Should

Posted: May 8, 2011 in Life
Tags: , , ,

Don’t know about you but the next time someone in real life starts a sentence that starts “Wolf, you should…” I’m going to pay real close attention.  Probably the first thing out of my mouth will be “why?”

Followed by “why?”

And the answer would be followed by “yes, but why?”

Like some snot-nosed little kid who truly wants to know, but comes off looking like a little shit disturber.

I’m not talking about logical “shoulds” – they’re welcome.  “You shouldn’t touch the stove when it’s hot” is generally a good idea.  As is “you should save your money” and “you should be careful about what you eat”.  Those are all designed with your well-being in mind.  It’s the moral “shoulds” that interrupt me.  The “shoulds” that get blurted out from some long-held tradition which isn’t easily explained.

Like “you should go to church”.  Or “you should give to panhandlers”.

Or, “Wolf, you should stay married.”

“Why?”

“Cause God hates divorce.”

“Yeah, the Bible says that.  But why?”

“Well….”

“Is it because the culture of the time was pretty lenient towards marriage and divorce, and people had a propensity for taking almost-one-night-stands and using marriage as the moral tool to make that happen?  Is it because all one had to do once the deed was done was say ‘I divorce you I divorce you I divorce you.’?”

“Well the Bible doesn’t give parameters for God’s emotion.”

“Well, do you have emotion?”

“That’s a stupid question.  Of course I do.”

“And do you have reasons for your emotions?”

“Yes, but so what?”

“And are you made in the image of God?”

“Yes, but…”

“And so doesn’t it follow that if you’re made in His image, with emotions that came from Him, it’s likely He has reasons for His emotions?”

“I suppose, but…”

“So aren’t you trying to set yourself up as moral judge here?  Aren’t you trying to paint a multi-coloured situation as black and white?”

———–

Man, I wish I had all of the above handy when I was still going to church and believing that stuff.

But the thing is:  this kind of “should” nonsense happens inside circles of people who aren’t necessarily religious too.  People want to feel morally right about everything, so they deny their feelings, by putting a big old “SHOULD NOT” stamp across their emotions.

The thing that brought this my attention recently was the fortunate demise of Osama Bin Laden.   At first, when I saw updates on folks’ Facebook pages talking about how it’s good that he’s dead, but we shouldn’t be rejoicing, I thought “well, that’s typically a religious -wrongheaded- approach”.   I entered into some pretty heated conversations about it, to no avail.

But then I saw the same sentiment being uttered by non-religious people.  People who felt it was wrong to be happy about anyone’s death.  Even Noam Chomsky has a problem with his death; he tried to paint a comparison between troops going in and murdering Osama (which is clearly what they did, as he was unarmed), and terrorists coming in and murdering George Bush.

What I’m really hearing people say is this:

“I feel good, and maybe even joyful that the murdering terrorist tyrant Osama is dead, but I feel bad about feeling good.”

What nonsense.

Maybe the problem is one of distance from 9/11.  It seems likely that, had Osama been killed within a few weeks of 9/11, very few would have felt the least bit bad about feeling good that he was dead.  That swelling feeling of justified vengeance would have been too overwhelming.  Anyone who raised an objection would be viewed with high distaste; they would have been seen as hopelessly naïve and stupid.

It got me thinking about other things in our lives where “should” takes the place of honesty.  One of the pitfalls of growing out of childhood is that we become so socialized that we forget the joy of saying what we think.   Many old people have figured that out, and have reverted to blurting their honest thoughts, which is off-putting to so many of us.  Can you imagine a truly truthful conversation among your peers?

How many times has “should” ended up shutting your mouth?  I mean fine, you saved on an argument, but at what cost?

This is the kind of stuff I think about, at 2:30 in the morning when normal people are fast asleep.   When I *should* be asleep too.

Comments
  1. Oh, how I disagree!

    Uh…maybe not, but sort of.

    I think the reason why I feel bad though joyous that he’s gone — has nothing to do with “SHOULD” but that being revengeful isn’t everyone’s thing.

    I remember when I was a little girl, maybe ten years old, my next door neighbor Kelly (I’ll never forget this) made the mistake of being yet another person to call me a nigger. Up until that point, I had taken it all — being called a spic, a nigger, being called whatever and I would always bite my tongue and remember that my mom would tell me that the smartest thing to do is to just walk away or “turn the other cheek” — because “that’ll show them you’re better than they are”. You know, the old “stick and stone may break my bones but names will never hurt me” kinda thing. But that day, I’d had it. I was called a nigger so many times and by her as well and I lost it. I kicked her ass. And I mean I beat her to a pulp. And although she deserved it, when I finally pulled myself off of her and saw her broken and bruised and bloodied I’d realized how pathetic she really was. I saw a bully for what she really was — she was nothing. And all she had were words, names and the image of what she pretended to be in the neighborhood. But in the end, she was only human. She was just like me. Not superhuman or better or anything. Just human. Nothing more, nothing less.

    The interesting part is that it didn’t stop others from calling me a nigger or spic or any other thing. My battling Kelly didn’t end the stupid hatred or the possible verbal fights that would inevitably come my way for years to come that revolved around racism or other “isms” for that matter.

    I lost my friend Cesar Murillo in the twin towers. We went to college together. All of us have been hurt and bruised by the events of that day — and all of our reactions will run the gamat for sure. But just because I’m glad I beat the crap out of Kelly in that moment and knew she deserved it — it didn’t feel good like eathing chocolate ice cream or something because I realized she wasn’t some super human devil but in fact just a misguided human. She was a loser. And inevitably in killling Osam Bin Ladin the initial joy of justice wears thin when we realize he wasn’t anything but a friggin’ bully — and inevitably, we all feel good that he’s gone, just like I was glad to see Kelly beaten and put in her place, but we also know that killing him isn’t ending the problem. Killing him only gives us momentary satisfaction, satisfaction we truly deserve, but, we all know it hasn’t ended or solved a thing. And if we thought he was pathetic before, we know it for sure now.

    After beating the hell out of Kelly, I did gain a different perspective on revenge. It’s fleeting, it’s momentary. I have no quarms that I did it, and I wouldn’t change a thing — she had it coming. But am I glad it happened? No. Do I wish it could have been different, like she never called me such a thing or believed me to be something so different and ugly that she hated me to torment me so? Yes.

    I understand fully the conflicted feeling on killing Osama Bin Ladin (I hate even typing his name). I can’t say I wouldn’t have pulled the trigger myself had I been given the chance, but to find a joy in it? …well, that would makes us just as bad as those that kill us. When we forget our own humanity, then people, human-beings become pawns to gain power. That’s what he did to Cesar and all the others that died. They were nothing, not human, not people.

    It’s our humanity, that matters to me. I’m glad he’s gone, but I don’t have to feel good about it — I think it’s healthy when we question such grave actions. It means we still have our human spirit intact. And for that, I will always be grateful.

    Carmen

    Like

    • wolfshades says:

      Yours is a well thought out and considered approach, Carmen. And really, that’s what appeals to me, over the knee-jerk blather about how it’s unChristian or just not right to take joy in the death of any single person.

      Mine is not a gleeful joy. It’s more of a dark one. A final sigh of relief and gladness that he was terminated. Still though, I acknowledge the sentiment, that comes from the anger and overwhelming sadness of 9/11. I frankly don’t know how time has been able to mute the feeling for so many others. It remained stark and constant with me. Those people represented, in my mind, my brothers and sisters. They were family. What Osama coldly did was a grievous front which needed to be answered and finally was. You’re right that it won’t solve the problem of terrorism, or of radical Islam’s ongoing hatred of us. I disagree that his was just the actions of a bully: his actions were as cold-hearted and preplanned as Hitler’s actions. It was a monstrous evil that he not only did, but revelled in. We’re learning that he had more plans for much of the same. He represented a monstrous evil. I don’t believe that being glad at his death makes us anything like our enemies. We don’t continually call for their death. We are happy to co-exist with people of all religions. It’s the radical Wahhabists who believe the only good Jew or Christian is a dead Jew or Christian. There’s a major difference there.

      It’s understandable how we’ll try to comprehend Osama and his ilk within the scope of our own experience and values. In fact, I doubt it can be done. I consider his death like the death of a cockroach: just plain necessary.

      Like

  2. Dave says:

    Good one here, Wolf. I think we might be in total disagreement as to your thoughts on Osama but I should take a few days to collect my thoughts in an effort to present my best argument. I’ll be baack!

    PS…@Carmen…as you’re accustomed to being called names, I’d like to insult you further. The worst I can come up with is you’re….’gorgeous’!! Ha!…..take that!

    Like

    • wolfshades says:

      At least we’re agreed about Carmen. :)

      No worries – disagreement is welcome. (I guess you know that by now)

      Like

      • Dave says:

        Yeah. “Babes with brains” can be, at times, unsettling. Carmen is no different other than she is a self-confessed NY’er. Not a sin, really, unless you live in TX. See, I’m a natural-born illegal Canadian and I’ve already bought into this shit after a mere 25 years and anyone havin’ an opinion contrary to mine is a dumbass. :-D Fer sure.

        Doug, there are reams of evidence proving bin Laden had nothing to do with 9/11. Examining the facts might use up every available byte on your site, but, please, my friend, don’t buy into this hogwash. It’s another NWO lie.

        Please be careful when responding to me. Always put CIAB ( Carmen is a babe) in the header, so I can be certain it’s really you. Things in these here United States can get very suspect at times. The locals are unaware/indifferent as to the situation. The mind-police have used all manner of coercion….2 for 1 tacos, FREE lube and oil (with minimum purchase) or the latest Wal-mart sale-scam (which I’m unable to keep up with.)

        Regardless, our invasion plans are still intact. Please respond via encoded message only.

        Dave

        Like

        • wolfshades says:

          There are certainly reams of opinions out there to suggest bin Laden had nothing to do with 9/11 but no real proof. How do you prove a negative? Can’t tell if you’re kidding with the comment, as you’ve referenced the New World Order – which leads me to believe you’re being tongue-in-cheek about this, Dave. :)

          At any rate, I’m convinced he done it. The intelligence they gathered suggests he done it. The fact that he said he done it convinces me he done it. Granted, there’s no video or audio showing the smoking gun, where he specifically told someone specifically to go and dive-bomb the towers. The same is true of Lenin though too: no verifiable proof that he ordered torture in the gulags, or that in fits of paranoia he ordered the death of millions. Maybe it was bunch of disorderly underlings who did it all themselves.

          You should know better than to talk about our invasion plans in the open like this though.

          Not there are any. No. We’re nice people up here. Very very nice.

          P.S. CIAB

          Like

          • Dave says:

            Do you really believe any reference to the NWO is tongue-in-cheek or irrelevant to this conversation? Doug, if you’d like to pick a fight, select topics relevant to the conversation. You’re way beyond this.

            Like

            • Dave says:

              PS………CIAB!!

              Like

            • wolfshades says:

              Disconnect. Not sure what you mean.
              1) Not picking fights. I made my statement. I just can’t be sure if you’re challenging it. If you are, I’d like to see some substance.
              2) NWO is a joke, in my opinion. Thus the confusion.
              3) What exactly is irrelevant to the discussion? The NWO? You brought it up.

              Like

              • Dave says:

                “There are certainly reams of opinions out there to suggest bin Laden had nothing to do with 9/11 but no real proof. How do you prove a negative?”

                Exactly. Consider bin Laden didn’t lay claim to the occurrence until Oct. ’04. Three years after the fact. These terrorist types have always reveled in taking responsibility a day or two after the event and delight in it. If someone, or many people, persistently call you a ‘potato’ you’ll sooner or later come to believe you just might be one and present yourself as such. He had nothing to lose and everything to gain, in the eyes of his cohorts, by making that statement. He was already a hunted animal. In your words, there is no real proof that he DID IT either. There is a confessional video out there but many purport it to be an Al-CIA-duh fake.

                The boogeyman is officially dead. Who really benefits from that? Not the American public as they’ll now be subject to even more intense government scrutiny in the name of warding off reprisal. ‘Homeland Security’ y’know. The real winners are the Obama administration as the supposed event has boosted their ratings enormously.

                Benazir Bhutto, in an interview with David Frost, clearly stated that Bin Laden had been assassinated years ago and specifically named the assassin. She herself was terminated shortly thereafter and that would indicate, aside from petty political squabbles, that she was speaking a truth uncomfortable to the NWO. A term you seem to have difficulty with.

                Life is an illusion. Acceptance of that is step one.

                CIAB.

                Like

                • wolfshades says:

                  Life is an illusion. Well, I think on that note, we’ll have to part company Dave. I don’t buy that philosophy for a moment. Sometimes – in my opinion – a cigar is just a cigar, and the simplest answers are often the right ones.

                  The whole argument around Bin Laden not being the architect, or that someone other than Muslim extremists took down the buildings, or that certain people had foreknowledge and were removed (or were removed) before they fell, or that Kennedy’s death was orchestrated by a cabal….all of these theories presumes great and amazing feats of organization, coupled with immense powers to enforce compliancy and silence among the organizers. And that is far too complex to be believable. Working in a large organization has proven to me that the most underlying problem (with large organizations) is one of competency: its very nature means some will slip in who will only operate at 50%. This reality flies in the face of successful nefarious intent.

                  So when the President says “we got him”, and various others from the Republican side agrees, and even Al Qaeda agrees, I have no problem accepting that they got him – and not some impostor. And while I agree with you, that the immediate benefit to the American public (really the western world) is hard to see, I will submit that it brings an element of closure to the anger and spiritual bruising that occurred at 9/11.

                  Yes, it was vindictive. It was punitive without benefit of judge and jury. And I only wish I could have pulled the trigger myself.

                  Like

                  • Dave says:

                    Doug,

                    “Life is an illusion” is simply a belief predicated upon observable scientific data. Our concept of ‘objective reality’ can easily be summed up.

                    “Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.”
                    Niels Bohr

                    An esoteric argument which neither of us are likely qualified to pursue, nor is anyone, physicist or not. The God-force will certainly keep that a secret.

                    The JFK assassination is straightforward. Who would benefit from that is the only question that needs be asked.

                    http://www.john-f-kennedy.net/mossadandtheassassination.htm

                    There are no ‘great and amazing feats of organization’ involved here. Over-the-top conspiracy theories aren’t required. A distrust of every and all governments, is.

                    As well, I myself would have pulled the trigger but it would have been a waste of a bullet shooting at a phantom, one the MSM and the Presidency had finally decreed necessarily put to rest.

                    Peace.

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                    • wolfshades says:

                      And we’ll leave the last word on this to you. I saw your other comment but didn’t approve it as I have no interest in taking the discussion further about conspiracy theories.

                      Not offering any more thoughts on it, as I’ve said enough.

                      Like

  3. Abe's Blog says:

    Hey Wolfman

    I for one am glad that a terrorist master-mind is dead. It is interesting to me that the joyous dancing and celebrating in the streets was mainly done by people who were too young to remember 9/11. I did not feel like dancing as I know that this war is not over. In fact, I believe it will never be over. In my humble opinion, I believe we will be fighting against Islamic extremists for the rest of time. In fact, the war has been going on for centuries already.

    I cannot follow the thought-train of your previous commentor. I believe I will stay far away from that discussion :)

    Like

    • wolfshades says:

      I remember 9/11 like it was yesterday – it’s that vivid in my mind. I felt the rage that most of America had at that time so am *very* glad he was killed too. And was impressed to learn he was not armed, and that the Navy Seals, under orders, did not merely apprehend him, but kill him on the spot. My admiration has no bounds on that one.

      You’re right that this changes nothing in the war against Muslim extremism. But it does give more than a black eye to the mastermind behind 9/11, and for now, for me, that’s good enough.

      Like

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