Greeson: Think for yourself on this side of the looking glass

Greeson: Think for yourself on this side of the looking glass

June 14th, 2018 by Jay Greeson in Opinion Columns
Jay Greeson

Jay Greeson

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Maybe it's because my generation was raised with an actor in the White House.

Maybe, since the Gipper was the president, we should never be surprised by the possibility of celebrity on today's world stage.

If anyone of us went back to 1993 and tried to predict any of the tangents from the North Korea-U.S. talks, it would have required four Tylenols and two mixed drinks or a week's worth of therapy.

Picture this:

An eccentric NBA player who once showed up for a book signing in a wedding dress and was more known for his nickname (Worm) and his hair color than most anything else in his career might appear on the cover of Time magazine for his role in the negotiations.

A child born of privilege who grew up to be a brutal dictator and looks like a character from "The Simpsons" has been mentioned as a frontrunner for the Noble Peace Prize.

A pseudo-celebrity casino owner with billions and multiple ex-wives could be the most powerful man on the planet.

But that's where we are this morning, and the team picture of pop culture and impossibility from a quarter-century ago seems even more unbelievable knowing President Trump and Kim Jong Un have completed a peace talk. A peace talk, mind you, that has been panned from the right and the left despite the fact Kim was considered a threat to start a nuclear war three months ago but agreed to disarm his country's nuclear weapons this week.

Maybe the crazy transformation in the last 25 years — Dennis Rodman potentially as Time's Man of the Year; Heathcliff Huxtable (aka Bill Cosby) serving jail time for being a sexual predator — is how we have walked through the looking glass into a place where we turn the looking glass upon ourselves.

Ignore the spin. Ignore the party line — from each party. Think for yourself and try to do so critically, even if that means you actually turn the channel from Fox News or CNN. If you want to be outraged at the thought of doing deals with a murderous dictator, well, that's a fine argument. But you also have to counter that if North Korea agreed to disarm its nukes, that has to be a good thing.

Next, let's all try to move beyond the "Well, if so-and-so had done whatever " talking points. It became tired as the Democrats blamed all of Obama's shortcomings on the Bush administration. It has become even more tired as the back-and-forth of the back-then and moving-forward conversations escalate.

Each side has its angry and its angst-ridden, its middle-roamers and their mad ravens. But the "Oh yeah, well, what about that " conversation has never and will never be productive.

Not even back in 1993, when the world seemed somewhat smaller and safer and there was no way possible that Cosby was anything but America's dad and 24-hour news was a fad.

Wow, that seems like a century ago — even in Dennis Rodman years.

Contact Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6343.

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