#11. Thou Shalt Not Be Inconvenienced Ere Thy Neighbor Beareth the Brunt of Thy Inconvenience, Forthwith

You can maybe get where I’m going to go with this.  Depending on how good your King James English is.

Mine’s terrible.  I grew up in the inner city of Philadelphia, where they forced every kid in the 2nd and 3rd grade to take Latin.  So, of course, back then I was like, “Bitchin’!  Not only will I be able to decipher the Bible, but one day I’m gonna get a job as Secretary of the C.H.U.D. for the Philly branch of the Latin Kings and then marry Loni Anderson and Marilu Henner and have Scritti Politti, Cetu Javu and Pseudo Echo play at the wedding!”

This was 1987, I believe.  Before the History of the Decline and Fall of Milli Vanilli.

Otherwise they would’ve headlined.

None of that ever panned out for me, however.  It turns out the Bible, with its ‘—eth’s, its ‘—ine’s’ and its penchant for making the decisions of God too much like those of an actual Hebrew bro from around 3,000 years ago (what scholars today refer to as a He-bro), is not written in Latin at all.  It’s in King James English.

I mean, if you’re reading it in English.  Which, of course, you may not be.  Got a pretty far reach, that Bible.

It was translated from four other languages, including Latin, into English at the directive of King James I.  And, in English today, being the most published book in history, it happens to be the number one go-to source for possibly the most popular, useless form of the English dialect still in use.  At least in America.

Well, that or Valspeak.

Or just straight up Harlem jive.

And to wit, you hep cat, if your jazz be kopasetic, if it be the mezz, if some wren be fine dinner, if that jam be out of this world and all that noise in the groove and worth poundin’ the mitt, you collar on that killer-diller, you dig?

-Philippians, 4:8

I suppose the industrialized world has always been this way—people looking out for themselves before the prerogatives of anyone else.  Hell, world development has always had this M.O.:  ‘Gimme what you got.  Because I ain’t giving up what I got.  Somebody’s gonna want what I got one day.  And I can just give them your stuff.  I’ll still have plenty left over.  I can cut a deal and give it to them.  But, before that, I’m gonna take more of other people’s stuff.  So I’ll lose less stuff.’  One chief sitting around, says to another, “You know someody’s gonna come take our stuff, right?”  Queen leans over, says to the king, “You know if we don’t go take some more stuff, we’re just gonna lose that much stuff when someone comes to fight us to take our stuff?” 

Genghis Khan, like, chillin’.  Coolin’ out with his stuff. 

World conquest—the geopolitical history of the Earth has always been one of war and subjugation.  Of taking other people’s stuff.  And it’s a serious inconvenience to lose your own and be subjugated.  Land.  Money.  Cultural identity.  Freedom.

That’ll set you back.  Big time. 

Look at America.  The British took a sizable chunk of North America from the people already living there in the 15th and 16th centuries.  European immigrants came and squatted in the land that made up the original colonies, owned by Britain, which later became the first 13 states.  At the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, the 1783 Treaty of Paris gave the burgeoning U.S. all land east of the Mississippi River, from Canada to Florida, which Britain had wrested from France after France had stolen it from someone else.  Then the Louisiana Territory was sold to America by France, who’d taken it from Spain, who’d taken it from France, who’d already taken it from the people living there, and it brought in a whole bunch more land west of the Mississippi.  Europeans in Texas wanted to steal Texas for no other reason than they liked it a lot, so they fought a war and did.  Britain sold the Oregon Territory to America—again: stuff that wasn’t originally theirs.  America took Florida (and bits of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama) from Spain who’d taken it from the British who’d taken it from Spain who’d take it first from the people living there.  America fought Mexico for land (and took it with a jackboot sale) that pretty much was Mexico’s, after Mexico had won it back from Spain, and that became pretty much the whole continental U.S. (if we include the events of the Red River Valley cession, the Pig War and the Gadsden Purchase).  Alaska came from Russia, which first came from the people living there.  Hawaii, like Mexico, was strongarmed into a deal to sell its land to America after unwarranted military aggression.  And the rest is history. 

Sorry, that was history.  And so is the rest.

Funny thing is, even in a society which as much space and near-absolute freedom as modern-day America’s, there still are people who continue to think with that same bygone mindset.  ‘I won’t be inconvenienced, so I’m going to inconvenience you in the process.  I mean, I may not take land or your identity or your skull, but I’m taking something.  Your time.  Your safety.  Your dignity.  Your peace of mind.’  All because they can’t share, be patient or not be an imperialist dick who thinks God thinks they’re always in the right in whatever they do.  Which, if you think about it, is no surprise.  America is and will be as America has always done. 

Today, they don’t go by “settlers” anymore.  Or “founders.”  They go by way more unflattering terms.  

The Disgruntled Motorist

When you’re somebody in an over-sized Dodge RAM, Ford F-250, Raptor or Chevy Silverado, in a BMW 3 series or Cadillac STS (or turquoise / primer 1993 Honda Civic, for that matter) and you don’t bother stopping for someone at a four way intersection, letting someone proceed when it’s their turn, or waiting for anyone at all, or giving someone space to enter a freeway, or allow someone get in front of you because that makes them better than you, you’re saying…well, that’s what you’re saying.  And, that ‘I don’t want to be inconvenienced at the expense of someone else’.

And you are, unequivocally, one of these people. 

When you’re one of these idiots on his Harley Davidson who revs his engine for no reason while he’s waiting at a stoplight…you become the kid on the skateboard doing ollies in front of the grocery store, hanging out with his friends.  You’re saying, “Look at me!  Look at me, everybody!  LOOK AT ME!  I just turned 14!  LOOK AT ME!!!  I don’t like stoplights!!

I can’t be inconvenienced, stoplight!!! VROOM, VROOOOM!!”

When you’re one of these idiots on his Harley Davidson who revs his engine for no reason while he’s waiting at a stoplight, or for no reason while he’s in the process of decelerating to wait at a stoplight, you become the kid on the skateboard doing ollies in front of the grocery store, hanging out with his friends.  You’re saying, “Look at me!  Look at me, everybody!  LOOK AT ME!  I just turned 14!  LOOK AT ME!!!  I don’t like stoplights!!

I can’t be inconvenienced, stoplight!!! VROOM, VROOOOM!!”

While those of us in the immediate vicinity are either covering our ears or having our high-frequency hearing loss sped up by a decade.

People who make their own rules without some sort of objective emergency as the cause fall into this category.  Who pass their turn and then stop in the middle of the road and back up into oncoming traffic, or just turn around 180° across a double yellow line after having missed their turns, with other cars on the road with them.  Or who just stop in a parking lot traffic area with cars piling up behind them because, ‘Hang on, I gotta check my phone.’ 

And then—the best part: when you beep or shout at them, they get insulted and shout back.  Because they don’t believe the illusion of their self-importance should know any bounds.  It’s modern-day Manifest Destiny. 

But, mainly, it’s because they just don’t believe in being inconvenienced.

People Who Believe It’s Their God-Given Right to Shop However They Want

This not only includes today’s counterrevolutionary, crypto-fascist, anti-mask-Nazi Nazi, but also people who jump to the next available register when it opens because the next person in line can’t get there quick enough.  It includes people who call out for the cashier to stop checking a customer out and call someone else to come and open a register when they feel the line is too long, and they’ve waited long enough.  It’s about people who butt in next-in-line at a McDonald’s or Starbucks because they feel they’ve been there too long already.  Who berate fast food employees and managers (or anyone not actually involved in the manufacturing of their food) for sub-standard quality.  Or for their food being too cold. 

Sometimes, people just get bored out of their minds and start playing hide-and-seek in the frozen foods section of their grocery store, or start chucking a Nerf football over the aisles to their friends or nephews.  So, there’s a fine line. 

Which mainly has to do with how much of an asshole they really are, at heart. 

The Armchair Counter-Protester

These folks are…I’m not going to say ‘harmless’, but they’re the least harmless in the bunch, although they do foster, foment and inspire a lot of recriminatory hate and unsocial justice with the things they write on the Internet.  Which then becomes dangerous.  And with the broadcast breadth of social media, and the fact that people become the domestic equivalent of road-raged by sitting too long and watching the libs and social justice warriors in action “messing with America,” violent actions that shouldn’t wind up materializing because of it do.         

I’m not going to insinuate that they’re responsible for such calamities as mass shootings or a car plowing into a group of protestors, but you find a lot of these folks had a strong presence in online communities where that one mass murderer or fed-up ‘Merican who decide to finally load his rifle or fire up his Dodge Challenger and head out to protect America from protestors who he felt were eventually going to make their way to his small town of 20,000 people and ransack it did, as well.

Because they always come from some town of 20,000 people.  Where ransacking was never, ever going to occur. 

And what’s the reason?  Their hatred of others’ hatred of America.  So they’ve come to think.  But mainly, because they don’t want the status quo to change, which may lead to their one day being inconvenienced.  As a man.  A white man.  A white American man.  Or a conventionally white American female, who needs a white American man to do all the things for her she refuses to learn how to.  A lower or middle class, white American who couldn’t stand to have someone who didn’t look or think like them be in a position figuratively shape a world where their belief system and identity could possibly be denigrated.

And that “denigrated” isn’t the threat to their whiteness they think it is.

The Actual Protest Disrupter

I’d call these folks counter-protestors, but I don’t really see them counter-protest as much as overwhelm- or intimidate-protest.  They drown out protest chants and speeches by revving their motorcycle or big rig engines nearby, or scare peaceful protestors and gatherers by lining a block and staring them down as they march by, armed with machine guns.  Sometimes shouting.  Also, sometimes they plow into a group of protestors with their Dodge Challenger or black, luxury SUV.  They don’t really want to counter-protest, it’s clear, meaning exercise their right to peacefully march and/or assemble in disagreement with what’s going on, as much as they want to intimidate those protesting with fear of violence or death so they’ll just shut up and go away. 

Because of their fear of the status quo changing, and their one day being inconvenienced.

The Middle-Aged Lady with the Reactionary Hair Trigger

She goes by a single name today:  Karen.  Or by several, similarly Euro-appropriated, anglo-biblical female names.  But she’s always been there.  Oh, she’s always been there.  Irish-American, African-American, Persian-American—since I was young, I’ve had to deal with ladies to whom I bore no relation, yet who felt compelled to instruct me (and others) what was okay and not okay to do in my life, precisely because the rules are theirs to make, unmake and then remake to their satisfaction.  And the rules always say ‘I will not be inconvenienced’.  Ask 100 Benihana managers employed from 1980 – 1989.  See what they say.

She goes by a single name today:  Karen.  Or by several, similarly Euro-appropriated, anglo-biblical female names.  But she’s always been there.  Oh, she’s always been there.  Irish-American, African-American, Persian-American—since I was young, I’ve had to deal with ladies to whom I bore no relation, yet who felt compelled to instruct me what was okay and not okay to do in my life, precisely because the rules are theirs to make, unmake and then remake to their satisfaction. 

That’s not to leave out any number of retail middle managers, cashiers and wait staff today who are just doing their job, and doing it wrong.  They know.  They’ve made her a national star.  As have minorities, people with cellphones and any number of diseases, entertainment news organizations and little kids with colored chalk who want to draw flowers on a sidewalk.

It’s really less about ethnicity or nationality so much as it is about straight-up entitlement.

The Inconvenienced Millionaire

I don’t know if this one exists anywhere else outside of America, but I know it’s a huge reason people get pissed off about paying taxes.  Or paying into welfare.  Which is taxes.  Or giving foreign aid to anyone except Israel.  Which is also taxes.

But not about increasing billions of dollars for the military against no comparably existential modern threats to America.  Which is also taxes.  Or the president, his cabinet, his family and his Secret Service using hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money to travel recreationally. 

Which is taxes.

Because if they were as wealthy, they would absolutely do the same.  And one day they believe they will be.  And will let you know, if you ask them. 

The Line-Stepping Off-Duty Cop

I’m not going to make any statements about the necessity/dismantling of any municipal police force in America, or make any mention of what individuals on any force may get up to while they’re on duty.  That’s a whole different conversation.  But I am going to talk about the stuff they do as average, plain-clothed citizens, that messes other people’s stuff up for absolutely no reason other than they’re an off-duty cop and can’t be inconvenienced.

Sure, many off-duty cops they still perform their on-duties when the situation arises, and save lives in the process.  But they also get up to things the average citizen likely wouldn’t, when presented with more-or-less the same dynamics. 

So, here’s what I did, just now:  I paused, went online and typed ‘off-duty cop’ into a search engine.  Right now.  Here’s what came back:

“Off-Duty Cop Charged with Slugging his Brother at a Bronx Party”
“LAPD Looking for Driver Who Fired Shots at Off-Duty Officer in Reseda”
“Off-Duty Pennsylvania Cop Charged in Boozy Tire-Slashing Spree”
“Off-Duty Cop, Gunman Exchange Fire in West Town”
“Family of Man Killed by Off-Duty Cop over Parking Space Files Lawsuit in California”
“Off-Duty Cop Accidentally Fires Gun at Camden Restaurant, Injures Girl, Woman”
“Dafonte Miller Says Assault by Off-Duty Cop Changed His View of Police”

That’s just one day, one day, and I listed everything here that was relevant.  Could’ve been less, could’ve been more on any other (although I really can’t see the latter being all that possible).  And while I can’t prove these petty crimes or potential felonies were committed because the individuals were police officers and off-duty, I’ll let the reader and their own life experience decide for themselves.

Are you familiar with Shaun King?  He’s an American journalist.  It came out recently that members of a chat forum were discussing his assassination, and some of them were police officers.  So what?  A lot of people talk about killing Shaun King all the time, you may say, not just cops.   Am I unfairly singling out certain individuals of a certain occupation to further discredit that occupation?

Perhaps.  But when your job involves “protecting and serving the community” and, in your job, you’re referred to as an “officer of the peace,” it becomes something worth mentioning.

Are police officers more entitled than others?  Of course not.  They’re just like all these other regular citizens, who act more entitled than others. With one exception: they happen to have a job where they’re legally authorized to use lethal force outside of a Congressionally-approved wartime setting, at their own discretion.

So, they win!