What is Best July 23, 2006Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools.
Best is, at best, a fleeting concept. It is an artificial boundary. It is the crest of a wave in an ocean of waves. Shift your gaze and it is gone, replaced with another pinnacle of water molecules, pushed up by others.
My daughter, upon emerging from Pirates of the Caribbean, declared it the best movie she had ever seen. We threw other titles at her to no effect. This one was the best. Ever. This evening we watched ten minutes of the Miss Universe pageant on television and she asked which one was the best. I will admit now that Miss Switzerland had my vote. However, my daughter needed to know what made one person better than another. That is hard to say.
On our daily drive together, we sometimes discuss art and we have concluded that there is no best piece of art. There are pieces that are more valuable or that people have paid more for, but the idea of best eludes us.
I have recently concluded that best speech, although possible, will elude people. If you say one true thing to one hundred people, perhaps half of them will say it is utter tripe. Half of the remainder will challenge the truth of the words. Half of that remainder will not understand the meaning. Half of that remainder will enjoy the words, but drift off into their own thoughts. Those that are left will possibly listen.
I may sound a little morose, but I have just been analyzing another article by a writer from an institute in Phoenix who believes in distorting facts and builds, through his words, a wonderland of rhetoric. In his world, best is attainable but only if you follow his way of thinking. I hope people reading those pieces have the intelligence to see through the tripe to see how a skinny little shred of truth can be stressed and distorted. Even the slimmest of statistical evidence can be gussied up, red-lipsticked, shiny-gowned, butt-taped, and lip-vaselined to make it palatable to a larger audience.
What is best can be right before our eyes, but we have yet to realize it yet. What is best is what is honest. And what is honest can be tough to read. Even tougher to write. True words take time.