I distinctly remember one day when I was in the seventh grade and my father and I both had an appointment with a new dentist. (We’d recently moved back to Indiana after living in California for many years and had to find a new family dentist.)
So we went to a dentist whose name I now mercifully forget. Both my Dad and I were a bit put off by several things. First was the sloppy dental hygienist who left us both with sore gums. Second was when the dentist tried to encourage my Dad to stop the orthodontics treatment I had already started because apparently there were cheaper ways to straighten my teeth. (Y’know, ways that this dentist could do to make a little more money for himself.)
But the deathblow to the Swindle family selecting this guy as our family dentist came when he asked my Dad this, “So what do you do for a living? Not a lawyer or a used car salesman are you?”
As my Dad drove me back to school he explained to me one of those lessons that has stuck with me ever since: “As soon as someone makes fun of the last name it immediately identifies them as a jerk.”
Ever since then I’ve come to understand my last name not as a curse but as a tremendous blessing. Do you know what it means when I meet someone for the first time, tell them my name, and the first thing that pops into their head is to make a joke at my expense? I then know immediately that this is a horrible human being whose soul is a cesspool of emptiness and misery. They’ve actually done me a favor: I can now completely write them off and ignore them. They’ve identified themselves as a Person of the Lie, M. Scott Peck’s first stage of spiritual growth — chaotic/anti-social. They care only about themselves, live a life based on lies, and continually need to hurt other people in order to fill the vacuum in their being.
I wouldn’t have this distinct social advantage if I was David Smith. Without the benefit of the last name it might take longer for a jerk to reveal himself.
This whole narrative of thoughts came to mind as I was watching last Friday’s episode of “Real Time,” the HBO political chat fest hosted by leftist comedian Bill Maher. For his opening interview Maher had on Congressman Anthony Weiner (NY-D) to talk about the virtues of socialized medicine. Maher introduced him:
Maher: So I’ve wanted to have you here for a long time, I’ve seen you on television… I think people say, “Unlike a lot of people Weiner stands up…
*Audience Laughter At the Juvenile Joke*
Maher: … for the right things!
Weiner: I heard my last original Weiner gag in the fifth grade. So I’m not sure it’s y’know… [Weiner charitably trails off]
Remember, this is how Maher treats the people who agree with him!
If a person doesn’t even know enough to be able to learn how to transcend their own evil and selfishness then what can they know of value? What can they contribute to the political discussion or to the betterment of our society? In Maher’s case not much apart from a few laughs and a platform that occasionally allows smarter people the chance to talk.
(Stay tuned here at NewsReal! I’ll have another Maher rebuttal soon taking on the lie he told in this week’s New Rules segment! It’s a bigger whopper than when he attacked Sarah Palin 3 weeks ago!)