I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken

Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
-Bertrand Russell

What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell

September 17, 2013 - 11:22 a.m.

Offensive Line

I'm starting this only an hour late. Not too bad. Now it is an hour and a half late. I got distracted. Right there is the story of my life.

I spent yesterday being tired. I made it through school and therapy with the aid of coffee. That was in honor of Lori not LORi, it was her birthday and she's Caffeinetarian orthodox. Since my last update I have not done much. My therapy dinner was hot dogs and fries at Nathan's. Some things never change and I still enjoy that as much as anything. What I don't enjoy is the ambience at the one across the street from Penn Station or the people working there especially the manager. I had to wait for my fries which is OK, they have to cook but when they are done dont give the first order to the person that came five minutes after me and then sneer at me for saying "Aren't those mine? I've been waiting?" I still get mad thinking about the time I was there with my big suitcase and asked to use the bathroom. I had eaten there. I was told the bathroom was upstairs and I lugged my luggage up the steps. When I got there I found that the bathroom is locked and I needed a key. I then had to lug the luggage down the stairs to get the key. When I asked the manager why he didn't give me the key he said something along the lines of "you didn't ask for it." No apology, nothing, and he could see I had the suitcase. So why do I eat there and not in Penn Station? They do better business so the hot dogs are fresher, you can taste the difference.

I then stopped at Pathmark for seltzer for egg creams and bread, and came home and crashed. So that was my exciting day. Now lets' see if I an remember any of the many things that I've been saving for a day where I didn't do anything.

Here's one that I've been meaning to write about for weeks. How many times have you heard someone start off with "I know he didn't mean to be offensive " How many times have you said it yourself? I'm going to make a conscious effort to replace the ellipsis with a period. If someone didn't mean to be offensive don't take offense. If someone doesn't use the exact term that you think is the appropriate to describe someone maybe that person just knows different people. I once used "Native American" to somebody from Arizona and was told, "out there they prefer Indian." He didn't take offense. He pointed that out as something interesting. My favorite was when I said I had to stop by the "Oriental Grocery" and was told "that's offensive, they are Asians" I replied that he better take it up with the Koreans that own the store who named it "Oriental Grocery." It isn't just about political correctness, those are just easy examples that aren't personal. People say things to me all the time where I know they don't mean anything bad even if it bothers me. I have to remember that the bothering is something about me, not about them. I actually do a pretty good job at that.

There are so many things that deserve getting worked up about that we dont' need to find new ones. It's one of my big issues with organized atheists. They so often make federal cases out of nothing. There's real prejudice against us non-believers, you don't need to create it out of whole cloth.

Thanks to the internet something similar has become all too common, searching for things that actually are offensive but isolated incidence and declaring them a national problem. This is about energizing the base, but it's all a distraction from the issues that really need to be worked on. I'm sure you've all seen the people posting about the bigots on Twitter insulting the Indian-American woman that won Miss America. Did any of you actually see the tweets on their own? Would you have known they existed if people hadn't made such a big deal about it? I know I didn't. Of course I'm not on twitter but I spend a lot of time on Facebook. I saw a dozen people talking about the bigots but not one post by a bigot. The most recent data I can get is from June 2012, when there were 140,000,000 Twitter users in the US. Does anyone think that less than a tenth of a percent (0.1%) are bigots? That would make 140,000 a reasonable guess for a lower bound on the number of bigots on Twitter. If 0.1% of them tweeted about it that would make 140 tweets. You have to expect that. If there were no bigoted tweets, that would be news. That there were tells us nothing new. It should have no effect on how you think about the country.

If Fox News or a member of congress or an influential political leader says something outrageous it's worth noting but not what some obscure alderman in some small town in Alabama says. Yet I read people making a big deal of that stuff all the time. And of course doing that is a huge part of what makes Fox News evil. It's distorting reality.

Of course the whole big deal over "You didn't build it" was an example of it. It's clear what Obama meant but Romney and his supporters found an interpretation they could take offense at and focused on that. So here's the thing My Gentle Readers. I'm sure you thought that was wrong. Remember it's wrong if it's done by "the good guys" too. There are enough enormities in the world that there is no need to manufacture them.

So next time someone says something that wasn't meant as an affront, don't take it as one. Remember that people joke. We make fun of each other. If I took offense at everyone that makes fun of me I'd have no friends. People can strongly disagree with you and say so. That doesn't make it a personal attack. If someone says they hate your favorite book that isn't an attack on you. Carey hates my two favorite authors, James Branch Cabell and Terry Pratchett and has made fun of them, especially Cabell in response to things I've said. In case you haven't noticed I still love her. She even still loves me. I love Nields fans because when I say "Will somebody stop torturing that cat" when I hear the Nields they laugh. I bet Nerissa and Katrina would laugh though I wouldn't say it to them. They are really nice people and I don't know them well enough to hope they have a sense of humor about their music that they've devoted their life too. And that's the other side of the coin. Don't take offense but be careful what you say as to not give it when you don't mean it. Even if I think the person shouldn't take offense if I can phrase something in a way that won't bother people I will. Like so many other things in life it's about striking a balance. Balance is difficult and when someone leans over too far with perfectly innocent intentions remember that.

Wow I wrote a lot on this. I could have written more. Now to eat my first poached egg since Thursday, maybe even last Tuesday. That's my most common breakfast so for me that's a long time to go without.

I signed the Pro-Truth Pledge:
please hold me accountable.

Memories: Not that Horrid Song - May 29, 2018
Wise Madness is Now In Session - May 28, 2018
The NFL and the First Amendment - May 27, 2018
On The Road Again - May 26, 2018
Oliver the Three-Eyed Crow - May 25, 2018

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Horvendile September 17, 2013
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