April 19, 2009

“THE AISLE:” Definition For A New World Order


The notion of “reaching across” some “aisle” is nonsense.

It is nothing more than notional, really, isn’t it. It is metaphor. It is an abstraction of an abstraction. Go ahead; extend the metaphor. Try to complete it so it actually makes sense: I’ll be reaching across (this) aisle and… what? Furtively handing across a tight roll of large bills? Agreeing to disagree? 

This acknowledges no relationship to real, particular issues, differences, interests or money at stake. Nothing to do with judgments about policies by people in real circumstances. 

There is an aisle, somewhere, we are told, but there sure as shit isn’t anyone reaching across it, especially at this hour of the night. Unless, we hope, it is the brown-skinned Cleaning Staff, reaching for the wet end of a blunt. I suppose there is some kind of “gallery” somewhere, though I suspect it is place where schoolteachers make public school children be quiet. There may be homeless people and stranded travelers sleeping there now…

 The Aisle is something that we will all use to elbow our way to the Exits, when the shit comes down. We’ve all seen it, haven’t we? Isn’t it always in the aisles that people are trampled to death? And they plunge, from the balconies… into the aisles.

 What is intended by saying “reaching across the aisle” makes more vivid sense to me as reaching from the rail of the cacophanous, tumultuous deck of one hideous, crowded ideological ship to the deck rail of another.

 The very image suggests people who have crowded their way on to these particular vessels like sheep or ungulates elbowing their way to perceived safety in the center of a herd. If agitated by rabble-rousers, cows and sheep will shove and crowd and elbow their way onto a Stock Trailer of Doom- or the deck of a ship, for that matter, I suppose. It’s just a degree of stampede, really. Fires will get these started really well, sure thing. And so, it will be one deck or another, we suppose…

 So be careful reaching across this particular imaginary “aisle.” It is a canonical rule of boatsmanship in moving water- never end up standing downstream from a broadside hull- and never, never end up getting pulled into the gap between two heaving, rolling hulls. If there is a sure way to get mashed into a thick, splintery, salty paste, this is it.

We have been fooled enough times to be skeptical that those people reaching across that “aisle” want us over there, on that side of the “aisle,” anyway. We think they may want us down there, between the hulls, as they roll and buck and grind and slam together. Doesn’t it make you a bit nauseous?

Filed under: Blog: ESSAYS
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editor @ 10:55 pm


  1. Good words.

    Comment by Rosalyn — April 22, 2009 @ 2:10 pm

  2. Thank you so much. “We…” appreciate it…

    Comment by editor — April 26, 2009 @ 11:38 pm

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    Comment by slots — April 22, 2013 @ 7:16 am

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