Putting down the sword

I’m finding myself typing out a comment, either long-winded or succinct, in my long fight against people being wrong on the internet, then thinking to myself “What the hell am I doing?”

So then I highlight my comment, delete everything, and close the tab.

I was last on nextdoor.com commenting on some user’s needless update about a grocery store layout change and how they posted it in the “Safety” category, which spams my email box. The use of categorizing every non-issue on “Safety” happens a lot, and I was about to deliver a tongue lashing to my village idiot.

But then I realized that, after about 5-6 years of arguing with people who have caverns for brains, I’m just so tired of dealing with this shit.

I’ve gone as far as deleting all of my social media apps on my phone. All they do is make me feel empty. I fill up on dopamine and when it comes time to do the shit I really want to do, my brain pokes me and says “c’mon Zan. Let’s go back to YouTube or check Instagram again. I bet there’s something new on Twitter! Hey, maybe someone is wrong on Facebook and you can type out a 4 paragraph comment, pointing out just how wrong they are! I mean, they won’t change their minds and you won’t feel better, but you showed them how wrong they are!”

Ugh.

I’ve decided to invest more of my time with shit that matters. I’m going to code a lot of shit. I’m going to take pictures. I’m going to play with my dogs. And at the end of the day, I don’t care who knows. When I go out, I won’t be taking a picture for the “likes”. I won’t think about who might comment on what. Because it doesn’t matter. These fellow dopamine drones don’t give a flying fuck about me – and that’s fine. I don’t care about a lot of them either. We’re all in a basket, clamoring for a little bit of attention (give me some of that fucking dopamine, yo), all while we’re slaves to the master algorithm.

I suppose that because my profile has a bunch of false information, the algorithm doesn’t know exactly what to serve me.

“Maybe some chicks from Nebraska? Uh, Bernie Sanders stuff? How about some custom hoodies? CLICK ME! INTERACT WITH THIS STAR WARS PAGE, YOU FUCK!” – Facebook, probably.

Good ideas are able to rise up when bad ideas are able to be shot down.

I was thinking about, how lately in the US, the idea of policing speech has been on the rise. Many political activists have taken action to bully and silence other groups – all in the name of “justice” or “good will”.

However, the perceived benevolence of these activists are merely a mask over a body of fascism. These so-called arbiters of “acceptable speech” fail, again and again, to realize that the essence of good, progress, and freedom, thrive in an open market. To close the gates and govern what people can say, only serves to harm progress and has a higher rate of breeding contempt among those with perceived inherently bad ideas.

For instance, I want to preserve the freedom to debate a racist, a flat-earther, an anti-vaxer – in an open forum – in order to show them how and why they are wrong and detrimental to society. If I punish and silence those, who’s beliefs I find otherwise detestable, they will only choose to seek refuge. The bacterium which consists of their hateful or ignorant views will continue to thrive in the dark and moist abscesses of society, rather than out in the open, where those ideas can be combated and ideally defeated.

A good example of defeating bad ideas is the case of Daryl Davis, a Black man who intentionally attended KKK rallies to try and befriend KKK members in order to dispel the racist and hateful notions by many or most KKK members. In this instance, if the government were to punish and silence KKK members from speaking, this man would not have an opportunity to change people’s minds and reverse the detrimental effects of such types of hateful beliefs, such as racism – and these KKK members would seek further refuge from being visible, and thus from the ability to having their opinions challenged.

So, to those who seek to silence ideas you disagree with: instead summon your own inner bravery and defeat their ideas in an open forum. Debate them honestly, strongly, and with integrity.

Obliterated Drunk at 4:30 PM

I heard two men shouting just up the street near my home. I was walking the dogs just South of my place about 100 feet away. I noticed they were crossing the intersection, heading toward my front yard.

I bent down to attend to some dog duties when I heard one of them shout. I looked up and one of them stumbled and fell into my fence. His friend stammered and tried to help him along. The two seemed to be discussing something when only one of the men proceeded to keep walking.

As I approached the intersection, I started to gain a better line-of-sight, as to what was going on. An older man was standing, partially hunched over, faced away from me near my gate. He’s partially obstructed by the corner of my fence.

He clearly didn’t look like any of my neighbors. Was he a delivery guy? No. He’s sort of, just standing there? Odd.

I make it across the street to clear the edge of the fence and can now see him entirely: He’s pissing on my front lawn. Great. So I decide to call out to him in a friendly, yet authoritative manner.

“Excuse me. Can I help you?”

Seconds seem like they crawl by before the man registers someone is behind him. His hands burst into a clumsy ballet to put himself away, as I can see his elbows dance along with his pants shifting back and forth. He gingerly skips a few steps, stops and then slowly, calmly, and coldly stares at me to barely utter these words:

“Forgive me.”

His eyes looked lost, floating away in a sea of forgotten sobriety. A part of me felt bad. Another part of me wanted to tell him off for being so brazen and disgusting, with us being right up the street from a grade school.

I stood there and stared him down. It seemed like 10 whole seconds. He finally turned and started walking up the street towards his friend, who I could now see was embarrassed to be seen among my waning ridicule. As he took a few more steps I started to make my way inside my front yard only to stop and look again to make sure he was going to keep walking.

He stopped a final time and turned to me one more time, with a little more anger in his face and voice, to say “I got piss all over my pants!” as if to say “It’s your fault this happened to me!”

Sorry, dude. That’s a small price to pay.