Jesus Christ, Man, Learn to Do The Crossword

So here’s a dude what needs a hobby pretty badly:

I’d like to either volunteer or hire out to set up security for Michelle and others, and also to personally oversee her direct safety, yet I have a family, a wife and three children, and I would not wish to end up in prison for protecting her or Coulter, or Limbaugh, or anyone else. The law is not always fair or just, and many a good Samaritan is in prison for doing the right thing.

Best bet, keep people away from Michelle. Keep obstacles between Michelle and the public. Keep a safe room available and secured. Keep several escape routes available for a quick escape. And those who protect her should not all be right up with her. They should be unknown and should be able to swarm her and cover her like a football huddle, and escort her off to safety, while others doing security for her should be mixing in the crowd, ready to do whatever is necessary to stop attacks and help in whatever way the can.

Quick point, if you do security for someone like Michelle, you must have good people working with you. People you can rely on, people who will take orders, do exactly what you tell them, when you tell them. If you say “Stop the guy in the gray suit and red tie,” You don’t hesitate to stop the guy in the gray suite and red tie. If he resists, stop means stop, so you knock him on his ass, and your fellow security persons make sure to get him off his feet and incapacitated immediately. You don’t play games, you don’t play patta-cake, you don’t play compassion and love. You play, take this target out NOW! and you do it NOW!

I’d like to point and laugh, or point and be afraid, but mostly I point and pity, because it’s just so … sad. The neediness of it. The desperation. This guy really wants to be somebody’s hero and this is what he’s picked to accomplish that: fantasy scenarios of rescuing Michelle Malkin, a woman so comfortable with violence that she incites it against journalists. That’s who he chooses to have his fantasies about saving.

I wouldn’t waste time on him (there’s lots of tragedy in the world, after all) except that I think it plays into the ongoing discussion at Greenwald’s place and elsewhere about the pseudomasculine persona Republicans cultivate among their followers and the ways in which they cement allegiance with it. Yeah, we may be raping the country, but at least we’re not girls about it.

Because people want to belong, and they want to be important, and there’s nothing wrong with that exactly, except when it stops being about producing anything of value, and becomes about power for its own sake. What good is it to be part of the mob if you don’t know (or don’t care) what the mob is for? Is it fun being part of a crowd if you don’t know (or don’t care to know) the reason that crowd is assembled? It’s not an evil purpose so much as it’s just general purposelessness, like kids breaking windows after their sports team wins. Give them something to do.

I talk about this a lot, about our society’s devaluation of work as a motivation in life, about the fallacy of the whole “nobody ever died wishing they’d spent more time at work” trope, about the essential horseshit of “working for the weekend” and seeing 70 percent of what you do with your waking hours as dues-paying without payoff, and the reason I talk about it so much is that I really do think it’s got something to do with what’s happened to this country in the past seven years. With the general dumbing-down of the public discourse. If you’re not doing something that you think matters, that you enjoy, with even part of your time much less most of it, you’re going to go looking for that. And you’re going to find it, in many cases, in the kind of crazy that Tbogg cites above.

That poor fucking dope is so worked up, so totally convinced he’s a part of the struggle, so totally wrapped up in finally finding something that gets him excited (and it’s Michelle, and I don’t get it, but she’s kind of beside the point). He’s like a kid having his first beer. And all I can think is, imagine all that enthusiasm, all that energy, all that gloriously righteous purpose directed not at psychotic revenge fantasies against imaginary assailants but at work that would benefit others, work that would have lasting societal benefit of any kind. Work that builds up, instead of tearing down.

I just look at it as a waste of resources, really, and to put it in a way the commenter might understand, if only you’d use all your power and might for good.

He wants to belong, that poor fucking guy. And this is what he found to belong to.


11 thoughts on “Jesus Christ, Man, Learn to Do The Crossword

  1. Aimai, you and Athenae both touched on an idea that I ran across first in Thomas Cahill’s latest, Mysteries of the Middle Ages. He mentioned something in passing which I thought was kind of important. He talked about how people in the Middle Ages didn’t have to think about what they were going to be when they grew up. It was pretty much decided for them at an early age. It’s only really since the advent of the industrial revolution that we’ve seen the whole world of choices of occupation open up to everyone. And he talks about this as actually being kind of sad, because now it adds a whole new level of stress to our lives.
    I wonder if guys like this would have been happier being locked into a career in the Middle Ages. It’s certainly an interesting question. My suspicion is no, I don’t think folks like him would be happy under any circumstances. Which makes him even more pathetic.

  2. It is my understanding that executive protection involves a great deal of waiting, often awake at night while the person one is protecting sleeps or working late. Anyone in executive protection puts together a team of people who can and will respond if necessary and only if necessary, specifically in a way that minimizes the danger to others, including those they are keeping away from their client. There is a great deal of training involved, none of which your average gung-ho guy is going to get through. The screening process by trainers is brutal, for very good reason.
    So this guy’s fantasy is just that. If he understood what protection specialists (including police, secret service, MPs, etc.) have to go through to be qualified, he would want no part of it. If it’s what you want to do, it’s a good job – and this is where I think you’re right, A. People who do that sort of work really want to do that sort of work. Just like search and rescue folks and firefighters. The money isn’t great (except for elite protection services) but it feeds something in them beyond the paycheck.

  3. Love the whole, “Gee, I’d like to do something manly but I gotta think of the family…” like none of those soldiers fighting in Iraq have families or anything.
    These people disgust me, sorry.

  4. Athenae I think you have put your finger on something very powerful–a kind of hidden nexus between the things we see on the surface (the romance of violence, of masculinity, of the fabled “west”, of christian martyrology) and the thing which is hidden beneath (a longing to belong, a longing for meaningful work, a longing for acceptance into a tight community.) I’ve been reading sara robinson’s brilliant posts over at Orcinius in tandem–one set on universal laws of engagement with the natural and political world and one set on authoritarian personalities and the new work by John Dean’s friend whose name I can’t remember. Its all kind of dovetailing, for me, too.
    The professor of authoritarian personalities points out the ways in which right wing authoritarian personalities are, in most cases, both extremely agressive and paranoid and extremely submissive to the authorities they recognize. What you get, then, are people who are easily led, dominated, and subjugated (To paychecks, family, the law, the corporation) and, at the same time, who feel frightened and rejected all the time, who feel they are failing at something. They can’t put meaning into their own lives because meaning and righteousness comes from the authorities and from submitting to authorities. And at the same time they are frightened and angry that their lives lack meaning. What is such a person to do but to search for an authority who needs them and offer to aggressively submit to them by, for example, offering to risk themselves to protect the authority? Isn’t that the whole story of the “michelle needs us” blog post?

  5. on cult of republicanism pseudo-masculinity, I think Greenwald and others miss or skirt the key underlying problem: Americans (and I mean a large majority of Americans, not just wingnuts) equate masculinity with violence. Hence, any male not supporting violence first and foremost as a response to all problems is automatically thought of less masculine than an ignoramus that only espouses violence. This includes ostensibly non-violent females who still mostly want their men capable of violence, i.e., they get their violence by proxy. Thus, the cult of republicanism is merely the extreme outward expression of the American violent mindset.
    The reality of course, is that it takes far, far more STRENGTH to solve problems non-violently than it does to not solve them, but merely defer them through violent responses.
    Until the American mindset breaks the false equation of violence = masculinity, we will continue to be a violent society and the biggest threat on Earth to humanity.

  6. the worst part is that the psychotic monster has 3 kids availing us in all likelihood to look forward to 3 more psychotic monsters in the future.

  7. Who knew wingnuts really internalized “The Bodyguard?”
    And they say liberals are girly wusses!
    “And I…will always love YOUUUUooohhhh…”

  8. Wait, I’m confused. I thought all us liberals were girlie-men pacifist weenies. Who does he need to protect Michelle from? Ann Coulter? Scooter Libby?

  9. OK I read the rest of the comments at Hot Air.
    I can’t believe not one person said dontcha think ya all are over reacting a bit.
    sheesh for all that masculine personna frankly they sound like a group of old ladies with the vapors.

  10. “The best bet is don’t let anyone get NEAR Michelle or anyone else, until the person is vented,”
    I’m sorry but I’m just laughing my ass off

  11. >>I’d like to either volunteer or hire out to set up security for Michelle and others, and also to personally oversee her direct safety, yet I have a family, a wife and three children…
    Man, you can’t get these people to sign up for ANYTHING.
    >>the fallacy of the whole “nobody ever died wishing they’d spent more time at work” trope
    Depends on what you do at work; my dad worked hard at being a musician, I’m sure he would have liked more time to do that, but his day job? I doubt it.

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