The seven deadly frictional motiviations

Letter from Slim Wolfe

Arguing – April 2000 – Colorado Central Magazine

February 25, ’00


Babybee, you got what it takes. I can read almost any other journal and, like, there I am, but I have yet to read an issue of Colorado Central and not be called upon to write back. So let me attempt to answer the question posed in Martha Quillen’s essay: Why do people argue so much?

We know about the seven deadly sins, but have we considered the seven frictional motivations? Here’s where people forget to evolve from the primordial, and to any who believe they were created too good to have to evolve, I ask, how come you’re down here playing monkey-see monkey-do with the rest of us?

So the seven frictional motivations which drive human events: sex (and the pursuit of sex), conquest, war, profit, one-upmanship, speed, and fear. Here and there in the last 10,000 years a few visionaries (like Jesus, Buddha, and Marx) have tried to show us alternatives to the friction method, but their disciples and followers seem to miss the point, mostly.

People are ready to give up pen and paper for keyboards and cyberspace, people are eager to give up diseases in favor of medical healing, but people just aren’t ready to let go of frictional motivation. None dare call it prehistoric knuckle-dragging, but I for one hope for the right research and the right visionary to lift humanity above this squalid condition. I suspect that humility imposed by long years of hard work is one way to get there, but there’s also evidence to the contrary, and there ought to be a painless cure.

Since you mentioned Roe v Wade as an argument which has no end, I’d like to share my little ditty about the folks who brought us the Crusades, the Inquisition, and similar Jihads of all persuasions:

“In sweet Heaven’s name they did plunder and kill, From Spain to Brazil And up and down the Holy Land So now if they tell us that all life is Holy It’s just a way to market more diapers.”

It being a windy day in winter, I need to quit this writing and get some frictional motivation happening in my woodstove. And as for the essay on license plates — UFF DAH or, well done, Ed. But I think those hotshots who tailgate me for miles are just trying to count the A’s in “Chevrolet.”

Slim Wolfe

Villa Grove