Paul Butzi |||

Burn it down

Just this morning, I’ve observed several political pundits and at least one activist movement’ express sentiments which boil down to if I don’t get what I want, then I advocate burning it all down’.

My immediate response is to put such people on my list’. This list consists of the names of people I think should be ignored. Some things people do, I give them a finite duration - 1 year, or maybe 5 years. Sometimes, I give people a permanent ban - I will never consider anything those people have to say, ever.

Things that get you a permanent ban:

  • saying you wish I was dead
  • saying you wish people like me were all dead
  • threatening me with physical harm

Things that get you a temporary ban (aka time out’):

  • saying you hate me
  • saying you hate people like me

What are the consequences of being on the list? You’re cut off from interacting with me. That’s it. It’s not a hit list. It’s not a list of people where I plan or act so that bad things will happen to the people on the list. All that happens is that everything you say or write or publish I mentally throw in the trash can labeled Do not waste time or energy on contents”.

Example: Dan Savage once said words to the effect that I wish all republicans would die”. Boom. Instant permanent ban. Immediately after he said this, when called on it, he said he was just joking.

When you say you wish I was dead:

  • I believe you wish I was dead. It doesn’t matter if you’re joking, I don’t treat it as a joke.
  • You don’t get to take it back.

Not long after this, I was invited to a fundraising dinner for a cause I might otherwise have supported. Dan Savage was to be the celebrity master of ceremonies’. I declined to attend, saying I would not eat dinner in the presence of someone who had publicly stated they wished I were dead. A good friend tried to wheedle me into attending, telling me He didn’t really mean it. He’s actually a nice guy.” My response: I get to decide whether Savage meant it, not anyone else. And nice guys don’t go around saying they wish their political opponents were all dead.

One more thing that gets permanent status on my list: threatening to burn everything down if you don’t get your way. Instant permanent ban.

I’m pretty reluctant to put people on the list, but lately the list has been growing at an alarming rate.

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