Flies in the Eyes

I got a call last week from my 101 year old uncle. Actually, he wanted his brother, but had to settle for me. He mentioned that he had started to read my book. It is a novel that describes the creation and operations of a narcotics task force in Texas. He suggested that my next foray into a novel about police be “more pleasant.” I had to think about his advice.

I suppose my next novel could document the zany antics of a Public Information Officer. Surely there is room for a view of the death defying feats of a driver’s license trooper. I know, crime prevention! There I was, confronted by a third grade class. My McGruff suit was in the cleaners and the power point presentation didn’t work. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. I had to wing it! Maybe not. 

My uncle spent most of his adult life in New York City. Like most New Yorkers that leave he ended up in Florida. If you were to ask him about his politics he would claim to be conservative. He is a typical New York liberal. I don’t think he is lying when he claims to be conservative. It has been my experience that most liberals deny that they are liberal, claiming instead that they are “middle of the road.” How does this happen?

It occurred to me that I have known the answer since the tenth grade. It was made clear in the greatest management text ever written: Catch-22. It’s there for all to see. It’s all very simple. Liberals can’t recognize the fact that they are liberal for one simple reason. Here is the passage where this essential truth is revealed.

“Oh, they’re there, all right,” Orr had assured him about the flies in Appleby’s eyes after Yossarian’s fist fight with Appleby in the officers’ club, “although he probably doesn’t even know it. That’s why he can’t see things as they really are.”
“How come he doesn’t know it?’ inquired Yossarian.
“Because he’s got flies in his eyes,” Orr explained with exaggerated patience. “How can he see he’s got flies in his eyes if he’s got flies in his eyes?”

Orr, Catch-22, Joseph Heller

All has been made clear.