Fear of expertise. Or Vaginas.

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It has been clear for sometime that education has been under attack in our country and that it has even been used as a way to insult people (especially politicians, it seems that being an educated human makes you elitist, and ironically, unintelligent.) Today I had the most hilarious* exchange on Facebook with someone (who I do not even know) through a friend’s post. First of all the unknown, who thankfully did not pepper his ad hom vitriol with spelling errors – only formatting ones – credits his educational background to the smoking section at the high school I attended, and said his primary activity was drinking Budweiser. (Here is me desperately trying to not be a beer snob. Oh. Whoops.) I am fairly certain I have acknowledged the mediocrity of my high school, so imagine the potential of the smoking section. Anyhow….

This person began to quote, with intermittent success, all sorts of interesting “facts” from the Founding Fathers about how they supported the unrestricted ownership of any and all firearms. I am sure you can now see where this is going. This followed him trying to tell me that when the Founders used the word ‘state’ they meant the 50 states.

Seriously.

After I explained how state (especially how it is used in the Second Amendment) refers to what he would likely call a ‘country’ today, defined by a single national government. I suggested that this common mistake was akin to people who mistakenly think the word nation means ‘country’. Again, as Alex Trebec would say, “No, I’m sorry, the correct response is ‘What is a specific group of people.'” I also reminded him/them that the Founding Fathers didn’t want the majority of people to even vote… they sure as shit did not want them armed.

This went back and forth for longer than it should have. And the more I got to thinking that the levels of idiocy we are facing in this country are infinite, the more acutely aware I became of the fact that in my efforts to try to actually have this conversation, I am the idiot.

It gave me a headache. And really, this whole position that gun regulation somehow equates to a loss of access to firearms is just so… lame. [Bring on Bill Maher and Jon Stewart please.] A second participant in the “discussion” asked me if I would be okay with forced registration of my vagina, since prostitution was a crime. In speaking about having to register his gun he said: “The implication is that because someone else will commit a crime with it [a gun], I should be treated as a criminal. Are these methods acceptable for all potential crimes? Rape? I would happily register my penis, but mostly just cuz I like to show it off. Prostitution? Wanna get a vagina license?”

I could not make this shit up. The gun-to-penis connection took two sentences. And yes, I think even though he lives in Nevada (clue number one that this was a futile endeavor) he might be unaware that prostitutes do basically register their vaginas. I refrained from asking him about the last time a vagina was responsible for the violent deaths of myriad human beings a la Newtown.

It went back and forth, and to every challenge on either side there was a come back… to varying degrees of success on all sides I would say. When I tried to explain that not only were we talking about my field of study in college, this was also something I studied and taught on a professional level, I got  mocked outright. [A possibly more salient question is what is scarier… an education or a vagina? Answer: An educated vagina.] I countered by saying if we were discussing drywall and I offered my opinion, and said I was a professional drywall installer, would it seem like something to make fun of? And then I got this question: what in the world could make anyone an expert on the Constitution. (Prefaced by, “Not to be an ass but…”)

And I believe he was serious. Or at least, I assume.

*Eupemism. One of many herein.

20 thoughts on “Fear of expertise. Or Vaginas.”

  1. So…Smart-Ass is an incorrect term?
    Seriously, you cannot argue with these people, because you’re arguing from a basis in reality, and they’re arguing from Oz. Or Narnia. They’re stupid, ignorant and lazy with it. I’ve given up on them. We progressives should just move on and do whats right without engaging them. I hate to say that, but they’ve given up any right to sit at the grown ups table.

  2. Arguing with an idiot brings you down to their level where they beat you with their experience. A Facebook friend had a friend who, after the Aurora shootings, posted “If he was here in Arizona he wouldn’t have lasted 13 seconds.” When I asked about why that didn’t happen in the Gabby Giffords shooting, she started sputtering insults, citing some nonsense NRA statistics and calling me “a statistically ‘moran.'” I agreed with her on that last point, because although while writing my doctoral dissertation I’d learned a fair amount about factor analysis, I’d never quite got the hang of regression analysis and multivariate analysis. Further comedy ensued.

  3. You could have pointed out that when doofus was born male, his penis was registered, with a SOcial Security number and everything. And that every penis he’s grown since then has also been registered.

    And that he hasn’t actually needed anymore than the one.

  4. I hate it when conservatives talk about the Constitution, because in almost all cases they don’t know what they’re talking about. According to the brilliant Akhil Amar, the 2nd Amendment really did only apply to militias up through the Civil War. Then it was consistently interpreted as allowing individual gun ownership. I’m fine with that, especially if it will stop me having to have any more arguments with conservatives on that issue.

    Having said that, I think liberals continue to blow it on gun control. Conservatives think they need their assault rifles to protect themselves from the black helicopters? Fine! Handguns are responsible for the vast majority murders in this country. I understand that tragedies like Sandy Hook are horrible, but focus on them misses the main issue. I’m so tired of this country pretending to solve problems rather than facing reality. Let’s talk about handguns! (BTW: I’m for a ban on high capacity magazines too, but I don’t see the point of an assault weapons ban. And note: you can get a 30 round clip for your Glock.)

    More here, although I don’t know if or how links are allowed:

    Bats, Hammers, and Handguns

    http://franklycurious.com/index.php?itemid=4040

    PS: The guy conflating guns and penises illustrates a lot about gun culture in the United States.

    1. Totally agree on all points…. Especially this: “PS: The guy conflating guns and penises illustrates a lot about gun culture in the United States.” So.True.

  5. When a person uses a gun to kill lots of people, it’s a national tragedy.

    When a person uses a vajayjay to kill lots of people, it’s a horror movie so bad that when you search for the title on IMDB, you have to go to “show all results” to find it, even though it’s only six years since the theatrical release.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0780622/

    Of course, part of the problem may be that “documentary” is a big word with lots of syllables.

  6. I got into it with a bunch of conservatards on facebook who thought all laws & regulations were redundant because the constitution… Basically their argument was the constitution makes murder theft & all common crimes illegal.. I tired to explain to them that all the constitution does is set up the government and the rules the government must follow… then they said it was the declaration of independence that did that and that the constitution & the declaration were one in the same.. I begged them to read the documents… I even summarized them for them… they then began to question my reading comprehension… I was aghast… Finally after going back & forth they finally read them… & apologized… it was terrible… then they immediately turned on the “FED” & the gold standard… I gave up & Told them I had no interest to get into economics conversation with people who are so loosely tethered to reality & an arguably below average reading comprehension… Its just not worth it…

    1. Why have I not heard/used ‘conservatard’ before? I feel I have been denied my liberal entitelment! This cannot stand!
      I can’t even muster aghast anymore.

  7. Be very glad you didn’t bring up the question of how many people vaginas have killed. If he is a pro-choicer, you would have been immediately inundated with the latest talking points (abortion as genocide, abortion as the 21st century Holocaust, and the most dangerous place in the world for a child is an American woman’s womb, I believe are the current favorites).

    Kudos for hanging in there as long as you did.

  8. What’s already been said that arguing with idiots is correct.

    Your error is treating it as a debate, as if their opinions will be malleable, as if they will ever concede any of your points have merit.

    They won’t. Ever.

    The only answer is to treat them the same way, backed up with the authority of your Real Education. I suggest from here on out that if you do engage them, restrict it to mocking them and the sources of their regurgitated opinions and witticisms. As in “You got your information on the Constitution from Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly? Congratulations, you’re a tool. Come back when your ‘knowledge’ is based in reality.”

    Don’t follow up.

    In fact, if you can plonk them, do so.

    1. I believe you are correct in that I mistakenly thought I was a) entering into debate and b) that it was a debate with rational people who had some sort of clue.
      Sigh…

      *PLONK!*

  9. I think an education is more than a pathway to skilled labor. More than teaching people how to work, it teaches them how to think (for themselves). We’d be so much better off if college was free.

      1. They’ve been actively deleting and preventing the teaching of Critica; thinking skills for deaceds now. Just read up on how wand what Texas approves of in our childrens textbooks and you’ll see. And why? Because people who can’t think critically are more easily conned and manipulated by the GOP and Faux news.

  10. There is a free book on the interwebs which explains how these people think and why you can’t get through to them. Check it out. Theauthoritarians.com.

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