|An Ark Called The Ship of State
In some ways a Ship of State might also be considered as the Ark of State, designed to survive stormy waters from time to time.
Good ships are designed for a dynamic called "a voyage", a communal trip to some destination, so, notwithstanding the name a ship eventually ends up being christened with preceding the voyage, the common theme is that the ship will become crewed, provisioned, and will carry passengers to a place they want to go.
As with any ship or ark of state, it only becomes a real ship when it "sets sail" on a voyage to some destination it was designed to take.
Today, we consider a voyage of one such ship designed to be taken on "The Selfish River."
The meme complex called The Selfish River, upon which the Ship of State floats, is composed of the spirit of all of us who are involved as passengers, whether we are ever to become crew (officials) or not.
The Selfish River is neither a perfect river, nor an impossible river (we all have valid selfish interests, that is, socially acceptable levels of selfishness: "selfish: relating to or characterized by self-interest").
Our Ship of State is designed for, and comes with charts to, get us all to a destination known as "The Common Good."
At first, The Selfish River flows youthfully through the scenic, lake-filled Happy Valley with an understandable and socially acceptable degree of selfishness which constantly floats our youthful boat.
But then, The Selfish River experiences incremental drops in the altitude of our state lands which it flows over and through, naturally causing some concern and sea sickness as the river boils, speeds up, and slows down, rocking our boat from side to side from time to time.
Nevertheless, The Ship of State continues on to wind its way on down river until a landmark called "Sociopath Canyon" appears to be just ahead on the chart.
The chart, drawn by those who crafted The Ship of State, has a damaged section on it, where the entry into Sociopath Canyon is shown, with the somewhat undecipherable words "???? Fork".
There, The Selfish River forks into two separate streams for a while, one bypassing the remainder of Sociopath Canyon, the other going all the way through Sociopath Canyon, then way further downstream to where both forks merge once again to become The Selfish River.
Whether by chance or by design, just before the mysterious ???? Fork, the self-described "higher ups" on board begin to want more of the commodities in the cargo (more of a share) than other crew members and/or passengers.
That, even though all have previously agreed to receive what is adequate and proper while on the way to the destination, The Common Good.
As noted, by agreement all were to receive what is a proper amount for their on board circumstances, but not any excessive amount that would cause harm to the ability to reach the destination, which is the public good, a.k.a. The Common Good.
Will that growing selfishness spill over to distract them from their safe course, a course which allows them to reach their proper destination?
As the ship approaches a certain point called "Common Sense Point," just within Sociopath Canyon, the Ship of State can come about and return up-river to the meandering flows of the more peaceful, happier, and less dangerous waters within the Happy Valley area (to perhaps think things over, to reflect and review, before setting sail once again).
Or, the ship can take the ???? Fork in the divided river, the fork that flows out of Sociopath Canyon there at Common Sense Point.
If they become distracted and venture beyond the ???? Fork in The Selfish River at Common Sense Point, however, The Selfish River begins to quickly morph until it turns into a raging maelstrom of white water rapids.
Churning ever more violently on, the river eventually enters "Psychopath Canyon", from whence no Ship of State has ever returned.
Thereafter, all that remains for consideration takes place on "The Delta of History", where the outflows from Psychopath Canyon fan out, like the Mississippi River Delta, before rejoining the safer fork of The Selfish River (which began at Common Sense Point) to become one river again.
The Delta of History is a place frequented mostly by "The Talking Heads", "The Pundits", "The Descendants", and "The Scholars."
The Talking Heads, Pundits, and Scholars pick through the remains of the Ship of State, the bodies of the crew, and the bodies of the other passengers.
They declare, from time to time, that they do so because they are continually seeking "The Answer."
Some of them say they examine the wreckage for "Posterity's Sake", some for "History Books", and some for "Empirical Autopsies", all of which, when bound into handsome volumes, come in many colors, sizes, and shapes.
In so doing, The Talking Heads, Pundits, and Scholars endlessly fight in a debate concerning "what the shapes of the pieces mean", where the pieces once fit on the Ship of State, where the missing pieces are, and why it broke up into so many pieces.
Meanwhile The Descendants morn their loss, and some portion of them even get "The Big Picture."
Wooden Ships, CS&N ... "Smile at me ... I will understand ... that is something everyone everywhere does ... in the same language"