Wednesday, June 08, 2016

The talk my dad never had to have with me

Sit down, Clark. We need to have a chat.

You're my son and I love you. And as a result, I will support you in any endeavor you choose to undertake. I don't care if you grow up to be the President of the United States or if you're a plumber or a doctor or a retail clerk or a short-order cook. It doesn't matter.

Unless you turn out to be a raping piece of shit.

If that happens, you're on your own.

Let me explain. You're young and you may be prone to taking things too literally. When I say "piece of shit", I don't mean feces, waste product or excrement. I mean a bad person who is so bad that the only accurate way to describe them is to compare them directly to feces, waste product and excrement. And by raping, I mean being a rapist or one who rapes. Do you understand? Good.

Don't hurt other people. That includes, don't take things that don't belong to you. Don't cheat. Don't bully anyone. Be kind to animals. Don't damage property. Basically, don't do anything to anybody else that you wouldn't want done to you. Avoid that and you'll be guaranteed of not being a piece of shit. And especially don't rape people.

There are instances where you could probably get away with being a rapist piece of shit. In all likelihood, you're going to be bigger and stronger than many women and overpowering them for the purpose of violating them will not be all that difficult. Also, you're white so even if you get caught, your chances of getting a relatively favorable outcome in a court proceeding are pretty good. But that's just all the more reason to not be a piece of shit. Exploiting an unfair advantage is a real piece of shit move. Let me be clear about that; if you develop athletic skills that make you a better athlete than other people, by all means, utilize your abilities to be the best you can be. But don't play against small children or the disabled, and if you do, don't strike them out with 85 MPH curveballs or dunk on them. You know who would do something like that? A real piece of shit. Apply that mindset to how you should treat women; don't rape them.

I'm telling you this because while these things may seem to be obvious and self-evident to any sentient being with a conscience, I don't feel like I can leave that up to you. Sorry. You might be a piece of shit in waiting and I don't want to take any chances. I don't necessarily think you are but I have no way of knowing that at this point, other than hoping my own personal actions have set some sort of example and that you were born with at least a modicum of common sense and basic morality. Who knows, though? If you do turn out to be a piece of shit who rapes people, I don't want anybody saying I didn't do everything I could to keep it from happening. It's a small world and I have to live in it after you shit it up.

In case you're on the fence right now, contemplating which direction you want to take in life, believe me when I tell you that there's no long-term benefit to being a piece of shit rapist. You may enjoy some temporary, superficial sense of satisfaction. You may even profit from your horrible actions. That may last for years and years but it will eventually end and you'll be alone. Eventually, usually sooner than later, people will hate you and you'll hate yourself. Why? Because you'll be a piece of shit. You may be a piece of shit who got over on decent people for a while, but you'll still be a piece of shit. And nobody likes a piece of shit.

Now, if you decide to ignore all the reasons not to be a piece of shit who rapes people, including this talk we're having right now, you need to know what responsibility and consequences are. Responsibility is being accountable and the ability to act independently and make decisions without authorization. Consequences are what happens as a result of a particular action or set of conditions. They're two equal parts of the same equation. You are responsible for your actions as well as the consequences of those actions. When you're a piece of shit, you're responsible for the shit that happens as a result of your shittiness. Nobody else. Just your shitty self. That not only means it's nobody else's fault and you shouldn't blame me or anybody else for it, it means you shouldn't even expect to be able to pull that shit. Get it?

Let's say you do something shitty. Like, oh, I don't know, say you regard women as anything less than human beings and you rape them and you get in trouble for it. You call me up to tell me about it and here's how that conversation will go:
"Dad, I've done something shitty. In spite of everything you taught me and my own sense of what's right and wrong, I raped somebody."
"Well, I guess you're a piece of shit."
That's it.

Don't get the wrong idea. I'm not talking about making mistakes. That's going to happen. You're going to make mistakes. Lots of 'em and some of them will be really shitty mistakes. As long as you learn some kind of lesson and don't fall into a pattern of repeating those mistakes and you don't disregard a person's humanity by raping them, I'll help you out. No, I'm not talking about lapses and errors in judgment. I'm talking about living your life with a general lack of regard for others and a sense of entitlement that prohibits you from taking responsibility for your actions.

I'm saying don't be a piece of shit. And specifically, don't rape.

Okay, son? Good talk.

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