Sunday, February 22, 2015

Don't Let the Bastards Grind You Down

A couple of years ago, while attending my best friend's funeral, the local mortician stopped me as I entered the gym where the service would be held. Of all the things he might have said to me- he chose to ask, "are you still pontificating your opinions on those blogs you write?"

I can't really describe how inappropriate that remark was. Not only did it come from the funeral director of our local mortuary during a funeral service, but it was decidedly malicious. Who says things like that to people attending a funeral? 

A person who desperately wants to say something malicious and who is only going to get one opportunity to say it- that's who. It was never really meant as a question.

An online definition of pontificate says:  to speak or express your opinion about something in a way that shows that you think you are always right.

In America, we have a cultural illness wherein the vast majority of people practice contempt prior to investigation. They pretend to genuinely mull something over when in fact- they have immediately rejected the premise you or someone else offered almost immediately. 

That's ok. These are the kinds of people who still own Enron stock and 8 track tapes. They might actually think the Democratic Party still represents the working class. These are the people who never let the facts get in the way of their opinions no matter how much the supporting facts have changed. Nobody gets through to them and in the end I think they just lead quiet lives of desperation.

Malicious people tend to take everything personally. They are already pre-disposed to anger because they have an ego that decided an issue long ago. Often they practice cognitive dissonance. In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.

So I think that's what happens. People get pissed off when you have the audacity to offer your opinions particularly on some matter that they vehemently (insert ego here) disagree on.  

I've started my share of shit storms. In fact, I was the first person that I knew of who publicly started to question President Obama's credentials, his citizenship, and where he got his money to attend Columbia and Harvard. I did that back in 2007 when I was still the Police Chief. The backlash was so intense that I had to stop. The problem with shit storms is that there are no discernable facts which you can cull or extract and then proceed to stick up your opponent's ass. Obama to this day has not disclosed his school transcripts, his Indonesian passport, or his foreign aid scholarships. You cannot possibly win an argument where one side has the means to completely erase the facts. One day, when nobody cares any longer, we will know the truth. Until then, I simply sidestep the issue. 

This is what I have learned about public writing.

Check your facts. Write as authentically as you can. There are a lot of angry people out here. They take everything personally and they launch personal (and almost always anonymous) attacks.    

Write anyway. 

People have value. They have insight, information, and experience which is useful. I love authentic writing. I love it when somebody says something I had been thinking but could not find a way to verbalize. It happened last week in this paragraph:

The answer is rooted in what Megan McArdle calls the "Mandarinization of America." It's an elite cultural attitude implying that those who go to the best schools and know the right people deserve to be the rulers of the nation. Those who go to Harvard and Yale have the best credentials and deserve the best jobs. Such an attitude infects America's Political Class. It's reflected in the fact that all nine Supreme Court Justices attended Harvard or Yale. So did our last four presidents. Here's the source article:

Whatever you do, please remember it's not the critic who counts. They don't learn, they don't ever offer anything useful. They are cowardly and timid souls who every once in awhile, muster up just enough courage to say something malicious and anonymous. Don't give them any space in your head- I made that mistake at a funeral a few years back.

Nobody remembers who they were anyway.


Compleat Patriot said...

Ha ha "Mandarinization of America." I like that.. Little chicken shit Marionettes, or dull and boring automatons are a couple of mine.. The thought of these hand picked political charlatans being demonically possessed seems to me a better description than psychopath, political psychopaths at large, demonized seems deeper and fuller.

Anonymous said...

My brother must've gone to the same school of social etiquette as your local mortician. He was attending a funeral a number of years ago and remarked to an elderly gentleman there "I thought you were dead". Genius.