I was recently scrolling through my social media news feed, as many of us do multiple times a day and I came across an image that really hit home with me. At first, I was somewhat taken aback by it. I simply analyzed it and thought to myself, there may be some truth here.
Want to know what the image was? It was an outline of the state of Minnesota with a phrase inside and an arrow pointing to the left saying, “They Scare Us.” They, meaning North Dakota.
Now before some of you get all up in arms and run for your pitchfork or the next round of carpal tunnel typing away on that comment section. Think about that image for a second. Does it remind you of anything?
I’m a big Alan Arkin and Carl Reiner fan. These comedians had a way with words and above all basic human psychology. They could point out the obvious and make us laugh with their wit.
Their quintessential work, “The Russians are Coming,” from 1966, reminds me of why Minnesota may be scared of us. I find Gloucester Island, the fictional town in the movie, caught up in the Cold War, a perfect emulation of what North Dakota is today.
Somedays I feel like Alan Arkin, pointing out the obvious and simply laughing at what gets people in a frenzy in this state. Somedays, I’m like Jonathan Winters, running around confused, but unwilling to make sense of it all. His coined phrase in this film, “We’ve just got to get organized,” can be all too true. I’ll even admit my own humanity in a time when its seen as a sign of weakness.
It begs these questions:
Are you scared of your social norms changing?
Do you believe everything you see on social media?
Is your fear masked with anger and therefore your mind is closed off to any inkling of change whatsoever?
Do we wave the bloody shirt too fast? It’s a figure of speech, but look up the historical context.
If the movie, and its frenzied townspeople, point out anything is how easily duped we can be and how important our humanity is in the long run. Not everything needs to be reactive, we can be proactive and do some good in this world. Sometimes what you think you know, you don’t know, something Socrates would tell us.
So go hug your kids, kiss your wife and have a good laugh. We could sure use it in today’s world.