If you have not already done so, you may wish to read the
Introduction to Gnomica.
Saturday 6 October 2012
Read gnomica 1-100 here!
Whatever else has been said about me personally is unimportant.
When I sing, I believe. I’m honest.
Frank Sinatra (13 Dec 1915 – 14 May 1998)
That’s so Sinatra!
Yeah, he lived the high life and maybe he wasn’t always Mr. Perfect – do you know anybody who is? But I believe him: when he sang, he was a believer, honest.
In its way, this point is probably true for most of us. Sure, it would be nice if we were all nice all the time, but that really is not always important.
What do I care if the lady doing my root canal cheats on her husband? All I care about at that moment when I’m sweatin’ it in the chair is that she is the best possible root canal expert – I’m not interested in her personal morality, only in her honest competence at the task at hand.
Does it matter to me if while over-nighting in Barcelona the pilot of the 757 I’m flying on is doing that cute stew (oops, attendant!) in first class while his wife stays home in Sheboygan with the dogs? It honestly does not – but what does matter is that he know that flight manual inside out and always be punctilious about doing his monthly hours in the simulator and in the cockpit.
And the young teacher who stands in front of your grandson’s fifth-grade class all day … do you really care if she and her girlfriend are having ‘relationship’ problems? I should hope you’d be a lot more concerned about her ability to light a fire in his mind and get him to see that learning is where it should be ‘at’ for him.
Sinatra does his believing and honest thing when he sings – these three people do their believing and honest thing when they drill, fly, and teach. Their private lives are their own business.
One thing that heartens me in the mucky midst of the current ‘gotcha’ election campaign is that the personal – if not the public — lives of the candidates have been pretty much off limits. Remember Gary Hart and his ‘Monkey Business’ back in ‘87? Clinton and the Monica monkey business back in ‘98? No, not an exercise of admirable behavior in either case – how would a lot of people stand up to that kind of sense of entitlement and ‘gotcha’ investigating? The point is, did their behavior in that regard affect their behavior in regard to their doing their political thing? I don’t know much about Hart, but I (no political liberal!) for one think Clinton was a better president than either of those Bush book-enders!
Not that Europeans (or anybody else either, for that matter) should be arbiters of our politicians’ personal lives, but across the pond they do seem to take a less rigorously Calvinist view in these matters than Americans do, and I am at times inclined to think that certain of our preoccupations with what makes for a good president may be somewhat misguided.
Should I trust more a man who claimed in all seriousness that he knew God wanted him to be president than one who cheated on his wife?