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I’ve been rebuilding the fence at our Summit House section by section. The posts have rotted out causing the panels to collapse.

I did another part of this run over the last two summers. This summer, it’s time for the rest of the run which starts with removing the panels. Here’s before and afters:

A wooden fence along a pool bolstered by 2x4 bords and sandbags

Temp fencing where old cedar panels used to be.

Wooden panels on the ground wating for dismantling.

The Democracy Pie Eating Contest: Stuck

Hey, I get it. You know it’s a pie eating contest and you are stuck at a party you don’t belong to. As much as you’d like to be at the other party, doing your part, eating that pie, it’s just not where you are.

So, you are thinking it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to participate in the contest. You can eat any pie you want. And, as long as you don’t eat the pie at the party you’re stuck at, you’re not helping them with winning the contest so why does it matter. No harm, no foul.

You are likely correct. Because this contest is designed as a winner takes all game, one person deciding not to play does not really affect the ultimate outcome.

But, sometimes we do things for deeper reasons. For instance, because it “doesn’t matter” in the grand scheme of things you’re not forced to have the pie they serve you at either party. You can choose any pie you want. You can pick your own pie. One that you like best. Perhaps picking your own pie is a reason; it’s a message that you are opting out of the entire idea of pie eating contests or even the idea that the contest should be limited to only two parties. Yay you!

But here’s the thing… As nice as it might sound to flip the bird to both of them while eating your delicious pie, the truth is no one cares about it. While you feel satisfied, ultimately those calories are empty and meaningless and do nothing to make either party care what the hell you eat or even what you might want to eat in the future.

You know what the party you’re stuck at does care about? You know what sends a stronger message and lets them know you are there, in protest, flipping them the bird? You know what really gets under their skin? You know what makes the party you’d like to be a know you still give a care about helping them out and, in turn, makes them care about you?

Eat the same flavor of pie from the party you want to be at. Even if it doesn’t help win the contest. Eat the pie while looking at the people from the party you’re at in the eye, smiling at them, enjoying every delicious moment. Make them uncomfortable. Even offer to give some to a couple of people at that party when they pass by. Tell them where they can get more (at the other party in the contest) if they like it (they sure seem to love Infrastructure Pie, even if they don’t believe it when you tell them who made it) . Make that your reason for eating that pie instead.

Isn’t that more satisfying and delicious than living with the knowledge that no one cares what pie you eat?

The Democracy Pie Eating Contest

Democracy, as it exists in America in the year 2024, is like a pie… Let me explain…

Despite no parties existing when it was founded, there are — for any practical purpose you can muster — two parties now. And those parties have to share a pie.

Due to the natural balance that eventually (inevitably?) occur in such circumstances, that pie has been sliced down the middle and each party gets to eat half. It’s a contest. Everyone must finish eating their pie. Whichever party eats the most pie wins.

Let’s say there are an equal number of people at each party. Let’s say that number is ten. Ten people to eat half of a pie. Not a lot to go around for sure. But, let’s make sure everyone gets a slice.

Let’s say that there are some people in your party who are not really into the pie they have. Maybe there are people that don’t like that flavor or the texture is a little bit off. Maybe they want to just check out what the other party has going on and they decide to go join them and take their pie… Now, one party eats more pie. That party wins.

Let’s say that 2 of the ten people at the party hate pie. They detest it. They decide they are not eating the pie… Then, the other party wins.

Let’s say one person in one party is able to convince two people in the other party that the pie is rotten and they shouldn’t eat it and get them to throw it out. Then, the one person’s party will eat more pie and will win.

See how this works?

I would love to live in a world where everyone can eat or not eat or give away or have more pie and walk away feeling that is the way it should work.

It doesn’t. It’s a pie eating contest and if you decide not to eat the pie your party host serves, you then are putting the potential of winning that pie eating contest in jeopardy for everyone at your party. No matter how fair that is, that’s the way it works.

So, I guess what I’m trying to do is to get everyone to understand that they should eat their pie.