Friday, September 12, 2014

Optics: A Coffeeshop Conversation

"Optics" verb -   To manipulate a narrative (aka, lie one's anatomy off) to avoid looking inept and ineffective.  Used by sophisticated people to protect their ego.  Everybody else has already figured out their (in)competencies.  Similar to "spin".

Optics and ISIS

The consensus around the coffee table is that the Obama Administration finds itself in the position of a fifteen year old girl who is a couple of weeks "late" and her boyfriend is not answering her texts.

The girl had been dating an older, more sophisticated boy.  Part of the appeal was that it made her look cutting-edge to be seen with a boy who had a Rollex watch, the latest I-Phone and a 20 year old Camaro with test pipes and cherry bombs.  In her mind it made her seem like she was a very desirable "property".

She knew that he had a reputation, but it different this time.  He loved her and he had not loved the others.  She knew he loved her because he said so...that and of how she felt when she was with him.  Surely a man who loved her would be incapable of treating her shabbily.

The relationship advanced briskly.  Judgment was no match for youth, hormones and willful  blindness.

The girl's Aunt Sarah had given her three condoms with the advice, "Keep them handy.  You just never know..."

The girl's mother advised her to "save it for marriage."  The mother did not actually expect the girl to hold out that long but the mom would count it as a victory if the girl delayed "doing the dirty" for at least a few more relationships.  The mother hoped that the virtue of discernment might sneak into her daughter's thought process if she could just have another half a year.

The girl paid homage to "optics".  She did not carry the condoms in her purse because of how it would look.  And, as Aunt Sarah suspected and her mother feared, she did not stop the physical escalation while she was still capable of rational thought.

They did The Wild Thang!  Truth be told, they did The Wild Thang! in every township in the county.  She was in heaven. How could anything so perfect be wrong? She was in love.

Until he stopped answering her texts.

What should a girl do?

That is the crossroads where the Obama Administration finds itself except Obama cannot blame youth and hormones.

Like the girl, it still wants to protect what is left of her reputation....although everybody of consequences already knows the score.  (Optics)

Like the girl, it wants to turn back the clock.

And she still wants to dabble in The Wild Thang!

Like the girl, if one strips off all the fluff there are really only three options:
  • Keep the baby.  Own it.
  • Abort the baby.  Walk away.  Refuse to accept responsibility.
  • Put the baby out for adoption. Realize that you are in over your head but do the most honorable thing you can given the circumstances.


Unrealistic expectations

"The boy will marry me."  No elaboration required.

"I am not really pregnant."  Nik the Bookie would place long odds on this horse.  That being said, there have been many 10 and 11 month pregnancies of teenagers.  This biological anomaly occurs when the girl decides there is absolutely no reason to exercise caution.  That is, there is no point in closing the barn door after the horse got out. 

At that point our coffee table think tank ran out of options. 

Do you, my readers, know of any others?


  1. Shotgun... Another (and good Southern) option...

  2. Iraq was a shotgun wedding from the beginning. The British used "geo" rather than "geo-political" thinking. That resulted in menage et trois with Kurds in the north, Sunni in the middle and Shii in the south. Kurds and Shii have oil. Sunni have largest population (but not majority) and much of the best agriculture land.

    As learned in the former Yugoslavian Republic, there are some inherent dynamic instabilities in menage et trois when the mutually orbiting bodies have near-equal mass.

    This looks to be ugly for a long time....all for the benefit of short term "optics".