This was inspired by a hilarious email I received.
…and that, gentlemen and ladies, is why the mothers who organize and bring their children to drag time story hours at libraries ought to be scorned.
“Excuse me, Briggs. But what you just said was mean.”
“Well? Haven’t you anything to say?”
“About how what you said was mean?”
No, nothing to say.
“The problem with you is that you’re judgmental. It’s mean and nasty to judge people’s lives.”
Are you sure?
“Of course I’m sure! It’s wrong to judge people just because they want to live differently than you.”
You just judged me for living differently than you. You’re being judgmental.
“I am not! It’s you who are being judgmental!”
Didn’t you just say what I did was wrong?
“Yes. It is, you bigot.”
So, in your judgment, I am a bigot. Well, you’re just being judgmental. And being judgmental is wrong. Therefore what you’re doing is wrong. You are a bigot.
“I’m not going to play your stupid word games. You are a bad person. You can’t tell other people how to live their lives.”
You want me to stop saying things like perverts who try to recruit children in libraries, with the full approval of the kids’ mothers, ought to ridiculed?
“Yes I do. It’s none of your business! You can’t tell people what they’re allowed to do.”
But you’re telling me what I’m allowed and not allowed to do. You say “You can’t do this” to me. This makes you a bad person.
“It’s not the same thing.”
“Because these are people doing what they want to do. It’s not illegal. You have no right to judge them.”
But I’m doing what I want to do. It’s not illegal. You have no right to judge me.
“You’re hurting their feelings! You’re causing them pain!”
Well, I could say that you’re hurting my feelings, which isn’t true. But it might be. You are causing me pain, though. I know many people can’t keep even simple ideas in their head, but this is pushing it. Gives me a headache thinking about it. You don’t vote, do you? Never mind; forget I asked.
Anyway, I’m not hurting their feelings. They don’t listen to me.
“Some people listen to you, though.”
Like you, for instance?
“I’m not listening to you.”
That’s what’s known in technical circles as gibberish. If you weren’t listening to me, then you wouldn’t be bitching at me incoherently about what I said.
“I only came to see what you were doing.”
Which is listening to me.
“I don’t listen to you.”
You don’t have to listen to me, you know. No one is making you come here. No one is making anybody come here.
“I only came to see what new outrageous thing you said.”
Were you required to come? Was it a condition of your employment? Did somebody hold a week-old fish under your nose and threaten you?
“You’re always saying dumb things that hurt other people’s feelings. I wanted to see.”
So nobody made you. You came to listen to me of your own free will. Even though you didn’t have to. You came just to see how worked up you could get yourself, when you could have just ignored me
Here I am, a nobody on a dark, quiet corner of the Internet, whispering into the void. I am in charge of nothing and no person. I have no official influence of any kind in any organization or government or institution anywhere. There is not a soul alive or dead who has to pay me any heed. Participation is wholly voluntary. I can be safely ignored.
Yet here you are, coming back again and again just to see how worked up you can get over what I say.
“You always say such stupid things.”
Then don’t listen. And don’t judge me and try to change the way I live my life. My “lived experience”, I should say.
“The problem is other people do listen to you. I see their comments. They’re all bigots, too.”
“You’re all trying to take people’s rights away. If I could I’d stop all of you from being heard.”
I imagine that in this, as with everything else, you will be able to impose your view.
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