Saturday, November 17, 2007

Go Have A Look, Then Come Back For The Rant

...Have a look at Blognomicon's response to an especially yammerheaded statement from a willing victim who wants everyone else to be just like him: Force.
Credit for this link to the clever and readable Sister of the Gun Squeaky Wheel, via the handsome and charming D. Martyn Lloyd-Morgan . You do read 'em, don't you?

The Rant:
A little something Squeaky and D. Martyn get, Ladd Everitt does not, something which happens to be one of my main ideals, is that while it is perfectly okay* to hold whatever nitwit notion one cares to, it is not okay to require that others share it.

I preach rather less than many libby gunbloggers; it's not that I don't want to, but on the way to the keyboard, my attention is taken by something shiny an' motorized on two wheels, or a nice plate of fried 'taters, mushrooms, scrambled eggs and bacon with fresh hot coffee and pastries from Rene's on the side,** and I blog about that instead; or a Farnsworth Fusor goes a bit wonky at the Skunk Works and I craft some vaguely-worded commentary on it; or some other wonder happens by and either way, a nice sermon on freedom of conscience or whatever is left by the wayside. There are, after all, plenty of freedom bloggers who will say it better.

But get this: I'm not out to convert nor am I here to utter platitudes everyone will agree with and feel reassured in our shared beliefs; I'm here to tell you it is a very large world indeed, one in which plenty of people find plenty of workable ways to accomplish their peaceable goals in a peaceable manner and every single one of them is okay as long as they're not messin' with you. It's very easy to see evil in things that are really no more than a matter of taste. Now, some people have very good taste and others favor the tacky, and the latter is indeed unfortunate; but the lighted, inflatable, unnaturally-neon-orange pumpkin in their front yard does me no harm at all. I may mock it -- indeed, I just have -- but I'm not going to insist it be taken down as a menace to all that is good and holy.

Try to identify the reality of things; try to see what matters and what is simply decoration. It can be difficult to do. I struggle with it. The noise-to-signal ratio of a free and creative culture is very high! But that's a healthy thing.

Yammerheads who insist we should all be disarmed "for the common good?" Not healthy at all. Yammerheads who disarm themselves? That's their worry!
* Possibly counter-survival but as long as you're not hauling along the unwilling, bye-bye! Bon vo-ah-geey!
** Today's brunch! Hot American coffee properly made, country bacon with black pepper, cajun seasoning on the potatoes and portabellas as they fried, fresh brown eggs from the Organo-Mart scrambled, diced Swiss cheese and Cholula hot sauce to top the finished creation, V8 on the side; dessert was a fresh orange-hazelnut pinwheel from the best and tinest bakery in town. It'll either wake you up or do you in.


Welshman said...


That was very kind of you. Thanks.

Carteach said...

The 'golden rule': Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Carteach0's rule: "I leave you alone, you leave me alone. Have a nice day".

The old style golden rule falls to pieces when faced with some twink who wants to be treated like a slave.
I like my rule better.

Carteach said...

"Yammerheads who insist we should all be disarmed "for the common good?" Not healthy at all. Yammerheads who disarm themselves? That's their worry!"


How many times have you read 'The moon is a harsh mistress'?

Bonnie said...

Thanks for the referral. :-)

I agree with you on several points...shiny things distract me to an embarrassing degree, even while in the midst of writing a tirade, which is why some of my posts make sense until the conclusion, where they turn into "buh?"-inducing randomness.

Also, if someone wants to live some way, that's awesome if it works for them and doesn't interfere with anyone else's life choices. The second it DOES interfere? It's on, dude...I don't tell anyone else how to live their life (unless they ask for advice), and unless I ask, no one should tell me how to live mine.

Mmmmm...your brunch sounds delicious.

Anonymous said...

d.m.l-m., see how fast those social skills develop when she sets her mind to it?

teach, presume you're addressing the original Harsh Mistress...

RX from those scores it looks like your frog is outpacing your blender at an ever-increasing pace. Or, was this quiz time-weighted too?

The 'one person closest to me' had an appointment interview yesterday with a committee representing the kind of college they call The Academy. Their hardest question was "You want to major in physics, yet you scored 800 on verbal and writing. Can you account for that?" How do you answer? "Sorry, sir, I'll try to stammer more"?

Roberta X said...

Comatus, please remind our audience that the "harsh mistress" in the RAH novel is a schoolmistress, not the horizontal sort. I don't even own a riding crop.

Carteach0, would you believe me if I said I couldn't begin to figure out how often I have read TMIAHM? I've worn out two paperback editions. Manny, Mike, Wyoh and the Professor are old friends. (And I shall forever be sad that the "line marriage" is not a part of our culture; it strikes me a sensible arrangement).

"I leave you alone, you leave me alone. Have a nice day," is a good rule but one I think deserves a subtler underpinning, lest it be used as an excuse to avoid reaching out to the fallen. Helping others -- not at gunpoint, not 'cos Ghu will get you if you don't -- helping others when you could used to be a cultural value. It may be zero-sum, as such behavior by individuals appears to have become less frequent as government "help" has grown. I note that one is more likely to receive causual assistance from passers-by in poor neighborhoods than in rich ones. Why? I'm not sure.

Philosophically, nearly every analysis of this I've seen either paints with too broad a brush or is too abstract to be useful. Is it unparsable?

Comatus: too many people who ought to know better buy into the "two cultures" myth. Most of the members of our tribe are living refutations of it.

Squeaky: you have the "shiny" weakness, too? Not for nothing does the term show up as a synonym for "superkewl" in Firefly!

Last I heard, Jose Molina, late of Firefly, was working on a film adaptation of The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress.

As for my cookin', it is plain but maaaahv'lous (well, I like it); I'd even set the spices aside as table condiments to accomodate varying preferences. Maybe I'd best pack the electric skillet for Louisville.... :) (Headline: "Eeeevil Gunblogger Evicted From Hotel For Cooking In Room!")

Roberta X said...
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