Thursday, April 29, 2021

Why Is It....

      Why do so many of the "Hard men* making hard decisions" on the Internet turn out to be soft and bulgy in the middle, like a jelly doughnut?  Doesn't matter which way their politics incline, either. 

      Look around.  The reality is that human beings are soft-skinned, hairless creatures, most of whom would die in days if dropped naked in any kind of wildness.  The reason we are top dogs on this planet and flourish in parts of it where we cannot survive without a lot of serious technology† and know-how is not nearly so much about brute bloody-mindedness as it is the ability to figure things out, work cooperatively, and try new stuff without being forced to by others (even if it kills some of us).  It's not even near some modern definition of being "tough" -- in actual practice, genuine toughness is a whole lot more about endurance and perseverance than being a rude horse's ass.

      But the price of being very clever creatures without much in the way of natural weapons is that fantasy can be more appealing than reality -- and fantasy unchecked will take you down some very stupid corridors of thought.  Tolkiens and Teslas are rare; street-corner political theorists and preachers are a dime a dozen.
* And women.  It is a mark of the times that not every last little never-tried-it collectivist and rugged individualist who's never ventured past the last bus stop in suburbia insists on relegating women to church, child-bearing and the kitchen.  It's only most of 'em now.  Heck, one in five can even tell you what a "suffragette" was and sometimes they're even right.

† Technology isn't just your iPhone.  Knowing how to set snares or find and prepare wild vegetables is a technology.  Tanning leather is a technology.  Fire and human-made shelter?  Technology!  Democracy is a technology, too -- just ask Henry Martyn Robert.  The only instinct human beings are born with is sucking.  A good many never get much past that. 


Goober said...

I will never stop laughing at the Facebook posts I see, usually with a photo of Val Kilmer as Doc Holiday, or Clint Eastwood from Gran Torino, saying tough guy things about "don't piss off us old guys, we're badasses and you just don't know it but if you push us too far you'll be sorry" written over them.

Invariably posted by morbidly obese 55+ men who get winded typing.

One guy I know in particular wears compression socks to help with edema from his heart failure from years of being completely out of shape. Another is half crippled because he weighs well over 3 bills at maybe 5'-6" tall.

For the life of me, I can't figure out how these guys think they are even remotely badass. You could take either one of them out with a decent push.

I'm 41, 6'-4" tall, can bench over 350 pounds, run 3 miles for a warm up, and bike 30 miles pretty regularly to and from work. I go for hikes covering 100 miles in 5 days, in the Western rockies, hauling 70 pounds of kit.

I say all of that because even as fit and strong as I am, I'm not even remotely close to as badass as these guys think they are. Honestly, I'm not really that badass. I've never been in a real fight, either fists or guns. I have no desire to.

If you push me too far, you probably won't see any consequences at all, other than me walking away.

I don't understand where this comes from, but it's hilarious.

Mike V said...

" Why do so many of the "Hard men* making hard decisions" on the Internet turn out to be soft and bulgy in the middle, like a jelly doughnut? Doesn't matter which way their politics incline, either."

I don't know about the internet, but in life most of them really were hard men and women once, but by the time they have the power to make the hard decisions they have been removed from the battlefield long enough that they have gotten soft in the middle and the conditions in the field have changed (or they conveniently forget) so that their decisions are based on wrong instincts. Even in politics, it takes a certain hardness to rise to the top of your group.