Obviously, when somebody says a group of people or farm animals don’t know whether to shit or go blind, we’re supposed to know that the phrase is figurative and means the people or animals are confused.
As a writer, I can’t help but smile at the phrase because it’s tempting to take it literally and wonder if the first person who ever said it was–in fact–so gobsmacked, they didn’t know whether to shit or go blind because these alternatives really don’t belong together,
I mean, who would choose “go blind”?
Maybe there are actually more options but they don’t see them because the last time they were confused, they chose “go blind” instead of heading for the outhouse.
I’ve never seen a national poll on this question, so I don’t know how many people favor one option over the other. Perhaps many of them would write in “none of the above” or add another option called “use my brain.”
As an often-cynical writer, I see the comments on news sites written beneath new stories and think a lot of people aren’t aware that there are additional operations. Somewhere–childhood, perhaps–they were brainwashed into an either/or mentality.
Then there are those who, when hearing the phrase, think, “I’ve already used the bathroom, so I guess that means I have to go blind.” I see a lot of people on Facebook post status updates that indicate this solution happens more often than we think.
In case you’re wondering, I try to use the bathroom on a schedule my doctors approve of even though some of them have said, “hell, you don’t want to go blind, do you?” I can see how some people might think if they forget to go to the bathroom, they might lose their sight and then they wouldn’t be able to find the bathroom, thus ending up picking both options.
How sad is that?
I’ll admit that when it comes to some things, I am (figuratively speaking) blind. By that I mean, I have my hot buttons and biases and hope you understand that when you read things on this blog, they represent my experiences and may not be true for you.
In this case, that could mean that the shit or go blind choice really works for you. In a way, that’s good, because it doesn’t clutter up the mind with the thousand actual options that exist.
The major news media are facilitate this limited view of the world. CNN believes in going blind and FOX believes in shit. Now, if you see that the opposite way, that’s fine because I may be too blind (figuratively speaking) to see that you’re right. I don’t think you are right, but then I haven’t hired any private detectives to hide in the shrubbery at your house to see whether you go to the bathroom regularly and/or walk around with a blindfold, stumble over chairs, and scream, “Oh shit!”
For those I’ve offended, I want to point out that (a) my header says “pardon” the language and (b) I don’t usually use the word “shit” in polite company (whatever that means).
I thought of all this because I see so many people out on the Internet who believe news stories and posts that coincide with what they want to hear and shout “lies” or “bias” when they find news stories they don’t like, seemingly blind to the idea there are multiple points of view. So far, haven’t asked if they stopped having regular bowel movements.
I don’t have any solutions for the shit or go blind brainwashing because many people don’t see how blind they are to the things they don’t want to hear, much less believe. This means they made their choice so many years ago, they don’t remember making it. Can you imagine how scary that is to folks who want to discuss all the options and alternatives to most problems and issues?
“Either/or” is usual a false alternative that we must force ourselves to question even though we’re not yet able to see past the illusion.