Scattershot / View From the Bottom Rung (Vander H. Atwell)
Dictionary.com. Scattershot: Something delivered over a wide area and at random: Merriam Webster: ‘Broadly, and often randomly inclusive. Collins English Dictionary: ‘A scattershot approach or method involves doing something to a lot of things or people in a disorganized way rather than focusing on particular things or people’. Oh yes, one more. Ask/define: Scattershot is the name of a fictional character in something called the ‘Transformer Universe’. (Following a short research, the ‘Transformer Universe’ seems to be a creation of Marvel Comics, but with a short glance at the technical outlay of it’s complicated schemes, a spinning head indicated symptoms of vertigo and the inquiry had to be shut down). Not sure I could ever master the mechanics of it, or explain it even if I did, but. Within the Transformer Universe, the character Scattershot is described as ‘the aggressive and argumentative leader of the ‘Technobots’, who has the magical (or mechanical) ability to transform into a spaceship as well as a cannon emplacement or whichever, in accordance to the circumstance, ergo, one suspects ‘Scattershot’ comes in bits and pieces, with some assembly required–or desired. (Technobots are a subgroup of five ‘Autobots’ that transform into futuristic vehicles in the transformer universe. Got that? Simple really.)
Desperately trying to contact my Niece, science fiction writer Ms. Tracy Sue, in hopes of having this all sorted out and explained in a manner (if there be one) graspable of an aging mind not accustomed to the tech- speak of cyber civilizations; fearful though, that the key to interpretation lies with the Rubic Cube that is the politics of Washington DC.
Hmm. But I digress? Pause, whir and click; does anyone have the foggiest of where this is going? Neither do I, really. ‘Thought it featured a man with a plan, but now not so sure. Of course, readers of this column will be quick to point out that it’s not the first time the narrative showed signs of inebriation, fell apart or wandered off the reservation. A bushel of things to talk about and so little time and space to do it that fitting it all in seems beyond the capacity of one small column restricted to only a third of a news publication. But we try. Perhaps, a voice might gain greater amplification and weight if it became purely political, ran for public office and learned how to cuss.
Welst, for sure the prognosticator is not some metallic super creature comprised of several detachable parts that assembles itself, into whatever configuration the circumstance may demand. Truth is, the title ‘scattershot’ is chosen ‘cause “scatterbrained” doesn’t ‘zactly reflect the kind of lofty sophistication we strives to achieve.
Rather: We shall go with Mr. Collins, English Dictionary definition of scattershot as “an approach or method that involves doing something to a lot of things or people in a disorganized way, than focusing on a particular thing—or people.”
Verbosity, that’s me to a T; an argumentative sort, meandering about provoking passion and commotion amongst commotional people. Well maybe. Want an unbroken narrative loyal to a specific cause tune to this page next week.
Actually, the old ‘scriber’ just tries to figure things out, to process a variety of information garnered from various sources, overlay it with personal experience and a lifetime of observing the landscape. Presto! Insightful perspectives into anything and everything from A to Z, dissecting philosophies we haven’t a clue about or ever knew existed. And do it all within a paragraph or two.
We do have our critics. (Depending on the politics). While words of encouragement for whatever it is that we do here on this page bolsters my ‘amour-propre’ and sparks a bit more swagger to the old roosters strut, there are rumors that for some, in some quarters of some societies, ‘verbose’ meanderings are not so greatly appreciated. Brevity, I am told, is the ‘soul of wit.’ (Not that I ever thought of myself as being witty’)
Having sat through countless hours of countless preachers holding countless pews hostage to endless exhortation, enduring long-winded lectures by long-winded Dirksenesque politicians, I am well aware of the definition of both the terms ‘verbose’ and ‘bloviate’ and completely understand why a boisterous harangue might drive those who feel lectured to ‘wits end.’ But, since the critic is also a member of a verbose community willing to dispense with due process to achieve a political end, we shall pick up the pen and press on. “Wit” so defines the dictionary, is the ‘keen perception and cleverly apt expression of those connections between idea’s that awaken amusement and pleasure.’
But: whether the writer is ‘known’ for his ‘keen perception,’ whether his purpose for writing, whether he be witty or witless, whether his ideas, opinions or philosophies awaken amusement and pleasure in the mind of the reader, does it matter at all in the process of political discourse, the style or fashion of his work in an unrelated enterprise? What has ‘a’ to do with ‘z’ in the context of a narrative other than both are members of the same alphabet? And what has a worm in the apple to do with the texture of an orange over there in another orchard? Shouldn’t differences of opinion be argued upon the merits of that debated and not degrade to an ‘up front and personal’ attack on the character of the arguer?
Verity (defined as the quality of being true, honest or real) isn’t established upon whether a person is witty or not witty, educated or uneducated, whether one has exceptional intellectual qualities or exists as a bumbling simpleton, just as factuality in a court of law is not determined by running an IQ test on the witness. Neither is distrust, suspicion, or ones emotional involvement in the process grounds enough to indict anyone for anything at all.
Whether witty or witless, what has a ‘wordy’ newspaper column to do with comments in an unrelated forum dealing with an unrelated matter, i.e. rejecting the proposed indictment (impeachment) of a U.S. President for a crime no one is sure has been committed?
This writer’s dissenting opinion appeared in a public forum the middle of May after a poll reported that 43 percent of people surveyed wanted Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump. For what, they could not decide, only that he must be guilty of—something.
Call for impeachment was instigated by the usual media and partisan provocateurs all whipping up the hopes and emotions of people clueless of, or willing to override both the political and constitutional process that promotes stable governments.
Urban Dictionary defines such as ‘reality challenged’ i.e. ‘a state in which one is utterly and completely incapable of distinguishing which is fact and which is fiction, which is ‘Shinola’ and which isn’t.
My own proposition publicly stated and based upon my understanding of what America is and what it isn’t, is that impeachment is a political process that requires evidence of a previously designated offense and should not be the result of a call to crucify for political reason, for a Presidents bad manners, because certain view him as a ruffian, or that we imagine him insane. Further I opined, that as a Republican congress found much to their chagrin when impeachment charges were filed against Bill Clinton, it takes more than a President’s personal rascality to usher him out the door down the street.
Nowhere have I given ‘Mr. Trump a pass’ as thus far none of several investigations have shown he committed a crime; neither was advocated that any U.S. President at all is above the law or that inquiry’s of Russian interference in a U.S. Presidential election should end. Only that impeachment, should it ever happen, will not happen just to placate someone’s prejudiced yearnings, or because rabblerousing partisans want it to happen or believe it should happen. Is there smoke? Perhaps, but we shall exhibit a modicum of sobriety and be content to wait for the ‘fire.’
Crafty schemes, plots and intrigues:
I have always been intrigued by the eccentricities and machinations of myself, and my fellow man; how we as intelligent creatures allow our emotions to pull us aside from the narrative into the silliness of our own private foibles and obsessions. Why would anyone at all, having been countered, reach beyond a difference of political opinion and accuse a dissenter of being ‘unpatriotic’? (‘Someone that simply cannot imagine anything other than pledging allegiance to a political party’) “They are, (continuing) thankfully, a rapidly shrinking minority, lets put these ‘hardliners’ in perspective and realize that they worship their Party above all else.”
And we wonder; has due process (Fair treatment through the normal judicial system, especially as a citizens entitlement) fallen from grace, are these people aware of what due process is, that it lies as the very foundation of our culture government and society, and if so knowing, do they really care? And has political angst so twisted our analytical abilities we cannot see the same faults within our own bosom we so readily attribute to others?
However it is, in the pursuit of wit, ere the column grows weary and long, I shall forthwith retreat into the Transformer Universe of Scattershot ‘till which time, there is more time and one finds it convenient to reassemble and reconstitute in accordance to the circumstance, whichever the circumstance be. Meanwhile, let us pray that those who cherish due process are not a diminishing culture, as suggested.
Vander H. Atwell….July 22, 2017