Friday, September 7, 2012

A boy and his dog

  I don't have anything particularly interesting thoughts buzzing around my head, so this isn't going to be particularly interesting. That's just how it is.

 A lazy, muggy Friday morning is on us as the NFL season opens this weekend, and work is probably going to suck. Of course, work always sucks, but that's neither here nor there. Otis and I got up around 8:30 a.m. and had us a nice walk. As I wasn't particularly hungry, he and I had a very pleasant nap, one he's still engaging in.

 He did very well on his own last night. He was pretty wound up and happy to see me, running to grab his rope so we could play. I left him in the kitchen, and he didn't tear anything up. I'll do that for a couple more days to let him get used to occasionally being alone, and then I'll let him have the rest of the place. I'll try to get him out to the vet next week for a check up.

 Other thoughts:

 Throughout this election season, and indeed since President Obama took office, I've heard a few words used over and over in the political discourse of hoi polloi. You often here them amongst the punditocracy as well, but you seeing flying constantly on Facebook and Twitter and whatnot. Now. As I've grown older, I've become less inclined to tussle with ideological opponents on certain topics, be it politics or religion or skepticism. Part of it is I've lightened up, part of it is I've realized there are more important things in life than proving how big my dick is to people on the internet.

 However, I do enjoy a good debate, mainly because if my opponent actually knows his/her stuff, I might actually learn something. It has happened and, in fact, I've had my mind and opinions changed by a well-reason, factual argument from an intelligent, erudite opponent. I've done it to other people, too, and in both instances I've found that those changes don't come all at once. You plant a seed (or have it granted), and if you're/your opponent is really sincere in his/her desire for truth and final wisdom, it will grown.

 That being said, and I'm going to sound like a horrible snob but whatever, I've found a whole lot of people, especially people given wide voice for the first time in their lives, have absolutely no clue what they're raving about nine times out of ten. You can tell these people from a mile off. They forward you emails that Snopes debunked back in the '90s. They are honestly concerned with encroaching Sharia Law. They use multiple exclamation marks and frequently type in all caps.

 As I've grown older, I've learned these people are to be ignored. Don't get me wrong, they have every right to the free expression of their thoughts and opinions, and I like that Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and all the rest have given the masses a mighty voice with which to babble their nonsense. However, I have decided that I am in no obligation to engage them, refute their ideas, correct their mistakes, educate them, or take them seriously whatsoever. You do what you want.

 As I said, though, they'll let you know, like rattlesnakes or cats. They'll tell you that "global warming is a myth intended to destroy capitalism" or that "evolution/atheism is a religion". They're convinced feminism is a plot to destroy marriage or that LGBT folks want to shove anything down our throats. They think Elvis "stole black music" and that "rap isn't music". And they used words, remember, and now when I hear or read three words from folks discussing Modern American Politics, I'm going to quietly walk away.

 Those three words are "capitalism", "socialism", and "Marxism". I'm pretty convinced the biggest yowlers on those three little words have absolutely no idea what they mean or indeed the concepts' various intertwined histories. Now, I'm not going to use this space to educate anyone on what those words and concepts actually mean. I might one day, but as of right now, I don't feel like it's my duty to educate anyone about what should be basic concepts for anyone interested in both modern politics or 20th century history. This is the internet, go look it up yourself.

 Say what you feel you need to say, follow your thoughts where they lead you, but don't expect me to pay attention. If you honestly consider President Obama a socialist, think "this country was founded on capitalism", or use a lower-case "m" for "Marxist", I reserve the right to not waste my time.

 Anyhow...

 I've been watching conspiracy theory stuff on the History Channel, and it's just pitiful. It's just so ridiculous that they give this stuff or any of these kooks airtime, especially with all the hedge phrases like "could this mean something spooky and scary and possibly involving Masons and/or Jews". That just drives me slap up the wall. There was one about the Freemasons hiding their world-conquering, God-denying agenda in plain sight on the back of the one-dollar bill. The cranks seem to think that time began with the signing of the Deceleration of Independence and all that pre-existing Renaissance and Enlightenment symbolism just popped into Ben Franklin's head. Now, there's one on prophets. Me, I can live with the idea that Nostradamus was simply a horrible poet.

 Finally, please conspiracy people and conservatives, please don't write in the comments about how I'm being a big ol' meany pants. I do not care. I will not engage you. And on that note, time for a sandwich and then get ready for work. Have a good one.