Trump’s Impeachment Defense Team

I just read a nice profile piece about the impeachment managers who will be arguing the case to convict Mr. Trump of inciting the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, DC.

Mr. Trump has characterized the House’s subsequent bipartisan impeachment of this crime as a “continuation of the greatest witch hunt in the history of politics,” despite having arguably himself torn open the gates of Hell, summoned forth thousands of angry demons, and then caused them to swarm down upon the Capitol building, where they killed people, injured others, stole and destroyed government property, and committed numerous other disgraceful acts (like tracking human shit around on the floors — YUCK!).

Anyway, I haven’t seen much yet about Trump’s own legal defense team, but if the likes of Rudy Giuliani and Sydney Powell are any indication of what he’ll end up with, I expect the above photo gives a nice approximation of what we can expect.

Is It Possible You Are Correct, And Yet Just Suck At Explaining Why?

Are you tired of futile pseudo-debates with pompous armchair experts who think “research” is what they’re doing when they look shit up on the Internet?

Do you need a quick and dirty zinger that you can use to gracefully exit such a hopeless and depressing energy vacuum, while making clear your own commitment to understanding complex issues by investing in a sincere study of what the actual experts think?

If so, the next time you find your joie-de-vivre being threatened by some Dunning-Kruger deluded poser, try asking him* the following question: Is it possible that you are correct, and yet just suck at explaining why?

Example:

Poser: Coronavirus is a myth! BLOB BLOB BLOBBITY BLOB….!

Concerned Citizen: Hmmmm. Although I agree that, at least in principle, perhaps, in some remote alternate-factiverse that what you appear to be asserting certainly could be the case (mega-ultra-meta-hyper-hypothetically speaking, of course) I must nevertheless admit that after listening to you yammer endlessly on the subject for the past 10 months, I find your arguments persistently unpersuasive. Is it possible you are correct, and yet just suck at explaining why? How about we table this discussion while you take the next, say, year to improve your explaining skills? In the meantime, I’ll try to get by with what the actual experts think about it. Now, moving on to more productive topics, have you heard from Aunt Betty recently? I hear she’s got bunions, ouch!…

I hope that’s helpful!

😁

Notes

* Let’s face it, this is more of a him- than a her-problem. Toxic masculinity strikes again!

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

Also Neck-in-Neck: Above- vs Below-Average Intelligence

Many biological traits follow a so-called “normal distribution” (a.k.a. “bell curve”) across populations, and to the extent that intelligence follows this pattern, then half of all human beings have above average intelligence, and the other half below average intelligence.

Might this explain something significant about the roughly 50-50 split being revealed between Biden supporters and Trump supporters?

Now, to the extent that this coincidence is truly meaningful (quite plausibly not at all, but still), and although I do have my own intuitions regarding which half of the intelligence bell-curve might correspond to Biden- and which half to Trump supporters, unfortunately there’s really nothing about the mere coincidence itself that indicates whether I’m right or wrong in that regard.

So, really, both sides are free to flatter themselves with this observation, and thereby achieve a cozy and consoling sense of smugness and superiority.

Hope that’s useful!

😁

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

I’m Sorry, but My Autism Makes You Seem Like a Moron: Why I Try Not to Stupidity-Shame

I don’t know what my IQ is, but even if it’s perfectly average I figure I’m smarter than half of all human beings. That’s a lot of relatively stupid people I have to cope with on a daily basis, but I try not to whine about it because I figure it serves me right because my own relative stupidity must be dealt with by all of the relatively intelligent people that compose the other half of the population and who have to cope with me on a daily basis.

In the end I guess it all balances out, which is why as a rule I don’t like to make people feel ashamed for being stupider than I am. What’s there to be ashamed of? Relative stupidity is all just part of the Human condition.

But it’s the exceptional rule that has no exceptions at all, and every now and again I will meet someone who really seems to be begging me for just a teaspoon of shame sauce, and in these occasions I like to have on hand a good zinger that can satisfy their craving.

My own version of this makes use of my ASD diagnosis, but the general format can be used with most any condition:

“I’m sorry, but my dyslexia makes you seem like a moron.”

“I beg your pardon, but my ADHD makes you seem kind of dim-witted.”

“Whoa, my hay fever is making you look ridiculous!”

You get the picture.

Hope that’s useful!

 

 

My Excuses Made Me Do It

I have lots of excuses, but nobody likes them. In fact, as a rule, the more someone seems to need my excuses, the less he or she will like them.

I find that weird. If I feel upset by someone’s poor behavior or bad judgement, it always makes me feel better if I know their excuses:

“OH MY GAWD, WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME FOR MY BEST FRIEND!!!”

“I’m sorry! It’s just that he smells so nice and makes more money than you do. Also, he’s better looking, and makes me feel special.”

“Oh…anything else?”

“He’s a good cook.”

“And?”

“And he doesn’t make excuses. He takes responsibility for himself. I find that appealing in a man. In fact, I find that appealing in pretty much everybody.”

“I see. Thanks for explaining that. I feel better now about your leaving me for my best friend. In my defense, I don’t actually “make” excuses either. I mean, I have my excuses, but I don’t make them. They’re just there…a built in part of the world, influencing my behavior, pushing me to do some things, blocking me from others. There’s a lot of them. They’re everywhere.”

“Now you’re just making excuses for your excuses.”

“What can I say, the world is complicated.”

“No, you’re complicated.”

“Yeah, I get that from my mom. We can’t choose our parents, can we?”


Image Credit: yourstagedrama on Pixabay

In Which My Son Discovers Crapitalism

I don’t know why my children hate the grocery store. Is it because I routinely refuse to buy them absolutely everything they suddenly and passionately crave simply because they’ve looked at it? Or maybe it’s because I won’t just let them loose to run around screeching and pulling merchandise off all the shelves. I don’t know. In any case, yesterday I randomly broke discipline and caved into my son’s desperate plea to buy him a toy “dinosaur egg” that came with a small brush and plastic chisel to be used to dig into the dusty grey plaster “shell” thus revealing the tiny plastic “dinosaur bones” that had been entombed therein by the manufacturer. The package promised that once excavated, the bones would snap together to form a little skeleton.

Yes, yes, it was a mistake to buy it; in my defense it was “only four dollars please daddy can we it’s so cool!” Also, it’s been almost two full weeks since Christmas.

At least it made him happy for a little while. He couldn’t wait to get home to play paleontologist, which he did for about 5 minutes before remembering that his real mission in life is to play Roblox, and it wasn’t until several hours later, in response to my announcement that it was bedtime, that he suddenly felt compelled to get back to work on the “egg” and, oh yes of course, on covering our dining table with a layer of gritty dust.

But there’s a happy ending here, as I see it, because as I mentioned the packaging had promised that the little plastic bones would snap together to form a skeleton, and they didn’t. Not at all. Try as he did, the pieces just didn’t fit together, and when he finally gave up he bemoaned his disappointment and frustration. “Wow, I can’t believe it!” he whined. “That was a complete waste of four dollars!”

I hear you, son.

How to Christmas More Effectively

I’ve never been especially good at Christmas, but I think purely by accident this year I stumbled upon a really effective way to go about it and I can hardly wait to do it again next year! It goes something like this:

  1. Start by pretending that Christmas doesn’t actually exist. This is surprisingly easy for most of the year. Just don’t think or talk about it as much as you can. Don’t try to “get ready” or buy gifts for people in advance. If the topic comes up in conversation blurt out “Oh crap, I just remembered that I have an urgent and very private matter I must attend to immediately,” and then run off like your going to “deal with it”.
  2. As Christmas day draws near it will gradually get more and more difficult to ignore it. When that happens it’s actually better to “go with the flow” and act like you’re really good at it and really looking forward to the big day. Be careful not to lie outright and tell people that you’ve bought some gifts for people, but if anybody asks you can put a sneaky look on your face like you’ve been building a secret gift-cache all along and that the intended recipients are going to feel just thrilled when they see what they’re getting.
  3. During this immediate pre-Christmas phase, you may receive invitations to visit relatives, friends, etc. on either Christmas itself, or maybe Christmas Eve. ALWAYS ACCEPT THESE INVITATIONS CHEERFULLY AND WITH GUSTO. Be sure to ask if there’s anything you can bring. All this enthusiasm is crucial because you don’t want give anybody reason to doubt what happens next.
  4. The day before Christmas — so-called “Christmas Eve” — suddenly fall into a deep depression. Now, if you’re like me, you won’t have to fake this because the very thought of having to spend hours and hours making small talk and probably even arguing with other human beings while having exactly zero gifts to offer them while they’re all exchanging gifts with each other and probably offering gifts to me as well tends to hit me like rhinoceros tranquilizer. For example, Christmas morning this year I had a very hard time crawling out of bed and the thought of talking to or seeing anyone that day left me quite speechless and blind (in a manner of speaking).
  5. Allow your depression to block you from calling or otherwise reaching out to anybody, but when they eventually contact you, be sure to respond but sound lethargic and gloomy when you talk. Explain that you’ve never understood Christmas or how to do it right and that you feel overwhelmed and depressed and just need to be alone. If they ask if you have thoughts of harming yourself reassure them that you don’t and that you’ll feel better once the whole Christmas thing has blown over.
  6. After hanging up, rejoice in your release from your Christmas hassles and spend the day studying Spanish, or doing whatever else you’re into.

Hope that’s useful! 🙂

Disclaimer: although in the above I try to use humor to address what I see as the very real problem of Christmas, the sober fact is that depression and especially suicide are no joke, so if you think you are having a psychiatric crisis and especially if you have thoughts of harming yourself please seek medical attention immediately. You may wish to start with the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can call them at any time 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255 to speak with a counselor.


Image Credit: Pixabay

How to Vaporize an Ocean of Sympathy

We’ve all been there. You’re struggling with some insurmountable difficulty, other people see you struggling and suddenly you’re overwhelmed with the outpouring of sympathy. It seems to be coming from everywhere and everybody. Everyone that becomes aware of your predicament wants to help out — perhaps with hug, an earnest look, some good advice — God bless’em. In extreme cases they may try to give you canned goods or antibiotics, but before you know it you’re overwhelmed. You’re drowning in a sea of pathos and you just want to feel solid ground under your feet so you can continue your struggle in isolation and despair.

If only there were some easy way to transform that pesky flood of goodwill into a large puff of vapor that would float gently up and away into the sky, thus leaving you free to obsess about your real problem.

Well, guess what? Turns out there is a way to do exactly that. It’s called ingratitude and it really must be if not the fastest then certainly one of the fastest and most effective ways to encourage — dare I say coerce? — even the most fanatical otherwise-would-be sympathizer to buzz off and sympathize with someone, er, more grateful for it.

As it turns out, sympathy is what economists refer to as a “scarce resource”, and folks (all of us) have to make tough choices about how and when and to whom they’re going to allocate that resource. In making those hard decisions one highly favored piece of information they use is whether and how much gratitude is felt and expressed by the sympathy recipient. A total lack of gratitude — a.k.a. ingratitude — is widely interpreted as a cue to go away and sympathize with someone else.

So, there you have it. No longer need you feel overwhelmed by the sympathy others may express when they observe your struggles. Whenever it all gets to be too much, all you need do is express some ingratitude and believe me they will get the message. If they don’t get the message, then it’s probably because you’re holding back in some way. Maybe you’re being too polite. Maybe you don’t want to hurt their feelings. Maybe you don’t want to seem, er, ungrateful?

Hope that’s useful! 🙂


Image Credit: Pixabay