Writer Feeling Sorry for Self

"If you have tears, prepare to shed them now" (Act III, Scene 2, of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar").

Why do I open with this plea? Because I am beginning to feel sorry for myself, and I believe if everyone heard my case, all but a few cold-hearted people also would feel sorry for me. I feel like an apathetic naïve idealist (not an "argot phooey" phrase) caught behind the lines of reality.

I'll choose two national issues, currently being debated, to try and state my case: "national" health care (notice I didn't say "socialized," because I don't want to be accused of using scare tactics), and violent crime in America.

Like some, I have moments when I wish we could turn the whole health care system over to the managed competition plan of my good ol' efficient Uncle Sam. (Is "managed competition" an oxymoron, such as "socialized capitalism"?)

Like some, I have moments when I wish we could take away all the guns from just the law-abiding citizens to see if we can drastically reduce crime with such idealistic legislation.

Like some, I have moments when I wish I were an idealist, and everything could be the way I wish it were, if I wished sincerely enough and long enough.

Like others, I have moments when it appears to me that a big government that we totally control (take me seriously!) would be much better at managing our nation's health care system than chaotic market forces (Adam Smith's "invisible hand") could ever achieve through open competition.

Like others, I have moments when it appears all we need to do is understand why criminal types steal, rape, murder and just do things that appear to be destructive. Then we would have more empathy for those apparent twisted souls, and have a little less regard for their unlucky victims. After all, sometimes it may appear the victims asked for it, right?

Like others, I have moments when I would like to be intellectually lazy and be blissfully naïve, and see everything as it appears to be.

But, like most, I have moments when I feel like I just don't care. I don't care if President(s) Clinton(s) get their whole nationalized (not "socialized") health care program implemented.

Like most, I have moments when I don't care personally about the escalation of crime in America. After all, surely somebody is looking into reducing it, right?

Like most, I have moments when I feel like I just want to be apathetic about everything and not have to care about anything.

By now I suspect only a few readers of this letter have not shed any tears or felt sorry for me. I know who you are! You are so sure of your opinions.

You use cold logical reasoning, and you are always using experiential evidence in your arguments with idealists, the naïve and the apathetic. You probably suspect I myself am a realist, with the ability to jump in and out of the bodies of others in order to know why they feel the way they do. I'm not telling. That's my secret.

A few of you realists may not be crying for me, but at least now you should have a better understanding of why many people disagree with you, and why they think of you as S.O.B. (sort of braggadocio) rascals.

---Kenneth J. Wolf #31 (04/02/94)

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