YOU'RE STILL WRONG
POST MRR COLUMNS
(or Why Libertarians are Like Bike Riders)
by Mykel Board
He fell asleep murmuring, "Sanity is not statistical," with the feeling that this remark contained in it a profound wisdom. --George Orwell
When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. --H.G. Wells
Nothing is more patent, indeed, than the fact that charity merely converts the unfit - who, in the course of nature, would soon die out and so cease to encumber the earth - into parasites - who live on indefinitely, a nuisance and a burden --H.L. Menkin
Here's to you oh left and right, you brutal double pack of slime. Basically you're not too bright. New ideas are a crime. --Mykel Board
I type this lying naked on a bed in the air-conditioned guest room of my host here in Trinidad. My laptop is propped on one knee. It's freezing in here. I have the guest AC turned to 60 degrees. This freeze lets me cover myself with a heavy blanket, though outside it's over 90o. The blanket is the only way to keep off the mosquitoes.
I type knowing that I'll soon be called to visit a humingbird sanctuary and have tea with my host's mom and mom's friend. It's an odd luxury of long-term travel. You're always involved in new situations, new experiences, adventures... but you also have more time. Just nothing to do except lie naked on a bed with your computer.
Unfortunately, in the ubiquitous internet age, too much time goes to xvideos.com, and facebook. And worse (better), I found a facebook group of Jim Goad fans that's been so engrossing, I can hardly tear myself away to write this.
For those who don't know: Jim Goad is the man behind ANSWER ME! one of the best, most disgusting, zines in history. He also wrote THE REDNECK MANIFESTO and what may be the best prison memoir ever: SHIT MAGNET.
Jim is a smart misanthropic libertarian. His fans, as you'd expect, are also misanthropic libertarians... some of them smart. Before me, his page was a mutual stroke fest. Like a PETA site, where everyone shares horror stories about turtle abuse, Jim's site was where everyone shared horror stories about the evils of gypsies, the excesses of feminism, and the creeping dangers of big government, immigrants and welfare recipients,
For me it's a strange mix. I LOVE immigrants, admire welfare recipients, am not really concerned about gypsies, and feel much the same as these guys about feminism. What draws me into the conversation here is the LEVEL of the discussion. There's a lot of humor, a touch of know-it-all-ism, some stridency, and with the exception of one asshole (soon blocked), there is no name-calling or hysteria. Often, there is actual THOUGHT that goes into posts. That's not something you usually associate with an internet discussion.
Of course, I'm the bad guy... the intruder. BUT, they put up with me. They er... ANSWER ME (usually) and give me a window into the way some people think. Probably my proudest moment is when someone writes:
I've never before heard ANYONE, liberal or conservative, say they want their tax money to support some lazy asshole who simply refuses to work.
I've never before heard ANYONE, liberal or conservative, say they want their tax money to support some lazy asshole who simply refuses to work.
That's right buckaroos, I am not like ANYONE, liberal or conservative.
That's what I want to talk about... it's a topic I return to a lot. Words. Liberal or conservative. And how if you're LIBERAL you've gotta support laws against hate speech and if you're CONSERVATIVE you've gotta believe the world is 3000 years old and created by G-d in 7 days. I showed them (and they showed me), that's just WRONG.
Each side accuses the other of some wildness, something against logic... against basic fundamentals that everybody knows. (Clue... as soon as you hear EVERYBODY KNOWS, what follows will be wrong.)
The libertarians complain about PARASITES. They talk about SOCIAL LEECHES who live off of the work of others. They say everybody knows that people should stand on their own two feet. It's obvious. WHY is it obvious?
First, and clearest to anyone who is NOT a libertarian, there are plenty of people who DON'T HAVE TWO FEET TO STAND ON! Old people, sick people, cripples, babies, parents who struggle with feet that can't even walk yet. It is NOT obvious how these people can stand on their own two feet, let alone why they should.
Yet, there is some sort of quasi-religious mantra: do it yourself, that's good. Help is bad. Taking charity is bad. Why?
If no one else is there and you HAVE to do it yourself... okay, you have to. But because it may be a necessity, doesn't mean it's a virtue.
One word these guys throw around is parasite. They usually use it for people who receive money from the government... like old people... but mostly a vast network of mostly colored people who just are “too lazy to work.”
Their idea of PARASITE is strange. They define it as some one who lives off the work of others. Or that's what they say. But let's see if that's right:
I work an hour for $20. Of that, $2 goes to Jasmine, on welfare. Because I worked for that $2, rather than Jasmine, that means that Jasmine is a parasite. Right?
I work an hour and make $40 for Big Joe, my boss. That means my boss is living off of my work... work he didn't do. He gets $20 of my money. Jasmine gets $2. Who is the parasite?
But, because the word is used so many times in the context of WELFARE RECIPIENTS, people can't think of any other way to see them. Liberals or conservatives... Both say, MORE JOBS! MORE WORK! Both are wrong. Both make MORE PARASITES. BIGGER PARASITES!
This is where we get to the bicycle riders. I've written about them before. If there is a more annoying group of self-righteous humorless Bozos, I can't think of one. They ride like they own the streets. Get out of the way, I'm environmentally correct. Defer to me, you gas-guzzling polluters of Mother Earth.
They care even less about pedestrians than car drivers... pedestrians who pollute less than they do. After all, how much energy was used to make that fuckin' bicycle? How much petroleum goes into that grease you put on the chains?
I've heard bike-riders yell at walking people standing in the bike lane? Get out of my way. I'll run you down. You're in the bike lane! Follow the rules! But Traffic lights? They're for cars! I'm saving the earth, so fuck your traffic lights.
GET A BIKE! PEDAL WITH YOUR OWN TWO FEET. You're just like those libertarians.
Er... aren't you forgetting something? Some people don't have two feet to pedal with. Some people are old, crippled, have more kids than'll fit on a bike. People carry furniture, groceries for a brood. Who are you to judge the car driver? And who are you to judge the pedestrian whose day you just ruined with your self-righteousness? Bicycles do not make you a good person.
CHANGE THE SUBJECT: And what do you learn in school? What is evidence? When I told the Goad-folks that Giuliani, declared war on the poor... they wanted statistics, reports.
I said I SAW street bums harassed. Cab drivers, food venders, street artists all the worst-paid, lowest members of society bullied by cops, forced to leave Manhattan during Giuliani's regime. But it wasn't enough. I saw them. That makes it anecdotal evidence. These guys want numbers, reports from respected places. I respond with a How 'bout Fox News crack. They said something about MSNBC... the topic is lost. But it keeps coming up in different forms.
It happens all the time: BOTH SIDES throw out numbers, statistics. A MILLION FRAUDULANT votes screams the right as they try to pass a poll tax in the guise of VOTER ID.
A MILLION WOMEN WILL BE RAPED IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS scream the feminists, explaining that something has to be done about violence against women... as if it were any different than violence against anyone else.
Numbers fling from one side to the other like shit into the audience at a GG Allin show. 87% of the numbers are just made up. The rest are from studies, which almost always give the stats to prove whatever they started out wanting to prove. Just google your topic and find a report that gives the stats you want. It's easy.
The climate change deniers quote numbers to show the supporting scientists don't really believe in global warming and climate change. The other side quotes numbers to show that during the past 20 years the average temperature blah blah blah.
Wake up and smell the wreckage. Look at the glaciers disappearing in Greenland. Look at the first LAKE ever in Antarctica. Look at the rubble of the Philippines hit by the largest storm in history... and Superstorm Sandy in New York just the year before. Look at the real world, NOT statistics.
Stats? Reports? They're bullshit. The anecdotal evidence they tell you to ignore? THAT'S THE REAL STUFF! Anecdotal is what happens to people.
First there's the howling of wind. WHOOOO WHOOO WHOOO Then the beating of rain like a drummer against the tin roof of your hovel. Then harder. Then the roof shakes... pulls off fragments. Roof pieces blow razer sharp... cutting your hands... your arms... you try to protect yourself. Water is shooting at you now... like tiny pellets from a shotgun. There's no longer a roof to protect you. The walls shake from the wind. A piece of adobe falls, PLOW! On top of your head. You feel the blood stream down your face. Then another blow. And another... the wall falls on you... crushing you.. burying, filling your mouth with clay and dust. You inhale it. It burns in your lungs. You feel like you're going to explode... then you die.
THAT'S anecdotal evidence. And that's what's real.
Show me the paper on how Hugo Chavez built up Venezuela. Show me the stats on the improvement of the lives of poor people. Bullshit! I was there. People are miserable. They live in fear, of crime, of the government. At night, people break open the garbage bags to eat out of them. I've seen it! Don't give me statistics. Give me truth.
A geologist in the state-run oil business loses her job because she signs a petition saying that Chavez should honor the constitution. That is not a statistic! It's my host in the country. Those are MY ANECDOTES.
Statistics aren't real. Numbers don't mean shit. Tell me what happens. Put me there. Show me. THAT'S real. The anecdotal evidence they told you to avoid in Social Studies is the ONLY evidence. The rest is just playing with numbers.
OK, buckaroos, that's it for this month. No travel adventures, though there've been many. No punk rock reports. Though there's plenty to report. For more on that stuff check the travel blog... and wait until next month.
Postal contact: send those... er... private DVDs..or music or zines... or anything else (legal only!) to: Mykel Board, POB 137, New York, NY 10012-0003
If you'd like to read my travel blog, you can do it at mykelsdiary.blogspot.com.
If you like my writing in general, you can be notified when anything new is available. Just join the MYKEL'S READERS Yahoo group firstname.lastname@example.org]
-->Reclaiming dept: Taki Magazine reports that over 100 tattoo shops worldwide offered free swastika tattoos in an effort to “reclaim” the symbol from the Nazis. People who chose to receive the tattoos were required to sign a waiver stating that they did not intend to “use it as a pro-Nazi symbol.” Jewish reporting on the event has been mixed.
-->More than one holocaust dept: The same Taki Magazine had an article by Jim Goad about something called Holodomor. This relatively unknown event took place in the former Soviet Union in the 1940s. Apparently, more than 7,000,000 Ukrainians were starved to death by Stalin and his crowd. Why was this ignored? Maybe because Stalin was our ally in WWII.
In any case, genocide is NOT the property of one group, or one period in history. We need to take note of this, make amends where possible, and then move on.
-->Truth is no excuse dept: The NSA (government agency that reads your email, spies on the German Prime Minister, and copies your internet friends), is suing a novelty store LibertyManiacs.com, for printing t-shirts about them. My favorite: NSA, the only government agency that actually listens.
-->Speaking of the NSA department: Social Reader reports that those guys have broken into a link to Yahoo and Google data centers. This enables them to get EVERYTHING that goes through those servers anywhere in the world. Yeah, I have a gmail account and a picassa picture site, but when I want to do any kind of research. It's duckduckgo.com for me.
-->Things we already knew dept:
- DO PSYCHOPATHS MAKE GOOD CEOs? asks Fortune Magazine. According to a recent book, The Wisdom of Psychopaths, the answer is yes! The characteristics of a psychopath: inability to empathize, ruthlessness, single-minded focus, murderous competitive nature, fit perfectly with what's needed to run a corporation.
- CNN REPORTS: People with lots of facebook friends are more likely to be narcissists. Do we need to do a study to find out this stuff? What's next? NEW STUDY FINDS THAT THOSE WHO SPEND THE MOST TIME ON FACEBOOK GET LAID THE LEAST?
-->How to get gun control dept: Long-term readers of this column know that I oppose gun control. Violence has nothing to do with guns or video games or Hollywood. Violence is a reflection of the culture. American culture solves its problems by killing people. A culture that values flags more than life, is gonna be violent.
That said, if the anti-gun crew REALLY wanted to pass anti-gun legislation, there'd be an easy way to do it. Have BLACK militias, armed, trained in the Montana mountains, toting guns to church. You'd see anti-gun laws pump up like penises at a porn show. It's happened already. In fact, the NRA SUPPORTED anti-gun legislation when the Black Panthers were active. (The details are here.) Can you guess why? Hint: it's in the name of the group and NOT the word PANTHERS.
-->Keep up the pressure dept: I'm happy to report that reader pressure on MRR is making them invent new excuses for my firing. The latest? I “refused to answer criticism in the letters column.” It's a lie, of course. I said that I'd agree to answer such letters anywhere. I only wanted the right to mention that I'd prefer it if the letter writer got the last word. That's an offer that still holds.
Keep the pressure on. You can send your protests to email@example.com. Please do!