'Plaint of the Playwright

'Plaint of the Playwright

[ Thursday, October 11, 2001 ]

I got this post yesterday from someone I know. Not a guy I know real well, or at all, but he sent me this because he seemed to think it'd make me laugh or something.

It didn't.

What to do if you happen upon a peace rally by stupid naive hemp-shirt-wearing college idiots, to teach them why force is sometimes needed:

1) Approach dumb rich ignorant student talking about “peace” and saying there should be, “no retaliation.”

2) Engage in brief conversation, ask if military force is appropriate.

3) When he says “No,” ask, “Why not?”

4) Wait until he says something to the effect of, “Because that would just cause more innocent deaths, which would be awful and we should not cause more violence.”

5) When he’s in mid sentence, punch him in the face as hard as you can.

6) When he gets back up to up to punch you, point out that it would be a mistake and contrary to his values to strike you, because that would “be awful and he should not cause more violence.”

7) Wait until he agrees that he has pledged not to commit additional violence.

8) Punch him in the face again, harder this time.

Repeat steps 5 through 8 until they understand that sometimes it is necessary to punch back.

Okay, let's start with the one that really pisses me off:

Approach dumb rich ignorant student talking about “peace”

Excuse me, so all the people who are against an attack are rich? All the liberals are rich? What the hell?

You show me a lower-class conservative, and I'll show you Bush's hired help. I mean, come on, now.

...and saying there should be, “no retaliation.”

Okay, there's that meme again.

"No retaliation."

Which is not the majority opinion.

This is right up there with that other meme (which my mom has been saying a lot lately) "If we're all talking about peace, then we won't be doing anything and this will happen again!"

Whoa. Long meme.

So, obviously, I can't speak for everyone, just me, but I say this:

Don't overestimate the power of the protester.

All this work that people are doing--and understand, I have not been at a rally, I haven't protested, I'm just a mouth--is only reaping the tiniest of results.

So what's to complain about?

Only the freakiest of the group are being interviewed.

Public opinion seems to be on the side of the war.

So why so insecure, dude?

Again, don't overestimate the power of the protester.

And don't underestimate the power of facism.

This week, when I hear people cheering real-life death and succumbing to jingoism, I realised how Hitler rose to power. I understood how facism really works.

Let me break it down.

Naw, fuck that. I'll just hit you with the first rule:

Take an undisputably awful situation or event.

Now, attach your agenda to it.

That's it.

That's all it takes.

So, let's finish up the other thing.

Shall we?

Repeat steps 5 through 8 until they understand that sometimes it is necessary to punch back.


What to do if some All-American Bulletheaded Saxon Mother's Son pounds on you because you believe something different than he does.

Well, since it's already established that violence can sometimes be the answer, you can do the following:

1) Apologize for being goofy and offer him your hand in friendship.

2) When he takes it, have two of your friends grab him from behind and make him watch you.

3) Start punching his girlfriend as hard as you can. Make him watch.

4) He will start to say something like: "But she didn't do anything!"

5) Stop with the punching and explain that, by association, she's just as guilty. Offer him a tic-tac.

6) Continue this until he understands the difference between justice and revenge.


I'm playing their game.

I'm making it personal.

Aw, shit, maybe I am part of the problem.

I've had this movie scene going through my head all day.

See, when you're a movie fan, you not only get songs stuck in your head, but scenes from movies, too.

The scene is from a movie called "The Best Years Of Our Lives."

It's about World War II veterans--one of whom has lost both of his hands in combat--and was, in fact, played by a real veteran double amputee with replacement mechanical hands.

Anyway, the scene is in this bar, and some guy comes up to him--the character's name is Homer--and asks him how the mechanical hands work.

Homer demonstrates by being witty and doing something very complex with them, like pouring a drink or lighting a cigarette, or something.

The guy than says to him something along the lines of how resentful he must be that the army sent him away to war, and something like this happened to him.

The guy then goes on to bad-mouth America and its government, to which Homer says something along the lines of, "You're lucky I don't got my hands anymore, buddy! Else I'd lay you out!"

To which Homer's veteran buddy steps in ("Let me do the honors, Homer!") and punches the guy in the face.

Great scene, right?

And I'm thinking about this today, and I realized:

My god.

I'm that guy.

The guy who got punched, I mean.

And that's what I've been dealing with all week.

I just don't know what to do.

posted by Rob on 3:09 PM | link



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