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Why My Heel Turn is Inevitable

At some point there’s going to be a heel turn. There are so many things, and so many people, that I’m fed up with. I’ve been pushed to the very edge of civility, by uncivil people who somehow are allowed to get away with being rude, crude, and willfully ignorant. At some point I’m going to cut loose, and it’s not going to be pretty, and I’m going to end up as the villain of the story.

Some of this springs from a personal theory I call the Transitive Property of Asshole. In pointing out to someone that they are being an asshole, you somehow become the asshole. Understandably, people don’t like being held accountable and lash out. Pointing out that people are being rude is, somehow, even more rude. Whataboutism comes into play at this point, where your own shortcomings and past failures are brought up as if that somehow makes the other person’s action acceptable. Punching a Nazi is treated is if it’s more offensive than being an actual Nazi. I’m pretty sure that, by definition, having issues with people who are against fascism puts you squarely on the side of the fascists.

I just can’t with people any more.

Since tribalism is now firmly established in the United States, I have to be the villain to someone. The whole “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” mentality is so juvenile. If you’re not clearly us, you must be them, and there is no subtlety or nuance, no shades of gray. Anyone not a brand-name Conservative is a Communist. If you’re not a leftist, which include a lot of Democrats in spite of what Republicans think, then you’re a fascist. Those who aren’t Evangelical Christians are Satanists, mic drop, time to hook up with the pool boy. 

So if these are the rules, and I’m going to be a villain to someone no matter what I do, I might as well lean into it.

Of course I’m joking.

At least, that’s my intention. The other day I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to catch a fly. It would not leave me alone, and it was annoying the hell out of me. Rather than swat him, smash him, kill him, I tried to guide him to the nearest open window to guide him out. Why kill him? He’s bring a fly. That’s what he does. I finally managed to trap him under a plastic container lid, took him out onto the patio, and released him.

I said I was going to turn heel. I didn’t say I’d be particularly good at it.

Why My Heel Turn is Inevitable

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About Berin Kinsman

Berin Kinsman is a writer, game designer, and owner/publisher at Dancing Lights Press. An American by accident of birth, he currently lives in Finland with his wife, artist Katie Kinsman.

3 replies on “Why My Heel Turn is Inevitable”

My outlook on the situation is – You have a majority of central moderates from both the left and right who are trying to put out numerous fires. Then you have the extreme right and the extreme left who keep lighting the fires. I regard the extremists as if they were unmedicated schizophrenic homeless – they’re scary, avoid them as best as you can and hope they get the medical care they require. As far as affecting me I try not to think about it ( although my chronic severe back pain of the last few weeks may contradict this stance). The fact that one of the inmates is a national leader busy riling-up the rest is bit too much like ‘one flew over the cuckoos nest’.

I understand entirely, but it’s all too easy to fall in to the same trap of thinking that our ideas are the ONLY right ones that we accuse others of holding. Where is the difference between “You are an asshole” and “I think your opinions make you sound like an asshole”? We cherish the ideas that we hold deeply, and stare in bafflement at those who think differently – how could they? we wonder. It’s just so… WRONG! And yet we forget that they may be thinking precisely the same thing about our views, our principles, those red lines we regard as uncrossable. It’s hard work to debate, to present reasoned arguments in favour of our opinions, to be ready to explain WHY we think someone else’s views are so profoundly wrong that they must be a complete asshole to hold them. We may despair that they are not going to change their minds however compelling our reasoning might be, and it’s all too easy to slip into the Twitteresque style of hurling abuse at someone because their opinions are different (and hence ‘wrong’). Sometimes sanity resides in tuning out differing opinions, because we all have strong opinions about right and wrong… and yet disagree about what right and wrong actually is. I find myself musing more on this concept of ‘opinion’ than I do about the actual ideas being expressed, because I find it quite fascinating to see where people draw the lines.

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