When you were a child did you use Mom's pots and pans as impromptu drums? Did you sit on the kitchen floor and beat on those pots and pans with one of the wooden spoons Mom kept? I did, I am told, though I honestly don't remember. But I know some of my own kids did so. It was a way to keep them amused and it cost nothing.
One fact of beating on a pot or a pan is that an empty one will make considerably more noise than a full one. Physics rules in this situation. There is a resonance, a timbre that you get with an empty pot that simply cannot happen with a full one. Anyone who's tried to pull that one pan out that they are pretty sure will make it, but doesn't quite, knows this. The crash and clatter of the empty pots that fall on the floor tells you what kind of pan makes the most noise. The empty ones.
I happened to have lived through the years of the presidency of Jimmy Carter. Wait, let me rephrase that. I survived the years of the Carter presidency. I suffered through the increasing increasing interest rates, the inflation, the dying job market, the diminishing global stature. Culminating in Iranian "students" taking our diplomats hostage. Then watching the inept fumbling trying to deal with that situation.
In the years since, I have noticed something odd. Former presidents really remain pretty quiet about the next president and the next. I can't really recall Harry Truman commenting on Eisenhower's policies. Or Eisenhower on Kennedy. Or Johnson on Nixon. You get my point.
But lord, lord, lord do I hear Jimmy Carter. On everything. No matter what, he has an opinion. And he screams it to hign heaven. As he does today, yet again, in the Washington Post. Informing us in his great and glorious wisdom how the world needs to solve the Middle East problem.
And I think about empty pots.