I've often been accused of telling long rambling stories and this is certainly one of them.
Back when I was a much smaller human being, some 45 years ago, I went with my father to some Kiwanis Club, or Oddfellows lodge, or Loyal Order of Meese get together, or some other fraternal organization or another's dinner. My dad was (and he'd kill me if he were still around and I didn't get this exactly right,) an Educational Consultant to the Missouri Department of Conservation; not a Conservation Agent! I don't know exactly why that moniker bugged him so much; most would see it as a subtle difference to be sure but, there you go; it is what it is. A big part of his job as an Educational Consultant to the Missouri Department of Conservation was to go forth to these kinds of events and spread the gospel of the wise stewardship of Missouri's wildlife areas and other natural resources. This usually dealt largely with promoting a better partnership between hunters, fishermen, the state Department of Conservation and private land owners. Pretty radical stuff, huh?
Now, in order for the rest of this lengthy little tale to make sense, I need to explain a thing or two about my upbringing. At that time in my life I had literally no, none, zero experience in being around individuals who might be under the strong influence of ethanol laced beverages. Back then, neither of my parents ever drank alcohol around me so, at least as far as I knew at the time, they were both teetotalers. I therefore don't see it as coincidental that I can't tell you today what the name of the organization was who held the dinner, but what I can damn well tell ya, with 100% surety, is that they had a cash bar that night. Although the large majority of participants were very positive and quite appreciative of my father's lecture, there was one "gentleman" who was clearly over served that night. As a result, I was in for some serious culture shock when this drunken asshole accosted my dad after the dinner.
In the same way a mugging victim can only tell you about how big the assailant's gun was and little else, the one thing that really stands out to me now is this inebriate's full Scotch on the rocks sloshing around as he held on to it in his white knuckled, tremulous hand. I vividly recall the dark auburn color of his brown party liquor and the way the lights around the dais were playing off the clear, half melted ice cubes clinking around therein. I can still see in my mind's eye the curly red and gray hairs that covered the back of his ruddy clinched fingers, and I can remember how he was gesticulating wildly with said drink in a slovenly, and largely arrhythmic, attempt to add emphasis to the major points of his disquisition.
This actually might be one of those cases where if I only knew then..., because little did either of us know at the time but we were obviously in the august presence of a true Constitutional scholar and a mavin of all things Second Amendment. Oh Boy! Drawing largely on the Socratic method of legal pedagogy, the style of debate often employed by your better law schools and trade institutes, our erudite legal eagle began his lecture by peppering my dad with rapid fire question after question. For that matter, he ended his discussion that way too. Truthfully, I didn't get the idea that he was overly interested in any of my dad's answers. After all, what would an Educational Consultant to the Missouri Department of Conservation know about guns, or hunting, or land owner's rights. As if! And, with the exact level of laser beam like focus one would expect in a case like this, he did his damnedest to point out all of my dad's Constitutional "errors" he made that night.
The way that this incident ultimately got burned into my brain that night, there seemed to be a desperateness in his manic rantings that smacked of the actions of a true believer. This was obviously a man on a mission from God himself that night. We're talking Old Testament, direct from the burning bush type of divine intervention the likes of which you just don't normally see these days. That would be a terrible burden for anyone, much less someone who was under the influence of strong drink. This guy was going to set my ol' man straight or vomit trying. And conservatives being what they were back then, pretty much the same as they are now, meant that this drunken chugnut was trying his best to give my Bachelor and Master's of Science in Biology and Specialist in Education degreed father an impromptu Constitutional dissertation on the finer details of the Second Amendment and eminent domain law as he saw it applying to land owner's rights. I may have only been nine or ten back then but that was more than enough time on the planet to give me the requisite intelligence to see that our inebriated friend's arguments were, well, full o' poo (or for you left wing intellectual snobs out there, poopé.)
My dad broke away from said intoxicated chugnut as soon as social norms allowed, and I was quickly ushered out the door. He never took me to another event like that again. When we got back to the car to leave, I ask my dad, "Why didn't you let that guy have it? You knew he was wrong about all that crap he was saying." The only thing he ever said about the incident EVER was, "You just can't argue with stupid people! You're never going to change someone like that's mind, and, in the end, you both end up pissed off [so why bother.]"
It is therefore here that we arrive at the crux of our little biscuit, and tie in my thesis statement above concerning the maddening futility of arguing with the willfully ignorant and congenitally stupid.
To tell you the truth, I've had the above part of this cued up since this last Friday. I think the only reason I published it at all is because it's a story about my dad and me. The original title was going to be "Thank Krishna for Jon Stewart -OR- You Just Can't Argue With Stupid People!" I was going to contend that perhaps arguing with stupid people might be a Sisyphean task of futility but bitch slapping 'em around intellectually like they owe you money sure is a whole lot of fun; and cathartic too. I was going to comment on Jon's good-natured ribbing of fellow genius Shaun Hannity last Wednesday. Like how he pointed out how he's being like this super huge douchebag who coincidentally happens to be this blatant gaping anal fissure of a hypocrite. Who else would ever have thought to put those two things together concerning Shaun? If it were a novel this would make for some increasing character complexity. I was also going to try and advance the argument that, much like a festering syphilitic penile chancre, Cliven Q. Bundy is, in fact, the quintessential tea party Republican. That he's actually right smack dab in the very middle tippy tippy top top of the Bell curve of qualities seen in your average lower-middle class Republican voter. We're talkin' less than a tenth of a standard deviation off the group norm. That's what I was going to do by gum, yes I was.
Then, like a very very large pile of dookie rolling down a very very steep hill, L.A. Clippers Chairman of the Board and Owner Donald Q. Sterling decided that the 80% black National Basketball Association needed a lecture on race relations and he was just the right delivery system. He was evidently trying to impart a... hmm, how shall we say, a more "traditional" stance concerning, (to quote our good friend Buffalo Bundy,) the negro. Funnily enough, Donny's candor wasn't appreciated for the honest breath of fresh air that he obviously intended it to be because he started a shit storm the likes of which I'm not quite sure I've ever seen before.
All of this was hitting the various air waves over the weekend and I've decided that, after four or five drafts, I just can't keep up; therefore, I quit! I'm giving up! I'm sending up the white flag! I know when I'm beat and man am I ever so ever beat down. Like one of Sarah McLachlan's puppies I'm beat! I mean, I try. Ganesha knows I try! I've always tried to vent all my evil thoughts and emotions in the direction of the "Right" people, but I'm officially giving up on waiting for Karma to get it's bitch ass in gear and take care of business! I've reached my limit! I quit! I'm Done! Through! Finished! Kaput! I can't keep up and I'm not going to try anymore! The stupid people are stupidly producing more stupid than I can possibly handle in one big stupid package! I'm experiencing some serious stupid overload here! It's not like I've never seen stupid before in my life. No stupid virgin am I. Like many, I've suffered through the abject, out and out stupidity of the likes of George W. Bush, and Sarah Palin, and Not-Joe the non-plumber, and the NRA, and, yes, even Shauny and Wild Billy O and Steven Douchy and the whole rest of that Zany Faux "News" editorial staff. Speaking of which...
I realize, in all likelihood, my family members are the only ones still reading this at this point but I have one last case of stupid stupidity. My wife and I were watching the press conference of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver this afternoon. All of a sudden I got the bright idea to see if Faux "News" was covering it too. After all MSNBC broke into their programming to cover it. CNN saw this news conference as being culturally significant enough to forgo the hunt for Indonesian Flight 370 to broadcast the news conference live. ESPN, ESPN 2, Bloomberg News, they all covered it. So none of you will ever guess what Earth shattering issue Gretchen Carlson and Faux thought was more pressing than the blatant racism of a NBA owner? Just three words people:Benghazi! Benghazi! Benghazi! Rinse! Repeat! Cracked my ass up!