It occurred to me recently how pointless arguments are. Nobody ever wins an argument, except by interjecting an indisputable fact and, even then, it’s not certain. People have a wonderful talent at ignoring reality. I should know — it’s a particular talent of mine.
No, arguments are useless, frustrating, Ferris wheels of pain. This is a problem, because I enjoy having them so much. I can be baited into losing my temper and responding with a self-conscious tirade, mitigated by constant attempts at seeing the other person’s side (aren’t I a saint?) but lately I have been more apt to just take it and smile. No, ladies, sorry, I am not available.
But I NEED to argue. It’s part of my essential makeup, like that pesky desire for oxygen that won’t go away, and the love of Chinese food. A good argument can be better than good sex, and somewhat more satisfying. An argument is to me what turning around three times before lying down is to a dog: Not quite essential but not a behavior that is easily curtailed.
So, in order to get those arguments out of my system, I have decided to have a series of theoretical argument with famous people. You may see these pop up on occasion — when there’s a genuine reason or connection with the week’s news, or when I just can’t think of anything better.
Because this is Election Day, I decided to pick a fight with John F. Kennedy, considered one of the most popular U.S. presidents of all time, and one generally well thought of. And, of course, he can’t fight back because he’s dead.
Hi, John. I can call you John, right?
“I am the man who accompanied Jacqueline Kennedy to Paris, and I have enjoyed it.”
You’re also the man who accompanied Marylin Monroe to the White House’s secret boom-boom-room, right? I bet you also enjoyed that a bit.
“I’m an idealist without illusions.”
John, I have to say, with much of Connecticut still without power after a little snow fell in October, I’m wondering why we all pay so much in taxes every year.
“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
That’s kind of a cop-out, don’t you think? I mean, shouldn’t the government have done something before the storm, instead of blaming it all on the power companies?
“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.“
I’m not sure of that, buddy boy. If the rain is falling through a hole in the roof, it might be a good idea to fix it, whatever the weather.
“We must use time as a tool, not as a couch.”
Now that’s just silliness. Are you seriously suggesting that we should give the power companies more time and more of our patience?
“Now we have a problem in making our power credible.”
Credible? I don’t care if people believe in electricity or not. Most people just want their toilets to work. I think you’re being a bit sanctimonious here. Typical, golden-tongued politician.
“Politics is like football; if you see daylight, go through the hole.”
Um, yeah. Again with the daylight and sunshine bit. Sports metaphors do nothing for me.
“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. “
Are you calling me fat?
“The greater our knowledge increases the more our ignorance unfolds.”
And now you’re calling me stupid. You know, if you weren’t a former president, I’d come over there and…
“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.”
Great. Whatever. You know, I think Lincoln was the best president anyway.
Jordan Fenster is the entertainment editor at the New Haven Register. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/NHRegBuzz or find us at Facebook.com/NHRegBuzz. Text NHNEWS to 22700 to get news alerts directly to your cell phone. Standard message and data rates may apply. Text HELP for help. Text STOP to cancel.