Russell’s Ramblings

Those who do not hear the music might think the dancer mad

Spinning Away

spinningRemember when spinning used to be something you did when you were a kid going round and round on the playground Round-A-Bout?  Today, its taken on a whole new meaning.  Spin is what political handlers do when they tell you what you “really” saw and heard after you saw and heard it.  Watch any national debate and immediately after the event is over, political advisors are falling over themselves to get to the nearest microphone to tell you their side of what just happened.

Many of you have read the stories of my Granddaddy Russell.  Granddaddy was a farmer who could pretty much see through anybody’s spin.  I know firsthand because I considered myself a “master spinner” from the time I could talk.  Grandmamma didn’t call it spin. She claimed I was just flat telling a story.  One afternoon, I was giving my best spin on how the grades marked on my report card didn’t accurately reflect how well I was doing in school.

Granddaddy sat down, took off his hat, and took a long swallow on his ice water.  I knew that was a sure sign I was in for one of his colorful stories. Granddaddy asked, “Billy, have I ever told you about Uncle Earnest’s chickens?”  “No, I don’t think so,” I replied.

“Well, your great uncle had these chickens in a large hen house when they  started to fight, wounding and killing each other. One day, Earnest got this advice from a retired state representative who lived up the road and always had an answer for everything.     “Add some uncooked grits to the chickens’ food,” said the stately politician, “it will calm them down.”Kenny_Delmar_as_Senator_Claghorn

After a week Uncle Earnest came back to the sage and said, “My chickens continue to die. What should I do?”   “Add apple cider to their drinking water, that will help for sure,” said the representative .  A week passed, and again your uncle went up to see the wise man. “The dang chickens are still quarrelling. Do you have any more answers?”

“I can give you more advice,” answered the retired politician. “The real question is whether you have any more chickens.”     Like the boy who cried wolf one too many times, eventually my uncle realized while the retired representative had a different remedy for the same situation, his chickens would one day run out.  While my grandparent’s love was boundless, eventually my stretching the truth would have its limits.

In any election season with all the reasons why you should support or oppose something – you need to ask yourself – Does it benefit my family, my business, and my community?    While you may not have a child in school, does paying for school construction benefit our thriving business community?  What about mass transit?  According to the City of Charlotte, the average Mecklenburg County citizen spends about $39 a year to support our transit tax.  Is it worth the price of a” Big Mac” hamburger a month to make sure we have bus service for those people who don’t have cars or who choose to take a bus to their jobs?

It would be a real welcome change to turn on the television or radio and hear an elected official give a response that was free of political spin.  Just a simple answer to simple questions.  Instead we hear someone say this and twelve different people have twleve different interpretations of what was said.  Sometimes I think we’re just spinning out of control.


March 13, 2009 - Posted by | Politics | , , ,

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