The Zimmerman case finally got me. It jumped me from behind. And that’s a fact*.
Suddenly the internet reached out and grabbed my stomach and twisted it up in knots. Yup, yup. It’s that old time feelin’ I thought I’d left behind. If I was packing heat (concealed or otherwise) I’d likely have squeezed off a few rounds because I decidedly felt “threatened.”
You know the feeling. That moment when an internet discussion and/or debate turns ugly. No longer is it about the issue at hand. It turns into a nasty round of insults, personal attacks and spates of unfriending. That sort of drama leaves me unsettled and upset, often going back to a discussion and pounding “refresh” just to review the replies. I though that sort of thing was behind me, but Zimmerman tells me it is not.
I know I’m supposed to keep politics and religion away from Facebook. I had predicted that because of fucked up laws and a no-win scenario George Zimmerman would be found not guilty. Then, Saturday, it actually happened. I hate being right.
On Monday a Facebook “friend” of mine, the very same guy who (in part) inspired this cartoon, was in full-on gloat mode. I can handle the gloat. I have a harder time with lies, hypocrisy, self-delusion, and logical fallacies. For some reason, I tend to take great umbrage at blatant falsehoods, especially when used during during the commission of brainwashing attempts. Maybe he’s a devotee of FOX News.
He’s a God fearing/loving, gun toting dude who gleefully wraps himself tightly in the American flag. He proudly proclaims that he loves “freedom” and doesn’t mind if you disagree with his opinions and long as you are respectful. He also loves spouting off about “libtards” and such. Yes, he’s a true paragon of “do as I say, not as I do.” Sadly that is not so uncommon these days.
This friend’s modus operandi goes a little something like this: When there’s a news report about a mass shooting and it happens in a geographical area that attempts to regulate guns (like New York City), he goes on his Facebook and has a conniption and several litters of kittens about how the incident “proves” that gun control is a failure and misguided. By the same token, if a mass shooting takes place in Gunsville, USA, like an Arizona bar, Texas, or Florida, he’s suddenly a mime. Nary a peep!
You have to observe his timeline over time to pick up on his tactics, but once you do, it’s about as subtle as a Three Stooges cream pie to the face.
That kind of sneaky, snarky, subversion of truth and manipulation really gets me going. It’s my weakness, I guess.
So on Monday, after the Zimmerman verdict, while busy making more cream pies in his pants, he ranted that he wanted to discuss the “facts.” His word. He wanted to leave all the emotion and hype out of it and explain things in such a way that even we feebleminded libtards could follow along.
Amongst the rest of his spittle, he decided to lament this indisputable fact: “Zimmerman never approached Martin.”
Against my better judgement, I did something I don’t usually do. I allowed a bit of politics to encroach on my Facebook interactions. After all, this fellow, even though across the aisle, claimed to be all for civil discourse and disagreement because he loved “freedom” so much. So I added a short thought:
“I’m not sure that’s a fact. It might not be provable one way or the other by the prosecution or defense in a court of law, but that doesn’t mean we know it to be a fact, either.” I’m paraphrasing from memory, of course, since I no longer have access to my own comment.
Why not? Because he immediately unfriended me, of course!
Facebook doesn’t notify you when you’ve been unfriended. Maybe because they assume it’s too traumatic for the average idiot user. But I realized what happened when I went back to review what I had said. POOF! “God and Country American is not your friend.”
I dropped him a line asking for a copy of what I wrote. He never replied. I call the sum total of his actions “gutless.” He talks the talk but he won’t live by his own words. Nice.
On the other hand, no longer do I have to see his bullshit on a daily basis and bite my tongue. That’s bliss! This must be one of those silver lining things.
Meanwhile, I found a lot of sentiment on Monday from the “right o sphere” about liberals bitching that “Zimmerman followed Martin.” The prevailing point being made by the conserv-o-sphere was that the right of self defense is “absolute” and no matter what Zimmerman did, ultimately he was justified in shooting Martin. Once Martin physically assaulted Zimmerman, they argued, Zimmerman had every right to fire.
Again I availed myself of my first amendment right to participate and express myself. Freedom applies to everyone, right? Boot in yer ass and all that. So I made the point, calmly, relying solely on logic, that their position was not unassailable. I love stuff like logic and geometry and understand the meaning of words like “proof” and “true.”
To make my case: Assume you walk up to someone and punch them in the face. They punch you back. At that moment, you are being physically assaulted and may feel “threatened.” Under Florida law you presumably have the legal right to stand your ground and pull the trigger, launching a bullet into your opponent’s chest. I posited that a reasonable jury, even in Florida, would find such a shooter guilty. If you accept that, then the truth of the right of self defense being “absolute” goes out the window.
The author of the article responded by calling me a “moron” while offering nothing new and/or refuting anything I said.
Such is the apparent state of discourse in our country. We are progressing nicely to the future depicted in the movie Idiocracy. We are right on pace.
- a word that formerly meant “a thing that is indisputably the case” or “the truth about events as opposed to interpretation.” [archaic]
- a conclusion based exclusively on interpretation, faith, politics, wishes or beliefs in spite of information to the contrary. [modern] ORIGIN: dates from early internet.