For better and for worse

Dear T,

People say the internet is ruining us but I don't buy it. It's definitely ruining some of us. Those of us who are worse would have been watching six hours of tv every day and killing themselves with opioids and cheap beer anyway. The internet makes them look worse but the rest of us are improving.

Take one look at any woman who takes Pinterest seriously and you'll find she's immeasurably better -- so much, in fact, that I've gotten to the point where I can recognize Pinterest queens without seeing them on Pinterest. She finds out ways to make things beautiful. New ideas for how to teach and play with her kids. Places to go and things to do that make your life more meaningful. They compete in beauty tips and cooking with the other women and this competition makes them jealous and the jealousy makes them better.  They have better pictures because they saw someone else with pictures and they couldn't handle her having better pictures.  They want to stab each other but men are more interested in marrying them.

And what can we say for the men? Smart men are reading more newspapers than they ever were before. Not just more news, but news from more sources. They're better at sifting facts and opinions, better at fixing cars and houses, have better muscles when they want them, and in general have gotten too cultured for Saturday Night Live.  There's nothing you can do about the bottom 10% of either sex except sweep them under the rug and hope you never hear from them. The fact of the matter is, the internet has only gotten rid of the rug.  

What the critics of the internet have forgotten is that this bottom 10% is here to stay and there's (at this point) nothing you can do about them*.  You can kick them off Alex Jones but you can't keep them from L. Ron Hubbard.  You can keep them from pages about chemtrails but you can't keep them from Charles Manson, or Joel Osteen, or Mohammed, or Christian Science, or Karl Marx, or Jim Jones, or Heaven's Gate, or The Secret, or Louis Farrakhan, or Oprah Winfrey, or the Episcopal Church.  The gates to humanity were unlocked, and instead of finding the best of us and bettering themselves they spend their time jerking off and threatening the First Lady.  It's what they've always done, what they're doing right now, and what they will always do.  

What the internet and freedom of speech do is bolster the best of us.  They have nothing to do with saving all the lost, or getting them to "see the light," or civilizing them, or teaching them the rules of logic.  As the above list of would-be saviors suggests, freedom means slavery for idiots in general.  Those of us who focus on the random pipe-bomb-mailer going to are missing the point entirely.  We let some part of us go to sewage so the rest of us can make skyscrapers.  We let the ugliest of us criticize beautiful ones so that the beautiful ones can criticize the powerful ugly.  

There is, of course, no guarantee that the best of us will ever come out on top.  We never promised they would, and frequently they don't.  What we want is for them to have a fighting chance.  We believe in criticism from any direction because we're never quite sure who's got the best directions.  Freedom of speech means that the top 20% and the bottom 10% are in a war for the middle 70.  We believe the common man loves beauty and good sense more than he loves villainy and wackadoodles.  It's a gamble we play because the alternative isn't a gamble at all.  The alternative simply means this: that we've thrown off the fight entirely, and prefer for someone else -- most usually a thug and a rapist -- to decide everything for us.  

Your father,

*According to Chris Hayes and the Washington Post, around one quarter of all people shot by police are insane -- a notable public service.  But this is a giant tragedy to the left, so their solution to this problem is to train police officers to molly-coddle these chainsaw-wielders, monkey-screechers, and scarers-of-children; and thus the question of the asylum is passed by entirely.  In other words, incapable of accepting the fact that people who act like animals ought to live in cages or be put down, today's left-winger believes that they should be roaming the streets freely -- and that the people who ought to be jailed are the police.

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  1. The exceptions to the rules rule because the rules (read reality) are cruel and heartless... except with Muslims of course. As a rule, they're not all terrorists.

  2. I came to this son Aug 20, 2020 via your American Thinker article in which you (wonderfully) commented "You can save a people from the government, but you can't save a government from the people" (with the last 6 words highlighted as a prompt to get here).

    Regret that in neither the AM Thinker or this article did you get to the root of the problem. You presciently quote Johnson observations about Geo Washington's 'goodness;" but failed realized that his admiration of 'the people" and their rights concurrently required a respect for and belief that they possessed the final say so (sovereignty) ... and that it does NOT necessarily reside in attempts to further define or limit powers (via Constitutional amendment, Congress action or whatever). Instead, as recognized by Washington, good leadership and its limits rests in themselves, and the assumption that they will be educated; and particularly that they will understand the concept of Liberty (and the limits it imposes when interacting with one another).


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