Stocks

The eighth amendment, which outlaws cruel and unusual punishment, is worded in such a way that its application is entirely subjective. Whether that is deliberate or not, it has been interpreted as a blank-check the courts can use to apply our “evolving mores of decency” and because of this, the traditional punishment of being locked in stocks in the public square, where your fellow villagers can pelt you with rotten vegetables — has been entirely abandoned.

This is a mistake; a deadly-serious, no-good, heap big mistake. The stocks were used to re-awaken, where re-awakening was necessary, a sense of personal shame. Now that we’ve gotten rid of the stocks, we have gotten rid of shame. Shame is now being defined for us by those who are incapable of feeling it. Our society has become a topsy-turvy sort of mudpuddle, in which you’re supposed to feel all this shame when you smoke cigarettes, because of what you’re doing to your lungs, but none at all for smoking pot. We’re supposed to think our “carbon emissions” are bringing about the end of life on the planet, because we haven’t been taxed enough…if we just pay a lot more money for the privilege of polluting, the planet will be saved.

In dozens and dozens of other ways, this vacuum of real shame has brought about a scarcity of quality thinking and everyday common sense. We need shame; we need to bring the public-square stocks and pillories back. Let no one oppose me on this argument, without first seriously evaluating the list of people I would have sentenced to them. Spare me your phony righteous indignation…and go get your rotten cabbages ready. These people should all feel a sense of shame that, obviously, they don’t feel. The rest of us are as guilty as they are, for as a community we have failed to hold them responsible.

Stocks1. These a**holes who keep calling my cell phone from (877) 888-8888.
2. People who voted for Obama because “There’s Just Something About Him!” and they “Really Want(ed) To Be Part Of This!”
3. Lawyers who play jury-lottery because the law is poorly written…along with the legislators who write laws poorly on purpose to make this possible.
4. Whoever coined that stupid phrase “Too Big To Fail,” and whoever, for whatever reason (aside from sarcasm) uses it.
5. Politicians that block drilling to make oil more expensive, and pretend it’s to preserve “pristine environments” they really don’t care about.
6. Politicians that raise the minimum wage to make labor more expensive, and pretend it’s about “working families” they really don’t care about.
7. Politicians that raise taxes to make business more expensive, and pretend it’s about “the deficit” they really don’t care about.
8. Anybody who blames the savings and loan mess on “corporate greed,” knowing full well about the Community and Reinvestment Act, and saying not one word about it.
9. Politicians who blame budget deficits on taxes not being high enough…knowing full well that the problem is a spending problem, not a taxing problem.
10. Anyone who calls himself an “American” but insists there is some kind of problem when a fellow American makes too much money.
11. Anyone who answers yes to the question “Would you allow your family to die so you can avoid waterboarding a terrorist?”
12. Feminists who reply, without a trace of reservation, that yes there is something sexist about a gentleman holding a door open for a lady.
13. Airline ticket agents who try to play word games with you to get you to give up your seat, when the flight is overbooked.
14. Rebate people. You know what I mean. You have to figure out which number is the product number, you have to send back proof of purchase, do it by such and such a date…and then oops we lost it.
15. Able-bodied people who ride those electric scooters just because they’re fat, and lazy, and want to push everyone else out of the way.
16. Women who go to shopping malls with baby carriages, so they can push everyone else out of the way.
17. Children who push those odious shopper-in-training grocery carts into your ankles.
18. Parents who allow their children to push those shopper-in-training grocery carts.
19. That a**hat who invented the shopper-in-training grocery carts.
20. Anyone who is sociable, precocious, bubbly and outgoing enough to smile into a camera while holding a cell phone up to her (occasionally his, but much more often her) ear.
21. School administrators who are ready to hold a child back a grade when he lacks social skills but can do the work — and aren’t willing to make such an issue over another child who has the social skills but can’t do the work.
22. Single mothers who medicate their sons into the “proper” behavior, just because, as women, they have difficulty relating to their child’s budding masculinity.
23. Anyone who does a lane change without using a turn signal. Where in the world does anyone pick up the idea this is proper?
24. Litterbugs.
25. Anyone who supports gun control…in America.
26. People who text message on their cell phones — while standing in, and monopolizing, a high traffic area.
27. Phlacers.
28. SNUL-ers.
29. WAGTOCPAN.
30. People who open the second jug of milk, when the first jug of milk is already opened.
31. Anyone caught shouting “You go, girlfriend!” in any context.
32. Parents who think it’s more important to teach their kids it’s okay to cry, than how to do important everyday things like changing a bicycle innertube, et cetera.
33. Anyone who believes it’s somehow impossible to oppose Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the Supreme Court without being a racist.
34. People who propose taxes, vouchers, and other new expenses as a remedy for “global warming,” and the people who fall for it.
35. Anyone who seeks to be identified with the “global warming” movement, and at the same time drives a car that gets less than 15 miles a gallon.
36. Moviemakers who shake the camera.
37. People who want to make sure movies are rated “R” if they have people smoking.
38. People who want to make sure movies are rated “G” when they have nice-looking women running around naked.
39. Parents who don’t force their small children to say “please” and “thank you.”
40. People who refer to “Hooters” restaurants as strip clubs.
P.I.T.A.41. Cowardly school officials who punish the “good” kids for defending themselves, and let the “bullies” throw as many punches as they want because, hey, it’s just the way they are.
42. Anyone inside the United Nations, or outside of it, who seriously proposes the next Strongly Worded Letter as a solution to anything.
43. Whoever takes Keith Olbermann seriously.
44. BFFs who talk their married girlfriends into a divorce. When the priest said “let no man tear asunder,” that meant YOU.
45. Parents who allow their children to interrupt, or teach them to expect to be interrupted. Words aren’t noise; they’re meant to convey ideas.
46. Parents who buy their children extra-special gifts, just for not being bad.
47. Able-bodied people who choose to be on welfare.
48. Union workers who are more concerned about doing what the union-rep says to do, than about doing what the boss says to do.
49. Politicians that define every single trifling everyday human complaint as some kind of human-rights social problem that demands government intervention.
50. People who take those politicians seriously.

Update 6/6/09:
51. Anyone caught repeating anything on the list of stupid things famous people have said to get attention. This is a particularly egregious crime of no-shame, because these are things that make so little sense that if an ordinary person gave them voice, they’d be instantly recognized as silly and unworthy of recognition. It is the irony that preserves the luminous power of the celebrity’s name, and that’s why they say these dreadful things. They know they will be remembered a little while longer for saying things normal people can’t say. They also know some deranged people will take what they say seriously, even though it is nonsensical. This kind of arrogance is the whole point of bringing the stocks back. Double-time in the pillory for them.
52. Kids waiting for elevators who, when the elevator doors open, barge on in without giving the people in the elevator a chance to get off.
53. Kids who skateboard in places where skateboarding is specifically against the rules, and then ignore the poor teenager acne-faced assistant manager who’s tasked with coming out and nicely asking them to stop.
54. Parents of any of the above two (#52 and #53).
55. People who concoct needlessly complicated orders at the coffee bars, just so they can be observed by others using these four-and-five-syllable European names…and then monopolizing the barista’s time as they send the drink back again and again because it doesn’t have enough of this, or too much of that.
56. People who leave gum on the sidewalk.
57. People who put the top down and then crank up the bass. Boom…boomboom…boomboom…
58. Men and boys who walk around with their droopy pants showing off their underwear, or heaven forbid, their bare, hairy crack.
59. Whoever speeds up to close the gap, when you signal that you need to get in the right lane to exit a freeway. Studies show this practice is twenty times more dangerous than speeding…and if they don’t say that, they damn well should.
60. E-Girls.

The irony here is that most of these things would never be done at all, if people lived out their lives in solitude. They are, for the most part, social things. They are things people do to impress others.

What we have done, is embrace a new social covenant in which human fellowship offers only carrots for the correct acts…never sticks for incorrect ones. We have made a rather sloppy and half-a**ed effort to resolve never to ostracize each other, to avoid making each other feel bad. It hasn’t worked. Like I said up top — we have abdicated the responsibility of figuring out what’s shameful, and who should be ashamed, delegating that authority to those who feel no shame. The result is that we have encouraged a whole bunch of behaviors in which humans engage, intentionally or otherwise, to bring harm to each other. We have become quite nasty to each other as a direct result of this. Not so much malicious, or even deliberately mean; just inconsiderate more than anything else. We have become quite the festering pit of rancid bu**holes. Shameless bu**holes. This is precisely the antithesis of what was intended.

Update 6/6/09: There may be some, albeit few, who would require further substantiation of what I’m talking about. Or perhaps there are no people who require such stuff…nevertheless…this is such a perfect tie-in.

Like I said, watch me.

After what happened to Dr. Tiller, it’s time to misbehave.

Sometimes, in order to make things happen, you have to be an a**hole.

Kiss my a**, if you don’t like it, suck it. I damned well am going to unilaterally decide to turn off other people’s FAUX Noise. This is an omelet for which I’m willing to break some eggs…

These are the words of Democratic Underground commenter backscatter712, who is bragging on the bulletin boards about a recent electronic purchase that is supposed to be able to power down 95% of all known television sets within some radius of the person who wields it. The plan is that whenever backscatter712 sees a television set in the doctor’s waiting room…or in the hotel lobby…or in the airport…turned to FOX News, the gizmo will be deployed to enforce the decision that the rest of us won’t be watching it on that teevee anymore. The teevee that does not, repeat not, belong to backscatter712. But the “NoFOX” button will be pushed anyway. Hat tip goes to DUmmie FUnnies, via fellow Right Wing News contributor Van Helsing of Moonbattery.

Precisely the sort of sh*t that bolsters my call to bring the stocks and pillories back: Inconsiderate behavior, engaged for entirely social purposes, to ingratiate the inconsiderate person within the ranks of equally inconsiderate strangers. If he were to politely approach the doctor’s receptionist and, minding his P’s and Q’s, inquire “I wonder if we could turn the channel to CNN?” it wouldn’t be worth bragging about. But backscatter712 has a gizmo. He has a button. So the post has to go up. Ooh, look at what I can do! He mirrors what’s happened to the rest of our society, this way. Inconsiderate, pushy behavior brings instant bragging rights. Decent behavior does not.

One Revolution AwayAnd do take a moment to examine the historical context within which he pushes his de-FOX-ing pocket button. Does he mean to silence the opposition because his side just lost an election? NO! His side won everything. They run everything. But the push to silence the other side, is on; stronger than it ever has been before. And if a “please” and a “thank you” is used in the silencing, it wasn’t done right. He said it himself: In order to make things happen, you have to be an a**hole. But the things that are supposed to happen have already happened! He just wants the fun of being an a**hole. And even more important, for his DUmmy buddies to know all about it.

The experiment’s a complete and total failure. Let’s bring the stocks back.

Cross-posted at House of Eratosthenes.

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