Uvular hews to most social conventions. Except for never marrying. Or having children. Or getting his hair cut more often than once a year. Or working outside the home. Or watching football. Or owning and wearing jeans and sneakers. Or spending time on sites other than The Avocado.
But he does follow the rules of polite society once he emerges from the chrysalis of his nondescript suburban apartment. He (mostly) obeys the speed limit. He (no longer) publicly intoxicates himself. He has not shoplifted in decades. He tips well and says “Thank you” to servers. He will wear a collared shirt and tie when an occasion demands.
Most of all, Uvular falls into line on nearly all the small habits and offhand observances that render operating in the wider world less than insufferable. He honors a social contract he never collectively bargained because rocking boats seems like a lot of sweaty, winding effort. Plus, upsetting others ruins their day to no good purpose. Going along gets everyone along.
Now, deciding one has grown tired of toeing the line2 and raising a stink does make sense from time to time. Protesting and working to remedy actual, rather than perceived, injustices both justify overturning apple carts. Picking the battles and choosing battlefields matter greatly.
Anymore, we live in a broken social scene with houses afire.3 Especially, though not exclusively, fewer mostly white and male Americans simply refuse to practice the little kindnesses that grease the wheels of social intercourse.
From trivial tantrums to major violations of the basic tenets of humaneness, a perilous proportion of humanity has run amok. We see at one terminus of this continuum MAGA chuds misappropriating the watery platform of a boat parade Christmas light display as a moving canvas to scream obscenities at the sitting U.S. president At the other end of the shit-colored rainbow, we see Republican state lawmakers not merely suing OSHA under the trite toddler theories of “I don’t wanna” and “regulating workplace and worker safety amounts to communism,” but winning in court after court.
Between the points of pointless jackassery and willfully dismantling the rule of law fall weekly white supremacist marches along the National Mall and a radical right-wing majority in the U.S. Supreme Court authorizing vigilantism and theocracy. All the while, vast superstructures and sub-rosa elements of the Republican Party gain ground daily on ensuring no election will ever again produce a winner from the Democratic Party.
A perverse belief that one can exercise freedoms without accepting responsibilities or consequences drives a headlong rush toward hybrid state of lawless anarchy and legalistic authoritarianism—a plasma of personages, perhaps.4 Uvular hates where this all ends. Commenting below probably won’t arrest the despised developments, but you never know until you try.