Friday, October 8, 2010

Nine Things That Make Me Judge You

I’ve been sick for the last week with some kind of minor lingering fall crud that has left me feeling congested and vaguely feverish and is quickly making its standard descent into my chest where it will linger as a cough until Christmas or thereabouts, if precedent holds. This always makes me feel a bit out of sorts with the rest of humanity (no, not you personally – it’s those other folks, just behind you and a little to the side; they’re really getting my goat). And so I figured I’d share, because that’s just the kind of generous crank I am.

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1. You have poor grammar.

If you can’t speak or write correctly, my experience has been that you can’t think very well either. Learn the fine art of proper phrasing and punctuation – not necessarily following every picayune little rule, but rather knowing how to phrase your thoughts elegantly and appropriately, and to express them clearly so as to avoid miscommunication – and you may be surprised at how much better you can analyze the world around you.

2. You vote against your own interests.

How can I take you seriously if you vote for people who explicitly promise to make your life less safe, fair, prosperous or worthwhile? Stop falling for hucksters who claim to have the same values and start paying attention to people who value the same things, and maybe we’ll talk.

3. You own a large, loud, gas-guzzling vehicle that does not materially contribute to any task you are paid or required to do.

Nice truck! Sorry about the genitals!

4. You treat service workers poorly.

Are you habitually rude to the people who have no choice but to deal with you and no power to retaliate against you? Then you’ll understand why I have no time for you. Or maybe you won’t. Your call.

5. You choose to be ignorant.

Willful ignorance is by far more grievous a sin than either normal ignorance or just plain stupidity, as stupidity is a birth defect and normal ignorance can be cured. Those who choose not to know when the ocean of truth lies undiscovered all about them are truly the cursed of this world. Or at least they are a curse to the rest of us.

6. You are habitually late.

Why you think my time is not as important as your time I do not know, nor do I care to find out. Check your phone, look at a clock, or as a last resort buy a watch, and plan ahead a little.

7. You do not read.

Not “you can’t read” – that can be cured, and if not, it can be forgiven. But people who simply don’t read are a special subset of Item #5 above, and a particularly irksome one. Expand your horizons a bit.

8. You have a Confederate battle flag emblem anywhere on your person or vehicle.

Oh, yes, the flag of treason is such a thing to get the pride flowing, isn’t it? Honestly – if there is any faster and more efficient way of announcing that you are not fit to have serious political discussions with grown-ups, I have yet to find it.

9. You feel that my behavior ought to conform to the dictates of your faith.

I have my own faith, thank you, and in my experience with people who have tried to adjust my behavior to their beliefs, I’ve thought about it longer and harder than they have. The fact that I generally do not care to discuss it or impose it upon you is a sign that I regard it as none of your business, and I expect the same courtesy from you. I respect people who live up to the dictates of their own faith as a general rule, but please don’t take that as a general mandate.

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Believe me - when I'm in charge, things will be different.  Not necessarily better.  But certainly different.

10 comments:

Janiece said...

David, this entry may just have earned you a spot on my not-so-celebrity boyfriend list.

In a completely platonic and non-stalkerish way, of course.

Pull a chair up next to Eric, won't you?

vince said...

An excellent post!

David said...

@Janiece - I'd be honored! It's good company :)

@Vince - thanks!

Megan said...

Nice to meet you, David. :)

David said...

And you as well, Megan!

bardgal said...

Excellent post!

Do me a favor for the love of everything good in the universe - you are "an historian."

:)

David said...

Thanks, Bardgal!

From what I've found, the difference between "a historian" and "an historian" comes down to how strongly one pronounces the "h" and whether one prefers British English or American English. At this point in the language's history (no pun intended), either may be considered grammatically correct.

I almost always use a long "a" sound for the article in that phrase and a strong "h," and I justify it on those grounds.

I understand your preference for the traditional "an," though :).

david said...

None of this matters, of course, because I am not a witch.

Janiece said...

None of this matters, of course, because I am not a witch.

Me neither. Actually, I'm a Mongolian boy. Or a retired Wal-Mart greeter who wears stretch pants and polyester shirts. I can never remember which.

beatricemdfr said...

Excellent post.
And it's "A" historian, IMHO.
The h is aspirated. Even over here, so close to Britain.