Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I saw this linked on Hecate's Crossroads. And I've linked to LTC Grossman's Wolves Sheeps and Sheepdogs for a while. This post is related.

And here is the money quote, speaking of a conversation with a hoplophobe:

It was because the beliefs the ignoramus was spouting were only surface structure; refuting them one-by-one could do no good without directly confronting the substructure, the emotional underpinnings that made ignoramus unable to consider or evaluate counter-evidence.

The need, here, was to undermine that substructure. And I saw the way to do it. This is what I said:

“You speak, but I hear only the bleating of a sheep. Your fear gives power to your enemies.”

Ignoramus typed another sentence of historical ignorance. My reply was “Baa! Baa! Baaaaa!”

And another. My reply was more sheep noises, more deliberate mockery. And you know what? A few rounds of this actually worked. Ignoramus protested that he wasn’t a sheep. At which point I asked him “Then why are you disarmed?”

I likey. It is a bit harsh, but very effective, and the author admits as much. We walk around in a wondrous time. For thousands of years interacting with other people was much more dangerous. The world is more civilized in many places now, and has been for a while. But 'more' doesn't mane 'completely' or 'permanently' or 'at all times.' And you can't go around ignoring the exceptions just because you want to, or have gotten away with it for so long. People are people. It is good they are less barbaric for the most part, but you can't escape the margins forever.

No comments: