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Message In A Bottle, May 2011
The Secret To Ending Political Fighting -
Duct Tape and Super Glue
Column By Don Coppock
America appears to be coming unglued these days.
On street corners and Fox News, agitated preachers pace furiously back and forth, gesticulating wildly, tearing at their hair, sputtering ‘the end is near’ or ranting about inevitable doom, destruction and anarchy. According to them, the future, if there is one, is bleak indeed. Everything seems broken.
To add to the cacophony, everyone, regardless of age, education, experience or intellect has an opinion on absolutely everything, and a solution to all the multitudinous things that seem to be dividing us. And they desperately want to share, they want the world to know what is so blindingly clear to them, which is why they sit hunched in front of their computers frantically searching for blogs that can benefit from their wisdom. And they post their idea…again and again and again, as if repeated postings will convince an ignorant populace of their insight. ...can you hear me now?
But further investigation reveals ultimately these prophets of doom can be divided into basically two camps; one glorifies duct tape as a fix-all solution, while the other venerates superglue. That’s it! This is the fundamental issue that divides us. Ain’t no more than that! Ironically, it’s discord regarding these adhesives that’s tearing us apart.
Fact is, there are few things everyone agrees on, and even something as sacrosanct as duct tape can arouse dissent. You would think that, at least, would be something everyone could come together on. But they say for every PHD there’s an equal and opposing PHD, and there are those that dismiss duct tape as a temporary fix. Sure, it’ll survive temperatures hotter than the sun, they’ll warn, but for how long, and then they’ll point to superglue, which they assure us is everlasting and has been holding things together since its introduction as a commercial product in 1958.
Invariably a member of the ‘Duct tape oughtta do her’ sect will encounter a proponent of the ‘Never met a problem superglue couldn’t fix’ school, and sparks will begin to fly. They’ll disagree. It’s what Americans do passionately. We argue.
One will come up with a list and the other will counter with a bigger list, and it will escalate until they’re calling each other vicious names and making threats until one or both become so exasperated they’ll tear themselves away from the computer in self-righteous rage.
But maybe, just maybe, they’re both right. Think about it.
Maybe massive globs of superglue in the right places and reams of duct tape will be just the thing to fix the 21st century vision of the American dream. Maybe the proponents of duct tape, and the true believers in super glue can forge a partnership. Maybe they can work together to begin to rebuild our broken nation. Maybe they can unite us.
Perhaps I’m a dreamer, but hear me out; what could be more patriotic than that?
Who can argue about the amazing properties of duct tape? And what’s more American?
It was originally used in WWII to seal ammunition cases, but people gradually realized it could fix virtually anything, from ruptured pipes to nuclear reactors (see Japanese duct tape solution), from bicycles to airplanes.
In Arkansas I’m told certain highways and bridges are primarily constructed from duct tape--and if I ever go there I plan to check it out--while in Detroit rumors continue to swirl regarding the building of a car composed entirely of duct tape.
No NASA crew ever leaves the ground without it. It’s in every surgeon’s tray. Morticians use it. Engineers use it, plumbers swear by it, and even conservative mechanics use it liberally.
In the south it’s even used in hospitals to fix broken limbs (bandage removal is a definite drawback) and waterproof injuries (see previous parenthetic comment regarding bandage removal), and it’s variety of uses continues to increase exponentially.
Some in the medical community even believe duct tape holds the key to everlasting life, --my grandfather swears my grandmother owes her long life to ‘the tape of life’, as he reverently refers to it-and suggest its uses are limited only by the limits of one’s imagination.
I also have my own testimonial regarding how well duct tape worked for me when I was having marital problems, but my lawyer won’t allow me to elaborate pending my upcoming trial.
In the unlikely event duct tape can’t fix your problem, superglue should be able to do the trick, as evidenced by attempts to remove its recently deceased inventor Harry Coover from his home. In fact they’re having trouble removing anything from Mr. Coover’s home, which is perhaps an ultimate confirmation of his steadfast belief in the product that even detractors can’t help adhering to.
Of course superglue also has its drawbacks as well, and modern surgeons are still attempting to devise ways of separating people (You got a WHAT stuck to your WHAT?) who failed to take proper precautions regarding items they recently became attached to.
I confess I have me a heap of my own opinions, as any who have thrown down my columns in disgust will hastily agree, but the difference between my opinions and some of these other folks opinions is that I freely acknowledge my complaints are just that; they’re just opinions from a cantankerous but nevertheless lovable not so old man.
I don’t know if duct tape is the answer to all our problems. Yes, based on personal experiences I believe in superglue with all my heart, but I humbly acknowledge I don’t know everything, and perhaps there’s something, some substance yet to be invented that superglue can’t fix. I will tell you my dog still has his leg primarily because of superglue.
Yes, I consider myself reasonably intelligent, certainly better read than most, and have tried to make it a point to live a full life experience-wise. I’ve tried to broaden my perspective with travel, and hope I’ve attained a certain degree of wisdom in my perambulations, but, hell, I’ll admit it…I don’t have all the answers.
I’ve spent a good portion of my recent life investigating the adhesive qualities of both superglue and duct tape, and have agonized over which is better, but ultimately I’ve thrown up my hands in despair… because I don’t know…I just don’t know!
But like many, that’s never stopped me from having an opinion.
Meanwhile our president, surrounded by a phalanx of advisors, continues to search for an answer that will satisfy everyone, while the advice pours in from everywhere. Everyone, from the finest minds to the most boorish inbred redneck has an solution.
Still, I’m going to offer my own suggestion, and it’s this; have members of opposing parties reach across the aisle just long enough to administer appropriate amounts of the above mentioned products.
There…that should do it. Hopefully the politicians will now have common ground and they can do the job they were elected to do.