The title of this blog post is brought to you by a chief I had in the Navy. This was one of his favorite things to remind people as he instructed us in the art of becoming pharmacy technicians. I, personally, never heard him drop it when someone was actually panicking, but I do like to keep this phrase in mind.
The reason it comes up today, though, was because of a TV show I recently binge-watched when I had time. It’s on the Discovery Channel and it’s called Homestead Rescue.
On the show, a man and his son and daughter travel around the country to bail out modern homesteaders who are in over their heads and are about to lose their homesteads.
Much of the time, the problem is that they’re not utilizing the land correctly or they lack certain skills or something, but for the most part, these are people who jumped feet first into something they didn’t really understand.
Phobias are defined in psychology as an unreasonable fear of something. It’s not like being terrified of bees because you’re allergic and don’t carry an Epi-Pen with you everywhere (hint: You actually can’t).
No, it’s something where your level of fear goes well beyond the norm, and not necessarily because of what you’re afraid of, but of just how afraid you are of a thing.
Being afraid of going outside (agoraphobia) can make sense in some contexts, but not to the point where you absolutely refuse to leave the house, for example.
Well, for a while, my big phobia was turning 39-years-old, and there’s a reason why.
It’s that time of year again. Trees are set up, mistletoe is hanging in strategic places in your home, and presents are probably already wrapped up and hiding under that big, green piece of vegetation (faux or not) sitting in your living room.
I don’t have a lot to offer this holiday season, but I do have a few thoughts about it.
If there’s one group of people in this world that I’ve given more grief to than Justin Bieber fans, it’s hipsters.
Far too often, I encounter them and immediately rule them as pretentious snobs who are more about virtue signaling than anything else. To be honest, I stand by that assessment.
But then I think about how society is fragile, how civilization is a delicate glass construct that could shatter at any given moment. Should that happen–and I’m not saying it will, mind you, or that I want it to, just that it might–do you know the one group of people that will probably help civilization return more than any other?
It ain’t necessarily the preppers. It’ll be the hipsters.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s basically where someone has devoted so much of their time into just following one “expert” on any given thing that they take anything counter to what their favorite personality says as heresy.
While it’s often not these personalities’ faults, it doesn’t change the fact that few supposed experts are willing to admit that other people get stuff right all the time. That, unfortunately, fuels the fanboyism into what should be uncomfortable extremes.
And really, how the hell do people let themselves get to that point?
This morning, for some odd reason, I started thinking about Patrick Swayze in the movie “Roadhouse.”
Let’s be fair, it’s not a classic of American cinema. It’s a cheesy movie with a few really great scenes that makes it stick out. One of those scenes, in particular, stuck in my head today.
It’s the scene where he’s talking to the bouncers at the Double Deuce and he’s telling them how to handle things going forward.
Here’s the clip (edited):
Be nice, until it’s time to not be nice.
In the context, he’s talking about a job with a high risk of confrontation. Drunk people don’t make good judgments, by and large, so bouncers are occasionally forced to fight.
But it’s also good advice in our contentious times where everything is controversial and nothing is beyond causing offense, it seems.
Life on social media and in the real world has gotten volatile. It’s hard to know how to go, which is why I started thinking as a Barbarian.
But that attitude, the idea of living your life as if you risk having your skull split open while being prepared to split skulls yourself if need be, can be summed up pretty well by Swayze’s lines here. Be nice, until it’s time to not be nice.
Now, this introduces a problem, though.
You see, being nice is seen by some as weakness. They see it as something to exploit, something they can capitalize on. They see you as nice and want to take advantage of that niceness.
If they’re smart, they’ll do it subtly, over a period of time. They’ll do it slowly enough you might not even realize they’re taking advantage of you until it’s too late.
But most people aren’t that smart.
So what do you do when you realize that people are taking advantage of you? Well, then it’s time to not be nice.
I’m not saying you beat their asses, though that might be warranted. It’s rarely permissible by the rules of society, after all, unless they start it. But you’re not obliged to continue to be treated badly either.
What you’re dealing with, however, are people who want to take advantage of your civilized nature. They know you will likely do nothing to them, so they have no fear of you. They have no reason to fear you.
Unfortunately for them, you’re a Barbarian. They should fear you. They should fear your rage.
While you have to navigate the rules of society, bear in mind that those rules really just require you to get creative in how you deal with them.
Oh, declaring them dead to you is fair. They’re probably even halfway ready for that.
But you can split their skulls as no civilized man, even if only in a metaphorical sense.
Make sure people know what you’ve been dealing with. Provide witnesses who can vouch for it–you and I both know that others will probably see it before you will–and provide evidence. Make it clear who and what they are.
More importantly, though, you’re making it more difficult for them to do this to other people. You’re making it so they have to repair their reputations, which means going against what you declared them to be.
In other words, use their actions to destroy any reputation they may have. Cut them off socially, if possible. Make them pay.
You were nice. Until it was time to not be nice.
But when that moment comes, descend upon the wicked like the fiery hand of God.
Society may say we have to play by their rules, but that doesn’t mean we have to be anyone’s doormat.
For the last while now, I’ve been working toward something. I’ve been working toward making myself into something. I’ve written about my thoughts and a bit about why I’m not the only one who should work toward this something, even.
But I haven’t even really defined precisely what this something is. I’ve touched on it, but I haven’t really defined what it is that this Modern Barbarian really is.
Today, I’m going to try and do that. I may add to some of this at a later date, but this is where the entire concept stands as of this moment.