J’Accuse

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I’ve been accused of a fair amount of things in my life. I’m always interested in these accusations because they are usually far more sophisticated than I could ever hope to be. Take a former boss of mine, who thought that I went home at night and devised plots to ruin her day. I wish I had that kind of time on my hands, but if I did I probably wouldn’t spend that time trying to irritate someone. She lived in a world of constant exaggeration. If I spent ten minutes doing something that should take me five minutes she would tell someone it took me twenty minutes and that would turn into thirty minutes until by the end of the week it hadn’t taken me merely five minutes longer than she had previously assumed, but several hours. She would do this with everything and eventually she would “test” me to see if I was secretly trying to manipulate her.

One weekend she purposely took twenty-two dollars out our petty cash and put it in the office where she put it back on Monday when she got back to work. I spent most of the weekend trying to figure out what happened to the money and I had no idea that she did this until I was gone and someone filled me in on this madness. Two weeks later someone stole over one thousand dollars and I didn’t have a clue because this had been happening so often lately. This is the kind of madness that is not only unnecessary, but can cause irreparable harm. She thought she was teaching me a lesson and to some degree I get that, but my former boss thinks I’m scum of the earth because I was the person she used as her scapegoat. All of this because she thought I was some conspirator from the get go.

In point of fact I blame this on her political leanings. I’m sure that had little to do with what happened, but if you are a conservative in America you most likely believe in a number of conspiracies. One conspiracy theory is that when Democrats are in power the government divides America into the “haves” and “have nots” and proceeds to give from the haves to the have nots as a means of securing votes. First off, if this was such a brilliant plan why wouldn’t the other side do it when they’re in power? Second, what kind of resources do conservatives think liberals have in the government? It’s a ridiculous theory. As is the idea that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. Conservatives believe that Democrats are “cooking the books” on global warming despite the fact that out of three thousand scientists surveyed last year just three objected to the idea of global warming. If you were to give those numbers to a mathematician they’d say that the majority of scientists believes in global warming. If you were to give those numbers to a conservative they’d tell you there was a conspiracy.

The nice thing about conspiracies is that they can support your point of view on anything no matter how ridiculous it is. Take white supremacists for instance. White supremacists believe that everyone who is not a white Protestant male is leading to the moral degredation of our country. That means that about 55% of Americans are really trying to destroy their country if you follow that line of thinking. That’s not the line of thinking that they’ll point you towards however. They’ll tell you that it is a conspiracy on the parts of minorities to become a supermajority so that we don’t question the powers at be anymore and that we can’t trust anyone but them to tell us the truth about things. That’s pretty much how a cult operates when you think about it.

A conspiracy in Muslim countries across Arabia that has gain a lot of momentum since the Bush administration invaded Iraq in 2003 is the notion that Muslim terrorists hijacked planes and flew them into buildings on 9/11. Since then a majority of citizens of Muslim countries believe the 9/11 truther line of thinking that it was some sort of “inside job” perpetrated by the American and Israeli governments. That’s an easy conspiracy to put forward and even support in some instances unless you live in the lower ninth ward in New Orleans. If you haven’t lived through the “response” to Hurricane Katrina (which was essentially Sean Penn in a swift boat) then it’s easy to believe that the US government is capable of something that well sophisticated. The truth of the matter is that terror groups had been working since the early 1990’s to bring down the World Trade Center. Ramsey Yousef tried to blow it up in 1993 and then when Yousef was being deported an FBI agent pointed to the twin tours as they rode in a helicopter out of the city and said that the towers were still standing. Yousef replied that they wouldn’t be standing for much longer. That incident took place in 1999 right after Al-Qaeda had bombed US bases in Tanzania.

It’s easy to believe in something far-fetched because we want to believe complex theories that make us feel smarter than everyone else. Think about it for a minute. If you believe in a conspiracy theory you believe in something that a majority of people do not believe in. Thus, in your mind you are smarter than everyone else because you see and understand something that they do not. The psychology behind it is rather simple, yet the reasons for believing this stuff is beyond ridiculous. I used to work in the service industry in hotels and restaurants. One of the most annoying things that you’ll see are rich people who don’t tip their waitstaff. Real people would “get a real job” in their view. These folks have the best jobs they can get. You’ve just got to trust me that these people don’t want to be cleaning up after you because those who don’t leave tips often leave the biggest mess. When you think about this kind of stuff it’s liable to make you nuts. It makes me angry just writing about it. I still have friends and colleagues who work in the industry and the “I can’t tip you because Obamacare” line rang sour in 2010. Now, it’s old news and no one cares anymore only these people keep on doing it. It’s really simple: either you tip because you appreciate someone working hard for a living or you don’t tip because you’re a douchebag. There are no principled reasons for not tipping someone who does a good job. It’s like that guy in Caddyshack who offers to let the caddy at the golf course mow his lawn in exchange for a reference to get into college. Really? We’re supposed to thank you for your half-veiled charity? No thank you. How about you go fuck yourself?

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