Zephyr Lounge Update + A Brand New Rant!

To all of you who read this twisted corner of the Internet:

I know that publication has been fairly sketchy for the last several weeks. I do apologize, but there have been some radical changes to schedules lately. Needless to say, the chance of there, once again, being a week where posts are available from Sunday to Saturday is probably fairly small.

Such is the problem with balancing a full plate, I guess.

Anyway, I wanted to take the time to let you all know that there is product in the works right now. It’s just a matter of finishing it and getting it out to all of you, my loyal readers.

So, with that being said, let’s get on to the rant I promised in the title. Keep in mind, it will be short today.

While on my way home from class last night, my wife and I began talking about the Duggar family. If you don’t know who they are, click here and prepare to be blown away by the shit you read. Anyway, the conversation began to shift into several different areas that were still relatively on-topic, and after listening to my wife tangent about the Duggars, their actions, and their association with a “Fundamentalist cult”, I let the following words escape from my mouth. Obviously, I have to paraphrase, I’ve slept since then, but what I said was:

“You know, people are entitled to believe whatever the hell they want to believe, and if that works for them, then great. But here’s the thing about having beliefs, prepare to be criticized for them, because there’s always going to be at least one motherfucker out there who thinks your beliefs hold no more legitimacy than a steaming pile of shit.”

I firmly believe that. Especially since more and more people have been exposed to my particular thought processes, and as such, have been criticizing me lately. Granted most of the criticism has come from Fundamentalists, Tea Party supporters, people in denial of science, etc. etc. etc., but even my wife has started telling me that the manner in which I debate people (which, for the sake of visuals, involves claws, fangs, and stern demeanor), isn’t “respectful” to their beliefs.

I can absolutely see where she’s getting that. I am vicious when I debate, spewing facts like Vesuvius and backhanding things other people say. I’m firm believer in fighting fire with fire, and nowhere else is this more true when I get into intellectual fisticuffs with a Fundamentalist Christian or someone who supports the Tea Party. I’m very unapologetic when it comes to debates. I’m also very opinionated and have no qualms with telling someone they are wrong, especially when I can back it up. A debate with me has, at times, become a molotov cocktail of words. Vicious, at times. Hectic.

Now, over the course of my short-lived, debate-filled era of intellectual discourse, I’ve developed bulldog skin, and it shows, but what I find to be particularly interesting is when my opposition claims that “people are too easily offended”, then themselves get offended when I call them out on something. For example, if any of you follow me on Twitter, you know that I was blacklisted on the forums at The Washington Times not long ago. The topic of conversation was “Ted Cruz and Dr. Seuss’ Gargantuan, Unreal, and ‘Ingenious’ Filibuster Spectacular 2013” (trademark pending), and one of the guys from the forum (we’ll call him Bill) delivered an Arial-font beatdown of one of the Liberals on the forum. I don’t remember exactly what “Bill” said, but I do remember him calling the Liberal “a communist” and then something about the Liberal “being brought up for treason and executed with the same assault rifles he’s trying to take from the hands of free Americans.” Needless to say, the Liberal took that as threatening, to which “Bill” responded, something to the effect of “come on, stop getting offended at what other people say to you, even though it’s true.” (Or some such thing.) Anyway, “Bill” later said, “Go Sen. Cruz, invoking the spirit of all of those brave men at the Alamo. A patriot. A Texan.” (Or some such thing.) Now, here’s where I responded.

“You know that the Alamo was a crock of shit, right?”

To which “Bill” replied:

“How dare you? The Alamo is a symbol of my great state and was a courageous stand for what is right and true! How dare you criticize my history?” (spelling and grammar adjusted)

To which I replied:

“It’s my history, too, buddy. I’ve lived here my whole life. Anyway, the Alamo should have never happened. Jim Bowie disobeyed direct orders from Sam Houston to destroy the Alamo, take the cannon and the fodder, move the civilians out, and move on. Sorry buddy, but the massacre at the Alamo could have been avoided. It’s little more than a disobeyed order that became a glorified part of history because John Wayne thought it would be a good topic for a movie. A lot of good men died because Jim Bowie decided to disobey his commanding officer.”

To which he replied:

“Fuck you! You’re an asshole! Fucking Nazi! Don’t discredit history because you have a grudge!” (spelling and grammar adjusted)

This exchange went on back and forth for a while, and may have been part of the reason why the Washington Times blacklisted me, but the point is that this guy just got finished telling some other guy to stop getting butthurt over what people say, then turned around and got butthurt when I criticized the legitimacy of the Alamo. Unfortunately, our Internet is crawling with hypocrites and trolls, and further unfortunately, those hypocrites and trolls are the loudest part of our Internet.

You know, call me a troll if you want. Granted, I don’t go out looking for a fight on message boards, Facebook statuses, or whatever, but I never back down if I’m challenged. But, here’s the thing. I’m not going to go easy on you. I will criticize everything in your world if I deem it relevant to the conversation. I will take your beliefs and do everything I can to discredit them. Why? Because unlike some people, I don’t believe in making sure everyone’s beliefs are accommodated. If you believe in something strongly enough, then fucking defend it. Tell me why you’re beliefs are right. Explain to me how you came to believe these things, and be intellectual about it. Don’t let a strong debate morph itself into accusations and ridiculous responses to legitimately posed questions (for information on what not to do, just watch a YouTube video.) I may not end up respecting your beliefs, but if you can defend them to me and not reduce yourself to the horseshit we see on the Internet every single day, then I will respect YOU, and that’s where the line will be drawn.

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About Robert L. Franklin

Ah, the About Me section - social networking's excuse for you sounding like an elitist prick. Hmm... what to say? What to say?
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