A Rage over Masks.

A friend of mine’s tearing rage over masks continues. And he has more than a little justice to his rage.  Wearing masks causes him significant health problems and others in his family have also experienced significant (trust me on this although I’m not going to go into detail here–not my story to tell) hardship because of the “wear a mask” mandates.  So far, I’m with it.  Really.  However, he then declares that anyone who cooperates with these mask orders either believes that they actually help and is thus “an idiot” or knows better but bows to authority anyway, which he declares makes them “a pussy.”  Now, readers of my blog should know by now what I think of the routine wearing of masks, nevertheless I wear one to avoid the aggravation of dealing with some store security guard or being kicked out of one of the only venues I go to for getting out of the house for some decent exercise (see my various “Ice Follies” posts for that.)

My protest is a little more low-key.  I wear a mask, but it’s a costume piece (picture at the top of this (and if you like it, you can buy it here) that makes no pretension of any medical value.  Nobody has questioned it.  Ever.  Thus demonstrating that the whole thing is theater.

So, to him, I guess, I’m a “pussy” because I can’t deal with the aggravation of fighting the mask edicts with anything other than words and the low key “type of mask” at the moment. Too many things on my plate and not enough spoons (to stretch a metaphor). This has, however, given me food for thought.

My friend is also something of a firebrand on the liberty front…makes me look like a moderate (and, again, readers of this blog should be able to calibrate that).  One of the things he has talked about is the idea of an armed revolt to overthrow a government that has strayed, and continues to stray farther from the ideals of liberty set forth in the Constitution and restore actual liberty to the US.

The thing is, if there ever is a “pro freedom” armed revolt in this country I do not think the person who sets it off will be one of the firebrands like my friend. Those kind of folk have their place as do (so I believe) folk like me who engage in more reasoned (or so I tell myself) argument. Firing the opening shots that sets off a revolution is generally not that role. It’s too easy for the “establishment” to paint someone like my friend (or me) as a nutjob who of course went violent.

No, if such an armed revolt starts it will be because some quiet, ordinary individual gets pushed too far. And a lot of other quiet, ordinary guys will find themselves in sympathy with him, triggering a preference cascade and suddenly a whole bunch of people are up in arms.

Only when the ordinary folk who just want to live their lives in peace find themselves pushed beyond patience and driven to say “enough”, would folk like my friend, or me, possibly find ourselves as commanders or leaders in the events quickly following the cascade. (Well, almost certainly not me because much too “small fish” and not any kind of “expert” in the necessary areas–I recognize my own lack of qualifications.)

Before then, the role of the outspoken–again folk like my friend and me–is to try to set ideas in folks minds, laying the groundwork for that eventual preference cascade. As Samuel Adams once said, “It does not take a majority to prevail, only a tireless minority eager to set brushfires of freedom in men’s minds.” He missed, I think, that by doing so you create a majority…but that comes later. It’s that “setting brushfires of freedom” where the public outcry is most valuable at the moment.

For setting those brushfires, I try to present reasoned arguments.  My friend’s approach is bombast. He’s usually got considerable in the way of facts and reason on his side, but his method of presenting those is bombast.

As much as I find the “bombast” approach grating, I have to admit that it has its place. Some people whose eyes glass over when you try reason will respond to bombast. It’s a tool, not an end in itself.

A quote I’ve used is that “in order for you to insult me, I would first have to value your opinion.” Unfortunately, it seems that a friend, and someone who’s opinion I generally do value (and, thus, someone actually able to insult me), considers me a “pussy” because I don’t follow his particular approach for dealing with the mask nonsense.

I guess I’ll just have to live with it.

6 thoughts on “A Rage over Masks.”

  1. Well, between the two of you, gotta say you’re more likely to change minds than he; mocking beats yelling insults at any sympathetic who don’t do what you want.

    I hope that I managed to put question into someone’s mind this Sunday…had to take the kids practice for first communion, put off putting on the scarf-mask until the last moment, still ended up having my knees give out while I was carrying the baby and minimum child supplies down the basement stairs to exit the building. Only two or three stairs, and thank God I kept my grip on the rail, but ooooow. Quietly mentioned “that’s one of the reasons I can’t wear a mask” and got the kids into the car. Was a good ten minutes before I was safe to drive, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The mask mandates /must/ carry medical exemptions, or they’re worthless. Like your “spoon costs,” my wife is asthmatic (which makes a mask impede her greatly,) and I can’t wear anything that puts pressure on my nose (or it starts to bleed, as I’ve probably mentioned before.) And, even something loose (like my /kaffiyeh/, which I wear in lieu of a surgical mask) will make my nose, turbinates, and sinuses pack up inside of five minutes, thereby increasing MY “spoon cost.”

    Not having exemptions for medical conditions makes mask mandates worthless as it means that the masks can present more of a hazard to the wearer than breathing the air around them.

    And Governor Gavin Nuisance’s “Masks EVERYWHERE” mandate goes entirely too damned far – I flatly refuse to wear a mask while I’m in my truck, alone, on the road with the window down and driving. Not gonna happen, kids. With my wife? Neither of us wears a mask – we’ve slept next to each other without masks for 23 years, and there’s no reason to start now. So, same deal (and we usually have the windows down, unless we’re in a heat wave – like now. Then, the aircon is on.)

    Is a mask potentially useful? I might argue the point, but not very loud. (Frankly, I think the vulnerable should take such precautions as they see fit and the rest of us should deal with COVID and get a herd immunity going already – we’re on, what, six months or so of this shutdown?) Is it necessary to wear one as soon as you walk out the front door, and take it off when you finally get back in? No, it is not.


    1. Local hardware store has the state (Governor Quisling’s Edic… Executive Order). Also has a sign saying that medical exemptions exist and due to HIPPA they *cannot* ask about such, therefore the mask-less will be assumed to have such a medical condition. “Thank you for supporting our business.”

      Liked by 3 people

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