A Church, A Tavern And Foreign Oil – Rationalization and Procrastination

The Woodster is thinking the church is near but the roads are icy, the tavern is far, but I will walk carefully.

It looks like it’s just icy enough to procrastinate on the church-going, but with a little care and a bit of rationalization, the Woodster thinks he can make it to the tavern just fine.

That’s a good one and I think it defines two requirements for being human – rationalization and procrastination.  Have you ever noticed how they seem to go hand in hand?

Like the story about the country Hillbilly with the leaky roof on his shack.  When asked why he didn’t repair it, he said, “Well, when it’s raining I think about it but I can’t fix it ‘cause I’d get all wet, and when it’s not raining, it’s not a problem anymore.”

Which leads me to a bigger rationalization being played out in the news these days.  It concerns foreign oil and our dependence on it.  Let me see if I can sum it up … ummm … “Well, when there’s an oil crisis and the price goes up we think about an energy policy and then the price comes down and it’s not a problem anymore.”

Actually, I wasn’t quite accurate in my description of the oil dilemma.  It’s not a rationalization being played out just these days.  It’s been playing over and over for forty years, ever since the filling station gas lines of the 1970’s, and President Carter’s admonition to create an energy policy to keep it from happening again.

Hey, we all know our dependence on foreign oil is a big problem, right?  It’s cost us billions of dollars, thousands of lives, unnecessary wars and most important, problems for our SUV’s.  And yet we still have no practical plan to reduce it.  Well, okay, forget all those trivialities, except the SUV thing; have you seen the price at the pump, lately?

One stands in total awe and admiration at the scale of our disorganization and delay.  I think they give out awards for rationalization and procrastination this masterful.  We should, at the very least, get a national Nobel Prize for this.

Of course, it’s not like we haven’t tried, right?

Like that environmentally friendly alcohol for fuel program, where we spend 7% more energy creating the stuff (you can’t even drink it, for goodness sakes) than we get out of it, and help create food riots around the world by jacking up the price of corn.  I even read a report where they were burning polluting coal to create the heat to distill the alcohol.

I’m thinking maybe something got lost in the environmental translation there, yes?

So does our support for this senseless policy have anything to do with the fact that there are big political primaries in Iowa, which is a big corn growing state?  Could this be a political rationalization of sorts to support alcohol fuel, to subsidize it, and harvest votes from the Iowan farmers, so to speak?

Or how about us totally ignoring the fact that we are the Saudi Arabia of natural gas.  We have at least a fifty year supply.  Which, by the way, we could use to fuel our commercial truck fleet and reduce our foreign oil dependence by 50% in ten years.

Could it be that even though natural gas is cheaper than oil and burns cleaner than oil, our politicians just listen to the oil lobbies and their big fat contributions and take a pass on that natural gas thing until after the next election?  Could this be procrastination and rationalization?  At the highest level?  In our government?

I realize I’m coming across like a wild-eyed radical with all this reckless speculation, and I could go on, but I think you get my point.  We’ll just keep muddling along, following that great American Mark Twain’s advice to never put off to tomorrow what we can put off to the day after tomorrow.

When it comes to politics, energy policy and that procrastination / rationalization thing, we are about as good as it gets.  Talk about American exceptionalism!  It makes you feel right proud, doesn’t it.

Which leads me to my final point.  And that is, for all of our folly, I still believe in this country.  And I have faith we will eventually get it right.

But it’s going to be a long haul down the road yet, I’m afraid.  It’s going to be like Winston Churchill’s comment about us in World War II.

He said, “You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing – after they have tried everything else.”

We’re still in the “try everything else stage.”  So hang on to your wallet and come along for the ride.  It’s bound to be interesting.

Have a nice day – J. Daniel

P.S. Here are some other useful rationalization tools I uncovered while doing my research …

1) Play first, work second.
2) Lazy people are healthy people
3) Hard working folks are mean
4) Hard working folks make everyone uncomfortable
5) My genetic map made me this way

You can read a full development of these inspirational thoughts at http://hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Rationalize-Laziness.

Leave a Reply