Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Abandon Ship!

So, as I was trying to sort out whether Suffolk was related to Henry VI, and whether Somerset was related to John of Gaunt, and how exactly the Lancastians and Yorks started their feud, my lover decided to indulge her passion for watery films.

She had Tivoed (I'm pretty sure this has now become a verb, right?) Abandon Ship!, an old B/W movie with awful acting but a very interesting premise. From what I overheard (trying to understand the genealogy of English aristocracy, it's impossible to block out everything in your surroundings), a ship was wrecked. Survivors had one lifeboat.

At one point, I overheard the captain of the boat basically saying he only wanted the strongest on the lifeboat so that they had a shot of actually taking the lifeboat to the coasts of Africa. Others in the boat objected, saying that it should be the women and children who stay in the boat, and the strongest take their chances in the waters. The captain threatened, ordered, whatever the others into doing his bidding, and they threw an unconscious woman out of the boat, a couple (but for some reason the captain wanted their son on board, saying he's the future), a sissy (as in weak) sailor, and I pretty much stopped listening at this point to focus on why Henry VI was a bad king but a pious and generous man.

During the argument the captain had with his men, I looked up at my lover and said, 'See that? That's it in a nutshell. The captain is a republican, and the democrats are the others. And see? The captain won't sully his own hands by throwing the unconscious woman out of the boat by himself. He has to order someone else to do it. Isn't that just like a republican?'

Of course, my lover responded with a toss of her hair and a "hrmph" and mumbled words that sounded suspiciously like "go back to your royalty."

But seriously, as I started to ponder this analogy, I can see some valid points. One basic difference between Republicans and Democrats are, the democrats think there's enough to go around and even if there isn't, some sacrifice on our part isn't that bad, cause that means everyone gets to be in the boat. The republicans seem to think that EVERYTHING is a sinking ship, that EVERYTHING is a matter of life and death, so ALL the stakes have to be in. Therefore, it's every man for himself and whoever can't pull their own weight gets left behind.

I understand this mentality. If this was the world of Mad Max, yes, then it makes sense for us to adopt this attitude. However, we live a life of comfort. Most of us. Most of us aren't on a sinking ship. We really don't have to push the unconscious, the weak, the poor overboard. We are a wealthy nation. It's time we started acting like one, instead of pandering to help the powerful just cause in the minds of some, only they can lead the nation.

Filed under Reveries & Paranoias and Politics & B.S.


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