Tilting At Windmills: How To Turn Just About Anything Into A Civil Rights Issue

 

defiance-386x500In my opinion, and especially with Donald Trump in the Oval Office, we all just don’t do enough public protesting, and I suspect it’s because we tend to think that we are just too busy working to pay our bills and to keep food on the table. But this is too bad because the two goals need not conflict, and can in fact be pursued simultaneously and with little extra effort, simply by making a conscious decision to re-purpose into spontaneous mini-protests all our mistakes, bad habits, shortcomings, etc. — basically, all of the ways we might frustrate, annoy, or cause discomfort to another person in some way — and this simply as we go about the ordinary humdrum business of our daily lives.

A few examples will make the general point. Imagine you or others saying any of the following under suitable conditions:

“Defend free speech by farting — often, loudly, odorously!”

“I’m chronically tardy in protest of the Trump Administration!”

“Their armpits stink in defiance of the way animals are systematically abused.”

“What do you mean you forgot to invite me to the party as a gesture of good will toward all sentient beings????”

“Your willingness to just accept that I’m a terrible kisser in the name of Nuclear Arms Reduction is a noble sacrifice for a worthy cause.”

“I have not shaved yet today because I’m hoping it will help raise awareness for diabetes.”

“Let’s all show our disapproval for Trump’s sexist behavior by talking too loudly on our cell phones in public!”

Now, you may find this technique a bit odd, but that’s probably just because it’s such a great idea. Great ideas always seem a bit odd at first, until they catch on and then everybody’s like “wow, that’s a great idea!”

Or maybe you think it’s comical? I agree! Which is partly why I think it can be so effective too. Nothing starts a conversation like a good joke — especially a good fart joke! Jokes always set everyone at ease — especially fart jokes! — and make it easier to keep the conversation on a friendly, collaborative track, rather than letting it veer off into mayhem, murder, or negative attitudes.

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The link between a symbol (green light) and it’s meaning (go/move forward) can be completely arbitrary. Image Credit: Pixabay

One thing to notice with all this is that the link between a given act of protest and the thing being protested can be completely arbitrary. It can be based on nothing more than the occasional need for a good excuse for some random gaffe or foible that might otherwise make you look ignorant, incompetent, or insensitive.

Looking through the examples above, although farting may plausibly be a form of free speech (especially for anyone who talks out of his ass — badump bump!), what’s really the link between animal abuse and stinky armpits? Or between beard stubble and diabetes? None, really, but that’s OK, because the protest is a symbolic gesture, and symbols are often quite arbitrarily linked to what they symbolize.

Consider, for example, that a green traffic light symbolizes that it’s time to move forward through an intersection, but it does so purely by convention and not for any obvious connection between green and forward movement.

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Why does this circle with lines in it symbolize peace? Image Credit: Pixabay

Or notice that only rarely do words have any clear connection to the meaning they symbolize. For example, the word snow itself isn’t cold or white or fluffy, but we have no problem using this word in English sentences as a linguistic symbol for the actual cold, white, fluffy stuff. And consider that the famous peace symbol is just a circle with some lines in it (flowery lines in the one shown here). What does that have to do with peace? Again, the connection between the symbol and its meaning is arbitrary and conventional. So why not take advantage of that basic semiotic principle in order to be more politically active?

In summary, political activism need not be limited to voting or riding 15 hours on a bus to attend a rally in Washington, DC. Virtually anything that someone else finds unpleasant in some way can be re-purposed and politicized into a Civil Rights issue of your choosing.

One caveat: the people that you annoy, frustrate, etc. in this way are probably not going to like that you’re doing it and will likely try to fight back and do their own counter protesting. They may try to trivialize your protest or characterize it as “silly” or “childish” or both. They may try to convince you that you are “insane”, or being “utterly ridiculous” or “infantile” or “irrelevant” or “acting like a complete fool” or making “mountains from mole hills”, a “tempest in a tea cup”, or “tilting at windmills”.

But don’t listen to them. Of course they will say these kinds of things. When they do so it likely means that you’re protesting effectively. Especially if they play the “tilting at windmills” card — that’s when you know you’re doing it right!

What about you? Can you think of any more examples to add to those shown above? If so, please let me know in a comment!

 

 

 

 

Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience Axiom: Why I Am Willing To Go To Prison To Defend The US Constitution

Henry_David_Thoreau_210x259“Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison” — Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience, 1849

Yesterday I confessed in public to (non-violently) stealing a laptop from a company that just fired me because I’m autistic. This laptop contains protected customer information (e.g. Social Security Numbers) of a great many of my ex-employer’s valued customers, several of whom happen purely by chance to be the same individuals that gang raped me last year (the database is huge, so it’s actually not that strange a coincidence).

(Surprise, surprise, motherfuckers! Betcha didn’t see that one coming.)

Oh, relax — they’re the criminals, not me. I’m actually the last person who would cause any mischief to these people with that data. Yes, I have the data and the laptop, but both are very, very safe, and simply possessing it is all I will ever actually do with it. I’m autistic, for crying out loud, and I take data security seriously in a way only an autistic person could do so. But here’s the thing: I’m not allowed even to possess this data. That’s what you call a cyber crime! That is illegal! I’m an outlaw right now, as we speak! Quick! Somebody report me to the FBI! (Click this link to go to the FBI Submit a Tip page.)

Now, you’re probably wondering why I’m doing this. Well, let’s start with this:

In my opinion, President Donald Trump is an unmitigated asshole who should have bowed out of the 2016 Presidential race the moment the whole world heard that Access Hollywood hot mic recording of him saying “grab’em by the pussy”. This misogynistic hate speech is everything that any of us needs in order to be done with him as a President. Every day that this deranged, self-entitled hand-rapist remains in the Oval Office, “We the People” of the United States of America insult every girl child on Earth — all of our daughters, sisters, cousins, and future mothers, aunts, and grandmothers — and menace them with a lifetime of abuse ranging from casual disregard to sexual slavery.

That right there is all the reason any of us needs to start (non-violently) refusing to cooperate with the US Government until we redeem ourselves by ousting him — immediately. Donald Trump’s documented misogyny is sufficient reason right there for me to keep this laptop and its data (again, non-violently).

[Disclaimer: To be clear, I abhor violence and am vehemently opposed to any sort of violent behavior, and am advocating here for a strictly non-violent, totally naked-faced (no masks, please) sort of non-cooperation with the Trump regime — a la Thoreau, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, etc. Organizations like Antifa and ISIS are evil, to my view — just mindless and dangerous rage junkies looking for a way to catch a good buzz. The only “weapon”, so to speak, I will ever use is my sense of humor.]

Now, you may be wondering at this point what any of that has to do with the “so to speak” rape I endured last year. The answer is everything. The only reason it happened is because the lawyer who organized it works for the same famously anti-labor law firm that Trump’s current acting EEOC Chair Victoria A. Lipnic used to work for: Seyfarth Shaw, LLP. On February 9, 2017, Ms. Lipnic actually gave a pep rally (see YouTube video shown below) to all of Seyfarth Shaw, during which (see min 9:00 in the video) she suggested to all of her former colleagues that now that she’s in charge, the whole notion of Equality would be tossed under the bus whenever it was necessary to do so to carry out Trump’s racist, misogynist, anti-labor policies. The upshot here is that I got raped (“so to speak”) last year as a direct result of Trump’s hatred toward anybody who isn’t a rich, white, male willing to obey Trump’s every infantile whim.

In fact, the real question on the table here is not why I am willing to go to prison to (again, non-violently!) defend our Constitution, but why aren’t you?

Please Don’t Send Me To Prison For Being Autistic Too! — An Open Letter To The Folks Who Just Fired Me For Being Autistic

Dear Folks Who Just Fired Me For Being Autistic,

Please don’t send me to prison for being autistic too!

What’s that you say? “Why would we do that?”

Heck if I know. Why did you fire me for being autistic? What’s your problem with autistic people anyway? Just how deep does your hatred go? Would you actually send me to prison just for being autistic? Do you really hate us that much?

I’ve decided to test this hypothesis. My goal here is to see if you’ll actually send an autistic man (me) to prison simply because he’s autistic. I don’t believe you will, but feel free to prove me wrong.

In order to conduct this test, I’ve decided to simply not return the company laptop you lent me when I started working for you last October. Yup, I’m going to just keep the darn thing, along with all of the protected customer data in contains and to which I still have free and easy access — including the birthdays and Social Security numbers of everyone who raped me last year, all of whom happen to be in your database. I won’t name all of these individuals quite yet, but you can confirm that Frederick T. Smith (CC’d) is in there. I’m pretty sure the simple fact that I know that will be enough to give probable cause to law-enforcement agencies to investigate, and all you folks (or Mr. Smith) need to do is report the crime.

But please don’t do that. Instead, just please recognize that I don’t actually deserve to go to prison simply because I’m autistic; nor do I deserve to be fired for that reason. What I’m really hoping you’ll do is just recognize that you shouldn’t have fired me for being autistic in the first place, and then rehire me back to my job, which was really perfect for me — it was perfect both for my autistic limitations, and it was perfect for my technical skills as well.

Instead of sending me to prison for being autistic, please just let me come back to work.

Sound good?

Let the experiment begin!

Sincerely,

Daniel L. Scholten, a.k.a. “The Walrus”

 

 

Calling All Slackers: How to Get Paid and Save the World by Being Lazy, Ignorant, and Self-Entitled

two_boys_poverty_316x210Do you need money? Do you want to help save the world? Are you lazy, ignorant, and self-entitled? If so, then today is your lucky day, because I have recently invented an easy way to re-purpose your currently worthless and embarrassing slackritude into a powerful world-saving money-machine.

[Note: if you are just too educated, hard-working and humble to qualify as a slacker, then don’t despair. You can still use this method, but you probably won’t make as much money. But then again, you probably don’t need money because you have a real job, and in any case you can still feel good about helping to save the world.]

Slackers have always been a persecuted minority. Most of us despise slackers and see them as merely human-ish. They are forced to live in a world that reviles them, marginalizes them, insists that they work for a living like everybody else. Everywhere are advertising messages, movie characters, and other constant reminders that all so-called “real” human beings are hard-working, educated, and humble; and that slackers are somehow defective, inferior sub-human beings. Slackers are systematically denied opportunities to relax, enjoy, love, and really for no other reason than that they earnestly believe that the rest of us owe them a luxurious lifestyle.

If you are lazy, ignorant, and self-entitled (or simply want to save the world), then get ready to transform your life, turn the world on its head, and become the envy of everyone who is too proud to accept charity.

Introducing: Diversity Acceptance Consulting

Diversity Acceptance Consulting is a totally new profession that I am currently inventing  by myself (but only because I haven’t yet been able to entice anyone else to invent it with me). It is nothing less than a way to fix everything wrong with you by re-purposing or up-cycling it into a professional credential. Although in this post we are looking at the particular credential package of laziness, ignorance, and self-entitlement, literally anything and everything about you that may be viewed by others as weird, strange, foreign, yucky, gross, offensive, unattractive, inappropriate, or somehow undesirable can be used by you to do Diversity Acceptance Consulting, if you so choose.

Here’s how it might work if you are lazy, ignorant, and self-entitled:

Whenever a so-called “normal” person — educated, hard-working, humble — becomes aware of your lazy, ignorant, and self-entitled ways, they are presented with a wonderful opportunity to practice and develop their own ability to become aware of, understand, and accept someone they currently despise. But that way of describing it suggests that you as a slacker are somehow constrained to the role of passive bystander. With that way of viewing it, you’re just sort of there by accident, slouched on a couch littered with candy wrappers, binge watching Downton Abbey, and waiting for your soul-mate to break into your home and kidnap you; and whether the so-called “normal” person is even aware of this opportunity, and actually sees it as such is entirely up to him or her.

But you don’t have to be so passive. Even though you are a slacker, there is really nothing stopping you from taking an active role in the encounter. You can literally choose to take control over the situation and guide it proactively toward success. For example, you can simply tell the other person that your own slackrositous magnificence is an opportunity for them to practice and develop their ability to be aware of, understand, and accept boorish space-wasters such as yourself. For example, you might say to them something like,

poor-child_210x224Hello. I am a professional Diversity Acceptance Consultant, specializing in raising awareness, understanding, and acceptance of people who are lazy, ignorant, and self-entitled like I am. Basically, it’s my job to help hard-working, educated, and humble people such as yourself to become aware of, understand, and accept that people like me are perfectly normal human beings who just happen to be lazy, ignorant, and self-entitled. If you see value in your own ability to be tolerant towards people who are different from yourself, then you may wish to become one of my clients and pay me to help you further develop your own awareness, understanding, and acceptance of people like me.

Now, that’s really a hypothetical example. Here is the real deal:

If You Like This Idea, Please Pay Me For Sharing It With You

dscholten 8-8-15Hello. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Daniel L. Scholten, a.k.a. “The Walrus”, and I am a professional Diversity Acceptance Consultant, specializing in halitosis acceptance. What that means is that it is my job to help people such as yourself to become aware of, understand, and accept walrus breath as a perfectly normal part of the human experience. If you value your own ability to be tolerant towards people who are different from yourself, then you may wish to become one of my clients and to pay me to help you develop your own awareness, understanding, and acceptance of people struggling to survive with breath that can ruin photographs while living among people who can be french-kissed immediately upon waking.

If you would like to pay me for this service, which I provide to my clients in part by refusing to brush my teeth and by chewing plenty of fish oil capsules and raw garlic, then please visit my How to Hire Me Retroactively! page and follow the instructions there.

If You Really Like This Idea, So Very, Very Much That You Too Want To Get Paid And Save The World With Whatever Is Unique About You

If you love as much as I do this idea of Diversity Acceptance Consulting, and you want to get started in this profession, then this is your invitation to do so. And here is one basic way to do it (you are welcome to invent your own way):

  1. Identify your own specialty or specialties: make a list of everything you’re ashamed of, embarrassed about, etc. — the stuff that makes you weird, offensive, or otherwise rejectionable. These are your credentials as a Diversity Acceptance Consultant; this is your platform, your own unique area of expertise. Note: If you really can’t think of any reason that someone might reject you for, then you can use “in deep denial about how others see me” or maybe even manufacture the aforementioned halitosis credential by refusing to brush your teeth and chewing fish oil capsules and cloves of garlic on a regular basis. There are surely other credentials you can simply adopt as well.
  2. Take a proactive role in presenting your credentials to others as opportunities to increase their awareness, understanding, and acceptance of people who share your credential or credentials.
  3. Ask them to pay you for this service.

A few additional points: I view the development of the Diversity Acceptance Consulting profession as an open source project, by which I mean that nobody actually owns this amazing idea it, and anybody is free to contribute to its development and evolution, provided she or he does not try to take control over the project and turn it into some closed source thing.

Have fun, and let me know what you think!

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