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        Sunday, January 13, 2008

    Chapter And Verse...

    I have no idea where I got most of my knowledge from. I just know I know, and what I know.

    Don't anybody get their panties wadded, I'm speaking generally, here, about an interweb wide problem: somebody demanding you cite the page and paragraph and line of a book you learned something in and if you can't, that alone is proof you are a lying idiot.

    Look, lawyering is lawyering. I've done it, I know how, and you spend a fuck of a long time in a law library poring over books and previous cases to build your case to present in court...and then some smooth-talking shyster comes in and grabs the emotions of the jury and appeals to their feelings, but that is a whole nother story for another day...

    Let me make up a story to show you what I mean about this infestation of what I call 'internet lawyering':
    I make a statement that bread mold is caused by a type of mold that falls vertically (true) and that you can prevent your bread from going moldy by laying the bag sideways on the counter when you open it, and close it as soon as possible (also true).

    Now pipsqueak A pipes up and says 'what kind of mold is it' and calls you a liar when you can't remember, even though you learned this in a university level botany class 20 years ago.

    Then pipsqueaks B, C, and D pipe up and demand your source, with cries of 'where's the cite?' Now, you know damn well that you traded those books back to the bookstore for beer money 30 minutes after the last final, and that, furthermore, bookstores come out with new versions of books every year to make you have to go out and by them with all that wonderful Pell Grant money, so even if you had the botany textbook in front of you, you'd be hard-pressed to 'find the cite' twenty years later, after 20 or so respawnings of the same material.

    And that doesn't even begin to include all of the anecdotal evidence that we humans collect and store away as fact, even if some of it is distorted, hearsay, or downright lies.
    So, when I sit in a bar with a drunken Huey door-gunner, who I am trying to help work through his PTSD, and he describes the sound of enemy rounds stitching their way down the fuselage towards him, and pounds out the tattoo on the cigarette machine, and the 7th Air Cav boys in the bar flinch and try real hard not to jump for cover, I realize that I have been taken there, and given a glimpse into hell.

    But it's anecdotal. Can't be real. Can't cite the page. Fuck, I can't even remember when it was, except that it was cold because we were wearing coats, and it was in the mid 1970's.

    Heck, maybe I don't even exist. You people have bought me a new computer and monitor, gifts, and given me money. But maybe I just made Johnny up. Maybe Nat isn't real. Maybe I really am a little fat teenager sitting in his mommy's basement, wanking to porn. That seems to be the prevailing insult, isn't it? Delivered with snark and a cackle and everybody has a good laugh...

    Fuck, I hate people...cleansing breath, Bane, hold it, now let it out, slowly...

    And, we're back. Am I saying don't be careful? Take everything at face value? Fuck no! I have run across more liars, charlatans, and fools out there in the hinterwebs than you can shake a dick at. Some do it just for fun. Some have agendas. When my whiskers tickle, I sense the trap, and bug the fuck out.

    I have seen reprehensible bastards using personal tragedies they have made up, to take advantage of people. I've had someone try to run just about every con and hustle on me there is out there, and new ones come every day.

    For safety's sake, blog anonymously, use a false name, and don't put pictures of you or your kids or your house, or mention where you work with any specificity.

    It can come to no good end.