I’m so, so glad Jacob is writing about this because most of what I’ve read about these fanboys and their tantrums makes me tired, and this doesn’t:
I think if we treated, say, casual litterbugs with the same blacklist techniques that we do unreconstructed idiots like those two above—once tainted, never to be redeemed—we could create a thriving subculture of people within a few days who would spend all their money on proudly buying garbage and spreading it on every lawn they see.
Not like children saying “you think I’m bad, I’ll show you bad”—that is just about needing to have boundaries, to feel safe—but like adults: “I know I’m not bad, so if you think this is bad, it must be very good. Or else why would I do it? And if you think it’s bad, then you’re bad. And whatever you think is good must be evil as hell.”
A new church would spring up within the year, The Fellowship of the Unrecycled Chik-Fil-A Bag. Some very few people would get very rich. The GOP would get wind of it, make littering a large plank in the platform, then use their time machine rhetoric to claim it always had been. “Ronald Reagan was a proud litterbug,” the posters would say. “Or else why would we do it?”
And too, recycling or carrying your own shopping bags would become the sign of the homosexual, feminazi, child-rapist, NPR-listening elite.
Would those people be evil? No, they would be dicks, but that’s already true of them, individually. They are looking for a part of the world they can make feel as bad as they, for whatever reason, feel. That’s the rank and file, at least. At the top would be people who do not themselves litter, but know a constituency and a consumer base when they see it.
Seeing consumer choices as your personality isn’t new, of course; which tailor you went to once upon a time was as important at which soft drink you drink is now, which is to say OH MY GOD SHUT UP. But I feel like what the Internet has done for this particular upfuckery is make us all aware of it, the things we tie ourselves to, and the things others tie themselves to.
Go read the whole thing.