We Are Not Obligated To Participate In Bullshit

I’ve recently returned from a few weeks “off grid”. I like to unplug from time to time. You might like it too. The world did fine without me. It’ll continue without you. Also you should eat your vegetables. I’m just sayin’.

Unfortunately (and predictably) stupid, evil shit went down in my absence. I’m talking about Orlando. I carefully avoided the media frenzy and ensuing Facebook shitstorm. My only regret from June is I didn’t spend more time fishing. That last sentence is the whole point of a life well lived (or at least the best I can do). Also I may go fishing this weekend so there’s that.

Back to the topic at hand, I had the benefit of distance and had a single point I wanted to make. I let the dust settle. I took my time. I wasn’t out for more hits or whatever passes for blogger cred. I just had something to say.

I wrote a post and deleted it. Wrote another and deleted that. I wrote again and it’s on a hard drive somewhere but I’m not posting that either. My single simple observation eludes my feeble writing.

Fuck it. I’ll try again.

Please: don’t be someone else’s political puppet.

Somewhere in your head you’ve got a list. I’ve got one too. We’ve all got a mental list where we store our memories of terrorism and evil. There are so many attacks that nobody remembers them all. A comprehensive list requires a spreadsheet and proves what Stalin said about the death of millions.

So we winnow it down to a few key points. For just the last year or my memory dredged up several instances; Paris 1 (Charlie Hebdo), Paris 2 (November), Nigeria (several events that blur into the single idea that Boko Haram aspires to Nazi/Stalin/Pol Pot levels of evil. Also Boko Haram reminds me that I was embarrassed by our first lady using social media to it’s full irrelevancy.) Domestically recent years have included Chattanooga, Sandy Hook (caused, apparently, by magazines), San Bernardino, Charleston (caused, apparently, by Confederate flags), and now Orlando (which has variously been attributed to Republicans, the NRA, homophobia, and the AR-15).

But what’s the point? To what purpose are we sticking these data points in our precious (and lets face it, limited) brain cells? Are we learning? Are we adapting? Are we, as individuals, getting better at handling evil?

Ask yourself this. “If I am not formulating or improving my world view and personal plan of action from this information, is it nothing more than a horrific political sporting event? If so, should I participate in something that gross?”

I notice that nobody in politics or the media did anything other than what was expected:

Obama can’t say the words “Islamic Terrorist”. He’s that fuckin’ indoctrinated. How can we take seriously a Hogwarts schoolboy that can’t speak the name Voldemort. Obama also hasn’t presented a novel idea in decades. As a human wind up toy he did what he always does. He blamed Republicans and explained that if he aggregated more power to himself things would be perfect.

Hillary Clinton isn’t as dumb as Obama but, like him, she hasn’t had a new idea in decades. She has an insatiable lust for power and never liked Americans’ messy insistence on self determination. We should exist as game pieces on her chessboard. Thus in 2016 she’s pitching the same solution she supported (and was enacted) 22 years ago. Almost reflexively, she insists that if she had Godlike powers (which is what she misconstrues from the office of the president) she’d solve all our problems. She’s a grim reminder that hubris is deadly to the soul. She’s the third act of a Greek tragedy. She depresses me. I’d like to think that 22 years from now I’ll have 22 years more thinking upon which to draw. I aspire to grow and learn. She reminds me it’s not a sure thing.

The hairball from New York surprised me by unexpectedly failing to wow the press. He’s the king of verbal judo. Long ago I presumed that somewhere under that plastic wig of his was a planned response to the near certainty of a terrorist attack. I expected him to stride up to a podium and say something that seemed off the cuff but was finely tuned to make Hillary shit herself and rocket him toward the big chair. Instead the hairball described no new ideas. Just the usual blather about illegal immigrants (Orlando guy was neither illegal nor an immigrant). The Trumpster seems hunky dory oppressing those on a secret list of people too dangerous to fly but not dangerous enough to arrest… so long as he keeps the secret list.

The press… well nobody expects them to think so I’ll skip them. OK so the one guy that shot an AR and flipped out was kind of funny. We should give that guy a huge book deal. Anyone who’s smelled his own shit that deeply is comedy gold.

Bernie is a commie and commies never have ideas so I didn’t bother with him. (If he said something other than “give the government more power and I’ll fix your sorrows” tell me in the comments.)

I was disheartened by folks with whom I largely agree. There’s a small but dedicated section of the Citizenry that’s law abiding, well armed, and self reliant. Go team! We’ve already considered terrorism and planned as much as one can plan for such things. Even so we largely reacted exactly as we always do! Obama (and his pet press) made the usual noises and we went apeshit. I presume AR15s are flying off the shelves again? The usual discussions ensued; “it’s a magazine not a clip you gun grabbing nitwits”. Some folks pushed the whole “there’s no reason you can’t be gay and properly armed” angle. It’s a positive message but anyone willing to listen already knew that. People who think gun owners are homophobic morons is just stupid and regurgitating NPR press releases. Yet we tried to join in “a conversation”. Distance allows me to see that it’s pointless and repeated. How does it happen? Self reliant people become a marionette on a string whenever an evil fuckwad shoots innocents? Why?

We should avoid playing their game. Both the game of terrorist (who would kill us) and of politicians (who would oppress us). If someone on Facebook really wants to know if an AR15 has accursed evil abilities then by all means help them with the details… but if they’re just bitching about a Glock with lots of clips or begging for God or Government to unleash the Precrime Division then they’re still lost. Only they can find themselves.

Step away.

You cannot help find those who want to stay lost. Leave them to their internal contradictions. When (or if) the contradictions open their mind, greet them with a smile and welcome them to reality. But don’t try to pry open a clam and insert reason. If a mind never opens it’s not your fault and there’s nothing you can do about it.

The next time a terrorist commits evil (and there will be a next time) consider going fishing as an alternative to the nationwide post tragedy emotional scrum.

About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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12 Responses to We Are Not Obligated To Participate In Bullshit

  1. Matt says:

    Well said, AC. I wanted to go camping, but….life intervenes. That said, I caught a lot of personal flak for saying exactly what you did. Terrorist shot up Orlando gay club; I was saddened, but ultimately, I had to ask “Why do I care, beyond avoidable loss of life?” The answer was, of course, I don’t. Nothing will change, no one will even really remember in a month, and it’s just another data point.

    If the Powers That Be can’t even talk about the problem, there won’t be a solution this side of whatever solution we can make ourselves.

    Enjoy the fishing, man, and have a beer for those of us who can’t be on the water.

  2. Sailorcurt says:

    I will say that there is a valid reason to engage the control freaks on the internet regardless of the ability to sway them from their religion: There are plenty of people who “research” things that they don’t know much about by reading facebook posts and comment sections.

    Responding to the control freaks in a clear, concise way, supported by fact and logic is a good way to get the message out to those fence sitters who don’t know much about the subject and are trying to find information with which to form an opinion.

    Granted, there are plenty of “oh yea…well you’re a poopy head too!” people on our side of the fence who don’t do the effort much good, but there are a lot of people who make an effort to make our case in a civil fact based manner and I truly believe that those people are one of the reasons gun rights enjoys such general support among the populace even in the face of virtually 100% opposition in the media and among celebrities.

    We may come across as “marionettes on a string” in responding to the inevitable blood dancing that follows such an event, but if we don’t make the effort, we take the chance of losing the overwhelming support we currently enjoy by concession.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Suppose Obama chose to endlessly repeat the phrase “Christian terrorist” after every instance where some white American headcase shot up a bunch of people because “God wanted him to”? Do you think the Right would support this use of language? No of course they wouldn’t, because repeating that phrase over and over would put the idea into people’s heads that there’s something intrinsic to Christianity that creates Timothy McVeighs and Dylann Roofs.

    And of course there isn’t. Nor is there anything intrinsic to Islam that creates terrorists that claim to do their thing for Allah. Which Obama understands, and therefore avoids falling into this trap which only validates the attackers’ twisted ideas. And of course this inevitably gives people like the author here purchase to impute the bizarre idea that Obama somehow sympathizes with the attackers. He doesn’t.

    • I understand your thesis but disagree with both points.

      Starting with the first: clearly stating the truth is generally the right thing to do. Obfuscation is generally not the right thing to do.

      If there were Christian Terrorists deliberately committing evil in the name of Christianity I’d be perfectly happy with the President and the press calling them Christian Terrorists. If some evil bastard runs amok while screaming “the Pope and the Bible told me to burn down a daycare” then obviously you’ve witnessed a “Christian Terrorist” (or some phrase like that). Obama should call a true thing as it is. To do otherwise is a lie of omission.

      Conversely, if someone screaming about the Pope shoots up a mall and Obama calls it “workplace violence” or blathers that “it’s a mystery why the guy with the crucifix painted on his face went nuts”; well that would be lying. Nobody likes being lied to.

      Also “endlessly repeat” is how you recognize a pattern that that well… repeats. If many times in a row over many years in many locations nutcases emerged from Lutheran or Amish churches and did terrible things Obama can and should “repeat endlessly” that this was yet another example of “Lutheran Terrorist” or “Amish Terrorist”. Patterns help sensible people make sensible decisions. If there was a multi year, multi nation, wave of “Lutheran Terrorist” attacks I’d damn sure pay more attention to a Lutheran bake sale than a Buddhist Yoga convention. To do otherwise is deliberately ignoring your own intellect.

      Also the sky is blue and water’s wet and it’s OK to repeat that endlessly too.

      As for the claim “there is nothing intrinsic to Islam that creates terrorist that claim to do their thing for Allah” well clearly that’s false. The empirical evidence shows a correlation between Islam as it’s practised right now by some portion of the faithful and terrorism. Correlation does not prove causality but it is predictive. Nor can we determine if it’s “inherent” or “just happens to be so in practice in 2016”. Regardless, we don’t see Lutherans, Amish, Baseball Fans, Bowling Teams, NASCAR Drivers, Knitting Circles, or Norwegian Fishermen committing terrorism at nearly the same rate as Muslims. That’s simply a fact. It’s a fact that’s relevant planet-wide. I jokingly referred to Lutheran, Amish, and Buddhists in the preceding paragraphs but yeah, if any such group starts misbehaving en masse I’d like them to be truthfully identified. In all instances there’s people of those religions who’ve done wrong but it hasn’t become a pattern. Both quantitatively (frequency of occurrence) and qualitatively (severity of occurrence) your likelihood of violent terrorists shooting you or detonating a bomb in your vicinity is massively lower among Buddhists and Amish than Muslims. That’s simply a fact. A fact we measure with great precision by counting dead bodies.

      There are a lot of cool things associated with Islam and obviously 99% of the faithful aren’t blowing up buses. But it’s unwise to ignore dozens and dozens of attacks planet wide every year and it’s lying by omission to twist phrasing to avoid “validating the attackers’ twisted ideas”.

      Or, for a simpler analogy: “Water’s wet. Calling it sand doesn’t make you dry.”

  4. Heath J says:


    Fuck all of em, enjoy your summer.

  5. Tim says:

    I can’t really go along with the sentiment that the Orlando shooting wasn’t about immigration. If his Afghan maniac father had stayed where he belonged it wouldn’t have happened. Americans would do well to reflect on the multitude of ways their country has been enriched by the sixty million since sixty five imminvasion.

    • Perhaps we can at least agree that it’s not about illegal immigration?

      • Tim says:

        Absolutely. Australians have a similar problem, though they have been quite successful in forcing the ruling class into stopping illegal immigration. The door is still wide open to legal migrants, however. The globalists will not be denied their cheap labor.

  6. MadRocketSci says:

    Getting politics *out of my head* has been an ongoing project of mine as well. It’s a very bad habit, and it is a habit – surprisingly hard to break.

    I could spend the time I spend looking at the news by reading literally anything else on earth: Maybe things that are actually useful to me, and relevant to decisions that I can actually make.

    Anyway, there is more than a little wisdom in your perspective.

  7. MadRocketSci says:

    PS – I think it was one of the Sherlock Holmes novels where Sherlock Holmes surprised Dr. Watson with his ignorance of contemporary astronomy. When pressed about it, he retorted that it was of no possible use to his chosen profession!

    Political news is like that.

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