Friday, February 13, 2015

The Sledgehammer in a Scalpel World

One of my favorite tools is the sledgehammer. Since my teens I've been strong enough to use them effectively. I've always had one in my kit and there are often jobs to be done that no other chunk of wood and steel can accomplish.

These days I most often use my sledgehammer to split wood when I'm camping. I use a steel wedge or an old hand axe as the cutting edge and the heavy hammer to make my point with the firewood. It is the best way I've found to handle the chore of creating a big stack of manageable and effective fuel for our campfires.

My affection for the sledgehammer is even reflected in my fiction and essays and arguments. Often, I don't bother with the reasons and causes of a situation so much as attacking that happenstance with a handful of probability (or the inevitable). In addition, I prefer the wake of the sledgehammer in matters of reason. Yes, the application of blunt force trauma is sometimes the best tack.

This is partly due to the way I perceive the world, these days. Blacks and whites. Good and evil. Champion and villain. Society is largely made up of the fact that the bad guys won the only battles that count and every struggle in our times is the grudging surrender by the folk who do the work to the few who reap the rewards of that labor. We are given the illusion that we have won an inch, when in fact the antagonists have taken a mile. (This is why liberals sicken me.)

In such a world, why worry with details? It's a fallacy that we can use a skillfully wielded scalpel to repair the damage. What is needed is the only approach remaining: the sledgehammer.

Smash it all down and start the fuck over.

Sooner or later, it's gonna drop.

Ah, those Russian boots tromping all over shattered Berlin. Music!

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