Wednesday, May 28, 2014


I had to do some culling on my Facebook page this afternoon when a spirited debate got ugly. Can I tell you that I love the back and forth of argument, the challenge of it? I know a lot of you deplore this kind of thing and are much better than me at monitoring the type situation that any fool could see was going to get out of hand. I, on the other hand, have a bit of the fly attracted to shit kind of temperament, and unless it affects me really, really personally, I get a charge taking on anyone. Humor me! My life is often made up of dealing with minutia when it isn't, so when given the chance to sharpen the old tongue -- well -- I leap (backwards on the evolutionary scale, maybe). This exchange was about gun control, though, so the person with whom I was arguing (a self-professed orthodox Christian, I can't help but add) naturally went down the path of liberty and freedom and protection, and somewhere in his poorly executed argument (where he called me intelligent but sadly foolish, a sheeple) assured me that, if necessary, his brave and courageous people would protect mine as we ran away, cowards.


I loved that photo of sheep culling for many reasons, the paramount one being that we really do run in herds, don't we?

Here's a poem, too:


The first four leaders had broken knees
The four old dams had broken knees
The flock would start to run, then freeze
The first four leaders had broken knees

‘Why is the flock so docile?’ asked the hawk.
‘Yes, why is the flock so docile,’ laughed the dog,

‘The shepherd’s mallet is in his hand,
The shepherd’s hand is on the land,
The flock will start to run, then freeze—
The four old dams have broken knees,’
The dog explained.

The hawk exclaimed:
‘The shepherd leads an easy life!’

‘I know, I know,’ cried the shepherd’s wife,
‘He dresses me out in a narrow skirt
and leaves me home to clean his dirt.
Whenever I try to run, I freeze—
All the old dams have broken knees.’

‘Well, I’m so glad he doesn’t dare
to bring his breaking power to bear
on me,’ said the hawk, flying into the sun;
while the dog warned, in his dog run:
‘Hawk—the shepherd has bought a gun!’

‘Why is the hawk so docile?’ asked the flock,

‘He fell to the ground in a feathery breeze;
He lies in a dumb lump under the trees,
We believe we’d rather have broken knees
Than lose our blood and suddenly freeze
Like him.’

But the oldest dam gave her leg a lick,
And said, ‘Some die slow and some die quick,
A few run away and the rest crawl,
But the shepherd never dies at all—
Damn his soul.

I’d will my wool to the shepherd’s wife
If she could change the shepherd’s life,
But I myself would bring him low
If only, only I knew how.’

Judy Grahn, via Poetry Foundation


  1. lol- i SAW that little fb debate!! Love your "fly attracted to shit temperament" line :) that made me laugh! I wonder how you don't get so frustrated with some of these people!! :)

  2. I saw that 'debate' and was going to ask why you were bothering...well, now I know. :)

  3. I think of Malala Yousafzai. "If you hit a Talib with your shoe, there would be no difference between you and the Talib. You must fight others but through peace and through dialogue and through education." That's how I feel about--WHOEVER it is that's coming for all us Americans, whatever enemy we are supposedly going to need all our guns to rise against. If I took up arms and shot them, I would be one of them.

  4. It's what I admire about you, your love of a good argument. Conflict just scares the shit out of me.

    And the orthodox Christian who defended guns apparently missed the point of Christ's teachings!

  5. The "orthodox Christian" who loves guns more than Christ also believes his liberty to shoot is greater than my liberty to live safely.

  6. Just think of it as Spring cleaning. I, too, have an inability to resist getting into it with some folks, but when the argument devolves into the same old sound bites and it becomes clear that the other party is not so much listening to my side as waiting for their turn to respond, it's a pretty clear sign that I don't really want to be friends with them, anyway.

  7. It's so interesting how the "orthodox Christianity" and the right-wing social perspective often go hand-in-hand. (And, conversely, how agnosticism and left-wing politics often go hand-in-hand.) You never see fundamentalist Christian liberals, you know??



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