Civil Disobedience, The Importance Of Pain, And A ‘Peppa Pig’ Story

Lots to say and write about in recent days, much of which to my satisfaction is not merely “commentary on the ugliness” — something I decided not long ago that I’m not real interested in doing for the next 18 months until we get power back.

But after doing a few pieces already this morning, I’ve got three more thoughts I wanted to get out and am rolling them up into one post.

Without further delay…


I’m pretty sure I heard Rand Paul and Ted Cruz swear off masks going forward in Congress. I heard Rand Paul was just rolling around not wearing one and pissing everyone off, and Ted Cruz made some kind of proclamation about it last week. You can DuckDuckGo all that up yourself but here’s my point: maybe last night wouldn’t have been the right time because disrupting the State of the Union is a bridge too far and disrespectful to our nation. But at some point we need to see a few good elected Republicans remove their masks in a place and manner that gets them arrested. America needs to see that important act of civil disobedience. America needs to contemplate that these fully vaccinated adults are being physically arrested for rejecting the fear porn of theatrical mask-wearing. Civil disobedience has always played an important role in Republican civil rights movements. Today’s with respect to unmasking our nation should be no exception. We need a few elected Republicans, all of whom at this point are fully vaccinated and pose virtually no threat to the vast majority of the population including other adults who choose not to get vaccinated, we need those elected Republicans to sacrifice their freedom however temporarily in the interest of promoting ours. Let America watch the mask Nazis literally arrest fully-vaccinated adults for doing what we all know is perfectly safe, and defying what we all know is unreasonably destructive to our nation and its people.


When you’re as easily bored as I am, you find ways to stay alert in requisite situations. I first learned about pain being a tremendous antidote to drowsiness while sitting in a sales conference probably 15 years ago. I took the lesson back to my car with me for those drowsy moments, too. It works like this: anytime you start to feel yourself dozing off at inappropriate or unsafe times, just find a way to elicit a pain response from your body. For me, a simple pinch of the sensitive skin to the right of my knee works just fine. A tug of some arm hair also works great. Anything to evoke a shot of pain creates a sustained alertness that can’t be matched by want or willpower alone. I’ve contemplated a subsequent crash on the other side of this technique because all effects create reactions, but nothing noticeable has eclipsed the value of physical pain being an excellent antidote to drowsiness.

It’s more than interesting tip. It’s also, to me, an allegory for what might be happening in our nation right now. Because while I’ve been politically active for decades now, it’s only in the last month or so hit me just how “not okay” it is that we can’t speak freely anymore.

We, the mainstream of America, the conservative American right, have for decades been bullied into silence. We have to just sit there and “take it” as our liberal friends, coworkers, neighbors and others throughout our communities can fly their liberal flags as loudly and proudly as they want — while we have to pretend to be ashamed of our love for this country, the Republicans who represent us and the conservative ideals that define us.

That’s not okay. Our fear, the bullying we’ve all endured and the fascism we’re watching amid the “cancel culture” created by the media and Democrats, none of that is okay. The fascism by big tech and their relegating us to a narrow echo chamber where we don’t exist to anyone except each other, isn’t okay. None of what they’re doing is okay and it made me think recently that if we have to sacrifice our Amazon accounts, for example, that’s okay. If we have to stop using Google even, that’s okay. If we have to give up our cell phones and some of the good gadgetry these people have given us over the years, that’s okay. In fact if we have to give up our jobs and our homes, for a lot of us, that’s starting to look okay, too.

We can win this thing without firing a single shot. But we have to be prepared to fight. We have to let go of our fear. We have to remember that the answer to “How’d we survive before cell phones!?” is and will remain “Really easily, actually.” We’re so wrapped up in our belief that what they’ve given us is more important than what they’re taking from us. But that dynamic is changing. I think a lot of us are waking up from our slumbers.  A lot of us are waking up from our fears. A lot of us are tired of being afraid of these people, especially when what we have to say is true and honest and important. And a lot of us are realizing that we’re much stronger, and more liberated, and more free, without all the fear they’ve held over us for so long. I think a lot of people are starting to wake up from their apathy and drowsiness, and I think the pain we’re starting to feel from the people we used to fear might be the reason why.

We’ll find out soon enough, I guess. But I know when I’m thinking these things that I’m not the only one. I’ve spent my whole life being afraid of these people and their bullying. And as a result they’ve serenaded me, and so many millions of others, into a quiet state of polite subservience. That’s changing. We’re waking up. We’re no longer as afraid of them, or what they can take from us.

And the source of that awakening, I’m guessing, is the pain they’re inflicting on us and our nation. Because pain really is the best antidote for drowsiness.


I’ve been hovering over my son’s videos lately and keep waiting for something that annoys me politically to pop up. (So far the only thing even close to political I’ve heard is some Trump remix of him saying “We’re gonna build the wall!” and then my son repeats it. At first I got a little heartburn but then gave it half a second of thought, realized the left has been infecting the minds of the young my entire life, and decided that I love it and am fine with it. Other than that, bupkis, until the other day when Mommy Pig (from the “Peppa Pig” series) told a pretty cool story that got my wheels going. It was about an onion that wanted to make people laugh, but instead made people cry. The onion sought advice from others. He tried putting on a funny hat, and funny shoes, but he still made people cry. Then someone gave him some even better advice: “Do something funny.” And that did the trick. By doing something, instead of letting his identity do it for him, the onion was able to make people laugh.


That’s a character-over-identity lesson if I ever heard one.

The onion was even predisposed to make people cry, but because it focused on what it does instead of merely what it is, the onion was able to not only overcome adversity but also achieve its goals and the happiness that goes with those victories. A good story from an unlikely source that felt worth sharing.


Okay that’s it for me today I think. Take care, everyone. Hold the line!

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