Hi kids. Back in DC from my beloved Southland and I want to talk about napalm for a minute. I may delete this later so if you’re interested read it while you can.
Not the actual weapon napalm, but the slang use for just destroying something by fire. Because I had a few conversations when I was home that led me to the conclusion that I tend not to employ napalm and — with a few nights of going back and forth wondering if I should — I’m fairly comfortable with that. Here’s why.
Not long ago, after finally letting someone know that I was really over their behavior and thought them a fairly poor example of humanity (I was a little more colorful in telling them than that), this person took it upon themselves to send a charming email to my siblings (they had culled the email address from mass emails I had sent over the years and had never met any of them personally. So, ya know, warning about not BCCing I guess). Now, I thought after several years of negotiating their crap behavior, I was within my rights to just finally tell them what I thought and be done with it. But narcissists being what they are (and he was one), he wasn’t about to let it go without getting one last dig in. Napalm. Horrible email attacking the one thing that was sacrosanct: my relationship with my family. Now, in hindsight, the email was really just a (boringly long) whiny missive about how bad I am, even though at that point I hadn’t even seen this person in a few years. Just a lot of, “And then she made me feel bad!” nonsense. You’ll forgive my crassness but my first thought — being the Southern woman I am — when I read the email (because I was copied. No sense in stabbing someone in the heart if they can’t watch the blade go in.) was, “Oh Jesus, grow a pair already.” And I thought nothing of it because my family knows me and I figured they’d take more of an issue with my horrible taste in people than anything else.
As I was home, one of my brothers actually expressed concern, really of the “you have horrible taste in people and I’m worried about you in a city full of really terrible people” flavor, but nonetheless the napalm had hit home. Not the way it was intended because I think the general whiny-ness of the email from a man to men like my brothers was not lost on them. But it partly worked. I hesitate to write that because the dude, if he reads this (and he will), will pat himself on the back for his “win”. Because that’s the kind of quality character he possesses. But it got me to thinking: I had ways to do the same to him — and probably worse, pictures being what they are — and I chose not to…
Then, a girlfriend of mine, as I was relaying a story about a situation that arose where I actually had to consult a lawyer to extract myself from a bad set of circumstances, took me to task for not actually filing a suit (my expensive lawyer was ready to go. He thought it was winnable). She thought I was crazy for not using the napalm in my arsenal — the napalm actually handed to me by the enemy. But I didn’t. And I knew I had it and could use it, I just didn’t. But it occurred to me after speaking with her: I did certainly make things harder on myself by not just flame throwing and becoming Robert Duvall in Apocalypse Now.
I live in a place where this kind of extreme tit for tat happens all the time, was the basis of her argument I think. And it’s expected and accepted. And I’ll never survive if I don’t get with that program. I suppose she has a point, but it’s not like I don’t consider all alternatives before making a decision to, generally, keep a cooler head. I know how strong I am and what I can survive. More importantly, I know what kind of person I want to be so when it’s time to check out I have no regrets. And what kind of example I want to be to any children that may be watching. Life’s hard enough as it is, and they’ll learn that. Why not give them a reason to believe that there is always a finer option, it may be harder but — if the miserable little people in the stories above are any indication — it may be the only way to be happy.
Anyway, napalm is always in the arsenal. I hope I never have to use it.
And, here’s an interesting history of the actual napalm. Just because.
I know it’s not going to make me popular, and I do question some of the decisions within the deal (that are probably from the Dem side of the table. Particularly the veteran’s complaints) but there’s something savvy going on here. And I get a sense that Ryan is taking one on the chin for a larger and longer-term goal. Taking away the ability of the other side to disparage and besmirch and create a cult of hatred. And it’s clear that the negotiations about raising the ceiling haven’t even begun. Call me naive but I still believe. Also, never hurts to have the veterans further annoyed by how little this administration thinks of them.
This was a fascinating read about a part of the South many people don’t know about. Simply beautiful.
Alright, I have to get a run in and get some work done so I can meet the Mohel in Old Town. We’re planning our attack. For now, have some music. The crazy neighbors were playing this at 6 am this morning and it woke me up. But I do love it.