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What do the words racist, rapist, and Republican have in common?
My top two responses would be a.) they all begin with the letter R and b.) some people uses them as synonyms so often it makes me want to harm them.
Few things destroy rational discourse quicker than this incessant, pathological need for people to label each other, and then hurl insults that a first grader would think lacked creativity.
Rebuplikkkan. Litbtard. Snowflake. Why?
Regardless of how you choose to react or respond to the latest piece of information worded in a way designed to elicit a strong emotional response, can we all agree that the rate of consuming this info is out of control?
Before you can digest the latest bite in the endless buffet of "you're not safe anywhere ever even right now," somebody is yelling, "What about this? What about that? How can you skip over this?." Someone is just shoveling more and more on your plate.
Let's take Brett Kavanaugh for instance. Extremely divisive topic for the week, or so it mattered before he was confirmed. Politics as usual.
Do we know for sure he sexually assaulted someone 30 years ago? No, we do not know with any certainty. Is there a chance he did? Yes. That is not a presumption of guilt. The alleged victim should also benefit from innocence until proven guilty.
What we can do is honestly question his temperament. Every man has their threshold for what they will tolerate. I can only speak for me, but it was instilled into me early in life that an innocent man does not react with that level of hostility from a line of questioning. I was taught to firmly state your piece, stand your ground—a loaded term we can explore another column—and weather the storm until it dissipates. It's why I know I was never quite as innocent in whatever conflict my ex-wife and I fought about during our marriage.
However, what we do know with absolute certainty is that the man likes his beer. I can relate. I had my first sip of beer at age five because my father thought it was hilarious to watch his first born drink "funny tasting soda."
Is enjoying beer in excess a reason to believe he did it? No, but it does cast doubt that he could possibly remember everything he did while drunk.
You can look up the effects of alcohol and find a study that supports every belief from it drastically altering your behavior to it merely dredging up your true nature. It makes me temporarily horny and somehow even goofier than usual.
I do not drink much these days. A glass of wine or a margarita on date night; a beer or three at cookouts; a bottle of vodka while I weep in the shower because I'm not the man I should be at this point in my life. Normal responsible adult behavior.
Despite all that, I have never enjoyed the taste of beer. I have paid for beer maybe five times in my entire life. I have been pissy drunk exponentially more often. The copious amounts of beer that have passed through my lips— and sometimes through my nose— has taught me at least one thing:
Whatever the physiological or psychological changes that may or may not occur, I feel it is safe to conclude that alcohol alters a person in an observable way.
I can vividly recall some events from drunken escapades, the majority of which involve me giving people piggy back rides or urinating on the side of buildings. There was an embarrassing amount of peeing outside.
There were times that I told my friend who is a girl that I loved her. I remember sharing a drink with a woman dressed up as Catwoman, then briefly kissing her before losing her in the crowd. There was the time I was the designated beer pong drinker, which led to me letting people sit on my lap and tell me their concerns about college life. I have probably vomited more times from excessive drinking than from viruses. Once, I held onto blades of grass because I was scared I was sliding off the edge of the world. I have never sobered up quicker than the night after I downed 21 beers then woke up and we no longer had twin towers. Nothing will mess with your head more than regaining consciousness after a literal world changing tragedy. I have never drank that much following that event because I am such a narcissist that I feared what other tragedy a blackout drunken night may wrought. I swear to God, I was not drinking during the 2016 election so that's not on me.
More times than I can count, I have been told after a night of drinking that I said something brilliant or profound. I was called a drunken philosopher at least twice. I remember none of that. I have been told that I was a perfect gentlemen and turned down the advances of young women. Again, I have no recollection, and none of my so-called friends thought about giving me a name or face so I could see if they still found me attractive while sober. At least three times I have woken up butt naked with the girl who I wanted to be my girlfriend but who did not believe in labels. Each time I had no memory of how we even made it back to her dorm room.
My brain blocked out a significant amount of data during those days. Again, we are all different individuals with differing tolerances and different reactions. Perhaps even drunk, Kavanaugh's powers of recollection are more potent than mine.
Is it controversial to say, but perhaps they are not though. Is it fair to posit the notion that thirty years and countless drinks later, that he could possibly have trouble recalling something that may have been a blur of drunken amateurish intentions to him and a traumatic event to her?
In the end, I am just asking questions. I have no intention of making judgments or inflammatory remarks, just to watch my Facebook feed immolate itself in rage. Maybe it made you think; hopefully it made you chuckle a bit. Until next time, raise your glass if you are wrong in all the right ways.