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“Sometimes Nothing Can Be a Real Cool Hand”

Recently I made a rather startling discovery.  I realized I didn’t know anything.  It was kind of depressing.  I mean I’ve been walking this earth for 67 years and I really don’t know anything.  I’ve only thought, I’ve known things.  But then I perked up a bit as I realized no one else knows anything either.  In fact, a whole lot of people know less.

But this is a rather startling admission for me as I’ve written over 200 articles over the last five years.  This means that whatever is in them might just be… nothing.  But then most of what we say disappears as soon as the sound waves they produce dissipate in the air.  And, it’s probably for the best.  Most of what we write is read and then well… forgotten.  And that too is probably for the best.

But now here is the question, just because I don’t know anything, is that any reason I shouldn’t have an opinion?  I mean since most everyone else doesn’t know anything either and some people know less?

Like take the Paris Climate Accord.  No seriously take it… puhleeze!  I’d like to weigh in on it.  I mean everyone is weighing in on it.  But then I think I sort of have to read it, right?  I mean to have any kind of a chance at a reasonable opinion.  But I don’t want to read that.  It’s the Paris Climate Accord so it’s probably in French.  I will admit to being able to read a little French.  I even passed a course in French Literature back in college, having to read La Chanson de Roland along the way.  But this Paris Climate Accord is probably just loaded up with heretofore, heretofore and resolved this that and the other thing.  Then it’s about the climate, so it’s got to also be full of scientific language and I probably have a better chance with 12th century French one more time.  So then I looked around at my staff here and everyone got real busy, real fast.  They’re not going to try and read that thing.  No flies on any of them.  But then I realized something, probably no one else has read it either and that’s not stopping them from having opinions.

But then I did read enough about the agreement to find out that the whole thing was voluntary.  Each country gets to set its own target to lower their own greenhouse gas emissions.  And, if you don’t meet any of those targets, well what is anyone going to do about it?  Nothing.  So the whole Agreement was about… nothing.  And that is something I can definitely have an opinion on.  I’ve just written 460 words on the subject.

And, like the man said in ‘Cool Hand Luke’.  “Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand.”

Dicens simile factum est

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7 comments to “Sometimes Nothing Can Be a Real Cool Hand”

  • mistermuse

    Not to worry, Don — if anyone knows nothing, it’s The Donald, and look where it’s gotten him. The difference between him and us is that he doesn’t know he knows nothing, whereas that’s the one thing we do know….which, technically speaking, means we at least know something.

    I suspect (but don’t know) that the Know Nothing Party of the 1840s-50s would’ve loved to have The Donald as their leader, but since he wouldn’t have been able to tweet 170 years ago, he would’ve thought their offer was for the birds.

  • Don Frankel

    Geez Muse I’m pretty sure this is not about President Trump and this is not Trump Central. I think I mentioned you can go to his Twitter account and tell him yourself. I know he has all the liberals over stimulated but don’t you think this is getting just a bit boring already?

  • mistermuse

    Don, I don’t tweet (though I have been known to sing in the shower on occasion) — nor do I do Facebook or other social media beyond blogging….though I don’t doubt that Trump would give me the benefit of his undivided attention if I did tweet him.

    In any case, I will certainly respect your wishes — when I visit here, the name of Trump will nevermore darken your door (no matter how much he darkens mine).

  • Don and Muse,

    And to quote Hemingway once more, “Winner Take Nothing.”

    Read a piece in KC Star today that pretty much supported your conclusion, Don. The Paris Accord amounted to really “nothing.” And those who think it did know “nothing.”

    BTW–I liked that movie. Especially the sentiment, “What we’ve got here is…failure to communicate.” That can be a real problem for people who know nothing.

    May your troubles amount to “nothing,”

    Mark

  • Don Frankel

    Mark,

    Thank you and thank you for the Hemingway quotes but the one I’m remembering is pretty involved. It’s like a paragraph about how if you can remember the way the light fell and how the air felt.. In short if you can recall how things were almost exactly in a particular time and place then you’re a writer. It ends with “and how the weather was.”. But since I don’t know anything how can I trust my memory, where there is probably nothing.

  • Don,

    Oh, okay. Here’s the one you want:
    “All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.” Ernest Hemingway

    Hope that helps. : – )

    Mark

  • Don Frankel

    Mark,

    Thank you. That is probably it. Although my memory seems to remember something different. But I’ll copy this and paste it on my wall.

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