Nigel's Take Chalk & Cheese


God bless my ol’ buddy Nigel. Now retired from long service with a Guards Regiment and then SAS, each time he calls I learn, laugh, wonder and ponder. He’s one of those guys who just knows, 24/7/365, what time it is in Karachi, Kent or Kabul; the phase of the moon and when it will rise in Kinshasa, Krasnoyarsk, or Kansas City; what spots on the globe are not covered by surveillance satellites at that moment, and a thousand other esoteric points. Long ago when his now-white moustache was ginger-brown, he first taught me the difference between a haboob and a shamal, and thankfully, he’s still teachin’ me stuff.

He was explaining the linkage between the growth of Britain’s overarching, individual-oppressing “Nanny State” and the decline of Britons’ rights to self-defense, to keep and bear arms, to self-determination; how one could not rise without the fall of the other, and why we — “you Yanks” — are fighting the right battle with the wrong weapons — and using the wrong tactics on the wrong opponents.

“For example,” he said, “You tend to place all anti-gun people in one category, failing to differentiate between the irredeemable soldats and the comparatively mild and malleable masses that they sway. They are completely and utterly different, and must be dealt with differently.” “How different?” I asked.
“Oh, chalk and cheese, Johnny-me-lad, chalk and cheese!”*

There was a pause. I heard a low Hmm … hmm … yas, quite so, yasss … and I knew Nigel was pokin’ something with his pipe and cogitating.

“Johnny-o,” he intoned, “They are chalk and cheese, lad!” Over the next hour and a coupla’ pints, here’s what we worked out.

Chalk & Cheese Primer

The anti-gun soldats, the chalk, are the hardcore activists, organizers, propagandists and solicitors of the movement. Motivated by either statist political ideology or craven hoplophobia and a fervent desire for a utopian gunless society, they are intense, dedicated and contemptuously dismissive of any opposing view. Omnipresent in political venues, they are rarely the ones who speak. Instead, they recruit, prime, prompt and urge various cheeses to speak.

Chalk is smooth and clean in appearance. It comes in boxes, in tightly regimented formidable little ranks, and though deployed as individuals, their actions are almost identical. They are essentially compressed dust, but they have been through a process, which polishes and hardens their surface. They have pretensions to high education, but in fact, all they can do is scrawl the rote material of their manipulators, often the same thing thousands of times; simple statements for simple minds, empowered by sheer repetition. They also have pretensions to art, but it is really merely ideologically infused graffiti; bumper-sticker visuals.

Their exterior is lily-white, as is, they claim, their motives. They show “diversity” by association with rainbow-hued chalks and soft pastels, which they claim to honor as “fraternal brothers and sisters,” but secretly, they hold the colors in contempt; just “silly but useful tools.”

Chalk can sound very businesslike — or screeching; a matter of how it is wielded. The message is the same.
The cheese — the people — is like a big, moist ball of mozzarella. Soft and resilient, the density and texture varies, but good mozzarella has no intrinsic hard lumps. It’s easily influenced by minimal changes in temperature and pressure; it can be gouged and pounded and chunks cut out, but with time and firm, gentle shaping, it tends to resume its natural form. If rolled in filth and debris, it can become mottled and ugly, but with thorough rinsing it cleans up nicely. For good or ill, cheese has a short memory.

Under prolonged harsh conditions cheese can harden on the surface, go moldy, sour and unpalatable; but with reasonable care the only way a good cheese becomes bitter and poisonous is through injection by outside influences; it is not in the nature of cheese to be so.

A good cheese is, in brief, naturally wholesome and flexible. It may not be to your taste, and at times may be unappealing. Cheese simply is what it is, not what you might wish it to be.

Protect The Cheese

“First, Johnny-o,” quoth Nigel, “Realize the anti-gun campaign is a splinter in a stouter bludgeon. The real war is waged by statists against individual liberties; disarming individuals is but an aspect of it. We Britons would not have lost our arms had we not first lost our individual rights, most notably the right to self-defense. Of what avail are your arms without it?”

“One cannot reason with chalk, Johnny-o,” Nigel said, “Nor change its nature. To attempt it is wasted effort. One can only try to keep it in its box, and erase the boards as you can.”

“Among pro-gun people, yes, talk about guns. But you will never win over the cheese by talking about guns, but rather, by talking about the cheese’s right to be cheese; protecting the cheese’s rights.”

It’s an election year, folks. Know your chalk from your cheese. Box the chalk, and gently, gently, massage and protect the cheese.

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