Thursday, August 27, 2009

Point Pointers

Talking Points…Point

(by R.P.Edwards)

How dare they take their little cards
And read another’s words
Spouting questions, one by one
The process is absurd!
Who cares if facts are listed!
Who cares if problems…true!
“Plagiarism” is what I say
Against the phony…YOU!

It wasn’t unusual that someone was saying--shouting rather--something. This was the public square, after all. And, since this metropolis had a “free speech” soapbox zone…the t-shirted, sandal clad youth mounted the stump, cleared his throat and (holding a rather large black bible in his uplifted right hand) began to espouse the “gospel” to the hundred or so lunchtime bystanders who milled about, enjoying a mild September’s offering. “Listen to me!” he shouted (a few turned to do so). “Three thing! Just three things to consider, and then I’m done.” (a few more paused to hear) “Number one!” he began, holding up the index finger on his left hand. “The Bible says, ‘All have sinned.’ In other words…we’re all sinners. We’re all deserving God’s judgment. Number two!” (he turned towards a congested corner to his right [some looking, though trying hard to hide the fact]). “Since we are all guilty and unable to “save” ourselves…we needed a substitute to serve our sentence. To take “our” judgment!” (some turned away, but more began to gravitate towards the ‘preacher.’) “ That perfect, sinless substitute is Jesus!” (Facing forward once again.)“And third!” he shouted, “You!…yes you! (he began sweeping the crowd with his gaze and the bible-toting arm) have to make a decision!” Suddenly, from the back bench where a professor was munching his pastrami n cheese croissant, the PHD stood up, faced the speaker, and shouted, “I’m sick and tired of talking points! That’s all you got…talking points! How about some original thought for once!” The crowd, murmuring quietly while the two orators beheld each other, quickly turned as the old sanitation worker--who was picking up a slimy bag from the lone trash receptacle--said, “Here’s another point for ya. The Bible also says!” he continued, dropping the bag to the ground and applying a tie. “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God!””

I find it amusing that some don’t like the notion of “talking points.” These little notes, often read by attendees of town hall meetings and such, are questions of contention. Sure, they may very well come from the research of others. But, (gasp!) Nearly “all” education is so attained! You research something. You tell me about it. It raises my awareness and concern…and I repeat it! Amazing. No, the problem is not when Mr. Smith quotes Mr. Jones, the real problem comes when people don’t think…when they swallow “points” without pondering. Or when they are herded somewhere to give the impression of intent…and sometimes for pay! That, dear reader, is a problem. In conclusion, don’t be wary of the points. Be wary, rather, of the “point...pointers.”

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