In A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court there’s an episode wherein the titular Yankee gets into a contest of comparisons with a local wherein they compare average salaries. The local gets paid better and considers himself the winner. The Yank follows this up by asking about local prices major expenses such as food, points at that the cost for those same items in his area is so much lower that the overall standard of living is higher. The local doesn’t get it and stupidly continues on in the belief that he is the winner of the contest whereupon our Yank punches him, because sometimes that the only way to make sure the argument ends the way it ought to. I didn’t really understand this reaction when I was a kid and read it, I thought that surely Twain was calling Yankees a brutal lot who can’t handle losing an argument. Upon recalling the incident this morning my opinion has changed rather dramatically. There really are people who need to get punched in order to settle the argument properly. For example:
1) Creationists who take home-schooled kids to museums in order to point at the displays, call them imaginative artwork, insist that evolution is another point of view, just like creationism, and can’t wrap their heads around the problem of a 6,000 year old earth where there were 6 or 7 generations of people who lived several hundred, maybe even a thousand years. I’m not entirely sure whether it’s the fact that the kids are home-schooled and consequently have little hope of ever getting a clue, or the part where they ignore the difference between evidence-based deduction and blind faith that presses me to the breaking point, but the whole thing leaves me homicidal at several levels.
2) The idiots at CBS who canceled Jericho again. Immediately after the show declared the revolution. Just in time to bring back several incarnations of Cold Scene Miami freshly recouped from the writer’s strike. For all of it’s blatant soap operatic lack of subtlety, Jericho actually did a lot of unexpected and edgy things, even before declaring the revolution. Not making Texas into the bad guys despite how easy it would have been given the current situation is something I respect the writers just oodles for, and it’s not something I think I would have done. They were making Texas cool land of the Alamo and independent self-made cowboys again, instead of the land of rednecks and brainless morons. Oh, and when they put Jake in the pilot seat of a Cessna you go, “Right, of course the daring hero just knows how to fly…wait, that’s right, actually he does.” So, yeah, punches all around at CBS. (Somebody in cable please pick this up. Then put it on the internet so I can watch it real-time legally and keep supporting it)
3) Lazy consultants who sit around at important events and look bored when everybody else is working their ass off. Yeah, I get it, you’re not actually working for the company or the customer and in two weeks you’re off to somewhere else with no fallout from what you’re doing now, but the customer can’t tell you apart from me and you’re making me look bad. Also, you’re creepy so stop fawning on me, ‘kay? (Some day I will learn to tell the difference between socially incompetent people who are shunned because they’re genuinely shun worthy, or because they’re surrounded by losers before I become the first female in twenty years to engage them in conversation. Oh glory day.)
4) People who insist that really, you ought to get the flu vaccine because even when you spend a few days (more like a week) feeling like you have the flu, it’s much less bad than actually getting it. Don’t you want to know you’re safe from the flu? Er…this is the first time I’ve had the flu since middle school. It’s like I’ve had it twice now. Isn’t that jolly? Yeah, punch in the nose the next time somebody breaks out that line for me.
5) The one guy in the Borders on Michigan Ave who says I can’t sit on the floor. Never mind the ten other people working there who just want to know if I’m finding everything okay, he wants to power trip. Well, since I’d just decided I wanted to finish reading that book, I’ll get it off amazon, punch you very much.
6) People who think water-boarding isn’t torture just because we’re doing it to terrorists, and terrorists don’t count as people. I am all for arguments about people ceasing to be such based on behavior, but I don’t brook with the government being the one to make that argument, and beyond punches in the nose (or ass-kicking, or good old fashioned assasination if it’s really called for) I’m really just talking about being openly rude.
7) My weekend sucked. It sucked in ways I do not care to describe. It sucked on levels I don’t care to describe. It sucked so precisely sucktastically that I’m now paranoid about its portents of future suckage. The oncoming flu barely scratches the surface. The only person I can think of to hold responsible for the myriad means of suckitude that was my weekend is God. Would God please get his ass over here; I’d like to punch him on the nose please. Kthanksbai. (I believe in God most when I want to kick his ass. This is true of many things)
8) People who will get up in arms over ads slapped onto free things on the internet, but won’t do more than bitch about things like torture, the undermining of the constitution, destruction of foreign policy, homeless guys who try to kiss people who buy them $10 tacos at Chipotle, kids being lied to and misled by irresponsible and idiotic adults, the un-proofread candy that passes for news reporting in this country (was it this bad four years ago when I quit watching and I’ve just forgotten?), corrupt people destroying trust in our economic system and then claiming it’s okay because that’s how capitalism works, or intelligent middle class people who put their hands over their ears and sing “Nanana, don’t want to hear it” because politics seem confrontational and that makes them uncomfortable. Go ahead and pick your fights if that’s what’s important to you, but bleeding Christ, if you’ve got fight in you then make sure to use it where it counts, at least once in a while. Otherwise, well, my punches aren’t the ones that ought to worry you.