By J. Strauss
Being in the newspaper business and having regular local citizens come forward to discuss what is going on around them that they feel is newsworthy has been extremely educational. It is of particular interest to be on the receiving end of “tell all” revelations or other emotional denunciations of poor conduct or conspiracy involvement. There is one very consistent thread that runs through almost everyone of these presentations. The phrase “I confess, he or she did it,” comes immediately to mind. A tell all has many more questions than answers or revelations. A person who is serving in some official capacity almost never comes to a news organization to reveal anything. They come to find out what the news organization may know. When they do come to reveal anything of merit, or demerit, they come to reveal the supposed wrongdoings of others. Many times it’s like sitting down with a person only to have the subject of divorce come up. If the person being talked to has recently divorced then get ready to listen to a recitation of just how evil the person recently divorced really is and how it only took thirty or forty years for the divorced person to figure that out. The song lyrics of Margaritaville come to mind. The song starts out with a man singing about how the woman was all wrong with respect to causing their breakup. Stanza to stanza the singer reveals his own participation until in the end he admits the breakup was all his fault. That’s a song, not real life.
The same thing is going on throughout all of the instruments of social leadership. A culture’s leaders tend to their own tribal needs first, and that should be expected by everyone who put them in charge (although, amazingly, it is seldom considered). The second prevailing principal leaders of all social orders follow is one of transferred pain. They support policies and principals that, by the very nature of human interaction and behavior, are going to favor some people over others. The some people experience enjoyment, success and bliss while the others receive pain, loss or even death. Almost all members of social orders begin supporting a particular leader in hope. Humanity as a sociological product somehow is genetically driven to believe that there really can be rules and regulations that favor everyone when even the simplest analysis of how life really is can only yield one conclusion and that is that there can be no fairness to everyone. What’s fair, what’s true, what’s real and what’s meaningful are all exacting words subject to the same variables inherent in all of life. Einstein became famous using the word to describe the effects of observers viewing the effects of speeding photons of light. In the real world we live, overlaid by the phenomenal world we create to survive the real one, everything is as relative as the observations one can make about the speed of light.
In the earlier days of civil disturbance training there used to be a set built in the desert not far from Camp Pendleton, California. The Marines, and local police forces, used the phony city to practice working difficult crowds of rioting people in a contained urban environment. The city was named “Troub City” because the only unchanging fact with respect to it was trouble.
If something is built or becomes known only for trouble then the name might be more appropriate than others assigned to it in earlier periods of its existence. Troub City might also be used to describe anyone’s orientation whose perspective is always focused trouble. In fact, the very focusing of one’s mind in consigning a place or experience to be trouble helps make and keep it so. Society does this all the time with rule breakers of almost all kinds. Once a person in western society is deemed to have committed a crime then they are consigned to the scrapheap of being a troublemaker for life. Amazingly, or maybe not so amazingly, people, places and even beliefs when negatively focused upon become almost impossible to see from any other perspective. Humanity favors some things and some beings over others and there isn’t necessarily an imperative that controls how all that works. Terrorism, for example has been changed from a form of applied anti-social violent behavior into a war power. There is a war on terror today that is likely to continue forever, only the participants changing like different troop units brought into combat. Communism was a socially applied system of economics intended to run directly against allowing only a few people to control almost all money, assets and power. How did that work out, it was run up against those few powerful humans owning and possessing most everything?
It becomes important, only if humanity is to continue advancing “forward” into what all cultures refer to as civilization, that great thoughtful concentration be focused upon the natural condition whereby individuals and groups of individuals assign negative values to things only when doing so might reward their own maximization of comfort and survival.
“Troub” City is simply a name, it does not, by the very means and purpose of assignment, have to define the way things must remain for all time to come.