Saturday, February 20, 2010

I've Got a Secret

When you think of it everyone on Earth has a secret or twelve. Most of them are ridiculously unimportant such as I stayed in bed an hour longer than usual today or I forgot to buy milk on my last trip to the grocery store.

What's that you say these aren't secrets? But you didn't know either fact, right? So you'd be wrong!

However you’d also be right.

At what point does that which we do stop being an ordinary mundane moment of life and start being considered important enough to broadcast?

Some would say that the threshold between private information and public knowledge is crossed when that personal act has consequences for the lives of others.

But even this is not a sufficient explanation.

For example my omission of a gallon of milk from the shopping cart means a smaller profit for the grocer. It could even lead to further complications for him and his family and therefore it must be made public.

However the plans for the invasion of Normandy during World War II, an event that had a somewhat larger immediate affect on others was rightfully kept secret.

So every action we take or fail to take has an affect on others, and if extrapolated, on the World. This is known as the ‘Butterfly Effect.’

And secrets only trouble us in the second person, as in her secret or their secret. We never mind having our own secrets.

So who among us feel that our entire lives should be laid open to public scrutiny? What good would it do for my neighbors to know how often I visit the restroom or take a drink of water? So we push that threshold farther away from our daily routine in an effort to unclutter our already complicated lives.

And this brings me to the wonderful and wacky world of politics in America where thresholds are meant to be ignored and complications sought out.

Secrets are generally fodder for the opposition party. Muckrakers are employed to seek them out much like the sleazy paparazzi who hide in the shadows looking for any tabloid-like tidbit. And when spun properly these non-issues can be made into earth shattering events worthy of impeachment.

It was reported in the NY Times this Saturday that several beautiful sections of western America are being considered for “Monument” status. The list of sites under consideration includes unplowed grasslands in Montana and a ‘baker’s dozen’ of incredibly scenic plots scattered across nine other states.

Normal people might like the idea of having parts of their state listed as special. The areas might become a Mecca for tourists and prove a boon to local economies. There is precedence for this line of reasoning,

But before current Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar could get his ideas down on paper or even discuss his plans further the Republicans jumped into the game. An outcry started at the ‘secret’ land grab scheme of the Eastern politicians of the Democratic Party!

The specter of Governmental control of our very lives has reared its ugly head once again. Raise the colors on the Homeland Security chart! First Obama is coming for your land and next your guns! Lock up your women and children!!!

Naturally the next line in this theater of the absurd is, “Only we can protect you. Send money and vote for us!”

In the 50s and 60s there was a game show called, “I’ve Got a Secret.” It was an early version of reality TV without prizes. A celebrity panel tried to guess a guests secret. No one was harmed and when the game was over we moved on.

Unfortunately our current version of this game is very harmful. It serves as a roadblock to progress. And the atmosphere in DC consists of lunge and parry politics with stalemate the goal.

Well I’ve got a secret for you. The loyal opposition is not interested in us. Neither are they interested in protecting that land, only their own turf. This is merely the issue du jour. That is the dirty little secret about secrets.

And believe it or not, it’s no secret to the politicians.

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