Dumbing Down Ignorance
April 26, 2017
Yesterday, I was sitting in a bar, minding my own business (no, this isn’t the beginning of a bad joke), when a Trump voter sits down next to me and proceeds to complain about the inherent unfairness in his world. I’ve known this gentleman for years and we’ve “had words” on occasion. I think he’s an intellectual wanabe without the talent or education to complete a thought and he, probably, thinks I’m an elitist who feels his fucking liberal education and luck make him smartest guy in the room.
We both could be on to something.
So, this guy, let’s call him Dick, tells me a mutual acquaintance just called him a communist and he really took issue with the accusation. I could tell is was bothering him so I offered my usual new age sensitive guy support. “Dick, you’re not a communist, you’re and asshole,” I said and ordered another round.
“Yeah, I can accept that,” he countered, “but a commie, listen…”
And he launched into filibuster mode.
Like all far right whack-a-doddles, Dick has two communication modes: staccato and filibuster. Staccato is used for information interchange and validation. For instance:
“That new bartender, she’s got a great ass,” Dick declared while tucking half a bag of corn-nuts into the corner of his mouth.
“Yeah,” I agreed – trying not to look at either Dick’s salt covered face or the bartender’s backend.
Quick, short sentences, back and forth – staccato.
In filibuster mode, he just talks and talks. Any attempt to interject, respond or otherwise participate in the “conversation” is ignored. The object of filibuster mode is to hold the floor until there’s no one left to argue with – then declare a win.
Typically, I tune out during filibusters. This time, just before going into ignore mode, I thought, “Here we go, money, guns and women.” I was, blissfully, not listening to a word he said by the time I found the bartender, focused on her eyes, and ordered us another round.
“So that’s it,” Dick concluded. “They want to take my money, my wife and my guns. So, why would I be a communist?”
From deep within ignore mode I noticed a pitch change that meant a question was dangling, switched modes and gave the only response I could, given that I hadn’t been listening, “Dick, you’re not a communist, you’re an asshole.”
“Yeah, right, great ass,” was his response. I guess he wasn’t listening to me either.
There we sat, drinking in middle America, two guys who didn’t agree on anything except for our most primitive male dictates. Talking, not communicating. Sharing the timeline because that’s what’s in common. Gov’t Mule blasting on the jukebox, Trump yelling at Canada on the TV above the bar.
A stark, yet goofy, Trump era American Gothic.
The timeline has spanned one-hundred-sixty-nine days since the Donald was elected, and I still harbor no interest in what the Trump voter thinks or wants. Good conscience, prevents complicity with anyone complicit with Trump’s racism or misogyny. Fuck ‘em.
The republic expects the Trump inflicted wounds to heal very slowly.
In Peace and Justice,
As it turns out, no one called Dick a communist; they called him a Russian dupe. Dick just assumed that Russian meant communist because he stopped listening to real news many years ago. Yeah, he remains a dumbass and I, apparently, will drink with anyone. People make little sense.