Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Castles in the Sky and Voices in My Head

Recent conversation with a conservative friend in a garage down the street:

“RepubliCON: Respect my Authoritayeeh!

Me: Umm… I think I did.

R'CON: You don’t wait around for me to answer you

Me: Uhh… no, not when you take days to answer and are inconsistent at that

R'CON: That’s because what you write isn’t really worth reading

Me: Uhh...ok, I’m sure that was hard for you to say... so how will I know when you’re going to honor me with your reply?  Also why are you reading it at all if it’s not worth reading?

R'CON: You won’t, so just wait.  And on the second question, I read your comments because I respect everyone. I give everyone a voice.  I don’t censor people

Me: Um...yeah.. clearly you are respectful. Ok on the censoring thing, you mean, outside of me and others?

R'CON: That’s different

Me: Oh... how?

R'CON: Because you were mean

Me: Yeah?  Like?

R'CON: You said mean things about me, you compared you to me after I insulted your professional achievements

Me: Yep, that was mean of me…(sigh). 

R'CON: And..when I got mad, you laughed at me

Me: Well, what I laughed at was your hypocrisy, but whatever.

R'CON: See, you were mean, so I censor you.

Me: Ok.

R'CON: And you have to stay on topic, you don’t get to cherry-pick and go off on a rant

Me: Ah.. so when you take small tidbits of my overall point and respond only to those..that’s…

R'CON: That’s me pointing out the flaws in your arguments

Me: Like when you berated me for a typo?

CON: I don’t do that

Me: …northeast Chicago suburbs

CON:  I mean I don’t do it much, and I don’t let others be abusive.  I let a good healthy discussion go on but I don’t tolerate abuse and I don't censor people.  But, henceforth, I’m not going to do that if you don’t wait for my reply and stay on point.

Me: Ah, so when your one friend said he wanted to shoot me?

CON: That was satire

Me: Jeez, and me with my bullet-proof vest on… Ok, so when your other friend decided to lecture me about military careers and about how college ROTC programs work and how it reflected my colossal lack of depth about how the military worked….and here it was me with my having spent 2 years in ROTC and then ultimately joining the service, I mean.. you’re right, respectful discourse, that’s what I’d say you require of your supporters.  Well, shame on me for not being equally respectful… So tell me, was what I did as bad as questioning my commitment to my fellow soldiers?


Me:  Um… yeah, ok – what would you call it when someone says that you (me in this case) don’t care about the lives of soldiers killed outside combat zones?

CON: That was different, you were saying only combat deaths matter

Me: No, I was talking about combat deaths, but I never said the rest didn’t matter, that was all you, buddy boy.  That was your invention, you putting words in my mouth, and yes, sorry, I found that to be pretty damned insulting – but ok, I get it, I’m mean when I call you out on that.

CON:  You just don’t understand.

Me: Is that it?  Oh, well, good thanks for letting me know.  So, help me out here because I guess I’m just a bit slow.  You refuse to have a discussion on topics that you don’t like and likewise refuse to have a discussion in a forum you can’t censor or control.  You say things that are pretty insulting, let your friends threaten me personally without standing up.  You make incredible statements that turn out to be factually flawed and don’t ever go back and retract them.  You banned me (and others) for pointing these things out and for treating you the way you treated us.  You call others (like me) cowards for not commenting on your blog or engaging you in conversation AFTER telling us to buzz off and get our own blog.  When we do you mostly aren’t brave enough to come to and comment or engage in discourse and the few times you do, you only so under a pseudonym, which is ironic because you often complain about the use of pseudonyms by others and best of all, you make-up conversations with fictional people to assert points you can't otherwise prove and paint unflattering caricatures of people (including your friends), yet complain about the lack of facts supporting the positions of others, is that right?  And to be clear, I’m the mean one?

CON: On the factual stuff, well, I don’t really mean most of it… and yes, you’re mean because you don’t live up to your own standards. 

Me: Ah…well, I get it now.  Maybe someday you’ll be brave enough, little soldier, to take your head out of the ostrich hole you have secured for yourself and have real conversations, ones in which you don’t have to be so afraid that you have to control the stage because truly, Mr. CON, you’ve not been roughly treated.  More than that, hopefully you’ll also take accountability, Mr. “Personal Responsibility,” for your own conduct rather than blaming it on others including no longer trying to assert you’re just “reporting” things and aren’t responsible for any bigotry your “reporting” parrots.

CON:  You’re banned again.

Me: Yeah, I figured.  I’ll let you know when I care. (/yawn).  I had already banned myself so it's not too much of a sacrifice.


Narrator:  The speaker wanted everyone to know, to be abundantly clear, the above is a made-up conversation.  It reflects (mostly) the as near as exact course of conversations between the speaker and Mr. CON, and they both likely know it.  It’s not made-up malarkey said to project a false caricature, something the speaker wouldn’t do to his “friend.”  The other difference, and the more important one is this, the speaker realizes this is fiction.  He realizes that it’s just voices in his head until and unless the actual conversation occurs.  Until then, it’s nothing more than lies dressed up as satire.

And… scene.

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