Some days I stop to think and make it all seem simple
It is, you know. To large extent, you can boil down all the politics, the police state, international and geopolitical entanglements of all sorts, and even much of the truly awful evil perpetuated by some people on others and come down to one thing: people just don’t know what it means to mind their own business, anymore.
Are mothers not teaching it — "oh, don’t be a tattletale; you get back there and just mind your own business" — anymore? Or have we all just forgotten that appropriately scornful tone of voice delivered best by moms — to their sons — that says, ultimately: that’s no way to be a man.
Or is it the focus, nowadays, to engage every notion contrary to raising real men and women who tend to their own affairs until invited (and accepted) to involve themselves in the affairs of others?
I’m trying to figure out where this comes from. I’d love to say: from
religion. After all, God’s the biggest busybody of all, right? I mean,
one of his most celebrated attributes — omniscience — sees all and
knows all, right? What a Peeping Tom loser, eh? But you know; religion
has been around for a long time, and at least in this culture, anyway,
it’s generally been taken that you’re only subject to the rules if
you’ve accepted them — excepting, of course, the nutbar fundamentalist
born-again morons; who, like nutbar fundamentalist Muslim morons, see
it as their solemn duty to make the world safe for their sadistic
mutherfucker of an imaginary friend; but I digress.
I think it’s more fundamental than religion, i.e., at some psychological level, i.e., of the sort that gives rise to religion. That is to say: one aspect of religion is that it’s a reasonably effective system for keeping tabs on people without having to be in their shit all the time, checking up on what they’re doing. Guilt does that for you to a reasonable degree of efficiency.
I don’t know. Is there anything in the anthropology that suggests a reason for why we’re forever in other people’s business? Is it simple curiosity? You can see how curiosity serves to make animals aware of enhanced survival opportunities — like food. Perhaps more cats in the wild have benefited from curiosity than have been killed by it, so the saying is entirely misplaced.
Well; beyond the idle speculation, what started me on this post this morning was word from a neighbor that the "authorities" are showing up earlier at the park in which I walk the dogs, in order to enforce the leash law. This, in response to a complaint the other day by someone who walked by, and, apparently not having noticed the off-leash dogs for the last couple of years I’ve been around, decides that our business — our peaceful community undertaking that harms no one, nor poses any reasonable risk of same — is suddenly his or her business.
There are different kinds of busybodys. There’s the kind that speaks with the "authority of the law," presuming that most people will be just stupid enough to take seriously such "reasons," and they’d be right. People always fail to draw the proper distinction between force and reason. Force is the circumvention of reason. Contre-reason is the raison d’être of force. Think about that. Long and hard. Where force exists, it is expressly because what is being forced is ultimately unjustifiable by reason. Oh, plenty of people try; but reasonable people differ. Did you get that: reasonable people differ. Therefore, they must be forced. They must be forced because they’re reasonable (and they differ, i.e., they are individuals).
The law is a convenient device when you have no good reason for demanding something of someone; it’s none of your business; you’re too lazy to argue good reasons that may exist; and/or you actually prefer playing the brute and escaping the consequences that ought to befall you when you stick your nose where it doesn’t belong.
You submit to force because it’s force, and you submit to reason, because…because it’s reasonable. Get it? Do you grasp the great gulf that exists between force and reason?
The other is the busybody tattletale; a more pernicious sort, one increasingly prevalent. While there’s always the implication that anyone who brings up the law is going to tattle if he or she doesn’t get his way, the other kind lives for the tattling, just like the child who goes running to the nearest adult authority — preferably one believed most impatient towards the sort of subject offense — as fast as little legs will carry. Ever seen it? Well, that’s what so many today look like, to me; only nowadays, we don’t call it for what it is (tattling). We call it "reporting." Have you noticed that? Every time you tun around, anymore, you’re being admonished to "report" this and that to some "authority." Watch for it and remember that when you hear it, what’s going on is that you’re being tempted to do something that’s been in you since you could talk and run to mommy; and there’s a whole class of people who operate by force (rather than by persuasion and reason), and they need you to justify their excuse for a "job." Here’s a tip: don’t be their fool; and don’t succumb to childish tendencies your mommy — if she was any good — worked so hard to shame you out of. Have some shame, will ya?
To me — with the singular qualification that someone is really being or going to be hurt — it’ll always just be tattling to mommy. As I said at the beginning: it’s simple.