References to Gordian knots have been spilling out of media reports with record intensity in recent weeks. Gordian knots have been causing consternation in diverse locales from Alaska to Florida and even overseas in Russia. What is behind this invasion of Gordian knots? We may never know.
Republican State Representative Jay Ramras, a pro-development conservative, used the phrase “Gordian knot” in addressing whether Alaska governor Sarah Palin should be considered a quitter for leaving her post 18 months early.
Sarah Palin’s Gordian Knot
Ramras called Palin’s lawyer denial that Palin was a quitter and claim that she had already accomplished her major goals “crazy,” according to CNN.
“Anyone who thinks we’ve started anything is delusional. … What she did was she created a Gordian knot and then handed it off to someone else,” Ramras told the network.
Field and Stream’s Environment v. Salmon Gordian Knot
Down in the lower 48, meanwhile, Field and Stream contended today that humanity has created a Gordian knot for itself with global warming. Field and Stream called the tension between salmon protection in Washington state and hydroelectric generation not just a Gordion knot, but a “global environmental Gordian Knot,” asking readers how we untangle it.
Moscow’s Gordian Knot
Three weeks ago, Moscow News Weekly described Russia’s close relationship with the Iranian military and ruling clerics a Gordian knot that needs to be severed to facilitate Russian-US relations. Insisting that what’s good for the U.S. is bad for Russia and vice versa is a posture that promises to keep Russia tied up in Gordian knots, the Moscow News Weekly said.
Cape Coral, Florida Grapples with Gordian Knot
Down in Cape Coral, Florida the city council is wrestling to untie a “Gordian knot wrought through years of cross-purpose planning, petty politics and lax oversight…” This particular Gordian Knot involves utility costs and expansion projects.
So, What Is a Gordian Knot?
According to wikipedia, Gordian’s knot is based in legend. The legend holds that the kingless Phrygians decided to bestow the honor of ruling their land on the next person to drive in on an ox-cart. That person happened to be the peasant Gordias. With Gordias planning to stick around, his ox-cart was tied up with a Gordion knot, a knot with no beginning and no end. No one succeeded in untying the Gordian knot until Alexander the Great solved the puzzle. “Gordian knot” has since become a metaphor describing an intractable problem.
Sources: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/07/07/palin.resignation/; http://www.mnweekly.ru/comment/20090618/55380537.html; http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/fishing/2009/07/chad-love-saving-salmon-vs-climate-change; http://www.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com/page/content.detail/id/507906.html;