I don’t even know how to begin to say what needs to be said. I am tired, like many folks are, of these arguments about when “whiteness” started, who has a right to exist, whether Thomas Jefferson’s achievements trump his bad decisions or if Martin Luther King had an affair. What I want to say is, hey kids, don’t let the man keep you down. It seems I need to lay out, like it’s new, a bunch of stuff we debated in high school civics. Did you know we did that? We debated ideas in high school civics. We heard opposing viewpoints and were sometimes enlightened by them. This is embarrassing, having to elucidate the basic premises of free speech in a country where it was given as fundamental right of existence — not a right given to us by some overriding force — over two hundred years ago.
I know about the rule of endorsing something because everyone else does. I’ve read that human behavior is malleable; with enough prodding, you can get people to do all sorts of unnatural things, endorse any act. Psychoanalysis offers to our culture that humans are irrational, impulsive, taking action from the dank well of the unconscious. It’s that psychological force, really, that has rigged a generation (or two, or three) to go after that pavlovian debasement, the Like button. (Psst! It doesn’t mean they like you, like you.) We’ve been educated using ideas taken from psychology to engender our agreement that free will, choice and accountability are suspect.
Let us start from square one. Let us say that you love bacon. And I love bacon. And then someone comes along, someone really smart, like the CDC, a panel of experts –Who doesn’t like experts? — and they say that bacon is a processed meat product, and processed meat causes cancer and heart disease. All your friends are tweeting about it, there are informational posters about it on the train informing you that it would be immoral to allow people to be harmed by these delicious pork products. You would be remiss if you failed to act and proselytize about the evils of bacon. No, I’m serious. This is a big deal. People are getting hurt.
You organize a rally and designate your college campus a bacon-free zone. Because hashtag bacon. Now, people who care about their bodies know that eggs have recently been exonerated in high cholesterol crime, and grains have been called to the carpet for weight gain and systemic inflammation. Food dyes are implicated in behavioral problems, and processed foods cause obesity. I find it highly suspect that the CDC would issue such a statement right after the Prez’s attempt to ban bacon from prisons because “prisoners don’t like it”, when bacon has been around at least as long as bread. Nitrites and nitrates are the biggest culprits, I say to you when you confront me for eating a BLT on the campus lawn. Yeah, you say, but bacon has that stuff in it. Not mine, I say. I take care of my body, and I wouldn’t eat something like that. I educated myself a long time ago, and I make responsible choices. Shut up, you sexy fat-shamer, you say before running back to the safety of the herd. I lick a delicious glob of mayonnaise from the corner of my mouth.
The next thing that will happen is that a contingent of cancer patients will arrive to join the protest. They will say it was meat and only meat that caused their cancer. Newspapers will run with it, there will be self-satisfied gloating. The next day, a group of scientists will explain how many factors, both lifestyle and genetic could contribute to cancer. The WHO will decry them as frauds and it will prove to be true that at least one of the pro-bacon scientists is cheating on his wife, another on his taxes. Three days later, an investigative journalist will discover that the cancer patients were just actors. Lena Dunham and Al Sharpton will be on CNBC explaining that even though some people are liars willing to destroy the lives of others to get famous, the fact that eating pigs is an abomination in the eyes of Allah has not changed. No wait. Even though some people are liars, that doesn’t change the fact that pork causes cancer. One of the fake cancer patients will get a sex change on live television. And you will be watching, smug and suffering from fatigue, weight gain, and acne while you devour another heap of tofu salad. Mmmm.
Jobs will be lost in farming, meat packing, shipping and truck manufacturing. Grocery stores will lose revenue. There will be a few headlines on how government funding will create green energy sector jobs to replace those lost jobs. I’ll have to drop my martial arts class because of anemia. Gloom will follow us all into our sleep, but we will all be better people, whether we like it or not, thanks to the experts, the State, and Social Justice Warriors like you.
Has it occurred to you that this sounds familiar not because I am an ass hole, but because there is a formula, tried and true. If there is a Man keeping you Down, it isn’t a dark, secret patriarchy. It’s Progressivism, that public arm that confiscated my daughter’s cookies right out of her once-private lunchbox. Progressivism, that public arm which has asked you to wake up and question what’s in your pants, in your heart, in your head, every day. Are you doing it right? What does this beard signal to my female coworkers? Do all chicken sandwiches represent sexual repression? Can I really be a hashtag cop killer with just this rubber dong strapped to my head?
Little sweet child. When you were born, your mother was beatified. Your family’s joy was an idea made flesh. The fact of you brought them to tears. Your mother found transcendent pleasure in the scent of your head. Ask her what the weather was like on that day. She remembers. Ask your father about the unexplainable searing sunrise of pride he felt in the woman who birthed you, and the oaths he would swear upon sight of your perfect fingers. Spirit and biology swirled in the mists of your mother’s eye to coalesce into an absolute truth. No isms were attached, no questions of your comparative value were extant in your glowing little body.
Have you read Saul Alinsky in a show of solidarity with Hilz? You should. Before he outlines how to bring down the establishment, he tells you why. Because you want something different from all those useless sheep of the previous generation, that generation that changed your diapers and told you “no”. They pushed you into establishment activities like Little League and dance class. They wanted you to grow into someone who could take the reigns and be a part of what they had a hand in creating. Every day it’s cozy home life and go to work and watch movies at the megaplex and put gas in the car and buy milk and bread. But you don’t want that. You’re different. You’re different and special and you’re going to change everything. You’re going to change it so hard and so completely that the generation of old sheep won’t be able to get bacon or find a baseball diamond anywhere but Japan, and every dad will get a free boob job.
You may refrain from marriage and babies and baseball, but soccer and new microbrewery conglomerates will still be there to take your cash. You’ll adopt a little fur baby and put it in a sweater because you need something. You will buy groceries at a grocery store. Ikea is still a furniture store. You’ll want dinner and breakfast and lunch and you’ll try to make Swiss chard taste like some childhood favorite. Dear one, give yourself a break. The aim of cultural Marxism is to separate you from yourself so that you are too incapacitated to make distinctions based on direct experience, research or discovery. It is the exact opposite of zazen and the scientifc method. You learned that ideology is the belief that perspective is truth, and somehow this applies only to every person who disagrees with you. Their perspective is suspect, they are not as smart as you, they don’t know this little chestnut about ideology, so they don’t understand their own bovine thought processes. But you do. Everyone that came before you is living in an illusion. Everyone that disagrees with you is being deliberately, antagonistically stupid.
It is entirely possible that you think the Constitution is outdated because you haven’t read it, or didn’t understand it. If I remind you all those old white patriarchal farts were wearing wigs and kitten heels when they wrote it, would you give them a fair shake? It is possible that you will not miss your right of free speech because you are too much of a coward to use it? Go ahead, Pajama Boy, click your new don’t-like button. There is an important tenet in Christianity (and several other religions) that holds that one is not virtuous for doing what is right, but rather for eschewing what is wrong. This idea is called free will, and it is the exercise of this free will that facilitates spiritual growth. That’s why it’s fundamental. With our freedom of speech, we have freedom of ideas. We have room for every genuine iteration of humanity. Without it, you can’t even get a BLT.