Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Quickies: A Bit Of Fun

     I can’t say exactly why, but this squib from Sarah Hoyt has put me in a whimsical mood. The following conversation is entirely hypothetical...but maybe it should be a template for future exchanges with hairy-eyed doom-shouters (HEDS):

HEDS: We have only twelve years to save the Earth!
FWP: (calmly, in his professorial voice): You’re going about this the wrong way.

HEDS: Huh? What are you—
FWP: Look, your cause is important to you, right? You sincerely believe in it?

HEDS: Well, of course! That’s why we—
FWP: Stop right there. I’m listening to you, right?

HEDS: Well, yes! And I need you to—
FWP: No, no, slow down. How many other people have stood stock-still and listened to you?

HEDS: Well, not a lot. But—
FWP: You probably think people are rejecting your cause. But your problem isn’t your cause. It’s your competition.

HEDS: Huh? I don’t get it...
FWP: Have you ever stopped and taken a count of all the causes out there?

HEDS: Uh, no...
FWP: That’s the key. There are dozens of them, and hundreds or thousands of people promoting them. And they all want the same thing: other people’s attention. But people only have so much attention to give – and what’s worse, nearly all those other causes are bogus. Not like yours!

HEDS: So what should I do?
FWP: Think about it. If the problem is your competition using up other people’s attention for bogus causes, what do you need to get other people to ignore them and listen to you?

HEDS: (the light dawns) You mean...I have to get all those other cause promoters to shut up and go away?
FWP: You’ve tried the direct approach and it hasn’t worked, so why not try something else?

HEDS: You’re a genius. Thank you, Thank you! (runs off to harass the "competition")
FWP: (smiles) Just doing my job, sir. Just doing my job.

     And I alone am escaped to tell thee.