I learned a lot today about real elephants in the New York Times op-ed Washington’s Rogue Elephants.
. . . Here’s where elephants come into play. To achieve their mating goals, male elephants will sometimes play games of chicken, with one individual essentially giving the impression that he is crazy and has become an irrational player in a game premised on shared rationality and predictability.
It’s a tactic that works surprisingly well, because male elephants can in fact become temporarily “crazy.” One of the most terrifying sights in the animal world is an elephant in a state of must: Huge bulls, oozing a weird, foul-smelling, greenish glop from glands near their eyes, behave with violent abandon, taking risks and defying the basic rules of pachyderm propriety (and also giving rise to the term “rogue elephant”). Facing an elephant in must, other elephants — not to mention people — are well advised to get out of the way.
Just think this must be mating season for republicans, since the males are acting like rogue elephants. The greenish glop oozing from their eyes is greed.
The op-ed author, psychologist David P. Barash, also talks about the game of chicken. Shortly after I received my BS I actually played chicken with a house mate on a dirt road by the Institute for Advanced Study. The dirt road was narrow, perhaps a lane and half and in order to pass another car one of the cars usually stopped while the other slowly maneuvered around the stopped car. Well my house mate, the driver of the other car, and I decided neither of us would stop. Luckily we only clipped outside mirrors, but that was only by luck. At least we weren't headed directly at each other. There was no place to swerve to. But I have never played chicken since.
The US and Russia once played chicken. Mutually Assured Destruction was not enough to keep the US from blockading Cuba from Soviet Union war ships carrying missiles. Luckily it was enough to keep the Soviet Union from running the blockade. So the Cuban Missile Crisis was averted at the last second. I always thought that Cuba had a good reason for having missiles since the US sponsored an invasion of Cuba known as the Bay of Pigs.
The US is headed to destroy the world economy which may mutually destroy both the republicans and the democrats. Worse, many of the animals in the china shop the economy has become are rogue elephants. The best thing to do is to get out of their way.