It was really just a joke, I swear. I think of something that makes me laugh, and I want to share. Mrs. Larcey was right all along, standing in our empty Biology classroom deep in 1994, it’s true- I do think I’m funny. But this was meant to be harmless! My god! Just a little bit of joking around after having my car broken into.
First time in my life too. I got in my car Sunday morning, ready to go to the gym, thinking “gee, I don’t remember throwing all my stuff around like a crazy person,” before it hit me:
I was the victim of a crime.
So I made sure I still had all my important stuff and then took a survey- all my junk was still there… and when I got to the gym, laughing all the way about how those jerks wasted their time, I realized that my stupid “Beats by Dre” headphones were gone. So I sat there for a while, thinking about it. Unsure of how to workout without headphones, I left for Best Buy.
I wanted a new pair anyway- that fucking wire manages to get in the way of everything- but I felt like a pussy replacing an otherwise fine pair of overpriced headphones. So it made me laugh that this annoying experience gave me an excuse to buy new headphones… and I thought that was kind funny, so I made a post about it on Facebook.
And then something kind of strange happened. It quickly got a Like… and another… and another, before a significant portion of my friends, who otherwise avoid my right wing taunting, had clicked Like. Wow! I had gone viral amongst my dozens of loose acquaintances! See, I knew I was funny. Take that Mrs. Larcey.
Until I made a horrifyingly dreadful realization…
My friends, believe me when I tell you… when, I promise you… this was done quite accidentally. I didn’t think things through. I mistakenly believed that I could post a joke, a fucking JOKE, on the internet and not have it taken the wrong way. I was ignorant. It was wrong. I am ashamed.
Coded into my little joke was a Progressive Sacrament. Posting it to Facebook was signaling my involvement in the holy ritual… you see, I passed the test of all progressive tests… I was the victim of a crime and I wasn’t angry. I didn’t make make assumptions about the perpetrator. I didn’t post worry or concern for the future, nor the potentially changing nature of my neighborhood.
Instead, I was the happy victim. The joking victim. The victim that doesn’t make a progressive uncomfortable. The “it’s okay, haha, gosh, doh” victim. And it would be selfish of me to think their approval had more to do with me than it had to do with them… they were signaling too, that if it were them, if they were chosen… they would have reacted with a silly joke too.
Because darn good people don’t hate crime.
The deepest test of faith a progressive may endure is becoming the victim of a crime. We need not pay any attention to the faceless perpetrator, but all eyes must be on the victim. The victim, not of a specific criminal, but of an underfunded education; the victim of frustration at the lack of opportunity. The victim of rape culture, and toxic masculinity, and college fraternities- the victim of prejudice, but never the victim of an individual.
Will the victim know that? Will the victim be calm and level headed, and rationale, in the face of something horrifying and awful? Will they remember their progressive doctrine? There are questions a progressive doesn’t ask; there are conversations off-limits, even in private… can the victimized progressive handle these emotions while maintaining an “open heart, and an open mind”?
A good progressive will immediately signal their acceptance. It’s preferable that they aren’t upset, but if they must, they may only be upset at the situation and never the criminal. They must understand the reasons why the situation took place, and it’s encouraged to direct any anger toward these reasons. If the victim is lucky enough to have devout progressive friends, they will encourage the victim to keep their faith by reminding them of these reasons- repeatedly, if necessary.
A bad progressive or, gasp, a non-progressive will blame the criminal. That we all know stealing is wrong, and this criminal broke the social contract where we silently agreed to not take each other’s stuff. A bad progressive will think the criminal had no empathy for them as individuals, nor did they feel any sense of community. And these ideas will eventually lead to more questions, greater reflection, and maybe dangerous conclusions.
The good progressive victim/bad progressive victim dichotomy briefly plays out in Season 2 of “The Sopranos” (2000). It goes like this: a family gets their SUV stolen by two black guys at gun point. The SUV drives away. The angry Dad exclaims, “fucking niggers! who else, huh,” which makes his daughter squirm in horror; aghast, the good progressive wife immediately corrects him.
Especially in times of crisis the progressive must remember that offensive language is the worst crime of all.
Dad should have known better and made a joke about wanting to get a new car anyway.
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