Parrots on the attack

Have you ever heard of the term “self-fulfilling prophecy”?

As defined by Encyclopaedia Britannica, a self-fulfilling prophecy is a “process through which an originally false expectation leads to its own confirmation. In a self-fulfilling prophecy an individual’s expectations about another person or entity eventually result in the other person or entity acting in ways that confirm the expectations.”

So, more or less, if you believe it, it will become true.

To me, that sounds like a form of mind control or some manifest destiny jabber. What a wild phenomenon. Since I was a kid I’ve been thinking I’d be a millionaire by the time I hit my 30s, but …

OK, so maybe it doesn’t quite work like that.

A March 2005 article I found from the magazine Psychology Today states: “Self-fulfilling prophecies — ideas that become reality simply because someone believes them — do not usually have strong effects. But a study shows that expectations may come to pass when many people hold the same beliefs — if those beliefs are unfavorable.”

This makes me think of politics. Again, I didn’t want this column of mine to carry a recurring political theme, but it’s hard to ignore these days. When you turn on the television, you see impeachment stories, and when you listen to the radio stations, you’ll hear — well, Led Zeppelin, obviously — but also talk of impeachment. And then there’s plenty of news coverage right here in this newspaper on the impeachment proceedings. Impeachment talk can be overheard at the coffee shops, and debated in bars and maybe even around your own kitchen tables.

What’s unfortunate is that the amount of information presented is so massive that, for a commoner like me, trying to decipher it is like reading the Bible upside down from back to front — in Latin.

So most people won’t bother looking at the information themselves. Maybe they’ll put their trust in media coverage, some of which may be slanted and biased, while other good, reliable coverage may simply be swallowed up in the sea of information available to us consumers.

We could also listen to our representatives in Congress, but who knows if they’re being genuine or simply repeating what their fellow party politickers say. Like a flock of parrots, you’ll hear the same words and phrases over and over again. I’d call them Parrotheads, but I don’t want to insult Jimmy Buffett fans.

We all know that I’m no expert on congressional investigations, President Trump, Ukraine corruption and all that.

But here’s something to think about: If enough of our country’s lawmakers claim the impeachment is a “sham,” will the American people actually come to believe it?

Here’s one thing I’m sure of, and something I know to be as true as Descartes’ “Cogito, ergo sum” — all Polly really wants is a cracker. I know this because the parrots tell me so.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ryan Jarvi is city editor at The Mining Journal. He lives in Marquette with his wife, Sarah, and their dog, Tino. Contact him at rjarvi@miningjournal.net.


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