Vituperation and Values

The vituperative response of a reader to one of my previous blog posts (an excerpt from the edited portion of that post follows) about the intent of my family to create our own holiday traditions that make sense to us and arise out of our own values has motivated me to specifically reflect upon those values.  The original post I redacted at the request of a close family member.

“Now that my wife and I are parents, we will begin establishing our Christmas traditions as a family; traditions that make sense to us and arise out of our own values.”

The Internet

I use Internet forums and this blog as places to write about what I think, as well as to write about my life’s events.  That is what Internet forums and blogs are for.  If the Venn diagram of my life overlaps with that of someone else, when I write about my life, I might also be writing about the events of someone else’s.  Because this blog cross-posts in other places, those who would not normally come here to read about the things I think and do may be exposed to ideas they find offensive.

Metrospy conservative values bumper sticker

Fatih, Family, Life, Country, and The Right to Bear Arms - some basic conservative American values

The Basics

Personally, I value truth for its own sake. I value the free exchange of ideas and do not expect even significant others to agree with mine.  I hope they will understand them, but agreement is not necessary for my own mental, emotional, and spiritual equanimity.

I value justice.  I will typically not tolerate, if there’s anything I can do about it, an injustice perpetrated upon myself or another person.  That means I won’t quietly accept a serving of excrement that I did not order.  Normally, I’ll return it, somehow or another, to the waitstaff, as opposed to hiding it under the table at my feet, or scraping it off the plate into a potted plant.  I won’t quietly sit by while another person is force-fed a similar helping.  And by the way, the serving-of-excrement thing is metaphor.

I value freedom to speak, write, publish, and broadcast my thoughts and ideas.  I value your freedom to disagree or to pay no attention.

I value thrift as the proper response to the possession of financial and other resources.  It just makes sense to be careful in circumstances of plenty, because circumstances may change.

I value charity as the proper response to the possession of plenty.  Because I have been helped many times by others, I am happy to be of service and to help others when I reasonably can.

I value the practice of my religion, and as a Christian, I think that Christian religious commemorations or, as we’ve come to call them, holidays, are essentially religious occasions.  While, to a degree, I enjoy some of the cultural traditions associated with Christian holidays, I consider them of secondary importance.

Other News

This blog post has been written in and is being published by a Windows Live program called Windows Live Writer.  I’m not sure it will work.  The Windows Live suite is something I downloaded and installed with a Windows Vista update.  I’ve heard terrible things about Windows Vista, but I find that I like it considerably better than Windows XP Professional.  That is, after installing Service Pack 2.

Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 is the system that came preinstalled on the HP DV6 factory refurbished laptop I purchased last week from HP’s online outlet store.  It’s not the super cool Macbook Pro I wanted (Apple Store factory refurb unit), but it has twice the RAM, a gigantic 12-cell battery, a much larger hard drive, built-in wireless, and will make a good sandbox for all those Windows programs I don’t want to run in a virtual machine on the Power Mac I normally use.  Oh yeah, did I mention I got it about half the cost of that Macbook Pro?

HP Pavilion DV6 Case

The downside

The downside is that it has a shiny case with ugly shiny silver circular designs that, at first glance, resemble nothing so much as little piles of fingernail clippings.  But it’s that thrift-thing, again.  Never buy new, never pay full retail, etc.; and looks don’t matter whereas function does.

I placed my order online the evening of Thursday 7 January, and received the laptop the following Saturday.  Turns out Saturday deliveries are included with standard shipping.  That’s great service.  Because I bought before 31 January, HP is shipping me a gratis copy of Windows 7, which I’ll probably install after monkeying around with Vista for awhile.  From the reviews I’ve read, 7 makes fewer superfluous hardware calls, runs faster, uses less battery power than Vista.

I’ll probably put some of the money I’ve saved toward an Apple Store factory refurb Imac sometime in the near future.

Conservative T-Shirts That Mock Liberals, Oh My!

This morning I posted a link at my Facebook profile (search Facebook for Christov_Tenn) to the website of an online retailer of T-Shirts and other paraphernalia emblazoned with sometimes mocking and otherwise humorous or clever conservative slogans and/or designs. Heck, I didn’t even choose a mocking image to illustrate the link, just a simple McCain/Palin campaign T. One of my cousins, as far to the left as I am to the right, mocked back in the comment box Facebook provides. Other comments were posted. When I returned home from work, I drank about half a pot of black, room temperature coffee left over from this morning, soapboxed a wordy reply of my own.

Here’s the design that seems to have incited the Facebook exchange:

Is this offensive?  Should conservative slogan-writers be required to produce what amounts to comfort speech for the left?

Is this offensive? Should conservative slogan-writers be required to produce what amounts to "comfort speech" for the left?

And here are my comments posted in response to those of my cousin:

creating an environment…” (cousin’s name removed), I’ve got to say, “Blah, blah, blah.” Political mockery is absolutely something that Americans of every ilk have always indulged in. If anything, it allows us to blow off steam and release tension.

We are never under any obligation to utter “comfort speech” to any group or person. Free political speech is a constitutional right.

I guess if you want to be scared over there on the left that some “lone gunman” might commit a crime upon the basis of the mocking replacement of sibilant with a labial stop, you’re free to express your fears in the same way those on the right are to express their fears about the possibility of some authoritarian, power-hungry socialist whip-cracker ceding national sovereignty to ideological brethren in the United Nations.

But c’mon, let’s have the courage to poke fun at all the asshats who imagine it is their divine right to impose their half-baked ideas and wills upon us.

Adds a final blah, steps off soapbox

And a little while later, after I realized my mistake:

Hey, but the reason I posted this link in the first place was to give my own ideological brethren (which at this point means those willing to press McVote touch-screen-happy-meal button for “Anybody but Obama”) a source for McCain Palin T-shirts since the local Republican headquarters are all out of them.

Sibilant & stop I got mixed up, supra. Actually the unintended meaning in re: the aspersion cast is pretty funny in itself.

I thought it would be interesting to bring it out here into the blogosphere.

Have a look at some of the T-Shirts and stuff at MetroSpy, then tell me whether they scare you, whether the people who find them amusing scare you, whether you find them amusing, or whether they make you want to burn thing and throw stones outside embassy gates…

The poll’s skin is a soothing pink bearing the image of a buttlerfly, a universally recognized symbol that bespeaks change and peace, intended as comforting framework within which to meaningfully express by clicking true sentiments in the safe online world of Mr. Christov’s WordPress blog.