When everything you say is a witty rejoinder

then-why-are-there-still-wolves-meme-320-px-tiny-Dec-2015-Tetrapod-ZoologyIt must be nice, in a sense, to be sufficiently simple-minded to believe that every analogy, comparison and analysis you create or borrow —  even when every last one is a dismal logical failure — is are not only coherent, but clever. (On top of that, fart jokes and Bazooka Joe comics are, no doubt, a never-ending gift of titillation to abject simpletons.) One such trope that is unlikely to disappear is “If we’re evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?” This is the kind of outburst that, despite being inexcusably stupid on multiple levels, can cause whole congregations to erupt in wild, heartfelt applause.

And on the topic of self-reinforcing inanity, I just read this in one of several manufacturing plants of self-contained electronic ketamine that I really should quit frequenting:

Progressive Contradiction of the day: Parents are irresponsible and should be punished for ‘free-ranging’ kids (letting them play or walk unsupervised and presumably unprotected) but suggesting that pedophiles might pretend to be transgender to get access to your daughter in a bathroom is bigoted.

Where does one even start with tearing apart something so mindless? It’s like trying to explain to a dog that eating cat shit and rolling in sun-baked roadkill in wrong. As much sense as you might make, that won’t trump the dog’s instantaneous, curious, and undeniably strong reward gained by becoming one with filth and rot.

For one thing, the first premise is false. I don’t see either progressives or conservatives as a group making a big deal about others allowing their kids do things unsupervised. Unless I’ve missed something, I no more see this issue as partisan than I view a fondness for orgasms as limited to one party or the other.

For another, the second premise is also false, but more than that it is a mass of confusion. What is bigoted in this whole kerfluffle is the unapologetic conflation of transgender people and sex offenders by those pretending to be concerned about children’s and women’s restroom safety. As with other, more classic forms of bigotry, some of the right-wingers know they are doing it and don’t care, while others are oblivious. There are racists who go on tirades about n*ggers and ragheads only in private, and then there are people who really don’t get that running across the street in response to seeing a black man in a doo-rag and a tank top, or using the word “thug” in the vernacular of the 2010s, is racist.

The second premise also contains a massive red herring. The idea that sex offenders might pose as transgender people to gain access to bathrooms is moronic on its face — we have evidence that it doesn’t happen on any meaningful scale. If this were a widespread phenomenon, we’d already know about it — such tawdry crimes tend to make headlines and earn well-founded outrage.

Here’s my central thesis: The notion that child-molesters are not discouraged by the threat of serious beatings and long prison terms, but might be given pause by a stern warning about going into restrooms corresponding to their birth-certificate gender, is impossibly porous even by the standards of far-right nutjobs. Is this somehow not obvious? If I am a heroin dealer who will very likely do 20 years or more in prison if caught, but I am making a shitboat of money, is a new guideline extending the maximum sentence for narcotics sales in, say, school parking lots on Sundays to 30 years going to make a difference in my vending habits?

Finally, even if both premises were not a wreck, they don’t sum to a contradiction by even the wildest stretch of rhetorical gymnastics. It would not be inconsistent for people to insist that parents keep a close watch on their young kids while simultaneously arguing that it is unfair to transgender people to deny them privileges based on what criminals might do to unsupervised young kids.

Does the social philosopher who produced this drivel also think the following ideas are contradictory?

  • It is a bad idea to allow anyone and everyone to own and carry firearms — some government oversight is needed.
  •  It is unfair to law-abiding gun owners to suggest that some potential murderers might present as sane, law-abiding citizens to buy weapons and go on shooting sprees.

Don’t most right-wing pro-gun people (I’m not opposed to guns or their ownership, with a few caveats) think more or less this way? They give lip service to the need for licensure and background checks, but claim that laws do not and cannot deter criminals from getting and using guns anyway. (One difference between my version and the original, of course, is that I recognize that the second premise has nothing to do with the first and also that it is a load of tripe. It’s well-known that seemingly normal people murder innocent people with guns, just as it’s well known that previously unsuspected individuals molest kids. What perennially, constitutively law-abiding people do is simply not in the equation.)

The remarkable thing about the post is that it really doesn’t stand out from those around it in its glaring idiocy. It’s like being really high in a donut shop after not eating for a day or two — whatever you seize on is going to seem impossibly delicious when you tear into it, even though it’s fundamentally nothing but junk.

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