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    Why, yes, I AM rubber!

    I’m starting a new campaign that all humans should wear diapers.

    No more limiting this revolutionary article of clothing to the very young and very old. We should ALL wear them!

    And not because of the combination of convenience and entertainment value that we would get by being able, say, to interrupt the negotiation of a Kosovar arms treaty with, “Could you repeat that, General, I was taking a leak.” And not because it would replace the stress of trying to find a clean bathroom in 3rd world countries with a self-satisfied and self-reliant smile.

    But because, as far as I can tell, no matter our age, we haven’t really grown up. And we may as well admit it and demonstrate it with the symbolic act of replacing boxers with Depend undergarments (full disclosure: as soon as I make this post, I will find the company that makes/owns Depend and buy their stock).

    While I could site seemingly countless examples of how we haven’t grown up, today I’ll focus on just this one: that the arguments over most serious topics facing our world today devolve into: “You are rubber and I am glue; whatever you say bounces off me and sticks on you!”

    Athiests criticize those with religious beliefs… and are then criticized by being “religious” about their atheism (they’re actually being “passionate”).

    Those who attack Islam for being intolerant are re-attacked as being intolerant (actually, “critical” does not equal “intolerant”).

    Christians who scream that we should allow prayer in the school and then scream louder about how their children are having science shoved down their throats (I don’t even know where to begin on this one).

    Speaking of science, opponents of “intelligent” design (btw, it’s more accurate to put quotes around the I-word and not the whole phrase) as not giving a actual answer to how things began are opposed by those who say, “Well, you don’t know, actually, what happened at the moment of the big bang, do you? Nanny, nanny, boo, boo.” (sometimes they leave out the last part… but they don’t seem to understand that not have a complete counter-answer doesn’t give credibility to a meaningless answer).

    The US government says it refuses to be made fearful by the threat of nuclear attack… and then threatens nuclear attack on those who made the original complaint (this might be less a “rubber/glue” issue than a debate about the blackness of pots and kettles… but it still warrants diapers).

    I could go on…

    So, I’m going to propose that until we learn to argue, debate, and negotiate like adults, we show our true colors with the wearing of a comfortable absorbent layer of pillowy freshness.

    Oh, and on a similar note (don’t ask me HOW it’s similar; I haven’t thought it through that far. It’s just the thought that appeared next in my mind so it MUST be similar): I don’t understand why people are shocked when someone lies about an affair. When’s the last time you heard THIS conversation: “Are you sleeping with that fire-eating circus freak?” “Well, in fact, I am! I’m so glad you asked!”

    6 Responses to “Why, yes, I AM rubber!”

    1. Nina Amir Says:

      I actually think many of us (I’m trying to be nice, since I really wanted to say “most of us.”) need to wear diapers in our personal relationships — and, yes, that includes me, too. How often do we let our significant other’s not-so-nice comment bounce off us and boomerang back at them with another not-so-nice comment hoping it will stick? Why just the other day… Well, I’ll spare you the details. Suffice it to say, there have been plenty of times when I’ve walked away from an encounter with my husband, my children, my mother, my siblings, knowing that I definitely didn’t act my age. And I’ve done all that human potential, metaphysical and spiritual stuff. I’ve taken the classes (even taught them myself), gone to the workshops and retreats, been to the conferences, read the books, practiced the meditation techniques, and prayed to the Almighty. I know how to communicate and to resolve conflict in my relationships. And still, in the heat of the moment, all too often I should have had some diapers. And, you know what, I should have had some to give the other person, too! Now there’s a thought: If we each had a box of diapers, each time we got into one of those situations we could throw a diaper at the other person. That would surely stop the immature behavior on the spot and dissolve it into a fit of even more immature giggles! (Better than those nasty words for sure!)

    2. sashen Says:

      Sending you a case of diapers…

      -Steven

      😉

    3. Stacy Says:

      Hey! We can start the “Diapers for Iraq” crusade! Send them to both sides!

      Love,
      Stacy

    4. peter Says:

      You can’t even begin to argue (I mean, negotiate knowledge, persuade) unless you have enough common ground. That includes a procedure for arguing reasonably. (As a basis, not as a rule-book). Ie, if everything you say actually becomes another thing to argue, you end up throwing up your hands because you can never actually finish the job. So really, argument is for people who mostly agree with each other already, and only have to settle the finer points….whether of content or of procedure, or of agreeing to disagree and exactly how and where they disagree…

      So I disagree about ‘growing up’ and see it more as a question of socialization…the process of creating the common ground that helps us make intellectual progress…if we are not socialized similarly (including to value certain forms of argument vs. others) we can’t communicate and least of all negotiate impasses…

    5. sashen Says:

      I completely agree that socialization is an aid or, maybe, a short-cut to developing a common ground for communication (e.g. the British are much better at debate/argument than Americans, since there are many social, political and educational models, used on regular basis, for that type of conversation). But, it’s certainly not required.

      So, when I say “growing up” I’m referring to engaging in a process of critical or analytical reason that is available to any adult who spends the time/effort to attend to it vs. children who (arguably) don’t have the intellectual capacity to do the same.

      And, it’s TOTALLY possible to argue about the nature of the argument in the middle OF an argument… because the meta-level points are simple and logical (e.g. “That’s not an answer to my question, that’s just calling me names to avoid actually answering”… which is an ad hominem attack).

      But, that said, most people in an argumentative situation would rather stick to their guns than entertain any thought that might derail their point.

      In other words, you’ve got to be REALLY skillful to get someone to understand that they’re making a bad argument in the middle of their bad argument 😉

      Now, I am NOT claiming to have mastered this by any stretch… and I’m loving a memory where I did a pretty good job:

      During a business negotiation, one member of the other party claimed to have spent hours on the telephone on my behalf. I asked him which phone he used (he was at my office). He told me. I looked up the phone records which listed every sent/received call and said, “Are you sure you used my line? Because I’m looking at the phone logs and I don’t see any calls on any of the days you claim to have spent 8 hours on the phone.”

      At this point, he went ballistic and started accusing me of all manner of illegal acts and, more importantly, said, “Who do you think you are to accuse me of lying?!”

      “Well,” I said, “I don’t have an answer to that question, but you probably know that self-righteous indignation is usually a sign of lying.”

      There was a long pause and then he hung up the phone, leaving his other 2 business partners on the line… there was an even longer pause before one of them said, “Ummmm… I guess we’re going to have to do some research and get back to you.” When they did call back, they told me the story of how they fired the liar.

    6. Mike Says:

      Steven,

      ARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGG

      =====
      And, it’s TOTALLY possible to argue about the nature of the argument in the middle OF an argument… because the meta-level points are simple and logical (e.g. “That’s not an answer to my question, that’s just calling me names to avoid actually answering”… which is an ad hominem attack).
      =====

      And I repeat … ARRRRRRRGGGGGGG

      Calling a person names is NOT an ad hominem attack. Saying they are wrong BECAUSE they are (insert nasty name here) IS.

      The full name of the logical fallacy is “Argumentum ad Hominem” … to argue TO THE MAN. IOW, to make your ARGUMENT based on the character of the man, such as “Steven is wrong because he is a wife beater.” Argumentum ad Hominem” is a subset of Non Sequitur and the key point is that it is an “argument”, an (il)logical proposition which requires two premises and a conclusion. Calling a person a name is not a logical argument. (I will concede that somehow in the mind of a person who foams as he calls names in the middle of an argument the additional premise and conclusion are implied so that it seems to him, at least viscerally, that he is engaged in logical argument. But then fantasy is still fantasy. 😉

      O.K. back to slogging through your blog history.




     

     

     

     

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