If you're new here, this is a weekly column consisting of letters written to my grand and great-grandchildren to haunt them after they become grups and/or I'm dead.
Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies,
Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies,
Conservative impulses? Harumph. Personally, I don't think of my conservative impulses as conservative impulses. I think of them as the practicing of good manners (GM) and as sort of new millennium version of modesty (M).
Also, cultivating strategic taste (ST).
[Gentlereaders, for the record, I have no problem with cultivating good taste. In fact, considering our seemingly ever coarsening culture, I can't recommend it enough.]
I came up with strategic taste because in matters of good taste, while I personally hold any number of semi-humble opinions about good taste, I hesitate to inflict them on anyone else. Louis Armstrong said that if you like it, it's good music. However, I reserve the right to point and giggle when the emperor isn't wearing any clothes (you've been warned...).
Strategic taste refers to, well, here's an example. Sometimes a good fart joke is just what's called for, but all fart jokes all the time? not so much. That is to say, knowing when to show some class or style, as opposed to knowing when it's time to get down and dirty.
That is also to say, employing GMMST to keep the playground family friendly, but respecting that what consenting adults choose to get up to behind closed doors is nunya (none of your _______ business), as long as they employ GMMST. More on this in a future letter.
I used to think that most, or at least many of my fellow Citizens of the Republic, regardless of assigned political or demographic labels, would find my "conservative" impulses to be reasonable.
Nowadays, however, I have my doubts; I may (I hope) be wrong. More on that in just a sec'. Nothing to be alarmed about. I'm in the wrong with disturbing regularity. Being a libertarian, I have no desire to see most of 'em, my conservative impulses that is, turned into laws, not even when I become (the world's first libertarian) king. "Libertarians share a skepticism of authority and state power." -Wikipedia
Be forewarned, however, for once I'm the King of America, although I will (as previously promised) rule with a very light/benevolent hand, I shall assert my power when I deem it absolutely necessary. For example, the very first edict I'll issue, post-coronation revelry of course, will be The Great Abortion Compromise.
As to those doubts that I now have that many of my fellow Citizens of the Republic would find my alleged conservative impulses to be reasonable? I wish to illustrate my doubts with a boring old man story (BOMS).
Contrasting the story below with the links that follow tell you, um, will clearly illustrate, the who, what, when, where, and why of my (alleged) conservative impulses.
[Note: A BOMS is not necessarily (but often is) boring. Nor does it necessarily refer to a story (boring or otherwise) told by a boring old man (although he often is). It's the name I painted on the front of the phenomenon that many old men feel compelled to tell stories, boring or otherwise. However, anyone is capable of telling a boring old man story.
A proven, scientific reason for this phenomenon, the need for geezers like myself to mansplain the world to the world, eludes us. Personally, I think it's genetic. Fortunately, most women of a certain age are not afflicted, proving, yet again, female H. Sapiens are generally more evolved than the males.]
BOMS: When I was in public high school, reveling in/adjusting to/slightly terrified by the dramatic contrast of eight years of traditional Catholic grade school to a public high school in the late sixties, I had a friend named Bernie.
Bernie took delight in the use of profanity. Bernie took particular delight in demonstrating his cursing chops to females. I took delight in Bernie as he was considerably braver than my high school persona.
At the time, the dark ages, although rapidly drawing to a close, we're not going away quietly and still exerted much influence in the world. Also, I -- an introverted, insecure, hormone-saturated callowyute -- walked with one foot in the dark ages and one in the revolution.
Bernie swore like a sailor, but rarely in front of grups, particularly authority figures. At the time, to do so was a major violation of the rapidly fraying social contract. I realize this is still true in certain, seemingly ever shrinking circles. However, nowadays it's more likely to be a mere technical violation. Back then, setting off f-bombs was a felony as they were packed with psychic shrapnel.
As to girls...
[Gentlereaders, in my little corner of Flyoverland, referring to H. Sapiens identified as female on their birth certificates, and under the age of 18, as girls, is considered acceptable and is commonly practiced. If I'm stepping on anyone's politically correct and/or gender neutral toes I insincerely apologize.]
As to girls, although the miniskirt was all the rage at the time (thank you, God), many a maiden still maintained a modicum of modesty even as we were all busy coming to grips with the overdue and necessary women's liberation movement.
Which brings us back to Bernie. Bernie's excessive use of profanity served two purposes.
Like all adolescents, since the invention of the teenager and youth culture in the early 1940s at least, rebellion against grup norms was/is expected. Anyone that has gone through this stage and lived long enough to become a grup knows that peeing on a given grup norm, rocks. This was the first of the two reasons Bernie loved to cuss.
The second was the bad boy thing. Bad boys, real bad boys (what are you going to do?) are born that way. The rest/most of us, are not.
Now, remember, I was reveling in/adjusting to/slightly terrified by the dramatic contrast of eight years of traditional Catholic grade school to a public high school in the late sixties (and surrounded by mini-skirted maidens).
And I know you'll find this hard to believe, but back in the dark ages, many, and all sorts, of female H. sapiens, "good girls" and otherwise, were often attracted by/in relationships with bad boys. Therefore, the rest of us tried to adopt what bad boys ways we thought we could reasonably fake in order to facilitate job-one -- find out what's going on underneath all those mini skirts.
[Stickies, the phrase good girls probably had a different meaning in the dark ages than what you might be thinking. A dated definition that you needn't concern yourself with (unlike GMMST).]
Long story short (too late?), profanity was a bad boy characteristic and employed because most girls back then were generally much less likely to cuss than boys. Carpet bombing (Bernie tended to get carried away) a "chick" with profanity might provoke shock or nervous giggles. Or shocked nervous giggles. Or a look of revulsion. Or... well actually, it didn't matter.
The point was to prove that while you may not actually be a full-fledged bad boy, you had bad boy characteristics. It was hoped that this might make you more attractive to chicks. We didn't understand why of it any more than we understood the mysterious nature of the female mind any better then than we do now, me and Bernie anyway. We just wanted girlfriends. End of BOMS.
Found on the web, July 4th holiday weekend, 2017.
The rise of 'designer nipples' (Love the pun.)
Real-Life Vampire Couple Says Sucking Blood Is Better Than Sex
ATTN. MEN: We Don't Care If You Can See Our Buttholes (PG)
"A conservative [or maybe even a wild-eyed libertarian with conservative impulses?] is someone who stands athwart history, yelling Stop, at a time when no one is inclined to do so, or to have much patience with those who so urge it." -William F. Buckley Jr. Poppa loves you.
Have an OK day.
©2017 Mark Mehlmauer
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