What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Air conditioning. If reports out of central Maryland are to be believed, we are now living in the midst of the worst rash of human rights violations in the history of the state. I wish I’d have known back in the 80s and 90s that air conditioning in schools was a civil right. It turns out mine were violated regularly between about 1989 and 1996 when I and my classmates were forced to endure education without the benefit of air conditioning with only the comforting whir of dozens of box fans stirring the broiling air inside our classrooms. Since these long-dormant childhood injuries have now been pulled to the surface by an insensitive media establishment, I’m left wondering which state office we need to file with to receive our settlement for emotional trauma and discomfort?

2. Cowardice. Courage isn’t hiding behind a brick wall of anonymity saying mean things for fun and profit while trying to make sure you don’t lose your job. If you’re a member of the administration, outraged by it’s behavior and feel that you have no recourse but to speak out against it, the only legitimate option available to you is to resign your position. Then you are free to speak out and avail yourself of every other opportunity afforded to you. When I have an opinion, unpopular or not, I post it here and make sure my name is one it. To make your stand anonymously from a position of safety protected from public scrutiny isn’t an act of bravery, but a self-serving act of personal cowardice.

3. Thursday dinner. I loath and dispise needing to cook a full meal when I get home from work. Mostly I solve that problem by over-making Sunday dinner and crock-potting something on Monday. Juicy leftover goodness is the dispensed for lunch and dinner for the next three days. By Thursday, though, the options box starts looking a little bare… and by a little bare, I mean selecting between frozen burritos, Spaghettio’s, or a tasty bowl of Corn Flakes. Sure, I could order up something for delivery, but that involves someone coming to the house, so it’s a less desirable option. I could, of course, give in, and prepare an actual meal. That option, too, feels unlikely. If it’s Thursday and you’re reading this, chances are Corn Flakes has ended up being what’s for dinner.

On the beauty of being offensive…

If the media can be believed, we live in a country that could currently be best described as offended that we’re offended by the offensive offending that may or may not offend you, me, or the neighbor and if any one of those people are not offended, we’re unilaterally offended by their lack of offense.

It’s enough to make a poor blogger’s head hurt. It’s probably only a matter of time before the Court is asked to find that we Americans have a heretofore undiscovered and absolute right to not face any issue at any time that may hurt our chickenshit little feelings. That way we can prevent anyone from saying anything.

I can only hope that it doesn’t come to that.

I want to be offended by people. I want them to express ideas that are different than my own. I want them to challenge me – because that means I have to better understand my own positions and arguments. It means I have to work just that little bit harder to know my own mind. It means I don’t get a free pass when my poor little feelings aren’t validated.

While we’re at it, could we maybe “feel” a little less and “think” a little more – as in “I think this is important and here’s why” instead of “I feel that we should eat granola instead of eggs because chickens are people too.” All I’m asking for is a little intellectual rigor instead of running the country like some kind of damned new age encounter group.

As for me, I’ll continue to speak my mind. If anything I say offends you, good. That means I’m doing my part.

No apologies…

The vile corpse of Osama bin Laden has barely settled to the bottom of the sea and I’m already hearing and reading snippets from those who would ask us to be filled with regret at the loss of “even one human life.” Maybe you are more enlightened than I am, because I cheered when I heard the news that brave Americans had gone deep into harms way to end his vile and retched existence on this earth. Bin Laden was a bad man who did bad things and the world is far better for his departure from it. The fact that he used a woman as a last ditch attempt to shield his own miserable hide proves only that he died as he lived – a coward.

Remember one thing if his death unnerves your delicate sensibilities – He chose this path, not us. I’m glad he’s dead and I hope 100 more of his like join him at the first available opportunity. Does this make me a bad person? I doubt it. It makes me a sane one whose only regret is I’ll probably never run into one of the SEALs who masterfully carried out this assault to personally thank him for his service.

As much as some would like to, we can’t wish away all the bad things in the world. Evil can’t be rolled back by doling out more hugs and passing out gold stars. It’s only stopped and put on the run because of the rough men who stand ready to do violence on our behalf. If there’s a hell, I’m sure bin Laden is in it. I hope tonight’s menu features the finest pork barbeque in all the land.