Well this is difficult
November 7, 2009
I wrote a post this morning in twenty minutes. It’s quite nice, and well worth a read. Except it’s rooooooood as hell. Not really sure how it’s even possible to explain to someone why they are being a total idiot, without using the actual words.
“Pardon me John, but you have shit encrusted toilet paper stuck on your head”. Is there any tactful way to say that? Suppose one could direct John to a mirror and let him figure it out. But suppose John looks in the mirror, sees shit encrusted toilet paper perched on his noggin, and thinks that’s the latest fashion? If he was capable of finding poo-poo chapeau in his closet, wouldn’t he have already taken pains to remove it himself?
Somebody has to actually tell him, “John, that shit encrusted toilet paper? It stinks.” He has to be told. By somebody else. I’m convinced that tactful people could find a way to explain which didn’t hurt his feelings, but what if the problem is that John is being a non-logical idiot who has the IQ of a gnat? And that gnat-like nature is what caused the problem in the first place? That’s the problem with being a feminazi, I’m always looking for original cause. The cause of my angst is never John performing some stupid behavior, because all humans can be expected to make mistakes from time to time. The cause is John being so stupid that he deliberately chose stupid behavior despite a thousand exhortations to the contrary. Feminazis are a tad on the picky side.
Anyway. This stupidity is causing other people harm, so of course John must be informed at once, post haste. But how does a tactful person handle that situation? Should we assume John desires to cause harm? Or should we assume that John might eventually appreciate being told, even though in the short run his precious fucking feelings are going to be hurt, and badly? Other people manage to discuss highly contentious issues without the fire department on standby, so what am I missing? Guess that’s why miss manners suggests only addressing the behavior, but uh, the behavior itself is stupid, also. So, really, what’s the difference? I guess stupid people don’t notice that it was their own choice to choose their behavior, and it was actually necessary for them to consider other options first. And they still chose the stupid.