Neither this, nor that

So … are you a Big-Endian or a Little-Endian? Or are you a moderate — do you think the truth lies somewhere in between? (If so, the hell with you). Or maybe you’re eclectic — you open the big end on odd-numbered days, and the little on even. Isn’t that pretty much the same as “somewhere in between”, at least on average?

Of course you have to open your egg at some place or other. It’s not an abstract problem.

You could stop eating eggs altogether. But who would want to do that?

As usual, my metaphor has run away with me, like an ornery but not otherwise very impressive horse.

Presented with a conventional either/or, you can always be sure that neither alternative is quite satisfactory. Plato or Aristotle? Theism or atheism? Progress or regress?

Neither obvious solution — eclecticism or splitting the difference — is satisfactory either.

What you have to do is escape from the question somehow. The mentality police have you in the interrogation room, and they want you to say Big End or Little End before they’ll let you go. So your job is to climb out the window.

The truth doesn’t lie somewhere in between. In fact it doesn’t lie at all. But if you want to seek it, don’t stay on the line-in-between. Go off at an angle.

 

 

16 thoughts on “Neither this, nor that

  1. I ever understood “centrism”. If political affinity can defined as points on a line–which is obviously absurd–isn’t that line infinite therefore without a center–or at least a center that can be expressed by an integer. Any relational value being expressed with respect to arbitrarily selected point.

    • No, it makes sense if the line (1) has a distance defined and (2) extremes defined. Then there’s a definite middle equidistant from the extremes.

      I guess “centrism” is just anything between those two wild-and-crazy extremes of American “liberalism” and “conservatism” — the outer bounds of political thought, forever opposed and distinct, and eminently well defined. Given the dire situation one’s mind would have to be in for the foregoing to actually make sense, I tend to interpret it as meaning “non-partisan.” That in turn requires interpretation, but is easier: it means agreeing on whatever the two major parties agree on, and not consistently siding with one or another in those situations where the parties actually have decided and opposed ideologies or policies.

  2. What endian is one if the answer to most questions of this ilk is “Go fuck yourself and take your window with you. I ain’t climbing out shit.” Can’t remember if that is Plato, Aristotle, Lennon, or McCartney.

  3. So, reject Hobson’s choices.

    But don’t “think outside the box.” Does your horse march to the beat a different drummer? Is it of a different color?

    To extend the analogy: maybe throw the egg against the wall.

    I actually did give up eating eggs. Have you seen the conditions most eggs are produced in? I couldn’t square egg-eating anymore with giving a shit.

    • “Think outside the box” was a cool expression for maybe a week, week and a half at most.
      For me, nowadays, the use of the phrase “think outside the box” is a sure sign that someone has never had an original thought in their lives, let alone thought outside a goddamn’ metaphorical box.

      • You’re older than me: do you know when that week was? I think I too was okay with the phrase the first time I heard it, but yeah, it began to grate. It got integrated into corporate-speak and is by now about as original and meaningful as “goal-oriented” or “synergy.”

    • It was an allusion to MJS’s known and professed disdain for cliché, my own playful, if not clever, way of making the itself-unoriginal observation that originality and rejection of false dichotomy had themselves been harnessed/harvested/subverted/subjugated/colonized/banalized/ by cliché.

  4. Ah. I am new around here, and therefore beg pardon.

    For my own self, I am swimming in a sea of horses marching quite assuredly to drums in specific boxes.

    How did everyone get so sure of themselves?

  5. Swiftly handled, the metaphor’s moot. The great egg debate was literal; literary but obliquely, angled off. Witness: Once gullibler, living literarily, I paid court to a Lady unmasked one morn as a Big Endian. She declared imperiously, and woe unto unbelievers, that the one and only way to break in, to the soft-boiled good stuff, was at the Big End. (Sans metaphor.) Straight from 18th Cent. Lit. I swallowed the hatching guffaw, for I still wanted to lay. Later I brooded. Shucks Maw, she warn’t all she was cracked up to be. Scusi! Talk about facile wise-cracks, etc…..

  6. Y’know, I just thought of something… All this pissfighting about big end, little end — am I the only one here who cracks open his eggs by sharply striking them dead amidships on the edge of the bowl?

    Just being literal here, for a second. I might be missing the point, I don’t know…

  7. ”I guess “centrism” is just anything between those two wild-and-crazy extremes of American “liberalism” and “conservatism” — the outer bounds of political thought, forever opposed and distinct, and eminently well defined.”

    you are joking, no?

  8. the egg is soft boiled
    or medium

    from farm hen or
    industrial

    or perhaps raw
    turtle eggs in

    a bowl at a
    small mex

    ristorante
    near

    tepic

    ”Sea turtles are a protected species in Mexico, and extraction of their eggs is punishable by up to nine years in prison.”=bribe

    or 30-60 days

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