Monday, September 25, 2017

You don't speak for me. Or anyone else I know, for that matter.

Let's get something straight right now.  I'm not a millionaire.  I'm not a "professional" athlete.  I'm not an actor playing the part of a person who works for a living.  I honestly do work for a living.  I contribute to society.  I'm not overpaid entertainment for those of us who want to forget for a few hours that we work for a living and it's a total pain in the ass for most of us to make ends meet.  I don't get to take a knee when I don't agree with the way things are going.  I suck it up, I do my job, and I continue to earn my paycheck.  Then I go home to my wife and children.  And when people turn off their televisions at night, I don't cease to exist.

I suppose this post is about not only knowing your place, but also keeping your mouth shut about things that really have no affect on you.  It's pretty obvious I'm not some pampered douche rich guy who's using my celebrity status to let everyone know what my views are on the current hot topic.  Sadly, there's a large proportion of the American public who lends credence to the bullshit so-called "celebrities" have to peddle.  Why does anyone listen to them?  They go on camera at whatever award show they're at, bitch and moan for their X number of minutes about whatever it is that's pissing them off at present, then they get in their chauffeured limos and ride back to their homes that cost more money than the majority of us will ever see in our lifetimes, all the while earning money we've shelled out for their entertainment value alone.

Do you listen to your parents?  Your spouse?  Your significant other?  Do you listen to what your friends have to say?  These are all people you know, people you have an actual relationship with.  If a random stranger told you to buy a Dodge instead of a Ford, would you care?  Would you dismiss them as some ass hat you don't know giving their opinion which you don't give a shit about?  Then why in the hell would you listen to Colin Kaepernick telling you ANYTHING?  Or Tom Hanks?  Or George Clooney?  Or anyone whose name shows up near the top of Google search results?

Do you think about these people while your at your job, hopefully where you're trying to be productive and do your best?  Do you wonder if they'd approve of how you're doing there?  If you answered no to any of these questions... then WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU LISTENING TO THEM FOR AT ALL?  Right or left, conservative or liberal, none of their opinions should be influencing the way you think.  They are outside your circle.  If you don't believe that, then you're either rich or seriously deluding yourself.  They don't care what you think.  You shouldn't care what they think.  It's as simple as that.

Now don't get me wrong.  I'm not going to be magnanimous or a hypocrite and tell you I don't watch tv or movies or sports.  I'm a huge geek and love all the Marvel movies.  I'm a diehard NHL fan and I love watching NFL football.  I also have a huge man crush on Ryan Reynolds.  But that's its own post for another time.

However, as I alluded to earlier, these actors and athletes all cease to exist when i quit watching their tv shows and movies and games.  When the movie is over, when the game is over, so are they.  I don't want to hear what Matthew Stafford has to say about Donald Trump or gun control or legalizing pot or abortion or anything else that actually matters to me in my day to day life.  All I want from him is another fourth quarter comeback, another win in a game the stupid Lions were about to lose.  And when he's done with the game?  I'm done with him.  He's not real life for me. He no longer exists when I hit the off button on the remote.  And I doubt he cares.  He's a millionaire, he's his own person.  Why would he give a damn what I do or think?

I spent 14 years of my life making sure every person in America had the freedom to think what they wanted, to feel secure in their own opinions, to believe what they wanted to believe.  It's that choice, that multitude of various opinions, that freedom to think and believe whatever you want, that's what makes us Americans in the first place.  But when you try to stifle another person's opinion, because YOU think it's wrong or hateful or whatever adjective you decide to use, well, you're fucking up everything i worked so hard to defend.  And that straight up pisses me off.

No matter how right you think you are, your opinion is just that.  An opinion.  And opinions, by their very definition, cannot be right OR wrong.
o·pin·ion
əˈpinyən   noun
  1. a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

See?  I'm not making this shit up.  Merriam-Webster has the answer for both of us.

And I have to tell you, if you feel so strongly about your opinion, which is YOUR JUDGMENT FORMED NOT NECESSARILY BASED ON FACT OR KNOWLEDGE, that you think you have the right to physically harm someone...?  Go tell your parents they did a terrible job of raising you.  And also tell them they're on my shit list.  How dare they raise a single human being to believe that no matter what they do, they're in the right?  That's completely absurd.

I'll leave you with this final thought.  You can decide yourself where it applies with what's going on in the world right now.  Covering your face dehumanizes and anonymizes you, anonymity breeds violence, large groups imbue individuals with a sense of power.  Put those things together and you have something awful waiting to happen.  No good will come of it.

And to end this on a lighter note, when it comes to large groups of people acting like complete assholes, and I mean on both sides, well...