Turn perspectives upside down | Letters
July 6, 2011 · 1:54 PM
Frustrated? Some days reading the newspaper, watching television and hearing about what “twitters” have been heard in the world can easily set a mild-mannered person on end. Imagine what we would all see if, say, the Earth were plucked from her orbit and somehow turned upside down.
The Northern Hemisphere becomes the South, and the South becomes the North. The whole situation would be a lot like what little Alice chattered about in Walt Disney’s version of Lewis Carroll’s story, when she spoke about what she wanted to see in a more personalized version of her own world.
A few days out of each year, Alice and I might easily be sisters despite our superficially divergent ethnic ancestry. Modern times are all about progress!
So suspend your disbelief please — long enough to think why it might be that a public address starting with the opening “My fellow Americans” prompts immediately the image and name of the President of the United States. Furthermore, why are citizens often dated when the phrase about being in good hands elicits a reply about a certain insurance provider?
Or why again, upon hearing a family member on a cellphone worry about symptoms from a possible illness, some people might picture an animated digital rendering of a cute purple pill?
Does anyone really need the purple pill? Does only one insurance provider have great hands? Why aren’t more of us willing to address each other as fellow Americans? Do we need to have a president just to remind us?
In this respect, Alice can’t merely be dismissed as a foolish young and attractive blonde. She was able to entertain a different perspective.
Perspective is not as some imagine — light and the absence of light. It’s not some immovable philosophical viewpoint or even a lifestyle. It isn’t just the angle from where we look. It’s a way of thinking.
The ways of examining the dilemmas of our lives, our economy and our people appear to be exercises in spinning wheels. We grind the same problems into the same mud, trimming muscle instead of fat off a greater body that has given far too much away at the office — rather than decisively slicing through waves of self-fueled intellectual gridlock on the proverbial tall ship our nation has graced in eras past.
At one time, mere thinking was an option to pass a few moments before the days of tractors, electric lights, radio, television, Internet, email and a communication device called Twitter, whose name evokes a mental audio replay of melodious birdsong.
On those days that the bond between Lewis Carroll and Walt Disney’s Alice is tightest, I easily squander a few moments to imagine what Federal Way — nay, the region and entire country — might look like if the North and South hemispheres were literally turned upside down.
In such a locale, the phrase “My fellow Americans” should come easily and with daily frequency on the lips of multitudes. In such a world, addressing each other as citizens and colleagues would never be isolated by tradition or popular belief to only statesmen and women, legislators, political candidates or whoever happens to be the current occupant of a singular and particular White House.
Mizu Sugimura, Federal Way