Foreign Policy Discussions

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 8.442% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

In arguments, we all have little tantrumy moments.  And one of Gini’s is to say, sullenly, “Fine, you’re right, you’re always right, and I’m always wrong.”
Today, we devised a term for the sort of argument that leads to this behavior: Foreign Policy Discussions.
Which is to say that if you tell an expert on Middle East politics your fine plan to create peace in the Middle East, she will dissect your simple-minded plans.  She’ll point out all the political factions that would make it impossible to get your laws passed, and all of the cultural issues that would make this well-intentioned plan seem like fascism, and then she’d finish demolishing your idea by pointing out all the ways that people would actually work to get around the laws and barriers you passed.
Once she’d completely dissected every one of your arguments, you slump in your chair and ask, “Fine.  How do you create peace in the Middle East?”
She will take a drag on her cigarette and say, wearily, “Fuck if I know.”
The reason I say this is because I just spent ten minutes explaining to Gini why a suggestion of hers for a problem I had wouldn’t work.  And once I was done, she threw up her hands and said, “Fine, I guess you know what you’re doing.”
“No,” I laughed.  “I don’t have a fucking clue.  My way sucks, too – maybe worse.  But yours wouldn’t work, either.  We need to devise a third option.”
So we know what those discussions are: foreign policy.  Just because I’m telling you that your idea’s not feasible doesn’t mean that I have a better solution.  We’re just looking at all the awful options and we are, in the words of that wise old philosopher Rowlf, hoping something better comes along.

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