Kris an’ Murphy: Two Cowed

Kris:Jesus, Murphy! Tell me you didn’t get that from one of your students.”

Murphy: “‘I didn’t get that from one of my students’. There. I did as you wanted. Now ask me what really happened.”

Kris: “Facepalm. Came in as part of a homework assignment?”

Murphy: “Of course.”

Kris: “And of course you reamed him out for it.”

Murphy: “Her. In case you haven’t noticed that there aren’t any ‘hims’ in our classes any more. And get real. When’s the last time you reamed out a paying customer whose reviews of us, which determine whether our jobs are worth having in terms of paycheck and work conditions, are dependent on the grades we give them and the courtesies we extend to them?”

Kris: “Namely, ‘A’ grades for no labor, and no meaningful critiques of whatever work does get done. Not to mention kowtowing to the student body sociopolitical craze du jour, or else.”

Murphy: “As usual. And since we both understand this, and have forever, why are you beating me up over it?”

Kris: “Because I’m sick and tired of it all! Of logic and proportion falling sloppy dead and polluting everything it touches! Take the current, 947th iteration of the gun control crap.”

Murphy: “As far away as possible, please. It’ll turn the wine into vinegar before we’ve had a chance to pour it, never mind drink it.”

Kris: “Ha ha. A freak goes off. Kids die. The gun control posse sees an opportunity for itself, starts screaming. The gun freedom goons see the gun control play as a threat, scream back. Neither lobby wants sensible change, because that change would profit neither of them. Nor will the media, mass, social, or otherwise, back sensible change because they profit from the wrangle, not to mention from the rebel and vigilante ‘gaming’ and ‘entertainment’ products that these freaks spawn, and not from authentic solutions. The screaming delivers the usual stalemate. So, surprise! Nothing changes. Rinse and repeat. For all we know, the media are egging on the freaks any time they need a ratings or sales boost.”

Murphy: “Ew.”

Kris: “That would be all of us. I suppose one thing that can be said about this ‘two cows’ thing is that, at least it talks about something other than the sheep we all seem to have become, for a change!”

Murphy: “You going to tell me what you really think sometime tonight, or are you going to continue to keep me in suspense?”

Kris: “Watch me. You know as well as I do that the ‘two cow’ thing you got is ridiculous, because, in addition to inadequately and inaccurately characterizing the states that it quotes, and being hopelessly biased in favor of the ‘conservative’ state, it makes stupid and utterly invalid comparisons between social philosophies (‘liberal’, which I presume means ‘social liberal’ instead of ‘neoliberal = libertarian’, and ‘conservative’, which generally stands for things that are anything but) and economic models.

“So, since our ‘two cow’ meme guru evidently thinks that a ‘conservative’ is necessarily a capitalist, let’s take that as a given and compare apples with apples, thus, compare capitalism with communism and socialism. Let’s also assume that the adherents of all three of these systems are not automatically dolts – I know that this proposition automatically disqualifies this conversation from any sort of consideration by our masters in the social and mass media, but I will cling desperately to the perception, however invalid it may now be, that it is our job as university intellectuals to consider even those options that would lose an America’s Got Talent vote – and that all are authentically trying to deliver milk and meat products to themselves and their communities in the best way possible. Which means somehow trying to turn two cows per person into a productive and self-sustaining herd.

“And, surprise surprise, each system works. Each one grows the herd and delivers products to the people. For a while. And then, each one fails, generally because some individuals have decided that they are more important than the system, and, sooner or later, the system can no longer cope with its burden of selfish individuals – its parasites, not to put too fine a point on it. The only relevant question, really, is if any of these systems be inherently more robust against parasites than any other. The fact that, throughout history, humans have lurched from one system to another and back again, endlessly, suggests that none is inherently superior. All we’ve figured out to do, in order to keep civilization from collapsing utterly, is to keep lurching, keep changing the system to shake off the pests, and hope that the system has enough time to actually deliver products to people before the pests figure things out and reattach themselves. Mind you, given the speed with which pestiferous information goes viral these days …”

Murphy: “You can always censor the media. Or ban it.”

Kris: “Like they do in China? Where they’ve got an Emperor in all but name, and are hell-bent on handing him all the keys to the government?”

Murphy: “Which is different from what we’ve got now, here in the USA, exactly how?

Kris: “[…] C’mon, Murphy, open that damned bottle. We may as well drink up while we still can. Before we’re as sloppy dead as the logic and proportion we used to be able to champion, before the Voice of the People decided that it wanted entertainingly idiotic absolute monarchs instead.”

Murphy: “Keep up that talk, and the sloppy dead will be sooner rather than later.”

Kris: “Yeah. Now ask me if I give a shit.”

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