Archive for January, 2011

Like “pushing a lake…”

January 28, 2011

Lakes don’t push when you get right down to it.  “Pushing a river…”, on the other hand…at least holds the intrinsic possibility that something still might happen — no matter how daunting the possibility of getting something done…particularly something you really want or really need to get done…done.  You know?

Rivers by their nature have flow — and some level of implicit force…suggesting something might happen if one tried to interrupt the river’s tendency to move the way it does.  As though, by virtue of standing in it and pushing – to make it stop…or go back to where you wanted it to be – or to move its path… you alter its course somehow — and in doing so, incur the risk that something entirely unexpected may occur. 

No such dynamic for “pushing lakes”.  They don’t push.  They absorb efforts to interrupt their natural state of stasis.  They swallow pushing efforts whole…leaving nothing to show for the effort.  Sort of like punching a room full of Jell-O.  The force is absorbed and dispersed – and all traces of the effort are erased the second the attempt to alter the shape is withdrawn.

Lots of that going on these days.  America’s attempt to fix itself these past couple of years has been like “pushing a lake”.  No matter how much noise and passion and effort is expended to create a “change” (remember how hopeful the word “change” was once?) nothing happens.  Effort passion and noise all absorbed.  Swallowed whole.  Punching  Jell-O. 

Mostly because — try as you might — you simply can’t change the nature of the lake…and its inherent inability to change shape.  Especially when the lake is filled with sediment.  Sediment, is comprised of rotting material, and effluent — which ultimately can take over a lake and turn it first into a swamp – and then once it starves itself of oxygen, turn the swamp into a dry depression in the ground.

Our government is a sediment filled lake it seems.  It can’t be pushed to fix itself. The best it can do is absorb the fabricated attempts offering the illusion of change – which this administration has done repeatedly over the past couple of years.  “Half-measure” legislative attempts that look real and substantive and resolute….but in reality are nothing but well-crafted delusions and illusions that contain no change what-so-ever.  Health Care bills with no public option incentives for providers to control costs…financial reform bills that despite the sound and the fury and the promises — do nothing to effect meaningful change to the system to keep the perps from doing it all over again.  A Whack-a-Mole military policy that professes to shut down one sump hole while opening another even bigger one.  Military hardware and service providers, big banks, big energy, big healthcare, and corporations “big enough to pay enough” into candidate campaign coffers — continue to win…and humans and real people continue to lose.  Spin, and promises that always turn out to be lies…roll on and on.  Nothing changes. 

There is a point where rot and effluent take over a lake.  A point where the lake becomes more sediment than lake.  A point where draining the whole mess is the only way to clean the damn thing out. 

The only way to effectively drain a swamped out lake is to momentarily create a river out of it. By tearing an opening in the side of it, and draining it off.  Frequently done with unexpected consequence.  But absolutely necessary when a lake is dying — and no longer supports the life that depends on it.