Wednesday, February 15, 2012

talk turkey – idiomatic phrase (Am. English): to seriously discuss a difficult problem with the intention of solving it.

You can always tell when a cowboy is ready to talk turkey. The first thing he does is set his hat on the back of his head. So that he can see his eyes. And there’s a look that says, “I’m willing not to win, if you’re willing not to win.” It’s the moment in a fight where you realize that if, even if you do win, you’ll have lost just as much. And realizing your opponent is in the same spot.

Americans may have invented that phrase. But we sure have lost the ability to do it. I don’t know. Is it that we’ve come to enjoy the fight more than the peace? Have we lost the mental strength to cope with a vision of the world that isn’t just the way we think it ought to be?

And it’s politically and personally both. We have politicians that enjoy saber rattling more than deal brokering. We have relationships that end in because people can’t see their way clear to a truce. Friends, family, marriages. Broken.

So, there’s only two options. One is to live with people who are exactly like you, so that you never have anything to argue about. That doesn’t sound like much of a relationship to me. And it doesn’t sound like the America that I believe in either. Or we learn to talk turkey again.

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