Self-Centered Myopic Pricks

Some people do not have a sense of time passing. They don’t perceive time as a linear sequence of events in which the past, present and future are distinct entities and, especially the past is over and done with. So, they exist in an ineffable present in which what was, what is and what could be are all muddled together. The result, not surprising, is that such persons are in a state of constant insecurity and whenever they do something that fails to satisfy, they can’t help but think that had their mother had a choice, they might well not be here. Which is why, just to be on the safe side and in case a miracle occurs, no babies, dead or alive should be taken from the womb prematurely.

How else to explain the fixation and anxiety with which Terry England, a state Representative in Georgia, and his brethren confront even the removal of dead fetuses to protect a woman from being poisoned by the rotting tissues?

Any number of women are understandably incensed at having women compared to cows and pigs or have their lives traded for fighting cocks. But, what they miss is that where self-centered people, having taken the stage, the concern is always about them. Terry England’s heart breaks when a cow or sow is lost, but that’s just a figure of speech. It has no more meaning than the designation of the cock fighter as “the salt of the earth.” England’s got story telling down to an art. That’s because that’s all he ever does–tell stories. It’s his gift of gab that’s got him out of the barn and out of the store to legislature where tall is cheap, but prized.

You can tell Mr. Terry’s sense of time is off by his insertion of “a hundred years” for “never.” He’s obviously learned that time is important, so he tells it, but he doesn’t know it refers to a sequence of events in which the past is past and never to come again. And I suspect that, as a consequence of not grasping that mental image, people like Mr. Terry, and there are many of them, can’t conceive of the process involved in reproduction. He can see himself taking part in “delivering” a cow or sow, but the death of the animal is just something that happens and “breaks our hearts.” See, it’s all about him and his ilk. That’s how the self-centered speak. The stories about other people, nothing but gossip really, serve to distract from the fact that the story-teller is a self-centered myopic prick. And I strongly suspect it can’t be helped.

Why do we hire such people to represent us? I suspect it’s because the stories they learned to tell early on — to distract from the fact that they’d messed up or failed to deliver as expected — deceive their audience into thinking that they actually care about them. Never mind that a person who’d trade his cocks for women dying in delivering a dead fetus doesn’t make any sense. The irrational story gives the Representative the illusion that he’s doing what he’s been told by somebody who knows, “the salt of the earth.”

Good talkers are appreciated by folk whose tongue gets twisted whenever they have to talk in public. Indeed, it’s possible that the people with the twisted tongues have appreciated the class clown ever since his antics, designed to disguise his own lapses, saved them from having to answer for themselves. People who don’t read and write too good have to rely on what they hear and the problem with that is that what we hear is easy to forget or hear wrong in the first place. So, people who rely on what they hear to stay informed, appreciate someone who can speak in public without being concerned about being wrong. And so a mutual admiration society is formed between the dufus legislators and the salt of the earth.

At least, that’s my take on it. How else is Mr. Terry to be explained? He doesn’t sound as mean-spirited as his words suggest. And as a rant from Limbaugh inevitably does.

Life gives us many experiences. It gives us the experience, or I’ve had the experience, of delivering calves, dead and alive, delivering pigs, dead and alive, and I wanna tell you, Representative McCall, Representative Roberts, all of us, Representative Anderson, that have done that, Representative Black, that have done that, it breaks our hearts to see those animals not make it.
You know, a few years ago, I had a young man come to me in our store. And it was when we were debating, talking about dog and hog hunting, I believe, and at that point there was some language inserted in there that dealt with a..a…chicken fighting. And the young man called me to the side and he said, “I wanna tell you one thing.” And, y’all. this is salt of the earth people I’m talking about, someone I would have never, in a hundred years, expected to tell me what he told me that day. He said, “Mr. Terry, I wanna tell you somethin’. You tell those folks down there when they quit killin’ babies, they can have every chicken I’ve got.”

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Monica Smith

Monica Smith writes Hannah's Blog. Born in Germany, she came to the United States as a child, living first in California, then after an interval in Chile, in New York. Married to a retired professor at the University of Florida, where she lived for 17 years, she moved to St. Simons Island, Georgia, in 1993 and now divides her time between Georgia and New Hampshire. (New Hampshire, she says, is always interesting during a presidential election.) She and her husband have three children and five grandchildren. Ms. Smith says she "learned long ago that I am not a good team player when I got hired at the Library of Congress, fresh out of college with a degree in political science and proficiency in four foreign languages, to 'edit' library cards and informed my supervisor that if she was going to insist I punch the clock exactly on time, my productivity was going to fall from being the highest to being the same as everyone else's. The supervisor opted to assign me to another building where there was no time-clock. After I had the first of our three children, I decided a paycheck wasn't worth the hassle."