Sunday, June 26, 2022
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Quote of the Day: Memorial Day Edition


Sadly, this being on the public interwebz I really ought to respond for the sake of later conversations with folks other than “Good Riddance.”

I made a mistake: Don’t wrestle with pigs. You get dirty and the pig likes it.

So, here’s the extended disclaimer in which I try to remove some of the poo…

As much as I may agree in part with some of the issues raised by Good Riddance, this isn’t the way to go about it if the idea is changing minds or the state of the world. Once you have their attention, and a seat at the table (even a kiddie booster chair), tantrums don’t advance anything. Offer solutions in the situation at hand. At some point “consciousness raising” becomes extortion. People know when that’s the case, and don’t like it. We’ve been there from the get go with this “discussion.”

Lucy Van Pelt (Peanuts cartoon – ed) once famously issued an ultimatum. Having observed the state of the world to be not to her liking, she proclaimed that it had all better be fixed by the time she got out of third grade, or she was *not* going to put up with it. That’s still funny.

Denis Leary has an old bit about stoners making plans. “First I’m gonna get a bunch of money. Then…” That’s still funny too.

Neither Lucy nor Leary’s stoner were solving much – that’s the point.

My analogy of Vegan at a BBQ was on point – snotty self-righteous disruption rarely convinces anybody of anything. Also, both Vegans and Cross-Fitters think they are every bit as right as Good Riddance thinks he is. And the people they seek to convince – so they say – also think they are right, eating meat for example. So, throwing a tantrum at the other guy’s club meeting is a great way to convince them … Oh, wait. The other thing. It’s a great way to convince them you are a jerk, who only looks down on them, and is willing to extract summary penalties to get your way, under the guise of “raising issues” or similar. It’s extortion., like spewing anti-military invective in a Memorial Day thread, for example.

Maybe convincing anybody isn’t the point. Sadly, I mostly agree with the motivating observations Good Riddance has made, as real things, part of the mix in deciding what to do as a nation, and as citizens. Any power one can use, including military, will also be misused, eventually by someone. This is kind of like the argument for the existence of guns, civilian gun ownership, driving cars and more. Do we put down this ability to do any of the goods this thing allows, to avoid the potential bads? No guns, and nobody gets shot with an accidental (“negligent” is better) discharge. Also, no desperate mothers in upstairs closets get to fend off marauding home invaders who have already not opted to leave with the stuff they took. So, choose.

Having a military is a dangerous choice. Paraphrasing Churchill, the worst choice in the world … except for all the others. If Riddance wants to propose an alternative that will work better, propose it, and demonstrate that it will work. Kind of like the proposal that we get rid of all the guns … then there’s no more violence, ever. Oh, wait, all the violence that happened to use a gun disappears (so no threats, no violence by other means, and no violence going forward because no more deterrent.) That’s crazy.

It’s like Mr. Riddance has borrowed the entire nonsense playbook from the anti-gun folks.

“Riddance” has said some very harsh things about US military members … on the occasion of Memorial Day. His counter-proposals are vague at best. So, the US acts a lot more like Switzerland (Which means what, exactly?) and … what happens? All of it. For real. Specifically, what happens? I do not agree with his conclusions, which are sparse. I think his presentation and choice of venue are appalling.

One suspects the frisson from daemonization of some “other” is the point, along with inviting others to the same “position” promising payoff of that same frisson. It was an old, old story before PA gun owners were identified as “bitterly clinging.” This is the appeal of shoving tiny nerds into school lockers to feel larger ones’ self. In the present non-conversation, there is way more energy in the name calling than thinking about how things might work out, so…

I am sorry for adding to the noise.



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