Hello Kettle, Black Pots Steam & Trumpet

black swan pot fireSome pots are so blackened that they think they gleam only in the color of innocence, and are the only innocents that matter. Makes you just wanna smack ’em! Sorry, Karma, but there are those days, you know.

From Wikipedia:  “The idiom The pot calling the kettle black is used in a situation where a person is considered guilty of the very thing of which they accuse another. It dates from the time when cooking was done over an open hearth fireplace; both the kettle and the cooking pot would be suspended above it and collect the same amount of soot. The earliest instances {of using this saying} date from the early 17th century”.

More recently, comedian Stephen Colbert somewhat updated the idea when he coined the marvelous word, truthiness:  “Truthiness is what you want the facts to be, as opposed to what the facts are. What feels like the right answer as opposed to what reality will support”.

I‘ve had my share of encounters with either idea  and  have crossed the path of one or two of the blackest of these pots.  These are the ones who actually seem to be more Black Swan than mostly innocuous semi-hypocritical vessels.

You may have known one or two of these (pardon me), foul fowl as well.  I mean the kind that swim regularly in the pool of the pet words  –  impetuous, petulant, and petty.  They can be Brutus-like power posers or your sweet as pie pals on the surface, but they both practise the behavior of intimidation and bullying to get their own way, or in revenge for not getting their way.

Generally, I’ve learned to simply cross the metaphorical street with this sort.  You can try to have a heart to heart chat with them, but if you do and the result isn’t something you can live with, do yourself a favor and let it go.  It’s unlikely that you’ll gain a win/win with that kind of mindset.

It’s more likely the most you’d be losing is a load of unnecessary aggravation.  I have every reason to know that there really are few things in life that really are important enough to stand your ground for, and an honest heart to heart with yourself will move you in the right direction in deciding that.

Putting the darkest side aside, while we’re being honest, I suspect that we’d all admit that, from time to time, we are the pot too.  I’ve often heard it said that we are irritated most by the things about others that are in us.  If so, I think it’s really about the degrees of it; the more we’ve worked through those bothers of our own, the less we are bothered by them in others.  This idea has also been followed up by another saying – we teach most what we need to learn.

If we aren’t sure what we may most need to learn at the moment, we could pay attention to what we are putting out there the most.  What are we thinking about?  What are our conversations centered on?  What are our social media posts  about?  If we put out a particular message or focus on a semi-regular to regular basis, it says as much to us as it does to those we’re supposedly ‘teaching’.  Probably more so.

Our only life-changing job in life is our own.  If we do that well, we and our loved ones will flourish.  Doing it well means doing it in accordance to the real meaning of the teachings that come our way, not by following our personal ‘truthiness’ interpretations as conveniently needed.

Regardless of how black our pots become, we all start out the colour of shiny innocence.  At some point we have to accept responsibility for washing it as needed ourselves, and in knowing that we don’t have a right to scrub another’s.


Originally Published on 7/19/2013

Darn It, Donald Rumsfeld, Did We Really Need This Habit?

Today, I speak of a pet peeve no one should have begun, and especially not one begun by a politician. We’ve enough of those who under-serve as it is.

I speak now to the official 1000th time I have scratched at my eyes over the interminable use of a question to make a statement.  They are questionable efforts to sound all knowledgy and smart. Yes, I know that technically, knowledgy isn’t really a word.  Maybe I’m just demonstrating another peeve.  Who knows to whom that pet belongs?

Weasel 2 glassesSo, do I hate that people use questions to make a statement on a regular basis now?  Yes! Yes I do, and it’s all Donald Rumsfeld’s fault.  That’s right, “There are no unknowns that we know we don’t know”, former U.S. Secretary of Defense (2001-2006), Donald Rumsfeld .

It all began during the era of searching for the weapons of mass imagination in Iraq.  As head defense guy, it was in fact, his most used defense system.  He deployed it fully during statements to the public or while he was being interviewed.

‘Do I worry about weapons of mass destruction and feel concern for U.S. safety’? ‘Of course’.  ‘Do I anticipate that you’re going to ask me this question, so I answer it to get it off my back the way I want to answer it, so I can ignore it when you ask it’? Why, yes I do’.  Asked and answered, move along now. You get the picture.

It drove me nuts, and when the election was over, I thought, whew, back to regular statements, but then the unthinkable began – reporters started to mimic the annoying habit.  Then anyone who was ever interviewed about anything began to conduct their own interviews until eventually network news, Entertainment Tonight and TMZ went off the air due to obsolescence.

Okay, not really, but would you believe this trend went even further by actually being written into script dialogue for movies and TV shows?

Why? Why must this trend of fatuous intent continue? It doesn’t make one sound cool or knowing or even, stately.  It sounds like what it was meant for, a wily way to buy time before you can squirm onto a different pile of bull-peppermint patties in order to avoid truth or responsibility.  Uncool.  Avoidance.

If there is a statement to be made, please, please just make it. Straight up, straight forward, say it.  Don’t use that weasel way that makes it seem like you just know enough to anticipate what our next thought or question will be.  Arrogance.  Then to follow up that nonsense with your own next question?

Please, let me interject in your own answer to your own questions – don’t.  Let’s just leave as many weasels in the woods as possible.  Now, that’s a good habit.


Anything bothering you today? I mean beside my grammar issues.