Saturday, August 19, 2006

Tunnel Vision

You may have read today's New York Times article detailing the monsterous failure that is "Plan Colombia". (Plan Colombia is the U.S. program that takes billions of taxpayer dollars and turns them into poisons to be sprayed on Colombian farmers and children. Brilliant.) If you haven't read it, I would suggest doing so, but if you'd prefer a summary, here it is:

America has spent $4.7 billion dollars over the past six years in hopes of eradicating coca, yet the cocaine market has been absolutely unaffected. Predictably, the drug warriors ignore this truth, and say stupid shit like this:
“Over the past five years, you see a compression on cultivation,” John P. Walters, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said in an interview. “You see the remaining cultivation and trafficking in Colombia under pressure as you’ve never seen it before.”
Right, Johnny. And the world is flat too.

In addition to reading the obvious in the New York Times, I also spend my Saturdays reading the absurd in Tom Robbins novels. I was just reading Still Life With Woodpecker and found this quote particularly pertinent (and not particularly absurd)...
Tunnel vision is a disease in which perception is restricted by ignorance and distorted by vested interest. Tunnel vision is caused by an optic fungus that multiplies when the brain is less energetic than the ego. It is complicated by exposure to politics. When a good idea is run through the filters and compressors of tunnel vision, it not only comes out reduced in scale and value but in its new dogmatic configuration produces effects the opposite of those for which it was originally intended.

Little did the master of metaphor know that strains of optic fungi seem to be on the minds of drug warriors these days - quite literally. Our favorite dogmatic, do-gooder dignitary, Mark Souder, is disappointed with the failure of Plan Colombia... and now wants to spray a blindness-inducing optic fungus on the country.

Citizens of Indiana elected a man who would gladly turn a whole country of brown people blind in order to stop a few white people from bumping some white powder up their white noses.

Tunnel vision.

It's truly suprising the guy can find his little lawmaker while taking a congressional leak.


Pete Guither said...

Hey -- us Illinoisans have elected some bad politicians (and I would very much like to vote out my own Congressman Weller), but don't put Souder on us.

That's INDIANA. Starts with an I, but ends with an NDIANA.

Micah Daigle said...

Oops. Apricot beer and Tom Robbins novels make me a sloppy blogger. I originally wrote "Illinois" when I meant "Indiana".

Anything West of New York confuses a guy from Rhode Island.

Silly me. Thanks for the correction, Pete.

Pete Guither said...

I understand, Micah. When I moved to New York, I had lived in both Illinois and Iowa and chose to use Iowa as where I was from because it was so much fun to watch New Yorkers deal with it.

They had no problem with Illinois -- they knew it was a suburb of Chicago. But Iowa? Some said "You grow potatoes, right?" and one even said "Iowa? Oh, yeah, but out here we pronounce it Ohio."