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Suspension of disbelief

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I've always been a common sense kind of guy, although that's not always a good thing.

For example one of my favourite books is the Lord of the Rings series - I've read the trilogy every year since high school, and even named my daughter Eleanor because of it (read the last few pages to understand). But from the very first read I saw a flaw in the plot, and that's the fact that Frodo and Sam walked through all those hundreds of leagues of hell to get to Mordor when they could have ridden there on a giant eagle, tossed the One Ring into Mount Doom, and been back in The Shire in time for second breakfast.

I also thought of a better way to win Star Wars . Around the time Lucas reintroduced the original trilogy with all those unnecessary computer animations thrown in, I realized that taking out the Death Star would have been kind of easy. In the first movie, we saw how the Death Star locks onto all incoming ships with a tractor beam and pulls them into the hangar. So why didn't the Rebel Alliance just send a ship into the Death Star's general area packed to the roof with thermal detonators, then blow it up from a comfortable distance?

And in the third movie, even though the Death Star II's shields were still up, a crippled Empire Star Destroyer was still able to plow into the side of it. So why wouldn't the alliance pack a bunch of huge empty ships with detonators and send them in on a collision course? Would explosives even be necessary if you could send ships into the path of the Death Star while they're in hyperspace? Just imagine how many Bothan spies could have been saved.

It's not that I don't enjoy books and movies that require some suspended disbelief, I just have a have a habit of thinking about them afterwards and wondering what I would have done differently in the circumstances. Some might call it nitpicking, but sooner or later common sense always intrudes.

I know I'm not the only Monday morning quarterback out there with a cynical need to second-guess everything. Everybody replays the events in their own lives and thinks about things they should have said or done but didn't. Hindsight is 20-20.

That same hindsight applies equally to politics, and the current struggle in Whistler to balance our budget. Could the RMOW have foreseen and prevented the events that led them to even consider a 20 per cent property tax increase over the next three years? Did you see it coming? And what would you do, or have done, differently?

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