Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Margarine Man

So, where did you go? 

You disappeared rather abruptly.  I suppose you could say that there was no reason for you to hang around.  After all, the game ended, and you lost. And you will never get another shot.  Maybe you needed to be alone, or at least alone with your family, and friends, and associates. You never struck the rest of us as being the type who would need to crawl into a cave and lick your wounds, but then again, we did not know you.  We only saw that slick, hyper-confident veneer.  

Beneath that mask, there might have been a shattered expression – a silent scream.  Perhaps, but we will never know.

Still, it is odd not to hear at least a peep of your once ubiquitous voice. You had so much to say, and you took every appropriate and inappropriate opportunity to say it. Did you forever lose your voice the moment after the famous fat lady sang?  Did your opinions, whatever they genuinely were, suddenly evaporate? The big issues and angry debates certainly haven’t diminished.  In fact, this new civil war is as bitter and dangerous, and for some, as exciting and energizing as it ever was. 

So much has been decided by your defeat, but even more remains in play.  It goes on without you.

So, why the silence?  What happened to your passion?  Was any of it real, or was it all just about closing the deal, and not really about changing the future?  No need to answer.  I think most of us, including your temporary, hopeful friends of convenience, searched for your soul and came up empty.

And, please do not lecture me that too many of us have a problem with ambition, and that we begrudge you your wealth and success.  No one enters the biggest of all races in the free world without lofty ambition and enormous ego.  But, the worthy ones also bring big ideas and deep conviction, and there lies the difference between the margarine and the butter.

It is unhealthy to eat a phony food that is made in a laboratory and is a molecule away from being plastic.  Take a stick of margarine and a stick of butter and place both in the backyard of one of your homes, in one of your many “home” states.  The squirrels and the raccoons will devour the butter and leave the margarine untouched.  Instinct protects them.

And, our collective wisdom protects us.  We are wiser now because you reminded us that a false product is usually the least healthy choice. 

Thank you for that reminder.  Thank God for that reminder.