I spent a good part of the day today at the doctors seeing a physical therapist. My insurance will pay 80% of 60 visits before the end of the year after $400 deductible. So it doesn't make sense for me to go until after New Years. Unless the world ends tomorrow in which case I'll probably be stuck pushing a habanero cart up a flaming hill only to have it slide back down again just before I reach the molten lava spewing from the top. Anyways....I had a hot Asian therapist and she had me lay on the table while she rubbed here and there to see where I hurt and what was tight. I'd heard that on the flip over that's when the good stuff comes into play but she was all business....Must just be an incorrect stereotype...DAMNIT.
Once I got over my initial disappointment she had me do all sorts of bending and moving. She measured my legs, my quads, and all sorts of things. Then she had me walk this way and that while watching me. After that it was a bunch of stretching and a short run on the treadmill. She came to the conclusion that my problem isn't my knees at all....that they are merely a symptom of a weak left hip. She said with tight hips and glutes that aren't firing properly my knees are doomed. The plan is no running for another 2 weeks. Absolutely no one legged squats or leg extensions....because weak quads isn't the problem so all those exercises were worthless. Meanwhile I'll be doing lots of icing of the tender tendons to get them under control....and lots and lots of these stretches. When the new year comes we'll start in on strengthening that left hip. No more crooked TerribleTerry. I guess I still could have a "happy ending" after all.
I've been involving myself a good bit in the gun control debate recently. I've come to the conclusion, besides the fact that Americans are stupid creatures that are controlled by biological urges and emotional triggers, that we as a population do not know how to have constructive dialog. One side shouts their position, the other side shouts theirs...then they change the wording and shout into the wind each time getting louder and more shrill....each wondering why the other side isn't convinced by their shrill media sound byte regurgitation's. In all of the shouting there's an absence of thought. An absence of dialectic....and instead an abundance of phatic grunts. Dialectic, was described by the ancient philosopher Plotinus, "as the most precious part of philosophy, and the point’s a valid one; the ability to sit down with someone who disagrees with you about some important issue, discuss the matter, determine what common ground exists and where the differences of opinion lie, and either resolve the disagreement or sort out the questions of fact and value that have to be settled in order to resolve it, represents a high level of the practical wisdom that philosophy once upon a time was meant to cultivate".
It's frustrating trying to have an intelligent debate, and I suppose the medium I'm choosing, social media, is a poor one.....but that's the only medium our tribe uses to record their clicks, grunts, and guttural articulation. Instead of getting to the meat of the discussion I find myself more often than not pointing out failed logic, inaccurate facts, or the complete absence of statistics backing up their argument. By the time this is accomplished the person has turned to someone amongst their gathering who hears their phatic utterances and relates with them....and they go about grooming each other and preening. Informed debate you see.....I seem to have forgotten....requires informed people. DOH!!!!
With any debate in this country what I've found are one group who loads themselves up with scientific, peer reviewed data that the broader world has come to believe as facts. They are then forced to match them up against another group who is armed with a select set of biased data, purchased by the company profiting most from the status quo (ignorance) and passed off as fact to a population of people who can't tell the difference and are extremely happy not to. The people armed with facts aren't prepared for a group of people who tell half truths with pretty smiles. The people armed with incorrect data love finding data that confirms exactly what they want to believe and are more than happy to declare it gospel no matter how absurd the story their interpretation of the data would require.
Anyways......before long I just come back to the conclusion....that we are truly fucked. My choice is to preach to the choir, or to stand in between sheep and goats and try to lecture them in English in such a way that would allow them to understand each other. It's just not happening.
The argument I was just commenting on was about having armed teachers in our schools. I offered some facts and was shouted some snippets that basically said "I'm afraid so we need to try something". I pointed out that if we were to try something it would be best to research current locations where things are different (and gave facts) or historical examples like the old West where things were as they proposed, and use those facts to decide on a workable path. In each case the only replies were for people to pull some wild fantasy scenario where....this one time....having a gun MIGHT have changed something. Never mind all the facts and figures that show that the consequences of arming teachers would cause more accidents and problems than would be gained by defending against his/her fantasy scenario (or unfortunately the very real and tragic scenario last week).
The debate then trudges down the path of their uninformed scenario and it gets wilder and more clearly unworkable...and yet the person never falters. I tried to show them data where professional armed guards in prisons...have accidents ALL THE TIME with their guns. Statistics showing where police forget their guns laying around at local restaurants, or have them stolen from their cars....way more often than they (trained professionals) successfully shoot heavily armed men with body armor. I mean....I've been heavily trained my entire life on getting dressed. I have about 35 years experience doing it. I think it's even acceptable to call myself a professional at putting clothes onto my body. Yet somehow...with all this training....a few times here and there....I managed to walk out of the bathroom with my fly down.
But you can't have a dialog about potential problems if the people you're speaking with are spewing fear. Because fear can't be confronted with facts, or statistics, or logic (especially in a society where those things aren't understood). You can only fight fear with LOVE.....and we don't have much of that at our disposal in a nation based on, encouraged by, and enthralled with..........selfishness.