At this moment, there is a war raging. Not a war on Christmas, or periods, or a foreign nation.
A war between People Who Think, and People Who Feel.
The Thinkers always win. The Feelers always lose, unless they can game the rules. But lose they will, because the world is cruel. Especially for children and little things.
I keep hearing and reading, “What will we teach our children [now that Trump is president]?” Here’s a suggestion: teach them not to be afraid of other people’s ideas, and lead by example. Teach them not to hate another person so much that they lose their reason. Teach them to compromise, and to listen, and be respectful. Teach them that words can never hurt them, no matter what words, or what circumstances. Teach them to rise above a situation. To take the high road.
Teach your children not to research people just to pass judgment on their lives. Teach them acceptance, not separatism. Teach them understanding, and love. Teach them to succeed where you failed.
But for the love of all things sacred, don’t teach them that it’s okay to have an emotional breakdown over a presidential election.
Don’t teach them that it’s okay to be a “beta”. Don’t weaken them with emotions over logic. Don’t drive them away by acting irrational and being hysterical. Don’t let them get comfortable with any form of social media. Don’t discourage them from working with their hands. Don’t exacerbate their hormonal confusion with digital gerrymandering. Don’t allow them to focus on fleeting status trends, and don’t place any importance on people who do. Don’t supply them with anything they don’t really need, and supply emotional behavior only when it’s earned. Don’t act out of anything other than love, goodness or wisdom.
Don’t take offense. Ever.
Around two years ago, amid worldwide disaster, the unthinkable happened. You didn’t read about it, or hear about it on the news, and you’ll forget it as soon as you leave this page. But it happened.
A virus passed from computers to humans.
I call it Offendula. I don’t know the identity of “Patient Zero”, but here is exactly what went down:
- A person is offended by something they saw on the Internet.
- They allow their behavior to be grossly affected; they are sickened.
- The infected willfully shares the virus with another person, thus infecting them.
- The range of infected increases exponentially, until the source of infection is removed and can no longer be directly referenced.
- Unless every infected person forgets the source, there is no cure. Infected will continue to perpetuate the virus through description of their “symptoms”.
You probably know someone who has already been infected. It strikes quickly at the emotion centers of the brain, and obscures reason and logic while tripling anxiety response. The infected person attacks and disowns friends and loved ones, always over matters of differing opinion, never over matters that personally involve the infected. Politics, religion and sexuality, three historically divisive issues that civilized folk used to shut up about, split open and fester as sores for the Offendula to thrive in. Jobs, friendships, marriages; no mere human bond can stand up to this neural blitzkrieg.
The insidiousness of the virus does not end there. A state of Delirious Presumption overcomes the infected, wherein they claim true empathy of a stranger’s plight. In adult men, this can manifest as an imagined understanding of the female mind, and what “offends” it. This unfortunate tendency, an extrapolation of Internet “White Knight Syndrome”, is common among men who primarily interact with women through a social networking website. The virus has rewired these men, as well as thousands more who’ve actually sired children (infected at birth), so that any face-to-face interaction between themselves and a live woman will seem weird and unnatural. This ensures that their image of a woman’s mind continues to be shaped by Facebook.
The virus affects the mind so acutely, the infected begins to believe that their feelings are real. Little by little, negative actions are excused, and validated. Narcing on your neighbor is okay; you don’t really know him. Calling the cops on that guy arguing with his girlfriend in the park is fine, and the surrogate moral boost is the icing on the cake. Infected people get so caught up in their Random Acts of Awesomeness, they negate any thought of bad consequence. Before you know it, they’ve cost someone a job, for nothing that can be quantified or measured.
With the onset of the Offendula virus, the old adage “Words can never hurt me” was finally disproved. Those infected can only be identified by their overdeveloped sense of morals. As soon as words were considered “weaponized”, the virus made itself right at home. Offendula makes people forget all about freedom of speech, and turns them into squawking pussy-monsters. The only thing that can save mankind now is for Print to reclaim its rightful Throne of Free Speech from its neutered cousin The Internet, but the infected will never let that happen. They’ve been trying to convince the world Print is dead for years. They have come to fear that which cannot be instantly deleted. With Print comes Accountability, which is as close to an anti-virus as you can get.
You might be at a point where five years ago, you lashed out about something on the Internet. Whatever it was that got you so upset; I guarantee that it affected your life in no way whatsoever. None. You can’t even remember what it was. You don’t even remember the Fukushima disaster. Or the poisoning of the Gulf of Mexico, by Deepwater Horizon. Or the Boko Haram girls. Or the bombing of Nice. Or the Pulse massacre.
Like smallpox blankets, Offendula is the secret weapon of the People Who Feel. Their programming makes them vicarious suicide bombers. They proclaim that an offense is the end of their world, and without a second thought, a wave of kamikaze pilots hits the base. BOOM! I was triggered! BOOM! I was othered! BOOM! My feelings, Me, ME, ME!!!
When People Who Think are overrun by People Who Feel, the Thinkers always do the same thing: they leave. Bye bye idiots, I’m too smart for this shit, you can have it. I’ve got better things to do. Like Thinking. Try it sometime, you buncha girlies.
To which the Feelers respond, HA HA HA! WE WON! WE WON! OF COURSE WE WON; WE WERE RIGHT! AND THIS PROVES IT!!!
And so on, and so on. Ad infinitum. The battlefield is inconsequential. Training is not only unnecessary, it works against you, when you’re dealing with armies that include the mentally unfit and children in other countries. Negotiation involves death threats and insults about appearance, body type and economic situation. Regular folks maintain elaborate secret identities. The only way to win is to look like you’re not playing.
Because an uncivil war has unfolded, drafting friend and foe alike, and not one of us will live to see its end.