Sunday, February 18, 2018

Them's fightin' words...

Smile when you say that...

Greetings from the Czech Republic.  We arrived here, near the city of Plzen, on Friday afternoon.  We've spent the last couple of days checking out the Czech Republic after a nine year absence.  Last time we visited this country, it was President's Day weekend 2009.  We visited Chodovar, which is a "beer wellness land".  In those days, it was still fairly new, but over the past nine years, it's gotten bigger and better known.  I gave some thought to going there this weekend, but since we had to travel with the dogs, we thought it would be better to rent self-catering accommodation.  So that's what we've done...

As I expected, this weekend has been cold and cloudy so far.  Consequently, we didn't do as much yesterday as we probably should have.  By about 4:00pm, we were kind of tired and wanted to come back to our little cottage.  The dogs were so welcoming that we didn't feel like leaving them to look for dinner.  We've been watching the Czech coverage of the Winter Olympics.  And... of course, there's Facebook, too.

One of my Facebook friends is a former professor of mine.  She's a lovely southern lady who specializes in American literature.  I try not to engage her too much out of respect, since I have a tendency to get carried away sometimes.  Contrary to popular belief, I wasn't raised in a barn (although I came pretty close given all my years spent riding horses).  Anyway, she's known me long enough to know that I've got quite a mouth on me... or happy fingers when I'm typing stuff online.  She knows I cuss and have rather liberal proclivities.  She's pretty liberal herself.

My professor and I have things in common other than having spent time in the English department at Longwood University.  We also have southern family members who are very politically conservative and religious.  The other day, my professor posted a quote from a family member of one of the shooting victims from Parkland, Florida.  A discussion about gun control ensued.

Initially, I resisted getting involved in the discussion because I have found that these things never go well.  People tend to have very strong opinions about controversial issues.  Most people want to have their say, but having one's say rarely amounts to much more than an argument.  Such was the case with my professor's discussion.  Although most people, quite sensibly, think it's high time we Americans did something about gun violence in our country, there was at least one lone dissenter who insists that the reason so many kids are dying in school shootings is because they don't have decent parents and haven't been raised with morals.  This person specifically indicated that kids today are missing out on the Bible and direction from God.

Just to be clear, I'm not an atheist.  I was raised in a Christian household, although I am no longer a churchgoer.  I do have a belief in God, although it's not a particularly devout belief.  I don't thump a Bible.  Moreover, I have seen religious organizations do a lot of damage to people.  Still, although I do have strong opinions about what this person was claiming, I chose not to enter the debate.  Instead, I sat by and watched as the gentleman proceeded to be very condescending to others who were responding.  It wasn't lost on me that they were all women, many of whom are at least my age-- meaning mid 40s-- and none of whom would qualify as needing "special help".

I watched as this man then brought abortion into the argument, reminding everyone of how many unborn babies are "murdered" in utero every year.  And, with that being the case, he didn't understand how we could all be so outraged about seventeen people who were killed by a shooter in a Florida high school.  For the record, I really HATE it when people bring up abortion in cases where a lot of people are gunned down or otherwise killed.  To me, abortion is a completely different thing than mass murder is.  I have never once met anyone who remembers what it was like to be in the womb.  A fetus does not have a concept of what it means to exist.  That doesn't happen until the fetus is born, and even then, it takes time for a human being to develop enough to understand the difference between life and death.  The people who died last Wednesday were all old enough to know about life and death.  A fetus cannot and does not.

I noticed yesterday, on a different article about murder, a pro-life male brought up abortion in much the same way.  A woman decided to leave her newborn infant out in the cold in Alaska and the baby died.  She got nine years for manslaughter.  In the comments, some guy reminded us that had this mother aborted her baby a few months earlier, no one would care.  Yeah... stupid comment from a stupid person who will never face the decision of whether or not to have an abortion.  It made no sense whatsoever.

I will admit, the abortion comments upset me, but I still managed to avoid entering the fray on my professor's page.  I made one comment yesterday.  It was in response to a woman who called the male poster out for being so condescending.  I told her she was my "hero".  Well...  I should have known better than to do that, because then it was "on".  The thread then went totally off track, because instead of discussing gun control, the commenter proceeded to lecture me about how to be a lady.  Folks, I'm four months from turning 46 years old.  The ship has sailed.  Being a lady is pretty boring, anyway.  I'd rather be a foul mouthed hooligan.

Earlier in the thread, the condescending commenter wrote:

I was a firefighter for 40 years and because of the skills that God gave me...I have saved many lives. I don't think you want to go there with me. 

There was more to this comment and it's taken a little out of context.  I have only cut and paste the part that I zeroed in on when this guy decided to address me.  I wrote:

As you put it upthread, “I don’t think you want to go there with me.”

I didn't add that while he may be very experienced at fighting fires, I'm pretty good at fightin' words.  And, much to my regret, we verbally tangoed for a few hours while I watched Olympic coverage on Czech TV and played Cooking Dash on my iPad.

It was actually a pretty funny exchange, for the most part, although I probably should have stopped responding after the first comment.  It reminded me a little of some of the spars I've had with a  few of my own family members, although this guy was not as mean-spirited as they tend to be.  Indeed, I expect that in a few days, I will be reminded of last year's argument with one of my cousins, which ended with my decision to oust him from my social media.  Although I hated to do it, I can't say I'm sorry it happened.  I don't miss having him on my page.  A few months later, I dropped his brother, too, mainly because he couldn't refrain from starting arguments with me and being really insulting and condescending.  Condescending language is like an allergen to me.  It makes me itch to fire back.

I posted a picture of a dead horse being flogged along with the comment that immediately followed...

A couple of excerpts from yesterday's discussion.

One happy thing happened as a result of yesterday's verbal sparring match, though.  I ended up making a new friend.  She went to Longwood at the same time I did.  I knew of her; she is friends with a lot of my friends.  Our paths never crossed in those days, though.  She enjoyed some of my snark yesterday.  My prof did eventually tell us to knock it off, which she was entirely justified in doing.  However, I think we had already pretty much knocked it off an hour before she asked us to.

Anyway, if my former professor ever reads this post, I hope she will forgive me for getting involved in that melee.  I usually don't do that on other people's pages.  I don't even want to on my own page, most of the time.  But if you come at me in a condescending manner, you can expect that I'll return fire.  Them's fightin' words and I've got nothing better to do.


  1. I went to an extremely liberal university for undergrad, but every now and then the news would carry some story of a newborn left to die, and some conservative idiot would have to share his or her opinion that had the mother killed the baby in utero three houes earlier, it would have been perfectly legal. That's ludicrous. Even in the liberal state of California, a full-term fetus that is viable cannot be killed in utero unless it is for some reason necessary to save the mother's life, and there's no way to get it out in one piece, which is so incredibly rare it hasn't happened it California once in at least fifteen years, and probably much longer than that I never had to say anything because there were enough militants around me who took up the slack.

    1. I can’t deal with the stupid.

      We’re going back to Germany today. It’s kind of sad.

  2. This reminds me of a cartoon with a person standing and holding a cell phone. The caption read something like this, "In my hand I hold access to most of the knowledge of the world. I use it to look at funny cat pictures and get into arguments with strangers."
    I am envious of your access to extremely good beer.

    1. Oh yeah... beer is one of the very best reasons to live in Europe! ;)


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