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July 19, 2013

Overnight Open Thread -- 7/19/2013

Lest you people thought yourselves rid of me, I threw together this crapucopia for your bleary-eyed consumption, since I weaseled out of the job last time. Not to worry, though. Your regular contributor to this space will return in due course upon completion of his duties -- which, as I understand it, are of some import. At least that's the impression I got when I received the following email:

Hey, dirtbag.

Do the ONT. I have a thing.



Of course, knowing my place around the HQ, I eagerly acceded to wishes. So, here goes . . .


As some of you may know, when I'm not slinging hooch down at my local watering hole, I take pictures. And one of the key elements in composing photos is perspective, which also happens to be a key element in navigating life. So, in a sense, photography has a way of helping me to see the world through the eyes of people who experience it differently from the way I do simply because they approach it from a different time and place. As conservatives and libertarians, we're often called upon to try and reason with people with whom we disagree, such as idiots and lunatics. This can be extremely stressful at times, but it helps to keep in mind that those people's perceptions of a given situation are vastly more influenced by the angle from which they view it than they are by the facts surrounding it.


Sadly, not everyone who holds a given view on a matter of controversy does so forthrightly. In the case of idiots and lunatics, you're somewhat obligated to forgive them as their opinions have been brought on by mental infirmity, and thus, can't be helped. On the other hand, some people will adopt and maintain a controversial position for the sake of controversy itself. That's because they're outrage-peddlers and publicity whores, motivated by nothing more than whatever attention they can garner from stupid people by saying stupid things loudly.


Fortunately, there are people in the world whose views haven't yet been solidified by bone-deep stupidity or craven opportunism. They're generally too young to have been thoroughly browbeaten by the domineering, hate-filled adults in their lives, or are too intelligent to be jawboned into accepting and parroting purported wisdom that doesn't accord with their own thinking. As such, they're able to remain objective when confronted with choices and are capable of cutting through the hooey of identity politics and cheap emotional ploys to arrive at sensible solutions on their own.


Now, none of this is to say that there's anything inherently wrong with emotion or unstinting loyalty to ideas. In fact, that's the foundation of the very notion of patriotism -- a trait celebrated by conservatives of every stripe. And I'm hard-pressed to come up with a more rewarding aspect of the human condition than the heart-swell brought on by unconditional love and unblinking devotion.


Unfortunately, human beings are prone to all manner of failings, many of which are brought on by an overweening love of self. The desire to indulge our appetites and validate our sense of vanity in defiance of all commonsense has been the downfall of countless great men and women down through history. People are infinitely capable of convincing themselves that their greatness precludes them falling victim to such things as basic human physiology:

Shortly after winning the beer drinking prize at a festival in Spain's Murcia region, Joaquín Alcaraz Gracia began to vomit.

Before that "he was fine", explained Antonio Alcaraz told Spanish newspaper Hoy.

"He had drunk six litres of beer, and when he won he lifted the trophy.

"Then he just started to vomit without stopping and he never spoke again," Alcaraz said.


Fortunately, most people find better ways to test their limits, and they generally do it by challenging themselves rather than the apex of stupidity. After all, if you manage to drink six liters of beer in twenty minutes, you will have proven two things: 1) You can drink a lot of beer, and 2) you're an idiot. If, on the other hand, you manage to overcome your fear of heights by riding a pneumatic swing over a 1,300-foot cliff, you will have proven that you have more balls than the Cubs' bullpen:

H/T: tmi3rd


When our lives are going well, and everything seems to be falling into place for us, we always manage to convince ourselves that it's because we're so damned cool. And just when we think we've got the whole thing conquered, the world around us has a way of teaching us who's in charge and just how small we are. So, the next time you're tempted to think you're hot shit, you might think of this peppy little ditty and put things back into perspective.


Tonight's ONT brought to you by Hobo Bait:

digg this
posted by Damn Dirty RINO at 10:00 PM

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