Archive for May, 2022

Before Discussing School Shootings Any Further…

Thursday, May 26th, 2022

Let us dispose, I say, of the following bits of sticky persistent nonsense. I can see here there’s work for me to do, because I’m seeing lots of people crying out for “new solutions that will work,” and then answering their own plaintive pleas with a lot of garbage that everyone’s heard lots of times before. Into the breach I bravely step.

1. This is unacceptable! We have no place for this!

Congratulations on the good intentions. Like any decent, not-crazy person, I wish you luck in what you’re trying to do.

But what I see here, is what it is. More of that dreadful mannerism. The indignant, matronly yard-duty teacher talking down to the dimmest third-grader in the class, letting him know she has had plenty enough of his crap. These shootings are overwhelmingly male-centric, and if we’re going to take a look at something to try to make this the last one, we need to be looking at how we get along with the males…which we haven’t been doing. The message to younger, developing males has been one of: Finger-waggling fists-on-hips nanny nanny boo boo stuff. You’re a pain, my approval decides everything, you can do nothing, you’ll never amount to anything. You are ineffectual, or at least, should be. As the profile of the school shooter develops and sharpens, we consistently see it’s a disengaged male who’s been made to feel ineffective, and this is his way of saying back to society at large, “Oh yeah?”

There is also the problem of accuracy. We do have a place for this violence. We’ve been making one. These shootings happen often at places that have strict anti-gun policies, so that shooters know they won’t run into armed resistance. They don’t want anyone shooting back, and we have been accommodating them.

2. What we’ve been doing up until now isn’t working! When are we going to finally do what we all know we have to do?

What we have been doing is cobbling together in each state an unworkable, byzantine briar patch of zany gun laws. Anti gun activists, like our predator President, like to say stuff like this as if they’re only just now being empowered, potentially, to constrain and curtail lawful gun owners. We’ve already been doing that. That’s what isn’t working.

3. We have to make sure people get the mental health services they need.

Such services are provided by practitioners, and practitioners carry with them a variety of different agendas. To say “more services” and then just leave it at that, is irresponsible, especially now when we know the practitioners have been “treating” kids who start out without anything innately wrong with them. “First do no harm,” remember that? It used to be, as they say, “a thing.” Primum non nocere. The fact of the matter is, too many boys-becoming-men are brought to adulthood without any vision of ever being functional or whole, and “get counseling” when there’s nothing wrong with you, just exacerbates the problem. How about…teach young males what we teach young females? That nobody’s perfect, you can be anything you want to be when you grow up, and you have within you already what it takes to make the world better? You’ll notice it’s popular to say that to girls. And grown women rarely shoot up schools.

4. Toxic masculinity!

The “Morgan Rule” is my invention: “If I’m gonna be accused, I wanna be guilty.” But let’s be clear, I only invented the words to stitch the ideas, which came along way before I did, together into a coherent statement. Right or wrong, this is how people function, and it has always been how people function. If the verdict is already in on me behaving badly, I have no incentive to behave any better. Anti-masculinity activists, you just got done telling a whole generation of males that they’re monsters just because they’re males. Now you’re wondering why they’re shooting up schools. Hmm.

As noted above, our sadly acquired cumulative wisdom continues to reinforce the observation that these are ungrounded, unattached, disoriented boys-becoming-men. Amid all this talk of “sensible gun laws,” can someone please enlighten me with the complete inventory of our recent efforts to ground, attach and orient growing boys? I’m sure the localized and isolated efforts exist here and there, but that’s clearly not enough. What about the widespread, intensive, sustained efforts to ground them, attach them and orient them?

As noted earlier, there’s a lot of social upward-mobility involved in plying encouraging messages onto the female; hardly anybody ever thinks of doing that with males. Make her feel “powerful”; make sure she “thrives.” Also noted earlier, chicks aren’t shooting up schools, it remains a dude thing. Once again: Hmm.

5. Medication to make his brain work right…

Actually, we saw our current spate of these terrible, violent acts after you amateur chemists got super slap-happy with your faddish psychotropic drugs. Some, like me, have been asking the question of how these drug patients should ever learn how to function in society without a constant dosage year to year, day to day…y’all never did get around to giving us a straight answer. Maybe the shooters have finally given us the answer! It’s not an answer I like too much.

There. Now that I have “fact checked” you, let’s go ahead and have our discussion about what’s broken, and how to fix it. Just don’t go swaggering around Beto Style, like you’re the genius who’s finally going to restore sanity and deliver us to peace, love and harmony, after we empower you to do so at long last…when the reality is, we’ve already been doing things your way.

I can’t put into words how scary it is, watching these rotten old ideas dressed up in new activewear, and paraded around under this phony pretense of “Now let’s do something about it” as if we’ve been sitting on the sidelines for years and years just letting these young men shoot people. And now Sparky here is going to offer up his revolutionary new idea: Make everybody else defenseless. It’s scarier than — an active shooter, barging through the door, crazy as a fox, looking for his next target, making eye contact. Because that guy, at least, would be intentionally shooting things.

These assholes are more like a toddler with a flamethrower who hasn’t quite figured out the connection between the hot bright stuff coming out the muzzle, and the trigger he’s pressing.

I can understand coming up with silly stuff in the immediate aftermath of a terrible event like this, letting the emotions gain the upper hand. It’s an emotionally charged thing.

But I can’t excuse it. That’s different from understanding it. The whole phenomenon carries all the tell-tale signs of a societal problem that’s getting worse because it isn’t being handled the right way. And these local-vocals, whether they realize it or not, are just reciting the wrong-way we’ve been handling it up until now, in a different tone of voice. If we conclude they just don’t know what they’re saying, we conclude as charitably as we possibly can, for the alternative explanation is an intent of harm. But either way, they haven’t got the right idea, and they’re still monopolizing the sound space which is something that doesn’t have to happen. That part reflects poorly on everybody else.

Someone We Forgot to Bribe!

Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

Catching up on e-mail, I see I have been embroiled in a number of Facebook arguments without realizing it. Abortion, mass shootings, gas prices, etc. As I’ve noted before, I’m some 35-40 years into figuring out what makes liberals tick and I’m an extremely slow learner, but I couldn’t help noticing something.

All I can do is infer based on what I see, but it seems like my sparring partners do not care that much about whether an unborn baby is a baby, or how to prevent the next mass shooting, or who’s to blame for high gas prices. There’s this pattern of abrupt sign-off with some kind of “I give up, this is a stupid argument”…maybe that’s because I really am stupid and they’re bright enough to see it. They certainly seem to think so. But if that’s the explanation, wouldn’t they be toiling away without my involvement trying to find ways to be fair to both the unborn baby and the mother, or to prevent the next mass shooting (apart from coming up with new gun laws that aren’t related in any way to the tragedies that inspire them)…or, making gas affordable again? Instead all I see them do is mock, ridicule, and re-ignite these arguments on social media that they end up saying are too stupid to justify their continued immersion after a few exchanges.

Liberals, I have determined, don’t care about the end state. They don’t revisit it, like a farmer revisiting a crop he planted, to face a potential abrupt forced about-face, to engage in a forced confession of having had the wrong idea…to exercise good old fashioned humility. They’re not interested in learning anything new, like they say they are, and they’re certainly not interested in learning something new if it comes at the cost of admitting to a mistake.

Liberals are liberals because they want to ratchet up their social status. Rush Limbaugh used to say the whole damn ideological positioning was the most gutless move you could make: Just be for…everything. Don’t see a problem in anything, don’t figure out any weak parts in an argument, don’t criticize, just go with the flow and think happy thoughts. He was right.

They love to start arguments but they can’t stand finishing them.

I can see, when I’m the one poking the bear, or when I’m the bear being poked, there’s a panic setting in that others aren’t seeing. The whole thing is a bribe that goes back to middle school: “Believe, with us, that two and two make five, and your social status will elevate.” And here comes someone like me who knows 2+2=4, but much worse than that, is and has always been unpopular…not willing to make the trade…never has been, ever. And you can see the panic and the fear. Oh shit! Someone we forgot to bribe!

And then they engage in this whirling-cyclone thing, this desperate mad butterchurn-spin, spewing the arguments they have been using on themselves to keep themselves comfortable in their nonsensical positions. It comes off looking like they can’t tell the difference between a strong argument, that could win over a convert, versus a weaker one, just the soothing pablum one says to oneself for sake of self-assurance that no learning is needed. I presume that they simply have no strong arguments available, because they haven’t needed any for a long time. They haven’t been challenged. It is a charitable presumption I am making, for the alternative is that they’re entirely unaccustomed to strong arguments and that’s why they can’t distinguish.

They panic because it’s too late to bribe me, and they can tell. They can’t invite me to any parties, or if they do, they can’t impose this believe-what-we-want condition because I’m past caring, I’ll shrug it aside and accept or refuse the invitation on its own merits, like a grown-up. The social conditioning has zero effect on people like us, we who have achieved adulthood the way you were always supposed to achieve it. We’re not going to pretend water is dry to get along, or that men can get pregnant.

And they DON’T. KNOW. WHAT. TO. DO. About that. Sheer panic.

Maybe this is why so many people in software are liberals: They’ve been conditioned, and the conditioning was manufactured out of necessity. Without it, you’ll be like me, forming whatever conclusions are logical and rational as you bounce from one crime-ridden, blight-invested, oh-so-progressive blue-state unicorn land, to another, working the computer software jobs and seeing with your own eyes how their policies consistently end in the same disasters, which aren’t present in the red states where they grow the food.

Where, if you go around thinking like a liberal, you’ll have your arm ripped out of its socket by a harvester or some such thing. And so people don’t.

After all I’ve seen, if someone wants to spend a lifetime they’ve only just started, writing computer software for a living, as a contractor or FTE, I would have to incorporate this into my advice if they come asking. You can get these jobs in red states, I’m told…for this reason or that reason, that has not been my chosen path. By default, you’ll be working in deep blue, one gig after another after another. And so before we get into data structures and algorithms, first get yourself accustomed to living in places governed by “leaders” who have neither the time or inclination to admit to mistakes, or to learn anything new. Get used to the signs of liberalism. Tents under bridges, needles and human feces on the ground, etc. Lots of tightly packed “income inequality,” together with loud opinionated people complaining about it. Get used to all that, first, then let’s talk about the bubble sort and the binary search trees. Also get used to “middle of the road” types telling you to pay no attention to politics or liberals…while the politics and liberals are literally in your face, all of the time, whenever you’re not in the office coding.

The blue-brains can’t answer simple questions about their own positions. “If recent policy changes are not responsible for high gas prices, then what is?” “If the unborn baby is not a baby, then what is it?” “How would this latest round of new gun laws have prevented that shooting?” They can’t answer these questions. They have no wish to do so. They just want to be popular…like in sixth grade.

Having never been offered even the potential reward, people like me have never cared. And so the two sides end up talking past each other. Others notice this, and pronounce the whole exchange to be futile. They’re right about the first half of that, wrong about the rest. Nestled inside the tire-spinning and other wasted energy in these dysfunctional exchanges, are secret answers to why the things that suck so much lately, suck so much. This is not insignificant. Real people are being hurt, by these policies, for real.