Follow The Money Is Only Half The Story

We’ve all heard of that absurd lawsuit against McDonalds’s over spilled hot coffee. Now a California woman is suing them for her “becoming a prostitute.” She claims they “did not practice due diligence into the moral character” of the disreputable owner who hired her. Absurdity squared!

But if this is another distasteful example of why follow-the-money helps explain the pursuits of distasteful suits, I propose an even more useful mantra: Follow-the-filters. A lesson most of us learned — and forgot — when in school the teacher whispered a secret into a student’s ear, then the class observed how that secret somehow changed as it was whispered from one to the next.

Everyone heard the secret differently. Because everyone grows up with a slightly different puzzle of predispositions. Including our own experiences with genders, races, nationalities, religions, politics, and anything else through which, like lenses, we understand the people around us. We call these lenses by different appellations. Cynical ones like “biases” and “prejudices.” Or approving ones like “information” and “experience.” Whatever the label, these ingrown lenses are the way we see our world. And god help the person who doesn’t or won’t see the world the same way!

Not unlike the blind men asked to identify the elephant in front of them, 7 billion of us wander the world seeing only through lenses that we have ourselves ground and shaped. Want to test that? Post something on your website [like I do on this one] then chart the first 20 responses. So far I’ve yet to hear any one of the 20 who saw my words in the exact same way I thought I had written them.

Their fault…? My fault….? It’s not so simple as faulting someone. How can you fault a reader who is wearing an entirely different sets of lenses, and who assumes you and everyone else does too? This, I suspect, helps explain why “the best man” doesn’t always win elections. And why “prophets” are often crucified.

Of course Absurdest painters and playwrights would have us believe there is actually nothing out there to see or fault, because there is no objective reality in the first place. Thankfully, these folks won’t read this, because after all it doesn’t exist!

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  • Heck, I wouldn't post anywhere if I took things the way the original blogger meant them. That's the fun of it.

    Anyway, neither of the MickeyD's cases are as clear cut as you perceive them, in that in the first, there was the question whether McDonalds should be serving coffee so hot that it burns the woman's labia.

    The second one may illustrate exactly your final point, in that "making her a prostitute" is not a cause of action, but sexual discrimination or harassment in the workplace sure is under Title VII. And the only way that an employer is liable is if its supervisors failed to act after knowing about it. I'll bet that if you search for the actual complaint, that's what it says.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack ~ Well, you nicely help prove my pont. You found two themes in my post that I wasn't exactly thinking of when I wrote it. Suggesting the fertility of your imagination and perhaps the back story to my comments. Thanks...

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