Monday, March 26, 2012

Got Claire?

It's been an easy time to be down, lately.  It's depressing to watch the considerable traction that the professional race-baiters have been getting in making the Trayvon Martin case into something it's not.  (Seriously, does Jesse Jackson ever tire of his all-but-patented "what does it take to get you honkies to start my race war for me?" message?)  Or the transparently coordinated push among the victim-disarmament crowd to use that same "multiple-meme-perfect" case to destroy one of the few vestiges left of law that might actually protect the individual from the state ("castle doctrine/stand your ground"), as well as hack at the progress that's been made in CCW reform across the country over the last quarter-century.  All while Gunwalker continues to decay after its effective rug-pulling ceremony courtesy of "the opposition party" (which of course isn't), while the "give war a chance" crowd relentlessly beats the drum on Iran, while the normal election cycle progresses into the predictable "okay, playtime's over now, so STFU about these tired concepts like Constitution and reform;  here are the candidates we pre-ordained in the first place and you'll vote for one of them and like it, 'cause what else you gonna do, natch" period that leads us into National Public Masturbation Day in November, and while the drone army gears up to deploy stateside, without apology or even a modicum of Vaseline. 

And this is in addition to the "as always" general onslaught of tyranny that we get every damn day:  criminalizing everything from food to finger pointing, more spying and surveillance, more insistence that Our Betters will handle us from cradle to grave...and continual promises of getting it more, longer, harder, just as soon as humanly possible.

Yeah, it's easy to get depressed.  Furious, even.

Just when you need her, enter Claire:
Why do we choose — and it is a choice — to be so freaking grim? Why do so many of us feel that if we’re not at some psychological watch-post 24 hours a day we’re somehow failing in our duty to Penny freedom?
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Years ago, for me at least, it was Claire who really opened my eyes to the horror, and since then has reliably provided perspective on staying true to the goal in the face of the horror.  Because the goal is not to defeat "the enemies of freedom"--much as that might feel awfully satisfying--the goal is to live free.  I need to be reminded of that, and there's no one like Claire to do it.

Joel, as he does with some regularity, adds equally indispensible context to the basic observation:
George Herbert, whoever he was, said "Living well is the best revenge." I have found that true. So many people, too many of whom have Internet pulpits from which to scream, have not quite grocked that simple fact and spend their time hollering about "lines in the sand" and such. That has its charms, and I've done it myself, but what does it really accomplish? If the enemies of freedom are really evil, in their effect if not their stated intentions, what good does it do to structure your whole life around hating them for it? That only makes them important and importance is, after all, exactly what they want. Yes, activism has its place - god bless the activists. But a good belly laugh is also an excellent answer to their depredations. The one thing a bully - especially one who's bullying you for your own good - can't STAND is to be ignored. Or noticed only to the extent of laughing at them.

Yes.  And I do understand that, when I can take a deep breath, let go, and remember why all this matters.  When I'm strong enough to do this, I'm not only a lot happier, but I'm a hell of a lot more effective in persuasion and approachability in the bargain.  I'm also better for my wife and girls.  "Set condition Yellow, and carry on."

Claire, Joel:  I needed this today.  Thank you.

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