Talking about Super PACs is all the rage on NPR right now. Maybe not right now as in when you are reading this, but right now as in when I am writing it. It’s been the rage for some months now which is why even though this post was thought up in April it is still relevant (again for when it is being written but not necessarily read).
So, on a Sunday morning back in April I was driving to meet a friend for breakfast at The Original Pancake House and heard a report in which one interviewee said “with so many people annoyed by this you wonder why more don’t complain.” The context of the report had something to do with funding or policy, but that isn’t so important.
“Ooh, ooh, I know, I know,” I said raising my hand as high as it would go on my eagerly straight arm. Though no one had called on me I answered, “they don’t complain because that’s the way it is.”
That’s a lesson I learned when just a wee lass of 17. Annoyed over wasting my one night of free time each week I ended up arguing with a ballet teacher in a parking lot late on a Wednesday night in downtown Austin. That’s the short story. We were, so I was later told, loud enough to be heard from inside the building over the sound of a helicopter. “It’s not fair or right, but that’s the way this is done,” he said. He went on to relate an anecdote of a time he lost out to a desired role not because of talent, but because of some unspoken, unfair preference that he couldn’t compete against. He didn’t live as close to the studio as the other guy, so the other guy could arrive faster on shorter notice. He didn’t like it, but…all together now…that’s the way it is.
At 17, I thought “you’re an idiot. You’re the one in power now, if you don’t like it, do things differently. Voice your opinion. Complain even. Do anything but perpetuate the same practice you don’t find right.” This could be the reason we were arguing. I was naive.
The whole world operates this way. It took an embarrassingly long time to realize this. That’s genuine naivety — being doe-eyed, hair-twirling, willfully unaware of how the world works. Which isn’t to say I’m currently suffering from new found knowledge – it’s an old lesson by now, but it does surprise me that someone who can make it on the radio doesn’t have this same insight.
Perhaps, having naivety is the better way to live.
The teenage part of me that vehemently argued with an adult sometimes makes the me of over ten years later still believe. Sometimes, at the risk of offending the people in power, of annoying others, and of making everyone else uncomfortable I might say something like “so what” or “that’s stupid” when being told how things are. I never win the argument, but I do respect myself and the others who take part in the fight.
Pancakes are a tradition, an institution; they have always been done lots of different ways. That’s nice. That April morning I ate Swedish pancakes while Amber ordered Buttermilk pancakes. Today I served Savory pancakes. When I thought up the idea this Monday it seemed so original, but they’ve been done before. Though not exactly the way I made mine. Even the fact that I used a recipe from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi to help guide me has been done before. But you know what, it was a good way to do it.