Wednesday, June 07, 2006

That's My Excuse. What's Yours?

I now finally understand, after all too many years of blissful ignorance, that it's not my fault when I get mad at the dumb driver who cuts me off on the freeway. It was never my fault when I flared up at my kids when they were acting up. It's not my bad temper. It's Intermittant Explosive Disorder.

I received my enlightenment on this delicate subject this very morning, Bush, while watching NBC's (now Katie-less!) Today Show out of the corner of an eye as I was getting ready, later than usual, to face the day. What we used to call a "bad temper" is in fact the result of a chemical brain imbalance, for which I am no more responsible than the wolf with his appetite for lambs: it's simple brain chemistry. I'm relieved to know this, because I have often been unjustly chided by my wife for an occasional, eminently forgivable lapse of language on the freeway; and I have certainly been subject to the pangs of guilt at times when I have overstepped the bounds of paternal benevolence with my children. When they were children. Alas, now no longer.

Now, I do hate to sound like a libertarian, or worse. You likely know by now that I'm no right-wing talk-show conservative. And yet... and yet... I do have pause to wonder sometimes, Bush, where personal responsibility has gone. I have ample reason to believe in the potential ravages of wacky brain chemistry, since I have watched them at first hand. But it does seem to me at times that once we have a name for everything, we have an excuse for everything.

With all this in mind, I've taken to wondering whether our national affliction might not be written off to a collective chemical imbalance in the brain and, if so, what name might be given to it? That is, if we're averse to calling it plain, short-sighted me-firstism, or willful stupidity. The Beyond-the-End-of-the-Nose Eye Failure Disorder? The Protect-Your-Wallet-at-Any-Cost Disorder? The Better-Believe-Whatever-I-Tell-You Disorder? The Morality-Is-a-Virtue-(for-Others) Disorder? Whatever it is, it's certainly not our fault.

Anyway, if you have any suggestions, Bush, I trust you'll let me know.

(By the way, a reminder: I leave tomorrow morning for YearlyKos, that liberal bloggers' convention in Las Vegas. Hope to make some new contacts for our blog and maybe sell a few books. Who knows? Not sure, then, that I'll have time for entries in the next few days. Check in, though. I may have some words about the event, and it should be interesting...)

2 comments:

denn said...

Republicans before Nixon? Joking, right David?

As a point of history for our young friends: The forces at work now, took roots just as the US won World War II. The factories had been converted to military production for the war. Superconservatives and profiteers learned at that time how much money was at stake by building an industrial-military state. (Probably, this sparked the Cold War). And they have been at it ever since, pork and the military. As Vonnegut said, Vietnam was mostly about ammunition and helicopter sales.

David said...

Republicans before Nixon? Joking, right David?

Yup (joking). ;D