So if you pay attention to the comments section on this blog you’ll know I have some truly surreal arguments with Paulbots. To call these people insane morons would be to insult retarded psychotics. And to say that I suffer fools well would be a lie. Now most of my vitriol is not to be found in the comment section but over the phone and IM messages to friends and family. I am not a physically violent person, but when dealing with idiots I get angry probably quicker and to a greater degree than I should and vent it out as quickly as possible in very angry and violent words. Not exactly the healthiest of all reactions, but again, I’m not a physically violent person so there is clearly worse.
And when I stopped to think about it, and I realized the problem, for me at least is two fold. First it’s not the single idiot that is the problem. It’s that when on the internet, it’s one after another, after another, after another. And then I get to go to work (high school English teacher) where teenagers never treat you as if you don’t know anything. One idiot is actually quite funny. Two are kind of silly. But when your whole day is filled with idiots who spew drivel and act like they’re smarter than you it gets infuriating. And that leads to my second problem, my ego. I consider myself quite intelligent and exceedingly well read with an ability to make connections between everything I’ve learned…and if you ask anyone who knows me they’ll probably tell you this is not just an arrogant boast. I’m not the smartest person in the world, but I just get tired of people attacking me with idiocy when they don’t even bother to read the volumes of facts and logic I have set forth. Paulbots who just call me a liar. That pompous twit who keeps changing his name in the comments who clearly lives in academia and thinks that just because I challenge academia (with reason and facts) that I must be wrong and tries to humble me over and over again with the idea ‘well academia says you’re wrong.’ And it’s just tiring. Arguing again and again, endlessly with people who aren’t a tenth as bright as me but acting like they’re my mental equal. Yes I sought this out by having a blog, so I am partly to blame. But is it too much to ask that if you’re going to challenge me, to do it with facts and reason?
But, realizing I’m not that special, I figure that we all must experience this at some level. Being confronted over and over again by people who don’t know what they’re doing and are not open to reason. So I turned to the different holy books to try and find a quote to base a weekly meditation on.
This turned out to be a mixed bag.
Well, Lao Tzu wrote the Tao Te Ching only when he got so infuriated with the idiots at court that he decided to leave China forever and was asked to leave something of his wisdom. Christ, after three years of preaching to idiots who didn’t get it, finally broke and whipped the money changers out of the temple. And, at a surface level, the Bhagavad-Gita is the god Krishna telling Arjuna “Arjuna, look, your evil relatives are so screwed up morally there is no getting through to them in this life time, and thus they’re already dead to me. Go out and slaughter them—no mercy, no quarter, no prisoners—and it’s all ethically okay. Maybe they’ll get it in the next lifetime.”
Now, as I was looking for something on how to put away my anger, this wasn’t quite what I wanted. But, it was comforting to know that even the enlightened had their breaking points.
But I did find one quote. Variously attributed to the Buddha or the Dalia Lama depending on which web page you find it (among others)….
“Be grateful for your enemies, for they teach you patience.”
I know, not the earth shattering revelation I was hoping for either. (Of course I could always turn to Christopher Moore’s Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal where you find the repeated theme of Christ’s sermons was also, “Blessed are the dumbfucks, because god do they need it”…but it still doesn’t have the ring of enlightenment that I was looking for).
So onto the meditation. This isn’t so much as a meditation for the week as it is a meditation for those special occasions. For the week I would just click on the “Meditation” category link at the bottom and pick one of your favorites for this week.
So whenever you have run into a problem with an a string of idiots repeat this mantra.
“I am sorry that I cannot reach you with reason. I have tried reason, I have tried facts, I have tried humor. I am sorry I cannot find the words to make you understand. I will continue to use these in my dealings with you, not for you, but for anyone who may be listening so that they do not fall into your errors. And thus even though I cannot reach you, I make the world a better place by not giving into your silliness and by helping others see the truth.”
Okay, it’s a little sanctimonious, and please don’t use it before you have checked over every point of your own logic, checked the argument you’re being challenged with for even one valid point, and verified that logic with people whose intelligence you respect. You need to check your thoughts to make sure they are correct before you get angry at others, otherwise your frustration might need to be directed at yourself for not checking your own reasoning. We’re all subject to flaws in our lines of thought. However we are also all subject to idiots who don’t even take the time to check their own thoughts. And this is where this manta comes in.