Scold’s Bridle: A practical solution to Egypt’s problems and our own

The Runnymede Institute Feb 8, 2011 Victors write the history of the human experience. We normally tend to speak in terms that give conflict a special place in our psyche and expect there will always be a loser to pity or despise. It’s believed this is a natural condition, part of the brain’s basic software package we’re all born with but we humans are not so one-dimensional. The question of Nature over Nurture has been debated in academia for decades and careers were built and destroyed on the notion of whether you could make a perfect man by design or if we’re born that way. If one were to ask, which attribute makes people good citizens, the natural modern answer is the same as anywhere in recorded time. It’s dependent on where you live, who you live with and under what conditions, making both sides of the argument redundant. Are Egyptians ogres, as TV News sez? Intellectual impasse means every Perfesser Nozalot is itching to spew his theories at the drop of a hat, via television best of all. After billions of dollars, trillions of hours and forests of ‘papers’, they weren’t able to divine what makes us tick yet they’re perpetually primed and ready to clean our clocks. Salary and tenure require output! We’ve seen publicly funded studies on every imaginable subject, some they made up out of thin air but there isn’t any social anthropolist’s guide to Middle Eastern people’s uniquesness setting them apart from the rest of us. That would require a good dose of politics to even come close to understanding the ‘radical’ behaviour stories we’re bombarded with ad nauseam, one and all enemies of Israel according to script. Isn’t it fair to ask the question whether there’s a direct relationship between their wall building and the caging of their own people in the past? We’re guessing it’s not, some people’s feelings are more delicate than others’. Oddly enough, Egyptians are probably Israel’s best friend in the Islamic world and they take the peace accords as seriously as they should. Somewhere deep in their sub-conscious, the true goodness of that culture does allow for other people’s self-determination and right to exist. Egyptian friends of Runnymede Institute tell us the troubles started with a perfectly peaceful protest and opportunists fomented the violence we’re faced with today. Our Israeli friends, tell us they’re very concerned, mirroring the man on the street in Cairo. One and all ask for nothing more than news, reality based missives but that’s not available on TV or in the print media as it’s replete with gossip and rumours. The proverbial elephant of many names, misinformation, product placement and biased ‘stories’ galore is all we get from those who would have us believe they perform a public service that ‘informs’ us. Morsels of fact don’t always add up to a palatable, wholesome meal when the news-chef’s spoiled the broth by spicing it with ambiguities and deviant mind massage additives. They’re talking to us like we’re children and that doesn’t bode well for ‘them’ in the near future. As any elementary school teacher will tell you, kids shouldn’t be pushed too far and watch out, they just might pull! Daring to question the validity of a news story has always been a good way to guarantee the donning of the modern day Scold’s Bridle. You know the name, RMI readers are smart ;-).
Brank

16th century Scottish brank or "scold's bridle", made of iron.

The major networks covering this ‘Egyptian Crisis’ of their own making don’t need any pesky inquisitors asking why the price of bread is suddenly so high in the region. That would mean bashing their own advertisers and in turn their suppliers in the Agro-biz. It would make their stock market reports less interesting to show how commodities brokers, from their perches in the financial ‘districts’ around the world successfully rig the lives of distant peoples everywhere. Our ancestors had simple, pragmatic solutions for troublemakers whose thoughtless ravings did actual harm to others, they didn’t need political correctness to show them the way. The Bridle gagged and muzzled the offenders to spare society having to chop off their heads. Perhaps this solution can be applied to network news readers to make them think about what tumbles out of their mouths in lieu of their quasi-authoritative delivery and plausible presentation of unadulterated schlock. ‘Free Press’ like ‘Free Trade’ is a misnomer, it puts us in a comfort zone that always gets uncomfortable as a rule. The Internet’s put paid to that and noises of an off-switch from a scolding government are akin to the master gossip fitting ‘us’ with a muzzle. We suggest re-instituting the original, an iron contraption with a pointy in-mouth piece to puncture the tongue if they wag it. It’s a good way to reindustrialize a small segment of the American economy because there’s no way to quantify potential demand. Let’s start off slowly, detain all the weathermen and dominoes will fall.   Weatherman Michael Fish keeping the public relaxed in the wake of a force ten hurricane

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