Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Point of Non-Unshitability

Reader Edward Ott is confused by the new phrase I carelessly threw about in my last post. On further reflection, I believe it is, though a trifle obscure, an important concept and worthy of wider dissemination.

Fellow blogger The Poor Man perhaps invented the "parent" phrase, which he brilliantly used to refer to the Iraq mess. (I should also point out that as the founder of the Poor Man Institute for Freedom and Democracy and a Pony, with which I am proud to be associated, he is, in a pointless yet irrelevant way, associated with me. )

People want someone to unshit the bed. You can't unshit the bed. All you can do is make the bed-shitter sleep on the floor.

I take "unshit the bed" to mean "the logical null set in which one fixes a problem that cannot in reality be fixed." The "point of non-unshitability" is thus the moment at which all is forever and irrevocably lost, the bed is unambiguously shat, and the situation is no longer fixable, regardless of the magnitude of the resources, optimism and ponies thrown at the problem.

So I simply created a variation on the Poor Man's classic phrase. But I think this new phrase, which locates the onset of the condition temporally, is critically important, and deserves recognition in its own right. Much effort has already been, and will continue to be, expended in locating the critical inflection point at which Iraq becomes unfixable, yet it has been difficult to discuss the concept because it has not had a proper name. I cannot solve the apparent non-unshitability in Iraq, but I can give it a name.

I now leave it to you, dear readers, to spread this wisdom far and wide. Encourage the press to ask, "Mr. President, have we already reached the point of non-unshitability, and if not, how will we know when we have reached it?", or "Secretary Rumsfeld, are there specific milestones which you believe conclusively demonstrate that we have not yet reached the point of non-unshitability?", or even, "Secretary Rice, how will U.S. policy change post-point of non-unshitability?"



Blogger Eric Soderstrom said...

Is this phrase at all related to "You can't un-fuck a sheep?"

Have you read Parry's Secrecy and Privilege yet? The author runs www.consortiumnews.com. Lots of good commentary there. Anyway - I think 50 years from now, it will be very difficult to pin point the moment that the bed was shat, or even when the sheep relationship was consumated. Maybe last weekend's violence in the mosque/office complex that resulted in the death of insurgents/innocent worshippers will prove to be this conflicts Mai Lai massacre.

What matters is what gets out there and that comes down to not only who controls the Congress, or even who is the next president (even if Bush is impeached), but how willing that party or the next administration is willing to investigate all of the current scandals and lies and make the findings public.

The October Surprise and Iran Contra scandals went away because nobody in the government pushed the issue, and the media rolled over and focussed on Whitewater and such instead. I think maybe the reason is the scandals of President Clinton shook people's faith in one man and not in our entire system of government like October Surprise and Iran Contra would have. A full disclosure of the Iraq debacle and the other terrible acts of this administration and the Republican party will certainly do the same.

Odd coincidence, as I'm typing this post, KTVU news just did an obit for Cap Weinberger and mentioned the Iran Contra scandal. A little spooky, that.

What do you think about Steve Westly?

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice observation, thank you. Also like the follow-on sheep obsrvation, as we do appear to be a nation of sheep we should all feel rather anxious at this point.

3:32 PM  

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