Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Poking the Hornet's Nest

Dig, if you will, a scenario:
So, let's say I come home from a vacation this summer and find that a bunch of hornets have built a nest in my living room. 'Kay. Chances are about 100% I'm going to do something about that. And by "do something," I pretty much mean I'm going to eliminate the hornets by whatever means necessary. I'm going to go all-out, probably getting some sort of fogger or bug-bomb, and I'll "shock and awe" them out of existence. There's just too much trouble that can come from having a bunch of hornets right there in the house, and I don't want to mess around.

But, let's say I come home from said vacation (I hope I had a good time!) and I find that a bunch of hornets have built a nest WAAYYY out at the edge of the back yard, under the eaves of the garage that borders our property. Hmmm. I might suspect that they're up to no good, but in the absence of hard evidence to that effect I'm going to just...sort of keep an eye on 'em. Now, I realize that a lot of people STILL wouldn't mess around; they'd get a big can o'Raid (or whatever) and spray the beejesus of the nest, and call 'er good. Me...not so much. While I don't LIKE hornets, I find it hard to just KILL them without actual provocation. And, that might actually work: they can go about doing their hornet-y thing, whatever THAT is, and I'll just do MY thing, and we'll have a sort of wary co-existence.

Now, perhaps in ignoring them, everything turns sour. Maybe they start to build ANOTHER nest in a tree that I'd like to trim. I might wish that I'd done something about them sooner, but ultimately I could decide, what they hey, they're outside, and that tree probably doesn't REALLY need trimming anyway. I'll sort of GIVE them the tree, if you will, and figure that there, that'll satisfy them. Until they build a nest in the ground, and I mow over it and they come rushing out & sting the shit out of me. Okay, NOW I'm pissed. I'm pissed because they didn't just stay where we "agreed," and I'm ALSO pissed because a little voice in the back of my head (who IS that guy, anyway, and how did he get back there in my head?!?) insists that this NEVER would have happened if I'd just dealt with them when I had the chance, before things got all out of hand.

We could even imagine a tangent scenario, in which the hornets stay in their under-eave nest, but my daughter is out playing in the back yard (this is the hypothetical summer of 2012 we're talking about) and SHE gets stung. Again: I'm pissed, and so I'll go about obliterating the hornets then, remembering that the next time something comes up that can be handled right away, I shouldn't hesitate. But - and here's the thing - if a hornet stings my daughter, I'll kill the hornets. I WON'T decide that my neighbor's dog is also a threat, and so shoot IT. Out of, you know, "preemptive self-defense" of those I love.

As Congress completes its second day of debating the Iraq war, I'm reminded that emotions surrounding this issue run oh so very high. Sometimes I feel like we've finally managed to distill an enormous variety of tiny differences into a potent (deadly?) mix of just a few things that loom so large in our political and social consciousness, we're at risk of having these molehill-into-mountain arguments tear apart the fabric of our country. Taxes, abortion, religion...the war in Iraq. We're okay with the concept that alcohol is legal, and so we've solved the issue of prohibition and seemingly moved THAT argument, checker-like, onto another square. Now it's like there are only two thrice-kinged checkers left: one red, and And those checkers are being moved around the board in an all-or-nothing dance that seems to preclude rational behavior and careful consideration of the OTHER guy's point of view.

Should the Allies have stopped Hitler in 1938? Well, hindsight says YES, absolutely. We wasted (to use Barack Obama's absolutely correct term) far, FAR too many lives trying to undue the damage caused by the ravings of a charismatic but way-out-whacko fascist. Did the U.S. get "stung" in it's own back yard? Yes, the attack on NYC (BOTH times) was hideous and pointless and entirely hateful...and we responded in kind, going after the "hornets" in Afghanistan. But this Iraq's like shooting the neighbor's dog, just because it looks threatening. It's a Rottweiler, after all, and intelligence suggests that these are dangerous and canny dogs, but sometimes you gotta move beyond what may be, after all, faulty intelligence and just LOOK at the situation.

Instead, we went and shot the neighbor's dog anyway, and now the neighbor is shooting back. Like a brick thrown through a window, the results are costly but, in the end, unlikely to cause us to move. Even when the neighbor manages to turn the whole BLOCK against you, it's hard to just leave. You start thinking about the investment you've already made, and ultimately decide you can afford to lose a few windows. Besides, just up and LEAVING makes you feel like your penis is small and inadequate, so you bone up (ha!) and start heaving boulders back.

President Bush wants yet ANOTHER chance to prove that he can make a good decision with regards to Iraq, but I sort of feel like he's a boy who's cried wolf...again...and again...and again. At some point, I think a person needs to be acknowledged as having zero credibility or good decision-making powers, and then...well, FIRED, I guess! Look, if Mr. Bush was the CEO of a company, and every one of his decisions turned out badly, do you think the board of directors would give him a big fat bonus, or would they throw him out on his ass? (Well, in THIS country, you never know...) Sheesh, college and professional athletics coaches get fired ALL THE TIME, even after just ONE losing season, for what may or may not amount to nothing more than bad luck! So, no: I don't believe the Prez needs "one more chance." He's pretty much had his three strikes...lord, we impeached President Clinton for lying about a blowjob, doesn't that rate a little lower on the scale than, say, invading another country and fucking it all up?

Ultimately, there are only two possible options for the instigator of a war: you can WIN and leave, or you can LOSE and leave. Either way, leave. In the end, we LEFT Vietnam (probably while claiming victory), and now, only 30 years later, we're trying to normalize trade relations with them. The President feels that leaving Iraq now would be a tremendous mistake, but sooner or later we WILL leave. In the meantime, it's like he's trying to make up for an itty-bitty penis...and until he's no longer the Commander in Chief, we're ALL getting fucked by it.


Blogger Steph said...

Geez. Yep. Amen, amen. The shrunken-dicked piece of shit.

Liquid nitrogen works wonders with hornets, FYI. They freeze solid and fall to the ground with a ka-CHUNK. In case you ever happen to find a non-metaphorical hornets' nest on your property, in the vicinity of your daughter.

And by the way, WOOHOO! Congratulations! (That's for the girlie-in-the-oven.)

10:53 PM  
Blogger Tess said...

While I hate over-metaphorisizing (whoa- had to stretch there), I will anyway. It struck me, in Scott's hornet scenario, that he was clearly forgetting about the true possibility of our future daughter's allergy to hornet stingers. Afterall, her mother is allergic. Therefore, her mother's (that's me) instinct would be to liquid nitrogenify those suckers upon first sight or sound of buzzing.

However, let's also return to the true point of Scott's blog. Let's pretend that the US military and their small-penised friend named George have developed an "allergy" to "those terrorists." From experience, whenever I see any bug that moves, I panic because it MIGHT be something dangerous like a bee or wasp or hornet. I could react on that panic and either flee or find something with which to kill the bugger. This is exactly how the Bush-ites are reacting to just about anyone living in the Middle East, excpet "pulling out is NOT an option" according to Georgy-porgy. The rationale is that they all "look" the same, therefore, there's the possibility that they all could "sting" us. Their immediate response is to ALWAYS react with force.

I don't even have a child to hold in my arms yet, but I know that reacting with immediate force is something a 2 year old would do. It's an extremely un-enlightened way to deal with things, including bugs and wars. I have taught myself NOT to kill at first glimpse of a bug because 1.) it might not be a hornet, bee, wasp, etc., and 2.) if I try to kill a bug like that, I MIGHT MAKE IT WORSE! I could miss when striking, make the bug angry, and IF it truly is a hornet, I WILL be stung for sure. If I wait for the bug to pass, I am 99.99% I will remain sting-free.

When the US government chose to strike first, they were acting out of fear and panic, as we all know. But here's what I want to know: WHAT THE HELL DID THEY THINK WOULD HAPPEN?!!! Apparently, they thought the nest of terrorists would simply disappear.

To continue with this god-forsaken metaphor, I realize that when approached by a hornet, I really have only 2 options. I can 1.) wait silently for it to pass, or 2.) I can be prepared with my Epi Pen. Yes, that's right. When it comes to being stung, if Scott insisted on doing absolutely nothing about the death nest that hovered probably someplace over my car, I could at least be assured that I had a way to save myself.

So, what is the Epi Pen of this Iraq situation? I call it a ripe dose of both diplomacy and education. The US government knows about as much about middle eastern culture (including the differences in the customs and traditions that exist in each middle eastern country), as I know about frickin' hornet behavior. I at least know that swatting at a hornet will not result in a positive outcome, but that's common sense to those who possess sense that is common (this statement is of course meant to leave out the Bush-man). However, knowing a bit more about our dangerous, winged friends might help me to understand WHY THEY WERE THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE. This is a question for which our present "leadership" has never bothered to find an answer. This demonstrates a lack of education, which in turn only breeds a lack of diplomacy. Lacking those 2 things (plus a brain for the president), we will be "swatting at hornets" for a long time to come, I'm afraid.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Nitmos said...

Let's see..a few years back the CEO of my company nearly drove us into the ground, put us under SEC investigation, and fired 1/3 of the workforce. Many bad decisions. And, true enough, he was fired. In shame and disgrace, I imagine this man slinking out of his office with nothing but a small box of belongings...his 22 million dollar buy-out severance...and another packet of stock options...Ha! We really taught him a lesson! I imagine, in his case, the door really DID hit him in the ass on the way out. After all, it probably took a really, really, long time to get that giant, overstuffed wallet out the door.

Bush is our first MBA president. He was a failure in the private sector as a businessman and now, predictably, a failure as president. A country can not be run like a business. It takes a person of some intellectual capacity, humility and maturity to understand this. Too bad the presidents brain isn't nearly as large as his...wallet.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

I just don't know what to make of this mess anymore. If we just up an leave, what about all the lives lost already? If we don't leave, what about the lives that will be lost? Tough call. If we do leave, will we be fighting that "Axis of Evil" here, in our country? Seems like getting a majority of the terrorist to go to Iraq and killing them isn't a bad plan. Todays War isn't at all like past War. Look at how the U.S. was formed. Not a pretty picture.
It's just all fucked up and there is no clear way to fix it.
If we pull out, what then? The making of this fuckin mess goes back many years. Sooner or later it was our turn to keep the Arab Nations as fucked up as they've always been.
What is all this about? Security, Oil, Human Rights, Terrorist, want me to keep going?
I could go on and on. I'm just tired of it all. Maybe that's what Bush or the anti-Bush people want. So, let's close our borders, bring our military back from all over the world, and see what happens.
Vote Mike in 2008

7:45 AM  
Blogger Mike said...


i love the logic. heck, i would go a step further. Dig this scenario. The Hornets nest is really in your neighbors yard, you think, a few doors down from you.

once long ago you were fairly friendly neighbors, but no so much anymore as people lose contact. You are so convinced your neighbor is the yard with hornets in it, that you confront him and both leave angry. Who are you to accuse your neighbor? But you convince a few other neighbors to ransack his yard with you. So you destroy the yard one night, turn up flower beds, dig up the sod, tear down trees branches looking for the hornets nest.

Now this happens at night when your neighbor is sleeping, but he wakes up due to the noise, runs outside and sees the mess in his once beautiful yard. And go figure, since you are the chief of police is this humble little community, the neighbor can't call the cops for help.

Of course, the hornets nest wasn't there. Now what???

Well, sure, you offer to help clean up. But can you really blame your neighbor for just asking you to leave?

How 'bout a third party comes in, cleans up, re-landscapes and you and the other ransacking neighbors just pay the bill?

9:23 AM  
Blogger Tess said...

Stephene is right. If you want to put out a fire, why in the hell would you use more fire?! If the middle east has only ever known terror and violence, what good will it do to give them more? Clearly, it's not working. The reason people are afraid of pulling out is because apparently, according to our top generals and dumb ass president, this is not what Americans do. If we have poked at the hornets nest and have received much stinging many times before, what makes us think that it will ever be any different? Let's take the proverbial "road less travelled" and embark on an adventure of doing things differently for once. I don't care if the terrorists will think Americans are "soft" and "cowardly." Part of being an adult is realizing that you can decide what you think of yourself as opposed to giving in to what outsiders think of you. I say it's time to GROW UP!

10:03 AM  

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