 thoughts on “Clowns To The Left Of Us, Danger To The Right

  1. Best-of-all time discussions can be interesting, but it’s also an opportunity for someone to say something ridiculous. I know a person who didn’t say Joe Morgan, Rogers Hornsby, or Roberto Alomar. Not even Eddie Collins, Ryne Sandberg, Jack Robinson, or Nap Lajoie. He said Carlos Baerga – and I proclaimed him “The King of Saying Stupid Shit.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • And they usually do . . say something ridiculous.

      Interestingly, Baerga started out well. Kind of reminds me of Gleyber Torres in that it looked like he was destined for super stardom and then his numbers spiraled. He never came close to his 21 home runs in his fourth season, and in fact he didn’t even reach double digits in the last ten seasons as he moved from team to team.

      THAT is stupid shit alright.

      PS- He is in the Indians Hall of Fame. Not sure what that says about Cleveland.


  2. You touched on something that bothers me a lot. That is where two people try to convince themselves that they have a brain. Doesn’t happen in the discourse just like it doesn’t happen on the battlefield. I can tell how much I despise hearing folks who should know better help each other eat a pile of dung. Well done, Pilgrim.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. B

    You know I love these posts where you let your fabulous pen flow.

    I think you definitely have a point… that too much information – of all sorts – is more nefarious than admirable.

    So, they start off having a decent exchange. This cannot help but be tinted with personal beliefs, choice, etc. Still… it should continue be an amiable exchange.

    We have had this discussion before. No matter the subject, a good, honest, match, with educated serves and volleys soon becomes attempts to smash the ball in the other’s face.
    and before long, no more discussion possible and verbal vitriol is being heaped and accusations spewed and what the fuck just happened? (Why am I using tennis terms when we are talking basketball?)

    LOVE that Van Gogh paragraph. You are brilliant.

    And yeah… nobody’s right coz everyone’s wrong (to most people) because the people doing the supposed exchanging have ear blinders and not interested in possibly learning something new.

    Duh…Of COURSE Michael Jordan


    Liked by 1 person

    • Q

      Well look who’s charming who. . .

      Yes it IS nefarious isn’t it? Or it can be that, especially when it’s manipulated.

      It was interesting enough, and then it took a turn, as most debate these days tend to do. And before you know it, they were shouting, and inside the noise, both sides lost ground rather than gained it.

      Maybe because you’re hesitant to talk basketball for fear that the USA is going to take back the gold from the Canadians? Ya think maybe?

      My favorite artist.

      We are in that place in this country. What with all the blind obedience the GOP has paid to that fat bastard, where are the democrats? Someone please make some sense.

      I know right?


      Liked by 1 person

      • If you’re charmed, I’ve succeeded. Still remains true.

        It is! And it doesn’t take long before it feels manipulated.

        Sounds like some families I know. It starts off as a discussion, a sharing of opinions and before you know it, you are being accused of knowing nothing.

        I think I shall be smart and not comment on such a subject. Actions speak louder than words…

        Is he? How interesting.

        That fat bastard really did a number on you guys. He stoked the already existing embers until a blazing flame raged. I so wish someone would. Make sense, of course.

        Without an argument from me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • The pandemic brought all sorts of nonsense to the spotlight. From how masks actually contributed to the spread of the virus, to how vaccinations were nothing more than tracking devices for the government. And people believe this.

          Well families talking nonsense and behaving irrationally is expected. But when you purport to be expert in something and then you show yourself to be anything but, nope.

          Now DeSantis in Florida is setting himself up for a 2024 run. The governor is currently battling school districts because he claims masks on kids is akin to child abuse. He’s Trump’s boy, of course.


          Liked by 1 person

  4. We sure can’t move forward when we’re busy yelling at each other, and each side believes they are absolutely right and the other side is comprised of evil idiots….sheesh….it’s enough to make me ashamed of being human!

    Liked by 1 person

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