Tuesday, May 9, 2006

Not much. You?

Posting that HS piece took quite a while - did you like it? And I've been corresponding with a fellow of the liberal persuasion, in the comments of Chicken Little for Vice-President, and also on a "progressive" blog, here and here, as I said in "What's that?" So that's taken a fair bit of the time I alot for this little hobby.

Missing me?

Looks like I'm gonna have to spend some time researching Global Warming, now. Ho hum.

A few weeks ago I was pulling into a parking lot, and some guy was just parked right in the lane. Just parked there, and no way around. So I tooted - honestly, not blaring ... just to get his awareness on the problem. And he just sat there. Well, I thinks to myself, maybe there's a problem. Maybe someone needs help! This looks like a job for ... Jack H! So I get out of the vehicle and approach. And he starts up his car and rushes off to a space. Well that was odd. I pull into a space too, and this guy rushes over to where he'd been and scoops up a newspaper that he had apparently dropped. Don't ask me. Then he races back to his car. Okay. So I'm on my way into the store, and he shouts out his window at my back, "Bully!" Hm. That's odd too. And I say with a tone of some insincerity, "I hope I didn't frighten you." Yes, it is insulting. Too bad. And on my way I go. And he shouts at my back, "You like scaring people?"

Well. I'm not an aggressive guy. But I've lived long enough to know something about myself: gotta deal with these things. I'm a brooder, and if I don't deal with them, they stay with me forever. So I turn about and approach the fella. And he starts up his engine and is just about ready to race away. Vroom! And I say, loud enough to be heard, "I'm not looking for trouble. Not gonna hurt you. I'm a peaceful guy. But you have something to say?"

I'm just on the border of too tall. Six-four. And not narrow across the shoulders. But there's nothing in it for me, to frighten or intimidate anyone. This guy, however, really needs to be confronted. So I explain to him what my intention was, and he must have been feeling a bit like a fool. He'd shown himself to be a rather fearful man, and that doesn't sit well with most men's self image. Maybe he'd been assaulted, in his life. I have empathy for that sort of thing. I ended up saying - and he was in no way gracious - "I'm a big guy ... maybe you felt intimidated." "It didn't have anything to do with size." "Well in any case, if you're so fearful, you shouldn't be antagonistic." "Good evening." And thus dismissed, off I went.

There is a price, to being antagonistic. With me, it's that I have to respond to all the angry and faux-insulting comments that my own comments generate. They really do try to be insulting, you know. Kind of cute. But the power of an insult depends on its truth and its specificity. Your mother wears army boots is insulting only in its intended disrespect. In itself it has no power. It's just the symbol of an insult. You look like Gilbert Godfrey is a real insult, if it has any slight truth in it. So these lefties talk about how illogical I am (honestly, in fourth grade they wanted to give me a nickname: Mr. Spock; I was large enough to successfully discourage the idea), or how stupid I am (I won't give numbers, but objective measurements don't bear out such a charge). My point, such as it is, is that my concept of integrity requires that I engage all comers, with courtesy where it will be received, and attention where it will not.

So I'll be researching Global Warming.


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