Monday, June 3, 2019

The Destruction Proof

My oldest son's introduction to Lego was largely through the release of Star Wars Lego in 1999 (which makes me feel fucking old, now, realizing that that was 20 years ago). He was three and totally in love with Star Wars, and I was still collecting Star Wars stuff at the time and bought some of the initial Lego releases. Of course, he also fell in love with Lego, though the Star Wars Lego releases were always his favorite, as opposed to my younger son who loves Bionicles the most. Which doesn't mean that he, also, doesn't have plenty of Star Wars Lego.

At three, though, building Lego was a bit beyond what my oldest could do. We would sit together and I would build the pieces while he watched and "helped" me find pieces and, sometimes, push a piece into place. And all was fine with the world...

...until we got the x-wing fighter Lego. The x-wing fighter was a bit larger and more complex than the other Star Wars Lego my son had, and he quickly learned that his favorite thing to do with it was to crash it. Of course, when he did, he couldn't fix it.

So, see, you have this Lego set that took... Okay, I don't actually remember how long it took to build it -- that was 20 fucking years ago -- but more than an hour, I'm sure, based on the build times for smaller sets I've done more recently. Not that it took that long to fix it, but it still took me much longer to put it back together than it took him to crash it. Over and over again.

Fortunately, the x-wing was a pretty simple design. Usually, it was just the wings he'd knock off, though, sometimes, he'd break the fuselage in half, a more complicated thing to fix. Still, it could take 10-15 minutes to fix it, and he'd turn right around and immediately crash it again. A few seconds worth of time.

All of that changed when we got him the Millennium Falcon. The Falcon was a large set that took hours to build and was a complicated design. That didn't stop him from having "crashing it" being his favorite thing to do with the set.

This is when this behavior became a huge issue, because there was no "fix" for the Falcon that took less than half an hour and, sometimes, he'd do something to it that would require sections of it to need to be deconstructed before it could be put back together again. There were times fixing the thing took almost as long as the initial build.

Then there was the Gungan sub, which had these long, thin, blue tube pieces that served as the propulsion system, like long thin straws that were too tiny to actually drink through. On top of crashing the sub all the time, he also chewed up the propulsion system. Yes, my son did that, not the dog. The tail piece got funkier and funkier as he went from chewing one tube to the next until it couldn't be put back together at all.

And, yes, we did talk to him, repeatedly, about crashing the Lego sets and chewing on the "straws." Especially about chewing on the straws, because he got more and more upset about the fact that the tail piece to the sub didn't look right and wouldn't spin correctly. And, yes, there were times when I wouldn't fix his Lego, especially the Falcon, because it just took too long to do. He'd go throw a fit about it and eventually go back to playing. It took him a long time to get past the breaking stage of his Lego play. Basically, it took him getting to the point where he could build things himself; then he no longer what his sets to be destroyed.

Which might be a metaphor in and of itself.

The real point, though, is that destruction is much easier than construction. I'd say that ease of the process is a clue as to what is going on.
So, you know, when #fakepresident Trump says he's "making America great again" and does something like rolls back environmental guidelines or puts people in cages or gives money to the rich, you can see that all of those things have "crashed" decades worth of work from other people. This is not creating or making anything great; it's just the destruction of what other people have worked to build.

Sometimes for the sake of doing it, like doing his best to destroy everything that Obama accomplished while he was in office, especially the affordable care act. Some of the things #fakepresident Trump is doing cannot be rebuilt, the equivalent of my son chewing up those blue straw pieces. Possibly, the environment will not recover.

What I'm saying is this:
If someone tells you they're building something great, look at the process. If it's something that's quick and easy, it's more likely he's not building anything at all but just acting as a wrecking ball. #fakepresident Trump is someone who gets off on destruction. On destroying the work of other people. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that destruction is never great. Sure, sometimes it's necessary, but it's always destroying the work of someone else and should never be done just for the sake of doing it.

Maybe if #fakepresident Trump had ever actually built anything himself he would have more respect for the work of others, but I'm pretty sure Trump isn't actually even capable of building a sandwich, so what we're going to get are his repeated attempts to tear down what other people have done.

1 comment:

  1. I'm absolutely positive he's not capable of building a sandwich. Like, an easy sandwich. Just baloney in between two slices of white bread. Beyond him.