Monday, November 21, 2016

The Dead Cat


The eye is diverted from the real business, it is caught by the spectacular action that means nothing--nothing at all.” ― Agatha Christie

In politics there is what many call a "Dead Cat" strategy. In its simplest form, this strategy is a diversionary tactic most commonly used in politics. When things are not going your way or the news is bad for you, throw a dead cat on the table which will divert attention from something damaging to you by giving people something more dramatic or shocking to talk about.

In use and metaphorically speaking (there is not a real dead cat on the table), please will shout "Hey, there’s a dead cat on the table!" People will then be talking about the dead cat, the thing you want them to talk about, and they will not be talking about the issue which has been causing you so much grief.

If you can make a comment or stir something so shocking that it shifts the entire focus of discussion to something else. What you did not want to talk about will no longer be talked about. How can anyone not talk about the dead cat? They have to because it is so outlandish and eye catching.

Very powerful in shifting and gaining media attention.

We have seen plenty of this during our most recent election process and it continues post-election as well. By nature we humans are curious to the wild and shocking noise which permeates our social and news media outlets. My father always said, the squeaky wheel gets the grease and that is very true.

By simply focusing on the squeaky wheel, are we forgetting to pay attention to the other three wheels? The air leaking quietly from one tire or the wear of the tread on another which are equally important. Do we do it to fool ourselves into thinking everything is okay in our lives?

Do we throw dead cats to deceive ourselves?

How many times have we allowed ourselves to be diverted by the bright and shiny things. You want to that new job which promises great sums of money but are unwilling to admit that you do not put in the effort in your current job to advance. It could be a relationship in which you want the handsome attentive man or the attractive fawning woman but fail to measure your own self.

The promises made to us and by us are the dead cats thrown in front of us. They distract us from what is really going on in our life. It could be politics, relationships, our money, job and even our religious beliefs. We deceive and are deceived by the diversions created.

How do we remove the dead cat?

The first thing is to realize that the dead cat is on the table and to ask why was it thrown out there in the first place. We must always question why the topic changed. Is it in order to focus us on something more important or keep us from discussing what truly is important.

Secondly, we must hold ourselves and others to task in understanding and resolving what really matters. The dead cat is not the important thing here, it is a ploy to keep us from holding ourselves or others accountable. We should not allow the diversion to hold our attention.

The last thing is to call it what it is, a diversion of the truth either in social media or the news. Call people out on it and bring the attention back to the important things. Call yourself out on it for only we can allow ourselves to be deceived by the dead cat on the table.

Stay inspired my friends!

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