I’ve been getting my panties in a wad over a variety of news articles in the past few days. I finally decided on one to rant over in my blog. I have chosen to be openly angry about the shooting at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas. I am angry at two sets of people: People who bully and bait, and people who take the bait and try to turn tables on bullies with weapons.
You know, the world would be a better place if we could all live by the rule: Don’t be an asshole. Just don’t be an asshole. How hard is that? Isn’t that what Hammurabi’s Code, the Ten Commandments, and every other set of moral guidelines boil down to?
But since people are having such a difficult time, I’m going to make a little list here to help.
Ways to Not be an Asshole
- Don’t make fun of people
- Don’t make other people’s suffering your entertainment
- Don’t try to humiliate people for fun and/or sport
- If you know someone has a sore spot, don’t poke on it
- If someone pokes on your sore spot, don’t shoot at them
- If someone makes fun of you, don’t try to kill them
- If you are angry or sad about something, don’t try to kill the people around you to make yourself feel better–or humiliate, embarrass, shame, or otherwise make people feel worse, to make yourself feel better
- Don’t start physical altercations
- Don’t threaten to kill, maim, rape, or otherwise hurt people
- Don’t get mad because someone else has something you want
- Don’t get mad because someone else has something you thought should only belong to you (remember Junior High, when Gretchen bought the same sweater you had, and you lost your damned mind because ONLY YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO GET TO WEAR THE CUTE SWEATER?! It’s the same thing with civil rights and religious liberties. We can all walk into Target, and we can all buy the same sweater, and sometimes it’s going to look better on Gretchen. Grow up.)
- Mind your own business
- Don’t take your loaded weapons into Chipotle and terrify people just because you can
- Don’t use “it’s a free country” to validate your actions like you are a freaking seven-year-old telling someone they aren’t the boss of you
- Don’t behave like the world is your personal Jerry Springer show
- If you are in a position of authority, don’t mistreat and/or kill people because you can
- If you are in a position of financial power, don’t Marie Antoinette people
- Don’t bully people
- Don’t kill the people who have bullied you
- Don’t talk on your cell phone in public restrooms
- Don’t be rude to strangers
- Don’t yell at customer service people/bank tellers/waiters/teachers/anyone just because you need to get something off your chest
- Don’t abuse people or animals
Feel free to print that up, fold it, and keep it in your pocket. If you find yourself wondering, “Am I behaving like an asshole?” Pull out the list and consider if your actions either fall into, or adjacent to any of those categories. Proceed, or change course as needed.
I would address Pamela Gellar, that you don’t change religious fanaticism through provoking fanatics to do what their holy books and/or leaders tell them to do, but you can’t talk sense into crazy, and she is clearly as crazy as a bedbug, and also an asshole. You don’t save lives by provoking a war. You don’t keep safety by inviting a threat.
Just act right, people!
(Here I add the caveat that we cannot ignore world problems, and we cannot ignore how masses of people are being abused and tormented. We must shine a spotlight on humanitarian issues if we are ever going to solve them, but we solve nothing by stooping to schoolyard dirt kicking.)