Friday, July 13, 2007

THE RETURN OF THE UNCREDIBLE DUKE: "I don't like it, but I guess things happen that way." --Johnny Cash

So, I've been thinking about the idea of being "too judgemental." I have been, on occasion, accused of being too judgemental. This seems sort of hypocritical to me. How can you accuse someone else of being judgemental. You have to be judgemental to assess someone else's level judgementalosity, or whatever you want to call it. It's a little like saying, "no fucking cussing allowed, goddamn it!"

I'm sure some will say that it isn't the same. That it is a question of "How much?" I guess that's a judgement call. You see? You have to "judge" how much someone is being "judgemental." And whenever you judge, YOU are being judgemental. Whenever someone says you're being too judgemental, what they REALLY mean is, "stop saying facts about my butt-buddy, and pointing out terrible monsters that should be removed from society."

I don't like to talk about what is or isn't "forgivable." Anything is forgivable if you want to forgive, conversely, anything is unforgivable if you are not forgiving. Some want to hearken to a point of view that our actions are predetermined. That everything we do is chosen for us. By our genetics, by our past experiences, by our gods, by chance. Some believe it is one of these. Some believe it is a combination.

Fine. Believe what you will. BUT, if you believe that. If you believe that one shouldn't be judgemental because the actions of others aren't really up to them, then you MUST ALSO BELIEVE that the actions of the "overly judgemental," or "vindictive," or "unforgiving," are EQUALLY predestined. If you cannot hold people responsible for their actions, you also cannot hold people responsible for their REACTIONS.

Sometimes, it is appropriate to be judgemental. That is why we have prisons. Is justice dispensed equally? Obviously not. But we cannot throw out the justice system entirely. It is impossible to get justice dispensed equally. It will never happen in any system. All we can do is attempt to correct it and work on it to make it better. It already is a LOT better than it is in many places in the world. Still, if being judgemental was wrong, we wouldn't have punishment. Punishment, by the way, is not merely a way to make the guilty pay. It is also SUPPOSED to be a means to rehabilitation. This, unfortunately, doesn't often work very well in the penal system. But in every day life, it works surprisingly well.

When the guilty are made to see that their actions will not be tolerated, the great majority of folks will comply. MOST people don't want to be seen as stark raving assholes. Forcing people to see the error of their ways is HELPING them. It may piss them off. It may cause them personal and professional setbacks. But sometimes you have to re-break a bone to get it to set right. And if you don't, it won't ever be right. I like to break the bones is all. Is that so wrong? I don't mean I break bones in a literal sense, although there are the daydreams. What I mean is, I don't mind hurting someone's pride, or their feelings, or their delusions of competency [Ed.-that's "delusions of adequacy, Duke] if it means making MY life better. Or easier in some way. I mean, that's what it all boils-down-to, isn't it? How can I have things the way I want them? How can I put the screws to the other guy whilst I triumph? I use facts. And so, I guess I'm an asshole.

--The Uncredible Duke