Friday, January 27, 2017

Mary Gets Political Again -- Tear Down This Wall

"Locks keep honest people honest." - One of my High School Teachers

Man, there is a lot of talk about walls lately. Really expensive walls. Aggravating walls. Walls, I wish wouldn't be built because it logically and morally does not make any sense. I have a bone to pick about the urge to build walls. Sure, they can look cool and make a statement, sometimes a very bad statement, but at least a flamboyant statement. My biggest problem is walls don't work, at least not for long. If there is a problem, the problem adapts. And at the proclamation that you made something "big, believe me", a metaphorical iceberg comes out of nowhere and ruins everything. 

Well, the wall looked good as it lasted.


Usually, walls are built to keep out supposed bad stuff, that is the theory anyway, but it often keeps out the good stuff too. You can confirm the good stuff will stay away because good people take the hint that they're clearly not wanted here. Bad people? No, they take that wall as a challenge. 
I mean, how dare that wall walk so seductively
If people really want to go over a wall, they will. Whether it is because they are, as certain politicians say, criminals, or people who are looking for safety and stability, if you feel you need to get over that wall, you will get over. That wall is not impassable. As one Syrian refugee said, "A mother wouldn't put their child in the water if the land was safe." Let that sink in for a moment.

An example from history, although not a traditional wall, is that of the Maginot Line during WWII. France, worried about Germany invading them, created a rather large trench filled with explosives and artillery on the border they shared with Germany. The Germans just went around and Paris fell in 1940. 

Pretty accurate

Another historical example is look at Hadrian's Wall in the UK. Or for my geeky readers, the Wall in the North in Game of Thrones. The wall was built to keep the Picts/Wildlings out. But the Romans acknowledged the Picts/Wildings scoffed at it and went where they wanted. Wait, what is the real life equivalent of the White Walkers? The... Hebrides?

Yeah, I don't trust that Puffin. I bet he'd ignore Hadrian's Wall too

But that is the weakness of walls. There is always a way around them. There are boats, airplanes, tunnels, fake IDs, Seige engines if you're playing CIV 6. There are cheaper ways to stop criminals. And more effective. Criminals will adapt and not follow the wall's statement much like they wouldn't listen to a lock.


The titans in Attack on Titan eventually learned how to destroy walls

Another problem walls create are divisions within communities and create isolated cultures. You don't have to look far to see that the Berlin Wall created a divide between a people causing them to slightly diverge culturally. North Korea and South Korea face a similar problem if they are ever *ahem* united. 

One day I will not use a comparison to Avatar the Last Airbender, but that is not today. But a fictional example of divides created is the city of Ba Sing Se. In Avatar, it is a city that has a large wall around it and mini-walls inside that divide the classes. People in the city are forbidden to acknowledge that a war is going on outside the walls. Walls breed ignorance in this case. 

I mean... bear???
Also, worth mentioning Iroh probably could have destroyed the wall had he not had a breakdown. And the wall did not stop Azula from infiltrating. 

Walls are largely symbolic of power, especially now when there are things called airplanes that can fly over them. I am not against proper border security nor do I think we should let everyone in willy-nilly. Just this idea of a wall is not well thought out, is mostly symbolic, and will cost more money than it would to make sure the people of Flint have clean drinking water. 

So let's build bridges rather than walls.

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