I always have imaginary arguments with people, usually ones that I am very upset with at that time. I always allow myself the maximum of righteous anger over a point on which I have the ultimate high-road position. Plus, since this is all imaginary, I also allow myself the ability to put together narratives and arguments of which Clarence Darrow would be proud. And I sound a bit like Orson Wells.
I have been in the holding pattern of various degrees of annoyance at my oldest brother. I sort of place him in the last of the 50’s generation. Cars are his passion, conservative are his politics. He went into the army during the height of the Vietnam war and somehow found himself stationed along the DMZ in South Korea. Therefore, although he was in Vietnam for a short period of time, he did miss most of the bloodshed that went along with the rest of his generation. He and my next to oldest brother, who was of the 60’s “hippy generation”, still don’t get along very well at all. That is an oil and water family situation if I have ever seen one.
He now says that the Army instilled discipline in his life and would not change a thing in his life. It is no surprise, I suppose, that he views the current political situation as do many ex-military types. He hated and still hates, I suppose, Bill Clinton and liberals, and believes that Democrats are about as dangerous as any terrorist might be.
In my imaginary arguments, I am always able to blast away into infinitely small bits any point he raises about how the war in Iraq is a good thing, or that George Bush is doing a good job. I am always able to take every single thing that I have read or heard from the progressive blogs and Keith Olbermann in the last four years and wrap it up into a concise and devastating argument that leaves absolutely no room for rebuttal. Any attempt to do so on his part looks amazingly foolish. I leave the fray victorious, not in the fact that I changed his mind on any of the subjects he holds so dear but on making him realize the absolute nonsense upon which he has built his belief system.
Of course, this points out several psychological points about me. One is that I am great when it comes to making imaginary arguments but pretty crummy about actually coming out and saying exactly what I think, especially to family, damn the consequences. Secondly, I still haven’t gotten over the older brother/younger brother dynamic, even though I am in my 50’s and he is in his 60’s. Like that time when I was about 10 and we were throwing a baseball. I missed the ball and got plunked. I immediately ran into the house, crying, while he stood there, calling me a pansy. O.K., there is still that millstone hanging around my neck, I suppose.