I’m back in office (or, as I like to call it The Love Den) after a weekend of travel. Maybe I’ll do a travel post. Or maybe, like always, I’ll plan on it and never get it done. Anyway, this is my first post in a few days that wasn’t written by breaking my fingers on a tiny electronic keyboard on an iPad. As such, I’m pretty happy. -Ed.
Are things getting better or worse? My personal theory is that things have always been shitty and it’s a remarkably consistent thing. Were people more “evil” in medieval times or in present day? My guess is that both were about the same. The only difference is that we think things should be better today and when they’re not our brains incorrectly interpret the difference between reality and perception expectations as some kind of disconnect.
Our helpless brains then think things like, “Things are going to hell.” Only they’re not. The more things change the more they remain the same.
I remember when I was a kid. A service dog was something limited to blind and deaf people. These were highly trained animals that were rarely seen in public. And when they were nobody questioned their legitimacy. Why would we? What kind of freaking asshole would you have to be to take advantage of laws for disabled just because you want your pet to tag along when you go shopping or out to eat?
We also used words like “please” and “thank you” and held open doors for other people.
In today’s world an amazing number of us have no such ethical quandaries. We want something ergo the ends justifies the means. Period. The only criteria that must be met is that we want it. And, let’s be honest, that’s a pretty darn low standard to meet.
Park in a disabled parking space? I’ve never done it once in my life. A few months back I fell out of a boat and smashed my ankle on a rock while whitewater rafting. The damn thing still hurts like hell. I could have asked my doctor (if I had one) to fill out the paperwork for a temporary permit. Why the hell would I? I can limp the extra 20-50 feet just fine. What kind of an amazing prick must you be to think you are entitled to take a parking space from someone who really needs it.
I recently spoke with a person who freely admitted to doing it. And why wouldn’t they? In their mind there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. No recognition of ethical boundaries translated into no reticence about freely admitting what they had done. Their brain literally couldn’t comprehend their might be something wrong with such behavior. It would conflict with The Want.
This same person, though, had a major issue about people touching her dog. The dog is high strung and has a lot of anxiety. It doesn’t like to be touched except on its own terms. But when she took the dog out in public, like grower’s markets, strangers would pet the dog without asking and without permission. This was greatly upsetting to her.
Later, she took us to a public park where there were signs posted that said, “No dogs allowed.” It never crossed her mind that her dog shouldn’t be there. Run loose, doggie. Be free!
Her mind was literally incapable of discerning the reality of her beliefs and actions. Under one set of mores people were rude assholes for breaking rules and in the other she saw nothing wrong with her behavior. Both were able to sit comfortably in her brain at the same time and she never noticed anything wrong about it.
When I lived in San Diego I had a daughter who was deathly afraid of dogs. They would make her scream, shiver and become emotionally withdrawn. The fear may not have been realistic or logical but it existed nevertheless. As such, we didn’t take her to public spaces like dog parks. We’d search out public parks where dogs were prohibited. There was one of these near the ocean where we liked to go to fly kites.
There were other dog-friendly places. They even had their own beach. But invariably someone would show up and unload their dogs and let them run free. The dogs would rapidly approach us and the owners would say things like, “Don’t mind Fluffy. He would never hurt anyone.” Well I guess we have your word on that, don’t we? The word of a known criminal. Meanwhile the day was ruined, for us, with my young daughter back at the car and wetting her pants.
Well played. You get your dog area for backup and our space as your primary. You probably didn’t want to go there because there were too many dogs, right?
So are we bigger assholes to each other today or does it only seem that way? We certainly seem more narcissistic and masturbatory. But back then there less rule of law and other things in abundance like slavery, racism, gender oppression, genocide and more. Maybe as a society all we’ve done is redistribute the evil in new and interesting ways? Maybe the amount always must remain constant?
We are required by the Department Of Redundancy Department to post this public notice: We reserve the right to redundantly repeat topic coverage as we see fit. It is no accident if this content feels familiar. Also, we repeat coverage of certain topics on purpose. It’s our way. –Ed.
Since the dawn of time philosophers have debated, “What is a bar? What is a restaurant?” Sometimes there are no easy answers. There can be a very fine line between “bar” and “restaurant.”
So what?! Who gives a shit?! What’s in a name?!
Mainly the presence of shitloads of filthy little varmints. That makes this issue one of no small consequence.
As always I will cover all points of view as if to give the reader an understanding of the issue. I will be fair. I will be impartial. I will be partially inebriated.
Also, as always, illumination will be provided by Wikipedia:
A bar is a retail business establishment that serves alcoholic drinks — beer, wine, liquor, and cocktails — for consumption on the premises.
A restaurant is a business which prepares and serves food and drink to customers in return for money …
There we were in a mystery business of some sort. Was it a “bar” or a “restaurant?” Let’s find out. It’s Litmus Test Time boys and girls!
Why is it that when strangers see a baby, an adorable child, or a cute little dog they feel it’s suddenly socially acceptable to interact with same and/or the adults involved?
I hate that. I’ll thank you very much to stay the hell away.
My wife is one of those people. A toddler in a restaurant stands on a seat and stares at my wife. She’ll smile and wave and stuff like that. The nerve.
So the other day there’s a mom and her cute little girl in a restaurant. I was eating my tacos and minding my own business. My wife saw the little girl and smiled. Then, when the mom wasn’t looking, the girl stuck out her tongue at my wife. Three times!
Mom looked back and the little girl went back to adorable peaches and cream. Mom was none the wiser.
The behavior was calculated. The behavior was deliberate. That little girl knew exactly what she was doing. And it wasn’t an innocent act of cuteness, either. There was something vicious behind that tongue. The Marquis de Sade would have proudly declared she had a bright future.
My wife mentioned something about giving the girl a swat on her tushy. It takes a village to raise a child? Try touching someone else’s kid and you’ll be sued until the cows come home. The bank robber that brandished a firearm the other day? The cops arrested him then he was released due to a lack of jail space. Step in and do a job that a parent isn’t willing to do? The catch-and-release program will suddenly be canceled and you’ll be doing hard time. Don’t even think about trying to tell a parent their business.
Me? I mumbled something about “guns” and suddenly I was the one in trouble. My wife accusingly said, “You always take things too far.”
Hey, lady! I’m not the one sticking out my tongue at strangers, so there!
Continue reading →
Once upon a time there was a little movie called Back To The Future 2 – This Time It’s That Time. Ol’ Doc Brown lands his DeLorean out front, picks up Marty McFly, then takes him on a ride to the future because Marty’s as-yet unborn son is in some kind of trouble.
Doc’s plan is for Marty to imitate his progeny long enough to resolve the trouble. Brilliant. What could possibly go wrong?
The whole plot of BTTF 2 is predicated on a cutesy throw-a-way line at the end of BTTF 1 when Doc and Marty have this conversation:
Doc: Marty, you gotta come back with me!
Doc: Back to the future.
Marty: Wait a minute, Doc. What are you talking about? What happens to us in the future? What, do we become assholes or something?
Doc: No, no, no, no, no, Marty, both you and Jennifer turn out fine. It’s your kids, Marty, something has got to be done about your kids!
I call this type of phenomenon Star Wars Syndrome. It’s what happens when your movie is so successful that a sequel becomes mandatory but something you thought was a cute detail at the time actually paints you into a corner and now you’re committed because the fans will only tolerate so much hinky nonsense with the storytelling. (Unless you’re J.J. Abrams, of course, then you simply don’t give a shit. You just stuff it in your Mystery Box.)
Because of this, when they made the BTTF sequel, they had to have the storyline be about a trip to the future – no matter what. And then, because of disturbances to the timeline, Marty’s father and girlfriend both end up looking like completely different actors.
I know! That’s heavy.
My point is this: In the future Doc Brown tells Marty to pull his pants pockets inside-out, because that’s what the kids think looks cool and if he doesn’t, he’ll stick out like a sore thumb.
Continue reading →