Here it is, it’s 2018 and we are in the grips of the worst fear-mongering, rabid-dog-barking-at-his-own-fleas style, over-hyped, social terror market we’ve seen this side of your invalided grand-auntie who watches Fox News all day and expects Muslims (re: Mexicans or Indians) to storm her living room and get the carpet out of place. When the peoples are afraid, the peoples turn to authority figures. And so rises the age of hall monitors and corporate-trained cafe management. They have been waiting to unleash their expertly tuned brakes on your progressiveness for decades, and finally they have their chance, all of it in the name of safety. You can’t argue with safety, it’s for the children. And instead of lobbying for gun control or some sort of love-thy-neighbor tolerance of multi-ethnicity, they arrive with 10 Commandments posters and rape kits.
Yes folks, there are real terrors out there. There are things like traffic accidents, obesity induced heart-disease, and the wickedness of irrationalism bred from teaching children that going to church and praying for white neighbors is a kind of virtue, but we are only concerned with television terrors. The sorts that make for good viewing. The white woman, streaming blood, chased by knife-wielding psychopaths of color. And OK I’m getting off topic, but the point is that this and things like child abduction are as rare as crocodile attacks, but because of their rarity and stunning exhibition, they never leave our consciousness. We are manipulated and played for the fools we are wired to be. But again, I’m off topic. My main angry thrust here is about the stages we intend to provide the little Nixons of the world. Those kids back in school who ratted you out for having a comic book in your desk. Those anti-social dolts who want some kind of power so badly that they accept the role of Junior Police Officer so that they could wield their weird obsession with rules and regulations over everyone else. Licking their lips and carrying their whips, they sport their minor authority with all the import of a Mars mission back-up systems tester. These people, who have been waiting for this moment in history to arrive, have finally gotten their day. They are going to unleash every bit of their gallons of collective indignation on every man, woman and child for their rapist tendencies, and variety of thought crimes. Their interest in preserving your pleasant day is nil. Never mind that you find the thunderstorm a beautiful natural phenomenon to the safety patrol you are risking the lives of your children if you haven’t unplugged every item in your house and spent the hour cowering in your shower. These are the guard-rail folks who imagine that without the loopy English spelling rules the whole universe would collapse. Hell, they imagine the universe is orderly and sensible and that all you have to do is follow the rules and regulations and everything will be just fine. They are people who hate and fear improvisation. And yes, I agree we need a few of these people as soldiers and food service folks, but outside of that they should not be running the show. They should not be reminding us masses of non-rapists, non-murderers and non-psychopaths that we had better temper our inclinations because they’re on the job watching us. The truth is in the statistics, but our primitive brains don’t digest statistics well. If one lady walks by the river and gets gulped by a crocodile, the guard-rails and warning signs will be going up, and every one of us will have those images seared into our brains more vividly than the Hindenburg going down.
Is the world a scary place? Sure it is. Driving on the highway never ceases to be a white-knuckle danger despite the fact that few of us who have been at it for more than a year recognize it as such, we barely pay attention and regularly give about twelve inches of cushion at eighty miles an hour. Every mouthful of food is a potential choking hazard. Every staircase or wet shower is a potential increase hip injuries and insurance claims. Nearly three quarters of a million people die every year due to Malaria. Did you know that the Black Plague is still out there? It is. It is and it is still deadly in the pneumonic form. Salads from one of the world’s most popular restaurants just made a couple of hundred people sick with a parasite just today! There’s only so much you can do. The point is, there are things to fix and regulate. We have a tendency to spend too much of our time regulating nothing but harmless nonsense. If I have to watch one more social media PSA informing me about my ferocious thoughts rather than taking into account my non-ferocious deeds, or listen to some jackass explain to me that my disinterest in the pathetic bigotry of some lout drunkenly yelling slurs at a Latin lady in a popular video is dangerous acceptance of racism I’m going to get defensive. It is not conservatism to protect one’s freedom, it is natural to do so. And hey, believe me if I’m wrong I’m ready to change. I’ve done my best to purge some stupid slurs we grew up with (kids are stupid! And if you don’t realize that most of your young life was ignorant, then you’ve got some maturing to do).
However, to wrap this up, I’m done kow-towing to indignation for indignation’s sake. I’m done ceding the right of way to little Nixons bent on authoritatively correcting me. I’m not impressed with people whose only purpose is minding my business when I can see that they’ve spent their lives without a Dostoevsky novel and head bent in prayer to imaginary beings.
I get the power desire, it’s something we all crave as children. But we’re not children anymore, and it’s time to stop wishing we were.