Sorry to be late. I had doctors appointments. One of them was a test with the audiologist and despite the fact I can’t use the cell or the headphones on the left side (because it’s like someone is whispering) I was told I have normal hearing on both ears. I don’t actually, having been diagnosed with mid range loss in my twenties, so I’m sure something is weird (again.) But never mind. I’m not even going to speculate.
Which brings us to other things I don’t want to speculate about:
Why are some people desperately interested in other people’s business? No, seriously. Of course, we have a whole party of them. In the sixties and seventies, the left loved saying that they didn’t care what you did and weren’t moralist prudes, but really,that only applies to sex and MAYBE drugs anymore. Maybe drugs, because, honest to heaven, there’s more and more things they think you shouldn’t take, and they’re on the vanguard of the “make everything prescription” wave.
In neighborhoods… Well, for reasons known only to the psychiatrist he doesn’t have my husband reads NextDoor obsessively. I signed up and then never checked it again. If there’s, you know, a killer flu in this expected-to-be-colder winter, I’ll want to check who needs help or whatever, but other than that, it would only encourage me to put a foot through the monitor.
So I get the crazy second hand.
In our particular street where there are maybe six kids, only audible in summer when they play outside, and even then not much, because being middle class kids in the US they’re booked solid every spare moment, someone complained about “children shouting.”
Our next door neighbor has a very large, elderly dog who likes going walkabout. Unless I’m refinishing and afraid he’ll get hurt, I let him come and visit. In the reports this has morphed into “vicious dogs roaming the neighborhood unimpaired.”
Then there is the crazy even we can’t escape. Before one of his medschool exams, older son went out for a walk around the neighborhood. Now, older son is like a mini Larry C. Not as tall but proportionately built like Larry. He also has very dark hair and a (generally trimmed) beard. He wears button down shirts, nice slacks, and if I remember properly at the time it was blustery, so a nice wool overcoat. His normal untanned skin tone is somewhere between mine and Dan’s. He tans darker than I used to be able to, but he’d been spending months indoors, studying.
So… as he came back from his walk, Dan was outside raking leaves. Robert and he exchanged a few words, and in Robert went through the garage.
Not two minutes after, this woman slightly but not markedly older than us comes to Dan with the air of super detective dog, and tells Dan that a large, swarthy male, probably Latin, just got into our house. When Dan failed to be alarmed, she started piling it now. Now our son was a large, swarthy male who had been walking the neighborhood and trying the handles of parked cars. This is even crazier, since a) yeah, no, I can’t see Robert trying the handles of cars for any reason. b) there are NO parked cars in our neighborhood during the day. I’ve noticed this because the only one out during the day, normally, is my terminally unsightly 20 yo truck, and I’m surprised no one has complained of it yet. There’s no rule against it, but most people on the street are childless, so the cars are either in the garage, or out at work.
This woman just kept trying to panic Dan even though Dan told her several times that the suspicious male was our son. (Yes, for the next several weeks his name in the household was “Large Swarthy Male.” When it wasn’t “Car thief.” What else?)
When told, Robert said he thought there was a woman following him, but he told himself, nah, she’s only out for exercise.
The problem with this kind of crazy is that it leads to “there ought to be a law” to correct the “packs of vicious dogs” (I’m sure there’s a law, but the old pup is a sweety, and we just ignore his jaunts.) Or the children shouting. Or large, swarthy males ambling around to clear their heads for medschool exams.
It also leads to its opposite. If my son were a — snort — delicate flower, there might be laws against racist assumptions. There are de-facto regulations against it in fact. The most poisonous part of motor voter, in which you register people to vote without asking for proof of citizenship is just part of this. You can’t ask people — even people like me with an accent you can cut with a saw — for proof of citizenship, because it offends them. In other words, it hurts their feelings.
Look, guys, I EXPECT to be asked for proof of citizenship. Yes, I do get almighty tired of being asked where I’m from, and if I’m feeling testy, I’ll tell you I’m from Denver, or from our particular suburb, or from Colorado, or if I’m really testy, from North Carolina (I was naturalized there, after all. So in a way I started existing there.) OTOH my accent is like having a big red growth on my cheek. People are going to ask how I came by that. Meh. It doesn’t hurt my feelings. I just get tired of it, and frankly might not be in a mood to engage with human beings face to face that day. (Maybe the day ends in y.)
However my franchise is a good I don’t want diluted by people voting who don’t have a right to. As such, I’ll endure the questions, because I can answer them and have proof, and don’t want non-citizens voting.
And we weren’t so much offended by this crazy woman thinking son was a car thief, as somewhat alarmed at her (lack of) mental health and her inability to process “he is my son” (granted Dan is shorter than son and a very different build, but then…)
Next door neighbor isn’t upset either when we call to say “Can you keep Joe inside? I’m refinishing and there’s stuff drying in the garage with the door open.” He just goes “Oh, that d*mn dog is roaming again?”
I am aware that we’ll never get rid of every busybody and every delicate flower. They’re human. Hell, sometimes even those of us very opposed to crazy legislation, say “there ought to be a law.” For instance I… No, wait, I can’t remember any instances, certainly not recently. But hey. I probably could, at least for five minutes.
But there is absolutely no reason to give them power. Either legislative, executive or judicial power. Or even power over our neighborhoods, our businesses, or you know, our pets, our sons, or our streets.
For too long we’ve run on “If someone squawks loud enough we’ll do that.”
It’s time to stop it. The wheel isn’t even squeaky. It’s just making noise to get attention.
It’s time to weaponize “So what?”
“I don’t like your car/dog/kid/business/idea/book/etc.” The answer to that, the civilized and decent answer should be “so what?”
“You culturally appropriated your book/music/dress/food” “So what?”
Unless I’m materially harming someone, if they squawk the answer should be so what.
We’re getting “good mannered” into tyranny.
Would-be totalitarians piggy-back on both busybodies and delicate flowers and if we let them will control every aspect of our lives. (See, France, our leader in this.) Our main defense, perhaps our only one is “So what?”
As we tell the trolls who come here to chide me for bad thought, or those who try to get me to stop saying/doing/thinking whatever I’m doing by following me obsessively and complaining about everything: don’t like it, don’t read it. Or as mom used to say “don’t like it? Put it on the side of your plate.” It’s not like I’m going into the houses of my lefty colleagues and forcing them to read me at gun point. Even if I COULD, I wouldn’t because I don’t care that much about what they do/read/whatever.
Sure, sometimes a particular piece of crazy falls under my eyes and I bitch/make fun of it. But I don’t follow them around obsessively, and certainly don’t read them extensively just to be outraged. And I never said they don’t have the right to
be stupid-and-crazy say whatever they want and think whatever they want.
I mean, how could I prevent it anyway? They don’t make anti-psychotics that strong. And Marxism is a defect in thinking and character that no medicine can cure.
I just wish they extended our side the same courtesy and — except for occasional fits — they left us alone because life is too short and there’s better things to do. (Maybe they’re intending on living forever?)
I propose peace through ignoring. Except for not letting them get their hands on the power to force them, rolls your eyes and go on. And if they won’t do the same, roll your eyes, point and quack. Eventually they’ll learn to behave like human beings, at least most of the time.
Don’t like it? So what? Go and do/read/be what you like. This is — still — mostly — a free country. And we aim to keep it that way.