feeling crabby.

I am not Presidential material.  Not that I could become President even if I wanted, since I’m not a natural-born citizen, but even if the pesky eligibility question were resolved via the Schwarzenegger Amendment of 2012, I’d not run if nominated, and refuse to serve if elected.

How do I know I don’t have what it takes?  Well, on days like today, I’m cranky enough to nuke a bitch if given access to the Red Button. 

Seriously: if I were President at this very moment, and Mahmoud Acnefacejihad called up and gave me some lip about the Jooz and the Great Satan and what-the-fuck-ever, I’d probably just snap like a stale pretzel and be all like, “Tell you what, Mahmoud, old buddy.  Since you want those nukes so badly, I’ll let you have a few.  In fact, I just sent twenty megatons your way.  You should receive them shortly.”

I’m just a little off the rails today.  Maybe it’s the polarization of viewpoints online that has crept into every damn corner of my virtual hang-outs, or the continued mental strain that comes from having friends both in the conservative, gun-owning community, and the liberal publishing industry.

Here’s the thing: some of my friends are gun-owning small-government types.  Some of my friends are liberal writers or publishers.  The kicker is that none of them—of either political leaning—are idiots, or bad people, or heartless pricks, or racists, or out to destroy America.  They’re all generous, friendly, intelligent folks, regardless of political persuasion, and I wouldn’t consider them my friends if they weren’t.  I have my disagreements with my liberal friends and my conservative friends alike, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be my friends.

I have much common ground with both, try to reconcile and mitigate the “all or nothing” arguments coming from both sides, and end up feeling like I don’t belong anywhere.  I find that I have to censor myself based on the venue, just so I’m not written off as a liberal/conservative kook, when in reality I am neither liberal nor conservative.  I end up having to watch my mouth all the time, regardless of where I mingle, and it feels like I’m not being true to myself.

Maybe I should just get off this Intertubes thingie for a few days, and take a bunch of long walks, or something.  Right now, I don’t want to be bombarded with fifteen ZOMG TEH WURLD IZ ENDING political video clips and polls just because I want to check some friends’ statuses on Facebook, or have to wade through a dozen forwarded “We’re so right/They’re so wrong!!!1!ELEVENTY!!” emails when I check my messages.

So, yeah.  I’m a bit fed up with it all at the moment, and when the fed-up-ness spills over into my offline life, it’s high time to turn off the computer and go pet a puppy.  I think I’ll cut back on the political commentary for a while, and focus on stuff that’s a bit less dangerous to the ol’ blood pressure.

36 thoughts on “feeling crabby.

  1. Personally, I think you’re one of the most reasonable, well spoken voices in the blogosphere. Even on the rare occasion you take a position contrary to my views, you argue your own well enough that I am forced to reconsider my position.

    There’s always a place for intellectual honesty, and you’ve got it in spades.

  2. Kristopher says:

    Go on … hoist the conservative jolly roger. Or at least get the cane out.

    You know you want to.

    My personal libertarianism often melts in the presence of some asshole that desperately needs to be throttled to death.

  3. Glamdring says:

    Marko I have never thought of you as a “liberal/conservative kook”. Perhaps on occasion a Libertarian type one, takes one to know one you know. 😉

    I feel the same way about the ““We’re so right/They’re so wrong!!!”” stuff. That is why I don’t hang out much on gun related forums anymore.

    I really don’t understand why so many people can’t accept people that have different beliefs or thoughts than they do without name calling or threats.

    I learn more from people that question me than the ones that agree or people who know more about something that I do, than I do from people that are carbon copies of me.

  4. MarkHB says:

    It’s never easy for folk who don’t fit in convenient pigeonholes old soak.

  5. BryanP says:

    Marko, I understand entirely too well. It depends on which group of friends I’m hanging out with as to whether I’m the liberal or the conservative in the group. Add in my natural compulsion to play devil’s advocate, and some days the mental whiplash of switching from one to the other is a bit much.

    And yeah, taking a break from it helps. When it gets to be too annoying I either stop posting in certain places for a while, or (in real life) I just smile, nod and change the subject.

  6. Rey B says:

    Work on the Pirate Action Shooting idea some more that should be fun and not too serious. A friend on Facebook was saying much the same thing the other day, and even though we are at opposite ends on many things we still find common ground.

  7. LabRat says:

    I came within an ace of having “professional devil’s advocate” tattooed on me at one point for essentially the same reason, though my social life is somewhat less polarized now.

    Go drink something alcoholic and read a good book. It always worked for me.

  8. mike says:

    “My Best Friend’s Wife is a Liberal” I always thought that was a great name for a book, except in my case its true. That was the label given her, and mine was conservative. She loved to argue the whole, “red state/blue state” line. Well the truth be told, after some long discussions, we basically agree on the majority of life’s issues. We were lableled by some strong feelings we had on certain issues, but mostly agreed. Your site is one of the few on the internet that is not a polarization of thought. That is the problem with the US media and countless chain emails on either side. Its not all good, it’s not all bad…it’s somewhere in the middle and your blog represents that! Thanks and keep up the good work, you’re the only one I read.

  9. crankylitprof says:

    Just a note, Marko: porn is really just as bad for the blood pressure.

    Come back when you’re feeling less stabby and more optimistic.

  10. Rusty P Bucket says:

    Hi All~

    I know I am an irelevant old fart with nothing to offer you young know it alls.

    But for me I ain’t seen this world as uncertain as it is now since the early 40’s. I remember my elders arguments about the doings here and abroad and just like now you had to watch your mouth or you found out in a hurry who your friends were And werent.

    People are getting stupid and it wouldn’t surprise me if a reckoning wasn’t coming. The reason you are confused is because that libertarian crap – it disables the moral compass and makes decisions like this much tougher than they should be.

    Luckily your a good man, son in spite of it. Stay on that fence until you get your head sorted out.

    For me I’ve seen all this before. I know who my enemies are, and I don’t care what motivates them or what they believe. I know how I will respond to them if they get stupid about it. It may not be fair or just – but it’s life I suppose.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      My moral compass is just fine, thank you very much.

      • Kristopher says:

        I’ll bet it is.

        Xtianism is not a requirement to behave morally and honorably.

        Not all of us need a big invisible omnipotent psychotic in the sky to threaten us with eternal torment for misbehaving.

      • Rusty P Bucket says:

        Is it munchkin?

        I shouldn’t be a dink but the Way I figure is that any country worth lving in has a mix of healthy liberal and conservative values. You need the right to free speeching, you need an armed citizenry to defend it, you have the right to make a living.

        Anyone that stands in the way of any a that is either an idiot or your enemy. In either case they don’t warrant any special treatment. I personally don’t see the problem but I am old and stupid so I tend to keep life simpler than most folks.

  11. wolfwalker says:

    Yes, go pet a puppy. Or a kitten. Or read a nice light book, watch a sunrise, go to a horse show, take a boat ride and watch some whales and birds. Any of ’em works for me when I get to feeling like that.

  12. Nathaniel says:

    It’s the Libertarian’s curse. Half liberal, half conservative, and hated by both of them.

  13. I know how you feel Marko. I have friends and family on both sides of the political divide, and while most are perfectly rational beings, I too have my share of wingnuts & moonbats (mostly family) that I keep my distance from, lest I set them off.

    It’s hard being in the middle.

  14. Eric (original) says:

    There’s nothing like staying away from all news sources for a day (or longer). I’ve noticed that after watching the local TV news, you start thinking there’s more crime than there probably is.

  15. sasu says:

    I think I know what you mean.

    Often I feel like I were an alien (of extraterrestrial kind) planted on this planet.

    The lack of analysis and reason in governing people and the lack of same in politics is just mind boggling.

    When I get this feeling of being out of place, I concentrate on something pleasant for a while, and on the analytical side I remind myself that those are the cards we have been dealt, and we have to keep trying to make this world a better place even though it requires tons on patience.

    Our responsibility is to keep the memes of rational decision making and respect for fellow humans alive. It is a heavy burden at times.

  16. Kaerius(SWE) says:

    Personally, I’m a liberal-lefty(and I use the word liberal in literal manner not US political jargon), but the two major political parties in the US are authoritarian slightly left of center and authoritarian fair bit right of center.

    I have more in common with the libertarians than the democrats, to be honest.

  17. Trebor says:

    I understand completely, Marko. I’m too Liberal for my conservative friends and too Conservative for my liberal friends myself.

    I’ve learned just to not argue with people whose friendship I value. If they have a question and want to talk about something, fine, but I won’t bring the subjects of the disagreement up myself.

    I have lost a couple friends over the gun issue, but that was their choice, not mine, as they weren’t comfortable being friends with someone as much of a “gun nut” as I was.

  18. SemperGumby says:

    I have the same experience with my own friends. My best friends are those whose views I know but we just don’t talk about such things so the stress level in our relationships are zero. I enjoy reading what you write so much because your views are so similar to mine. It’s a form of stress relief to read your blog and see so much common sense, logic and humor. I hope I get the chance to meet you one of these days and thank you for what you do.

    Mike

  19. Brian says:

    I know what you mean Marko.

    I know that you read and comment over at Scalzi’s blog – do you ever get frustrated with his politics?

    My own politics lean towards the little “l”, but 95% of my lifelong friends are utterly irrational wannabe intellectual environmentalist hippie types. I say that with a lot of love too. They know it. It ages me.

    I share your frustration that the polarization has gotten to the point where no matter who opens their mouth, they’re shouted down. How is that debate?

  20. Jay G. says:

    Sounds like someone needs some recoil therapy…

    (I’ve got a S&W model 629 I haven’t shot in ages, and a Harley that could use a loooong ride. Just sayin’…)

    • Marko Kloos says:

      Bring ’em both up to Casa Munchkin Wrangler…if you can live with the drool I’m likely to drop on your bike. Haven’t been on one since I sold my old Ninjette, just before we moved to NH.

  21. Paul Michael says:

    You wrote a controversial political post and expected … different?

  22. Glamdring says:

    Dunning–Kruger effect
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning-Kruger_effect

    You have probably heard of “Four stages of competence” I learned about first from Mas IIRC
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconscious_incompetence
    Dunning Kruger effect seem to be relevant to parts of the pain/frustration expressed in this thread IMHO.

  23. Assrot says:

    “I end up having to watch my mouth all the time, regardless of where I mingle, and it feels like I’m not being true to myself.”

    Now you feel my pain. I live with that kind of crap everyday. My biggest problem is unlike yourself, I can’t watch my mouth. I have to say my piece. I was just wired that way. I’ve lost a job or two over it and an acquaintance or three over it.

    I’m not sure who said it but I very much believe in saying exactly what I think because “Those that matter don’t mind and those that mind don’t matter.”

    I think I have read posts here where you talk about coming to this country to be free. I ‘m of the belief that one can never truly be free if you stifle yourself to make others happy.

    Thus spoke Zarathustra.

    Joe

  24. MarkHB says:

    I ‘m of the belief that one can never truly be free if you stifle yourself to make others happy.

    Mmmph. How much blue mud does one have to rub into one’s bellybutton, anyway?

    This is where the polarisation thing that’s been going on over the last n years really fucking sucks. It takes people who should be of common cause – in this case, folk who really dig freedom, individual responsibility, all that good stuff – and turns ’em against each other because they’re not “pure” enough or some such horseshit. Then again, I’m as guilty of losing my damn temper as anyone else. *sigh*

  25. perlhaqr says:

    I hear ya.

    I’m damn tired of being called a racist for insisting that people should be treated equally, and for being treated like some feudal lord’s advocate for saying we shouldn’t steal from people.

  26. […] Marko seems to want a break from the noise: […]

  27. Dave says:

    There is a degree of separation on the net. It allows folks to say what they really feel, unedited.
    I don’t think that is entirely a bad thing.

    It is kind of like the old George Carlin skit about calling someone an asshole, if anyone remembers that.🙂

  28. MarkHB says:

    Dave,

    It can be a bloody awful thing. Being separated by anonymity and often distance makes it an awful lot easier to say hurtful things. Sometimes, meant to be hurtful. Sometimes, not. Sometimes, merely expressing “I am hurt” using hurtful language as the only way. Sometimes, just to be a dick. But that separation also removes the natural methods of smoothing ruffled feathers. Concilliatory drinks cannot be traded. That look that says “OK – that went too far, let’s cool it” can’t be exchanged. No shoulders can be clapped, “Screw it, let’s get some wings in and see if we can’t find some Sci Fi” cannot be said.

    Everything that can be said to hurt can be said and said very effectively over the wires. The things we do to mend those broken fences basically do not work.

    In case that wasn’t enough for you, the various spider, WayBackMachines and so on are forever recording for posterity everything that’s ever said, so even if the person you pissed off forgave you, there’s are a rough half-billion still ready to take fresh umbrage at your every word.

    In closing, the First Amendment stops the Government from muzzling you. It does not give anyone the right to barge into a blog and start being a dick. Blogs are private property. In fact, most of the Internet is private property. Your First Amendment Rights give you zip-zero-nada right to say what you feel in someone else’s house, blog, place of work, or anything else. They just stop the Government from shutting you up, unless you want to protest near the President. Then you get to stand in a cage a couple of miles away. But at least it’s called a “Free Speech Zone”, just to point out the New Post 9/11 Differences.

  29. Dave says:

    I’m an odd duck these days I guess. I prefer honest hatred to fake civility any day of the week.
    I’ve been personally insulted a number times in online discussions. Doesn’t bother me a bit.
    As far as a half billion taking umbrage, at something, I’ve written online. I could care less. I’m never going to meet those people.
    As to the private property and 1st amendment aspect. Bloggers, forum moderators etc. can freely edit and delete comments that they believe go too far.
    I used to moderate at a number of forums, and I had to keep the fights from getting too far out of hand.

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