After giving it a few moments thought (which is what I give most things because my mind skips around like Fred Astaire on crack) I really wonder why I didn’t name my blog or journal or whatever this is “Calling Bullshit” because one of my sons who’s way smarter than me – which is a pretty low bar to clear – recently talked about the importance of “branding” in today’s world so when you heard my name you’d immediately think:
“Oh, yeah, he’s that guy who calls bullshit.”
And now that I write all that down, it seems like an incredibly unlikely sequence of events and the only part you should pay attention to is the bit about “my mind skips around” and to prove the accuracy of that statement, here’s a story about Fred Astaire:
Fred Astaire has a reputation as a great dancer, but – according to the internet – Bob Thaves (the guy who drew Frank and Earnest) drew a cartoon where a woman tells a man:
"Sure (Fred Astaire) was great, but don't forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did, ...backwards and in high heels."
Which – as luck would have it – brings us to cartoonists and comedians and their use of exaggeration to make a point (although I have to say Bob Thaves’ cartoon seems pretty accurate) which nevertheless brings us to an even larger and more important point:
When cartoonists and comedians exaggerate, we know we’re exaggerating.
I’m well aware that U.N. Climate Summits have not actually generated enough hot air to warm the Earth’s temperature, although – as the following cartoon insinuates – you can’t fault their efforts.
I’m also aware that school board meetings do not actually resemble a scene from the Hundred Years’ War and I’m guessing they didn’t call it that when it started because that would cut way down on volunteers when the guy at the recruiting office said:
“You’re signing up for the Hundred Years’ War and it just started a month ago.”
To which the prospective volunteer might logically respond:
“Do you have anything that’s going to last about 20 minutes?”
Once again I used exaggeration to make a point about the dangers of being a school board member in an era when card-carrying morons show up to hold misspelled signs and vent their spleen about issues they know next-to-nothing about.
A Middle Ages Medical School timeout
Turns out “venting your spleen” comes from the Middle Ages when “doctors” (and I’m assuming the competition to get accepted by Merlin’s Medical School of the Middle Ages was fierce) thought the spleen was the source of “humours” that cause anger and if you got angry you were “venting your spleen” so let’s go with that and from now on when I say stupid shit after a couple shots and a six-pack, let’s just assume I’m “venting my liver.”
Time back in
So just in case you missed it the first time we drove past, the point I’m making is this: cartoonists and comedians use exaggeration to make a point or a joke, but we’re well aware we’re using exaggeration and the things we’re saying aren’t literally true.
Some people might not be quite so self-aware.
As the cartoon at the top of this post points out: it has become all too common for the people who don’t want to wear masks or get vaccinated to compare their situation to the Holocaust and they don’t seem to think they’re exaggerating. Which means they don’t know jackshit about communicable diseases or the Holocaust and we’ll start with a point worth making.
The Holocaust wasn’t voluntary
The Kansas City Star has a front page story about a vaccine mandate for companies with 100 or more employees and that will make big news and some people will scream about the government forcing them to get vaccinated, which is not exactly 100 percent accurate.
People are still free to refuse vaccination, but if they make that choice they might have to find a different job.
I wasn’t there at the time, but I’m under the general impressions that when the Nazis showed up at their door, Jews were not free to say: “Yeah, all things considered I’d rather not participate in the Holocaust and if that means I have to find a new job, I’ll start checking the want ads.”
(The stories I read weren’t clear on who would be offered the option, but apparently some workers can remain unvaccinated and employed, but will have to wear a mask at work and provide a negative COVID-19 test at least once a week.)
So you can still choose not to wear a mask or get vaccinated, but other people have rights too and employers can say you can’t work here without being vaccinated and businesses can say you can’t come in here without a mask.
Public schools have required certain vaccinations for years and years and even here in the somewhat backasswards state of Missouri if you want to attend school from kindergarten through high school you’re required to have seven types of vaccinations, none of which were a big deal until Donald Trump and His Band of Knuckleheads (which would be a great name for a lounge act and/or political party) started screaming about something they apparently know next-to-nothing about.
If you want to read more about the vaccinations required to attend public school in Missouri, here’s a link:
Bottom line: you can still choose to risk your life – and COVID-19 has now killed at least 5 million people – but you don’t have the right to risk other people’s lives with your bad choices. You can walk around all day without being vaccinated or wearing a mask, but you might not be able to enter a restaurant without masking up, or endanger your co-workers by remaining unvaccinated.
You get to make your choices; other people get to make theirs.
Refusing to wear a mask or get vaccinated may limit your options when it comes to shopping, dining out, employment and education, but wearing a mask and vaccination are still voluntary; participation in the Holocaust wasn’t.
Wearing a mask and/or being vaccinated isn’t comparable to being murdered
Some Conservatives love to call some Liberals “snowflakes” and in some cases I agree with them and extremists on the Left don’t help their cause when they get overly-sensitive just to show how “woke” they are.
I get it: proving how sensitive you are to the problem of politically-incorrect gender pronouns so you can express your deep outrage while sipping white wine at the next art opening of paintings nobody understands is likely to get you called a “snowflake.”
So what’s that make a Conservative who thinks having to wear a mask or get vaccinated means he or she is suffering just as badly as the people who were rounded up, separated from their families, had their property confiscated and were sent to concentration camps where they were worked to death, experimented on or just plain murdered?
So who’s the snowflake now?
Which reminds me of the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode where Larry David is asked if it’s OK to bring a “Survivor” to a dinner party and Larry thinks he’ll invite one of his dad’s friends who survived the Holocaust because the two “Survivors” will have a lot to talk about and it turns out the first “Survivor” was a contestant on the game show and one of his main complaints about his experience was: “No snacks.”
And if you haven’t seen it here’s the scene in which the two “Survivors” argue about who had it worse.
Two minutes and 37 seconds which helps explain why someone who’s Jewish might get a little upset when a soccer mom who just got a “mani-pedi” and will then go shopping and have a lunch with her friends, thinks it’s OK to say that being required to wear a mask while walking into the restaurant is “racism against the modern day Jew” which seems completely crazy until you find out that phrase was used by a Republican Kansas State legislator and then it seems par for a very ignorant course.
Comparing the minor inconveniences of wearing a mask or being vaccinated to the extermination of 6 million people is offensive and the people who do it don’t seem to be using exaggeration to make a point; these morons seem to be serious.
And I’m happy to join the chorus of people calling bullshit.