I presume you’ve heard of the filibuster? A lot of the details are pretty complicated, but to put it simply, it’s a weird stalling tactic in the American legislature involving reading stuff that’s barely relevant.
At some point in time, they nerfed the whole thing, and now it’s a lot less infamous and egregious than it was. But you can still use it, with the right conditions and promises, or something like that.
Most people hear about the filibuster and think it’s a shame something like that actually exists in modern governance. But they also find it pretty fascinating and silly.
I think most of us can relate to the whole gimmick of it and can’t help smiling hearing about it.
In many ways it’s like some kind of brilliant little prank. Something you can’t help but find awesome or distasteful.
Perhaps the best thing to call it is “spicy”. Something with lots of friction in it. Something outrageous and humble at the same time.
If you wanted to live in a world where the filibuster never actually became a thing in the first place, you’d have to get a grip on the part of you that finds barely doing anything to be absolutely delicious in the right context.
To create a world without filibustering, you’d first have to understand why everybody loves something like the Luigi Wins By Doing Absolutely Nothing videos made by using Mario Party game footage.
Sure, there are many scummy ways to stall out your opponent and make them screw themselves over in Mario Party’s board game tactics. But often, you can win action-based minigames by having other people simply make blunders fighting each other.
While fighting only CPUs or total noobs, you can fail to move your character a single bit, and all of your digital foes will bump each other off those bouncing balls into the lava pit.
If you don’t get a glowy feeling inside from watching Luigi, especially the underdog brother himself, attain victory by merely choosing not to act, you really would be some kind of heartless.
I’m sure plenty of people have spent a lot of energy talking about how disgustingly immature the filibuster is.
I’m sure there’s a lot more nuance as to its actual applications.
And perhaps that nuance, uncovered via its origins, is actually pretty damn gross.
But it would be wrong to call it ridiculous. Watching people get frustrated when you’re putting in such a low amount of effort into something isn’t that bizarre of a feeling.
Making a mockery of someone else’s progress…by causing them to put heaping tons of effort into getting their goals back on track…is just what comes naturally for people when their own convictions are strong.
You don’t stand a damn chance of making something like the filibuster unappealing.
Even to someone who hates the hell out of it, it’s still got that appeal that makes your cheeks clench, doesn’t it?
The marriage of laziness and ambition, like a clever joke, like a secret technique, like a goddamn Aesop fable turned upside down.
I mean, yeah, doing nothing with your controller won’t work much for Mario Party, but look at any game and you’ll see there’s a part of it that rewards not trying too damn hard at it.
If they call you scum, make them crawl through the muck.
If they think you’re ill-intentioned, make their experience totally suck.
Force them into a switch-out game in Pokémon that makes them beg for a stroke of luck!
You can say the filibusterer stinks like a turd and makes insects fly around him.
But in his head, the fly is the other political party, and he’s waiting for them to land.
So he can gobble them up and hop onto some other mission,
in a state so ready for conventional battle.
Somebody has to smash the frog sooner or later, I hope.