Monday, June 3, 2013

Mo' Rights

Rights, needs, desires.

I don't think I am much of an original thinker, unprompted. I've noticed that sad fact about myself more and more lately. Mostly, I have to read or listen to what someone else thinks or says about a subject, then ponder and analyze what the writer or speaker has opined before I can even begin to wax pithy. Pithily. Even then it takes me considerable time to get wound up enough to approach a decent level of sarcasm - born of superior subject knowledge - let alone genuine righteous indignation. I suppose that makes me a counter-puncher (boxing metaphor, not one who punches counters.) However, once hit by a blow of, say, fuzzy feel-good ultra-liberalism or fantasyland conservative non-thought (metaphorically a "left" hook or a "right" cross, if you will) then, usually, I can begin to argue back. In an argument I can often come up with original ideas; in analysis I can see the flaws - just not in an unstimulated (uninflamed?) ungoaded condition, like when I am staring at a blank sheet of paper and feeling mildly indignant in a general but unfocused way. This is not to say I have writer's block - lord knows I can write page after page of illogical and heavily biased gibberish at the drop of a hat - but I need to have my values and life experiences challenged in order to write with passion.

Incidentally, "unstimulated," "uninflamed" and "ungoaded" all have red lines under them. What kind of idiot twats do they hire to author these misbegotten spellcheckers? Teenaged future unemployable summer interns trying to work off a few dollars of their hopeless student loans, useless English-majors all, working in a gaga library-science environment in which they will never see actual employment? I suppose the British version will at least leave "twats" unredlined. (Guess whether or not "unredlined" is redlined.) Ah, well.

Rights, needs, desires.

A need is something essential that you have had since birth. Even at birth, someone provided you these needs, else you would be dead now instead of reading this. Needs are not rights. Needs are what the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights CALLS rights.

A desire? That's something you want to have. Like an American teenager without the latest video game or vulgar rap cassette. Like a Darfurian child who desires to live in Beverly Hills. Desires are things you want that I don't care about. Nobody else does either, except maybe your mommy if today is your birthday and you are 7 years old. Only YOU care about your desires. A plan and hard work are needed in order for you to realize your desires. Hence, few will be realized.

A right is an entitlement which is guaranteed to you by an entity which has the power to give and defend that thing for you. Often, humans do not have a "right" to shelter and clean drinking water.

If only you had the time (and a desire) to read more, I had so much more to say about this subject.

Photo credit:
Coffee With Jesus


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