In My Ohio

​On 2015: The Year of The One or The Other

                                                             (www.travel-studies.com)
Darren C. Demaree
​I think we’ve taken this two-party system too far.  Somehow our political structure, which was never intended to exclude complexity of thought, has permeated sports, popular culture, and blanketed every important social issue we have.  There are two camps for every debate now, and two camps only.  We've removed the thinking and replaced it with agreeing.  I agree with Idea A, not Idea B.  I think Team A cheated, and Team B was robbed.  I think our children should do this, but never ever that.  It’s ridiculous, and it’s leading to untenable positions that can find no accord and no compromise.  It’s creating a system where discussion and reason are trampled in pursuit of victory.  The middle ground is a lonely, lonely place, and 2015, apparently, is the year it becomes a minefield.

Deflategate

​A: The New England Patriots are an army of cheating, lying bastards who have never won anything honestly.  They should be removed from this year’s Super Bowl, and have all of their previous Super Bowl wins vacated.  Moreover, their head coach and quarterback should be kicked out of the league, and barred from the Hall of Fame.

​B:  This is a competitive world, and the Patriot’s talent and will to win have triumphed once again.  Maybe they skirted a few rules, but if you aren’t cheating a little bit (like everyone else does), then you’re not really trying, and are destined to lose.  The Patriots are simply the best franchise in the NFL.

​Probably:  The Patriots have already been caught and punished for rule violations, and now there appears to be something rotten in Foxboro again.  I don’t think it’s an accident that 11 out of the 12 footballs they used were deemed illegal, but I also don’t think it decided the game in which they completely dominated the other team.  If they find proof (again), that they skirted or blatantly broke the rules, then they should be punished.  It’s going to be a footnote on their success no matter which way it comes down, and that sort of historical second-guessing is enough of a mark to haunt those involved.  Even the existence of a Camp A will incur enough ridicule and suspicion to call the whole idea of their dynasty into question.
 

The Movie “Selma” and the Questions of Race and Gender This Award Season

​A: The best performances (acting, directing, and writing) are always honored and race and gender play no role in the actual quality of the work done.

B: The Oscars and Golden Globes are a bloated tumor of racism and sexism that will never appropriately honor those considered to be minorities.

​Probably:  There is a lot of quality work being honored, and though I disagree with some of the choices, most of them are pretty good.  Historically, these awards are racist and sexist, and have a track record of being more about the campaigns of the movies and less about the talent displayed in their final products.  This is big business, not an art’s council of trained judges, trying to decide about the importance of the work done.  That part of it is incredibly difficult to swallow.
 

​On the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, legislation was pushed in the House of Representatives to overturn the decision

​A: We must right a terrible wrong, and protect the infinite number of fetuses that have been endangered by the legalization of abortion.

​B:  A woman’s right to choose what happens to her own body is an unalienable right, like free speech, and should be fought for with the same fervor.

​Probably:  Abortion is a difficult and heartbreaking thing, and it sits uncomfortably with almost everyone that considers it with empathy and understanding.  The larger picture is that to legislate against a group of people that make up over fifty percent of the community at large, and to force them to endure unwanted or forced pregnancies is tantamount to cruelty.  Nobody really thinks abortion is a “good” thing, but to protect the mother and her rights, the difficult thing must be an option.  Legal or illegal doesn’t leave much of a middle ground, but the rule of law has always been that it must be proven to be active detriment (a danger) to our society as a whole to become something worth making illegal.  The onus is to establish that the legality of the act, substance, or behavior is a threat to the nation much more than the protection of the rights involved.  In this case, that has never been close to proven.
 

​It Takes a Village (of thought)

​There has to be more than the creation of a sellable headline to make any moves towards the righteous reflection of this nation’s heart.  Right now there doesn’t appear to be anything close to that.  Right now every article is an agenda, and every pundit is an agent.  Truly, I’m tired of listening to almost everyone.  Even the people I agree with take such radical or hedged stances that it makes it difficult to listen to public thoughts.  My own beliefs are incredibly liberal, much more liberal than those currently held by the Democratic Party, but this is an issue for the whole spectrum.  We are an incredibly complex people living in a computer age, with issues that would confound even the most enlightened of ancient philosophers.  We need to keep talking, because if we continue to simply agree with A or B, there will be no way to bridge the divide.