Daily Bread for 1.24.24: Rashomon-upon-Cravath

 Good morning.

Wednesday in Whitewater will be rainy with a high of 37. Sunrise is 7:16 and sunset 4:57 for 9h 41m 27s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 98.8% of its visible disk illuminated.

On this day in 41, Claudius is proclaimed Roman emperor by the Praetorian Guard after they assassinate the previous emperor, his nephew Caligula.

  Whitewater has been in, and will yet remain for years, in a local version of Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon: people in the city will express markedly different, sometimes contradictory, accounts of behavior and events. While it’s natural for people to see events with slight variations, Whitewater is in a period where accounts and perspectives even within the same small town are now disparate and exclusive of other views.

And so, and so, not everyone will agree on which animals are leopards, so to speak. America is now like this, Wisconsin is now like this, and Whitewater is now like this. To say as much is neither a challenge nor a taunt. It’s perhaps the one observation on which everyone can still agree. (It’s true, by the way, even if others don’t agree.) 

A question for those in, and those following, local government presents itself: How will you manage in conditions where there are basic disagreements about the very facts under consideration?

Wanting conditions to return to yesteryear’s certainty (never as certain as assumed in retrospect) won’t work. Whitewater’s policymakers will not be able to reconstitute the past. Yesterday’s tricks won’t work with today’s dogs. 

Those who can adjust temperamentally and intellectually to uncertainty and essential disagreement will fare well (or well enough). Those who are looking for predictability and consensus will fare poorly. 

As always, a sound approach: The hotter the temperature, the colder the man. 

Rashomon is an extraordinary film. If you’ve not seen it, here’s a new trailer to entice you.

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