Hey! A few minutes here for a check in before a run and then the increasingly familiar trip to Va. There’s something I need to purge a little bit…
So, I’m 12. Which is to say, in my heart, I can be very naive and incredibly hyper; I can get super excited and be filled with the whole “childlike wonder” thing; I’m a tremendous nerd — tremendous nerd — for language and numbers (even though the latter sometimes mystifies me); and I can be embarrassingly socially awkward and unsure of myself. No one’s more embarrassed by it than me, I assure you. But the thing is, I choose to be this way. It’s a conscious thing. I’m not unaware of how to play it cool. I can do it if I think it’s necessary to further whatever goal I’m after. But it’s just an affectation, one I see versions of almost too much for comfort. I often feel like there’s this massive game going on around me at all times, (generally speaking, I know when it’s likely to amp up by the people in my immediate vicinity), the rules of which are agreed upon and learned through trial and error and — this is where I get both amused and horrified — are reliant on the fact that no one acknowledges the rules. The first rule of social drama: you don’t talk about social drama. You just play.
But here’s where things break down for me. One of the unspoken, learned rules is the acknowledgement that those unwilling to play must not understand. Let me just clear that one up for you. We get it. It’s all pretty transparent. We see the sidelong glances, we get the innuendo, the subtle jabs, the clever putdowns disguised as jokes. Nerds are pretty smart by definition. Your game — for all its absolute clunky and see-through subversion — is very, very, very boring. I mean it’s not even minimally challenging. Let me give you an example…
When I moved here, one of the first people I met took the opportunity to meet some need within himself by bullying the crap out of me. I had just lost my 13 year old dog (laugh if you want, but that was a devastating blow and I don’t care if you think it should, or should not, have been), I was new to a huge city and knew barely anyone, I didn’t know how to navigate and get around, and I was a bit helpless and could have used a friend. Well, predators smell blood in the water don’t they? So — a guy. To a girl. Class, people. Chivalry. — dude made me cry maybe the second time I interacted with this new group of people with whom I was trying to make friends. He never apologized, never offered up explanation, and continues to this day (I still see him every year) to treat me like I owe him some sort of deferential behavior, and if I don’t comply I’m prone to the wrath. That first time wasn’t the last time I cried. And, I should point out, he made fun of me for that, too.
So here’s the non-challenging part: at some point it should have occurred to this guy that if he’s not throwing anything on the table that is useful to me, there’s going to be no reason for me to just behave the way he wants me to just because he wants me to. There’s no benefit to me. I’m better served ignoring him and acting like he doesn’t exist than complying with his demands. I get nothing either way, and ignoring him means I don’t have to expend any effort to get nothing. But for the life of me, the dude has not figured out yet that he would get me to comply if he were to just be nice. For once. He started things off pretty poorly and that set a tone, but, given my choice to continue being around him for a little while every year, clearly there’s room for a different relationship. So, that grand game he thinks he’s running where I’m victim and he gets to take his frustrations out on me is really just him looking like a spoiled child who’s not getting his way. And I’m not sure he knows it. And, well that kind of lack of self-awareness makes me feel bad and conflicted. I don’t know if I should be amused or feel pity. And when I get confused I tend to want to be somewhere else. Where things make sense.
I guess what I’m saying is, bring something to the table. The results are better. And if your main interest is just in the non-tangible game that you are certain those not playing are unaware of, I actually just feel kind of sorry for you. But carry on. I’ll be in the corner rolling my eyes.
Okay, other things.
I worked on this issue for a while and its a huge win for free speech. I think the thing that has always been the deciding factor for me was something that my old Big Boss used to say: the idea that we don’t already know who gives, and to which organizations and parties, is pretty silly. And, per the Mozilla situation, there’s some evidence to suggest that knowing everything is not necessarily a good thing. I mean this guy lived a policy of inclusion, and demanded it at his organization. But it wasn’t enough. In his heart he had a difference of opinion on the definition of marriage and is therefore to be made to suffer hardship and public humiliation. The callousness of people is astounding at times.
If I thought for one second this would encourage any one overweight person to actually get in shape instead of just making them feel like crap about themselves I might be for it. But it won’t. So I’m not. How is this the job of government anyway? You’re not so great at accomplishing the things you’re designed to accomplish lately so some focus would be appreciated.
Wait, wait, wait, wait…are you trying to tell me that the nature of climate and Earth systems is chaotic and in flux, and we’ve known about since the beginning of recorded history? You’re anti-science.
My brother got married in the Callaway Gardens chapel and Cumberland Island is on the bucket list.
This is ridiculous. Also, kinda hilarious.
I need to clarify something I said yesterday on Twitter — regarding the shooting at Ft. Hood, the fast food doctors, who tend to treat all people the same and just dole out prescription medication based on symptom rather than doing some actual work to find out if the patient is actually physiologically capable of handling whatever you’re giving them (this guy, it turns out, had been telling people he had traumatic brain injury when he never even saw combat. I wonder if he was prescribed meds to treat that phantom injury…), are more complicit in why these lunatics go off the rails than the gun manufacturers or the armed services. I mean if we’re going to move away from just blaming the individual (which I think is a mistake), let’s point the finger appropriately.