Inspection- Control FREAKY!
Of course there’s a political/social aspect to this, dear readers, I’ll get there. I know: I meander sometimes. Makes writing a joy and I love discovering the connections between seemingly different topics.
Am I a control freak? I’ve never considered myself to be one. I can’t remember the topic, but I was in Union, Maine visiting my Aunt Arley many years ago (God, that was at least 15 years ago? Wow.) and my cousin Kate was there. We were weeding the garden of “some” famous Maine garden author with the same name: Arley Carman Clark, and something I said had Kate responding, “And control is very important to you, isn’t it?” I responded that I had never thought so. Yet, like so many things, it created an ongoing inner discussion and self examination.
I consider that healthy, though there’s an unhealthy aspect to it: I admit I tend to obsess from time to time about things I can’t forget. As some wife named ‘Millie’ once pointed out; I will probably never know the why, the how.
I suppose we all have control issues. Lately I’ve pondered my possible control issues when it comes to cars. I love our Honda Elements, but if it wasn’t for the cost I would have the auto lock feature ripped right out. In our first Element you would walk away from the car and in 5 seconds flat it would lock itself: even with the keys in it. Luckily every time it did that Millie wasn’t too far away. Yet it could sit in the driveway for days and remain unlocked. This started once it was off warranty.
Cars should never lock themselves. I understand it’s a safety feature, but controlling that is necessary in my opinion.
Cars should never turn off their own lights. I’ve had too many dead batteries to trust that feature. I understand the computer is probably far more reliable that I am, but I’d still rather blame myself.
I don’t like phones that do everything. I don’t want some nagging device demanding I use it 24/7. I’d rather avoid the addiction and limit my own usage, not jack up my bill. Plus I hate that obnoxious reminder noise demanding I respond to some idiot whose probably dead because he texted himself right off a cliff.
Too “control freaky?”
I think “control freak” doth apply to our president. Some folks thought Obama a control freak. Rick and Morty had several episodes on the theme. Perhaps Obama wanting to lock FOX out of briefings because they’re “not news” was too control freaky, but if so there’s a whole lot of control freaks who would love to give Trump the ability to drive out of business any media he deems “fake news:” that all too conveniently also disagrees with him.
If one is too control freakish the other is so control obsessed it could drive us all over the cliff. Even the framing is control freaky… “dissolve” the “fake news media?” What is the media, soap? The use of “fake” is a control freak attempt to shut down discussion: offers no proof, invites no debate. The deity has decided: all must agree.
Years ago I think it may have been Issa who ran around shutting off mics, power to the room, when Democrats were having their own meeting on an unpleasant topic: unpleasant to Republicans. Hillary a control freak? Yeah, I could see a case made for that. A small number of Bernie or Busters got real control freaky about demanding everyone vote for anyone but Hillary; so much so no wonder some thought they might be trolls. And those who constantly labeled other trolls: “control freak much?”
I understand why: how much do we really know about those on the web we debate with? I have no desire to control that, but we certainly should be aware we really don’t who they are.
An admission: I think anyone who seeks higher office; especially the highest office, probably has to be somewhat of a control freak. The best want what’s best for the country: not just their ‘base;’ even if their idea of “best” very skewed. With bad pols only their base matters, with the worst it’s all about them and no one else.
Control, in the end, is both illusion and delusion. No matter how much control we think we have fate and the guy with the scythe have far, far more than we do. May the blade be sudden, quick and as painless as possible.
Humanity advanced, in part, due to our control freak nature. Maybe someday we’ll control the weather, we’ll fly without wings and motor, beam across the universe to vacation planets, or to work. We certainly have been able to put off the swish of that scythe. Is that a good thing? I’ve seen that curtain slam into friends and family members over and over again far too often, lasting far too long. Euthanasia may seem to be the ultimate control freak out, but having seen what I’ve seen, and hopefully will never have to go through, sometimes I disagree. Sometimes I can think of no greater kindness.
Don’t try to sell me on doing “what God wants.” With meds and altering living conditions extending our lives we’ve long since gone way beyond “just putting it in his hands.”
But I admit sometimes control freaking goes too far. On the extreme end: suicide over casual insult. On the very minor end of the scale: I had a client when I was on the road a lot who would come in and arrange props I had set out for my shows before I put them on stage so they looked neat and orderly. It was compulsive, but also control freak-ish. I couldn’t live that way. It would drive me crazy. But she’s had a happy, successful, life.
To each their own.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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