Thursday, August 7, 2014

Aliens and Assholes

Oh, humans, how pathetic you are to ask for advice. How incredibly more pathetic it is to ask a rabbit for advice. But, I guess you’ve got to do something when not a single self-help book gets the job done, and you’ve read them all. That’s where I come in to save the day. Not necessarily your day, but someone’s…

Dear Angry Rabbit: I have a friend that talks about conspiracies all the time. He talks about how there is a conspiracy by secret organizations to rule the world, that these organizations are in contact with inter-dimensional aliens, that school shootings are staged incidents, that ancient knowledge is suppressed so that doctors can give us mind control drugs; there seems to be no end to his insane ideas. He even posts videos on Youtube about these conspiracies. I can’t take it anymore. How do I talk some sense into him before he winds up in the looney bin? – Signed, Bullshit Detected

Dear Bullshit Detected: Whoa! Finally, someone I can sympathize with! I hear ya. I, too, am flabbergasted by the capacity of human beings to construct wild ass stories out of a failure to reason properly. There’s only one way to see if you can talk any sense into your friend: Ask him (‘cause it’s always a guy) “How do you know?” What information does he have that leads him to his conclusions? Now, if you say you’ve heard the same information and have come to a different conclusion, ask him how this can be. If he allows for the possibility that you can be correct in your assessment, there’s hope. Your friend can be reasoned with. But if he says something like you’ve become too indoctrinated by The Man to see clearly or he ignores your points while trying to get you to support his, then there is no hope. While his insanity may cost you a friendship, you don’t have to worry about him winding up in a looney bin. Everyone believes stupid shit all day long every day. We only lock people up when they become a danger to themselves or others. Fortunately for your friend but unfortunately for society, merely being stupid isn’t considered dangerous, probably because other stupid people are judging how dangerous stupidity actually is. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to trying to find intelligent life out there because it sure ain’t around here.

Dear Angry Rabbit: I may be accused of being sexist, but after spending over 20 years around health care nursing stations and hospital break rooms, I continue to be mystified and appalled by the way my female colleagues routinely violate the confidentiality of others. I'm referring to personal information regarding friends and co-workers, not their patients. Gossip about extramarital affairs, financial woes and substance abuse; there seems to be no subject that is off limits. And frequently the statements I hear make it clear that the so-called facts being traded like some kind of currency are no more than secondhand innuendo. Away from work, I spend lots of time with groups of male friends, but I simply don't experience the same cavalier treatment of others' personal information. Is this a gender-based phenomenon? Is it possible to get them to stop gossiping? – Signed, Quackers

Dear Quackers: Is it possible to get your female coworkers to stop gossiping? Is it possible to get your male friends to start gossiping? I find it interesting that you appear to work in a science-based environment, but you’re asking an advice columnist if gossiping is a gender-based phenomenon. Forget asking a biologist or sociologist – that would be too hard! So, science isn’t your strong point; let’s move on. Two things: First, is the gossiping hurting you personally? Unless you screwed one of the nurses and you’re afraid that your failure to satisfy is making the rounds, then nothing they are saying actually affects YOU. Believe something affects you when it doesn’t may be a time honored tradition among humans, but that doesn’t make it right. Now onto number two: Don’t you think all the women know they all gossip amongst themselves so that confidentiality is never really breached since they all know the information is going to get around? If they want to talk about these things, fine, it’s on them when and if it ever comes around to bite one of them in the ass. If you’re still bothered by the gossiping – knowing YOU don’t do anything to annoy anyone – you could go to you HR department and argue that the nurses are creating a hostile work environment. Of course, that will get the nurses gossiping about what a huge asshole you are, so complaining is a double-edged sword. Please kill yourself with it.