Liberty lovers are a critical bunch. They can be relied on to nitpick, backseat drive, and second guess anything you do in the way of activism. And anything you don’t do. And anything you think about doing. And anything it never even occurred to you to do, but if it had, you wouldn’t have done it because you really don’t think that’s such a bright idea, all things considered.
I honestly don’t know if it’s just human nature and all groups of people do this to one another, or if liberty peeps are unique in this respect. I never really had a “gang” before getting involved with the Free State Project, which then led to involvement with assorted other liberty groups, some New Hampshire-based and some with a wider scope.
Last night, while doing a strikingly piss-poor job of getting a good night’s rest (which is ironic, because one of the last things I did before going to bed was digging up this clip of Billy Crystal talking about how he hasn’t slept since 1948), I had Deep Thoughts on the subject of criticism. It suddenly occurred to me, like a bolt of lightning, or should I say a phaser set to stun: What Would Spock Do? Yes, you know, Spock. The dude from Star Trek (The Original Series) who, because he’s half human and half Vulcan, both experiences and comments on the human condition in a uniquely cockeyed way. Spock’s got plenty of passionate emotions, but consciously chooses (and sometimes struggles) to embrace logic. And for some reason, probably because I’m a complete NERD, I took great comfort in this notion.
So the next time someone starts tearing you down because….
- you don’t share their passion for a particular type of activism
- you do fewer activism-related things than they do, but still more than 95% of the other people around them
- they have no idea how much activism you do, because you don’t issue a freakin’ press release or broadcast it on at least three social media platforms every time you do something
- you did something differently than they would have done it
- you disagree with them on a particular issue, even though you agree on dozens of others
- you did nine different things, but didn’t do the one they really care about
- you told a joke they didn’t think was funny
- you’re a member of a different political party
- you’re not a member of any political party
- Mars is in ascendance and the moon is full
… and they start laying into you with that tiresome old “traitor/sell-out/Fed” canard, just ask yourself: What Would Spock Do? Well, he’d pause for a moment before responding. Then he’d probably arch one eyebrow. And if you were being particularly douchey, he might say something dry along the lines of “Really, Doctor….” Then he’d calmly go back to being stronger, smarter, more musically gifted, a better chess player, and just generally more AWESOME than you could ever hope to be. You know, exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilizations, boldly going and shit.
I think this will be my new mantra. I’m even going to hang it on my wall. And the next time some Dr. McCoy type (who you just know has been tippling bootleg Romulan Ale out of a flask since oh nine hundred) lays into me about being a green-blooded, inhuman monster, I’ll just take a moment, arch one eyebrow, remember what really counts (FREEDOM), and think: