Wednesday, January 3, 2024

#3 / Carp

That's a carp, pictured, but this blog posting is not about a fish! This blog posting is about the word, "carp," defined as follows by

carp [ kahrp ]

verb (used without object):
to find fault or complain querulously or unreasonably; be niggling in criticizing; cavil: to carp at minor errors.

a peevish complaint.

I get daily emails from a local pundit (self-proclaimed) of a more or less "right wing" persuasion. Sometimes, on Sundays, these emails arrive with this fanciful title:


Last December 3rd - which was a Sunday - the following was delivered into my email inbox, as one of many "zingers" amalgamated under the "Sunday Funnies" label: 

Ours is the greatest DeGeneration. It will not end any wars, but will look for safe spaces, take its share of free handouts from the government, and focus on its personal pronouns.

It takes effort to send out the bulletins I receive from "Uncle Jeffrey," and I honor and acknowledge that, but I am starting to tire of "Uncle Jeffrey's" recipe for political involvement: It's "all carp, all the time!"

As another self-selected pontificator, I guess I need to watch out for this myself. "Carping" and "complaining" is pretty easy - and it's usually not very helpful - even when humor is employed. We can do it with an earnest demeanor and intent, or we can do it with humor - or attempted humor. The point is, if our understanding of how best to participate in the political life of the nation is to carp about what's happening, about what everyone else is doing, finding fault or complaining querulously or unreasonably about things we don't like, then we are missing the essence of what democratic self-government is supposed to be all about. 

Our job, as citizens, is not to complain about what others are doing, and point out their mistakes. Our job is to enter the arena of action - ourselves - to try to change what is happening, change what we are, collectively, doing. 

Commenting on what's wrong can be a good step one, but the edition of "Uncle Jeffrey's Sunday Funnies" from which I have just quoted is labeled as "Volume 19." As indicated earlier, "Uncle Jeffrey," it seems, is aiming to serve up "all carp, all the time!"

If we actually care about what's happening in our nation, and around the world (and I am pretty sure that almost all of us do - and that includes "Uncle Jeffrey," too, of course) then we need to stop "carping," and start doing something about it, doing something beyond indulging ourselves in a continuing commitment to querulous complaint!

I am resolving, myself, as this New Year begins, to go on a "no-carp" diet! 


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