I am taking on more of the writing burden here as others sort through stuff. I have been at this since 2006, and for better or worse I’ve never run out of things to write about. I was wondering what to put up today, and stumbled on this post, courtesy of the Skink: It is called Wear your damned mask, cover your damned nose. Let’s confront store employees who flout mask-up rules, and let’s file formal complaints with our boards of health. That’s a really long title. It is written by James Conner, a man who I used to read occasionally when I lived in Montana. I had forgotten all about him. At the top of his blog he has changed his photo to one of him wearing a mask. He’s always been an angry blogger, so what follows is true to form.
“At Walmart this morning, the checker wore his mask below his nose in defiance of our governor’s mask-up directive. I confronted him. Yesterday, at Super 1, my bagger also wore his mask below his nose. I confronted him, too.”
Notice he has no patience or sympathy with poor schmucks who are forced to wear masks for hours on end. My temptation is just to go off on him. That would be satisfying but would do no good beyond that. He allows no comments or links on his blog, having years ago learned that people would get testy with him. I’ll take one more quote from him to make my point:
“Super 1, and not just in downtown Kalispell, is becoming notorious for letting its employees violate the letter as well as the spirit of Gov. Bullock’s directive. I’ve received reports from trusted sources that this scoffmask behavior has occurred all summer, which means the stores’ managers know about it and either don’t care or actually condone it.”
I remember reading about this years ago. Conner is a perfect demonstration of what Eric Fromm labeled the authoritarian personality. Authoritarians love to do two things, both on display here: They suck up, and piss down. Conner’s lips are sewn to the governor’s ass, and he has no use for little people. And I don’t know why, but snitching is part of the authoritarian’s nature. These were the tattletales in school. Buying into the great scamdemic/hoax is part of it too. After all, it is being run by authority figures. That is all authoritarians need.
Science? Skepticism? Critical thinking? Forget it. Conner is an authoritarian kind of guy. Such people are hard to deal with.
Here’s a real conversation I had with Pete, a very nice man and clerk at our local liquor store:
Pete: Mark, the boss is coming down hard on us. You gotta wear a mask or I can’t sell to you.
Me: I don’t want to get anyone in trouble. I just don’t wear a mask, anywhere.
Pete: How do you shop at Kings Sooper?
Me: Honestly, they don’t pay any attention. I do go in with a plan, get my stuff and get out, trying to be a moving target.
Pete: Well, if you say you have a condition then I can let you go.
Me; You mean like I am exempt?
Pete: There ya go! [Rings up purchase. I had said the magic word.]
Me: I have seen a doctor, I am exempt.
Me: Yeah. I had a brain scan.
Pete: What was wrong?
Me: Nothing wrong at all. They found I had a brain and knew how to use it, and so I don’t have to wear a mask.
Pete laughed as I left the store.
PS: I think this book, The Authoritarian Specter, by Robert Altemeyer, is where I came across this field of study. The book was written in 1996, and I surely would not have read it then, so I must have come across it years later. I don’t have it anymore. It is currently priced at $117.41 at Amazon, probably meaning it is in high demand and has been bought up. No way would I have paid anything more than cover price, probably less.