The Inevitable Return of Dueling

I think we may need to return to dueling to settle petty personal disputes. But, as killing is currently a major social faux pas, it wouldn’t necessarily always need to be pistols at dawn. It could just be game of Scrabble where the winner gets their opponent’s thumb or a marathon where second place also means leaving town forever. The key here is satisfying one’s honor. After that, the rules of a duel need only be limited by a person’s imagination. Trying to decide which of your friends should be the maid of honor at your wedding? Perhaps it’s time they all entered a demolition derby together. Accused of leaving the toilet seat up? A quick trip to the hardware store can get you a pair of dueling hammers for under forty bucks. Someone drink the last of your juice? Pour a ring of gasoline on the living room floor, light a match, and dare them to enter your world of pain.

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 While dueling could theoretically be used to decide the outcome of every aspect of human life, it is probably best utilized to settle disputes between two individuals. This is my primary reason for wanting to bring it back. We exist in possibly the only period in history where it’s actually advantageous to be the victim. It’s like everyone is perpetually on trial and, when you’re on trial, it is almost always better to be the plaintiff than the defendant. If you don’t believe me consider which of the following sentences you’d rather say to a large group of strangers:

“________ threw my baby off a building.”

“I definitely never threw ________’s baby off any buildings.”

While neither are ideal, nobody ever wants to be accused. Even denying something first will immediately arouse suspicions against you. People often lack the empathy and critical thought required to cut someone a break. It’s so much easier to assume the worst at the mere suggestion of a misdeed. We don’t like to consider things like context or circumstance because it’s a lot more work. The implied notion that a person has done something wrong is often enough to damn them for it.

This week I’ve seen a lot of people publicly accusing each other of racism, philandering, and a slew of other unsavory elements. Some of these people made good points and while some had proof others had dick. But it seemed as if many were just looking to lash out because they felt badly or felt personally attacked. While I assuredly want to see evildoers brought to justice, slandering someone who is a little slimy doesn’t quite constitute that. Worse yet, many attempted to armor themselves up as appalled victims. This culture of outraged vilification and self-imposed victimization isn’t exactly healthy for anyone.

Allow me to explain a few things about life. Firstly, when someone uses hateful or insensitive language in the general sense, you are not entitled to anything as the offended party. It’s not feasible for ninety million apology letters to be mailed out when someone uses a sexist or racial slur. The hate-smith that drafted it for public consumption certainly isn’t going to put in the time to lick all of those envelopes and you can’t really expect anyone else to. So, unfortunately, being offended doesn’t guarantee satisfaction. My solution is to be proactive. Demand satisfaction via the art of the duel. This goes double if you have been directly aggrieved by someone’s actions or words. Instead of complaining openly about how wronged you’ve been, consider getting even by bludgeoning someone with a flail behind the football stadium as the setting sun glistens off the bleachers. When their broken limbs force them to yield to your might, you will finally have a captive audience at which you can calmly air your grievances.

Does it feel better to illicit sympathy from a bunch of strangers or does it feel better to smash someone’s skull on a beach with a rock as per previously agreed upon rules? I don’t think I could possibly be alone in thinking it is clearly the latter. Maybe it’s whatever primitive DNA is left in me, but I’ve definitely had fantasies about telling someone “Sir, you have invaded my character and I demand satisfaction” before heading outside and shooting them right in their smug face with a blunderbuss.

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Civilization is still anything but civilized. If we are going to keep having wars, we need to seriously consider bringing back dueling. We can’t send our poor and uneducated masses off to their deaths over and over again and not allow the gentry to occasionally stab each other in the neck. A historical precedent has been set for Christ’s sake. Dueling was endorsed by the majority of this country’s founding fathers, has an extremely low civilian casualty rate, and would absolutely add a touch of class to a world riddled with reality television. The twenty-eigth amendment could very well read “every United States citizen has the inalienable right to duel and be dueled with on this, or any other, planet” if we can finally get our act together as a country. Write your likely lazy and uncaring congressperson today.

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46 Responses to The Inevitable Return of Dueling

  1. samara says:

    I am publicly declaring my love for you. Is it too early in our relationship?

    If so, then you have publicly dishonored me, and I challenge you to a duel! Weapon of choice- whole raw chickens.

  2. emisformaker says:

    Two world leaders enter, one world leader leaves… D’you think we can get funding for a Thunderdome on Kickstarter?

  3. stephrogers says:

    “You maam! I challenge you to a scrabble-off, winner chooses the tv channel” is going to be my new war cry when my girlfriend insists me must watch the crime channels again.

  4. Do you know how much petty crap would be solved if we were forced to risk the possibility of losing our life to defend our opinion? You know that Starbucks barista you’re so pissed at for forgetting you wanted light foam? Would you go off on him if you knew it might result in you being stabbed in the face? People are so quick to pour salt in their own wounds these days, and expect everyone to cheer them on as they do.

    • Obviously I can see some serious downsides to people killing each other in the middle of the streets over trivial things. But, when it’s a matter of honor, I think it’s okay to put more on the line. Society seems pretty content to complain and whine and point fingers but never really take a stand. Maybe people would be more careful with what they said too. We could all benefit from being more careful with our words– every single one of us.

  5. ardenrr says:

    I think I just fell in love with you…

    Things just got weird, didn’t they?

  6. Calamity Rae says:

    Ya know, I totally AGREE! In fact, that’s why we are proud supporters of the second amendment here at my house and well, let’s say, we’ve got a BIG safe to house that weaponry. You know, in case anyone should want to actually HAVE said duel. What I do find hysterical about this post is not the content, but the people who liked it!!! They are the biggest group to police the blogosphere I’ve ever seen! hahahaha it’s like watching a straight up cartoon strip. In fact, if I take this post along with the avatars of the “likes” THIS IS a CARTOON STRIP!!! I love it. And btw, in case anyone wants that tangible evidence of predatory behavior NOT philanthropy, you know where to find me. what a bunch of vaginas,hiding behind someone else’s words. Yeah, I called you all “likers” VAGINAS.

    • I’m a bigger fan of the first amendment. People should be allowed to say whatever is on their mind, even if it’s trashy or insensitive or makes everyone look bad.

      It’s totally fine that you’re into guns though. You’ll be all set when dueling returns and, in the meantime, you can look at them or whatever people with a lot of guns do when they aren’t using them.

      You seem frazzled and confused though. I don’t think my readership is quite on to what you’re trying to convey so please don’t be upset with them. I’ll admit I’m a little perplexed myself. Also what is wrong with vaginas? I am usually pretty stoked when I encounter one.

    • rarasaur says:

      Just to be clear, Rachel– did you just call me a “vagina” in terms of it being an insult, as a result of liking a friend’s post?

  7. Zack says:

    This is the most brilliant thing I’ve read all year.

  8. prenin says:

    Hmmm… I challenge you to a duel: The weapons: Electric eels!!!

    Shocking, hey? :)

    God Bless!

    Prenin.

    • Those poor eels.

      Did you know that eels have a second mouth inside their first one? Look it up, it’s terrifying but impressive.

      • prenin says:

        No I didn’t, but I’ll take your word for it! :)

        I caught an eel by hand once: It was slimy as hell and incredibly strong, but I managed to return it to the water without hurting it! :)

        God bless my friend! :)

        Prenin.

  9. Calamity Rae says:

    I think it’s very amusing, whether you know it or not, how you’ve been used as a mouthpiece for Le Clown, a person who is a predator. He promoted your post on his public page. I thought I’d take a gander. Boy is it funny of here. All the people who liked your post, are the very same people who RAIL against the entire internet should they use the word “man” or “terrorist” in a sentence, by bringing his “carnies” to do his bidding and beating people up. I apologize if you, in fact, were not speaking about me in you post regarding “philanthropy” or “personal dispute” as I take great insult in anyone actually believing the post and evidence against your friend Eric is proof that he manipulates, uses, and makes sexual advances toward women who have told him to stop. He makes those advances toward women who just weeks prior wrote a story about being sexually abused. SO I take issue with your use of “philanthropy” since I did not engage in any sexual relationship with Eric and I take issue with him and his entire crew now giving the big thumbs up on freedom of speech when it is they who have gone around and verbally beaten people into the ground for using certain words. But I sit here, with proof and NOT MUM from any of those cowards. I see they hide HERE. Behind you and your words. CLassy. Classy. Classy. You know, I keep saying. I have every piece of email backing up my claim that Eric would continue to cross lines with regards to our “friendship” and say very crude things to a woman like “I’d like you to sit on my face while you smoke and I jerk off” directly after she’s told him to please not talk to her that way. So, no it’s not philanthropy. It’s unwanted sexual advances toward a woman. Again, I posted the actual emails. I have them. It’s called …uh-oh, EVIDENCE.

    Eric continues to do what he always does: uses other people to do his bidding. They are a means to his end. I’ve provided ample evidence but wow, I mean, this guy must hold tons of power over these people, these so-called police to civil injustice everywhere, I mean not everywhere, I mean the INTERNET, I mean, not the internet…the blogosphere. I think some people who have “liked” your post and who have commented to step out of their little safe world of comfort and denial. Your leader is a sexual predator. Eric, aka le clown, aka the magnificent, is nothing but a narcissistic sociopath, and I’ve provided evidence that speaks to that. So,I guess we’ll see how much you actually believe in the first amendment.

    • Calamity Rae says:

      oh and uh. civil injustice. rape culture. victim shaming/blaming. feminist platforms.

    • I went to your website and asked around in an attempt to understand what you were trying to express here– and I think you can probably relax. I am not doing anyone’s bidding and there is no powerful overlord directing traffic. I am, fortunately, my own agent and get to say and do what I want. I highly doubt most of the people that enjoyed this post also read your blog anyway.

      It doesn’t seem like you were sexually abused, it seems like you were offended and rightly so. Whether or not you should have gone into such great detail publicly is debatable though. I don’t believe either of you come out of this situation looking as good as you went in. You also might both be a tad narcissistic, but that’s nearly the whole point of having a blog, right?

      Listen, I’m sorry you were hurt but lashing out at others is the exactly what I’m talking about. My advice is to take a breath, post a full transcript, drop it entirely, try to burry the hatchet with your friend, literally doing anything other than what you are doing here would be preferable.

      • Calamity Rae says:

        I didn’t say Eric sexually abused me. So, I think you’ve misread what I posted. Secondly a full transcript? There are many emails, I said I would give them out to those who asked. I have nothing to hide. Your opinion that I look bad, well, that’s your own. You have that right to that opinion, of course. But if you don’t believe that you’ve been used as a mouthpiece, I would beg to differ.

        But that’s all in perception now, isn’t it? Yes, I shouldn’t have lost my temper on your blog, that was not kind nor appropriate. I apologize for that.

        By the way, “offended” is extremely minimizing. It was predatory behavior. I asked him to stop and he refused. Punished and begged when I threatened to go public. I have nothing to hide. But it looks like Eric does. I believe that when you use words like “offended” and when you say that it’s “debatable” about me going so public was right, well that sounds a lot like an apologist view. And it feeds the violent culture in which we live where women are shamed and told to shut up.

        But hey, we can duel over it properly, if you like. I’ll even let you pick the weapon.

  10. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Wow. This was a really weird experience – from the post all the way through the comments.

  11. Twindaddy says:

    I get that this was a satirical piece (I hope) but the line, “it’s actually advantageous to be the victim” is possibly the most ignorant statement I have ever read. Unless you’ve actually been a victim, you don’t have the slightest clue how untrue that statement is.

    • We’ve all been the victim before. Some will victims all of our lives. Some will get through it an persevere. Some will even make themselves the victim in order to gain sympathy, attention, or because they have a low opinion of themselves. Some will get help. Some will not.

      At any rate, I would like to see it all end and have people start being victors instead of victims.

      • Twindaddy says:

        I would love to see that, too, but I know of victims who remain in hiding because predators who have abused them remain at large. I see no advantages there, hence my statement. There are different degrees of victimization.

      • marthamckie says:

        I think your example of what it feels like to be the victim vs. the victimizer really brought the whole thing home: I went from wanting to understand (but failing to do so) to having a new angle to look at the whole situation from.

    • List of X says:

      I understood it as a satire of people who find it advantageous to present themselves as victims when they aren’t – think Chris Christie “victimized” by his subordinates, Phil Robertson “victimized” by gay rights groups, any rapist or abuser who says something like “she was asking for it”.

  12. Calamity Rae says:

    Yes, Victors instead of Victims.I’m fairly Certain that’s exactly what I did with my post. I didn’t cry about it. I took back my power by outing a person who has hurt a lot of people. I gave many women their voices back. Yes, Victor, indeed.

  13. List of X says:

    I don’t think the duels are the solution. Letting duels resolve who’s right or not would make people with excellent shooting or superior bashing-skulls-with-rocks skills to be automatically right in every argument. Now, if I’m allowed to duel people by seeing which one of us can stare at an Excel spreadsheet for longer period of time, I might reconsider.

    • I never really expected the duels to actually solve prove who was right, they’d just settle things.

      You can absolutely set that duel up too. It’s your fantasy and you get to set the rules! The winner could be the first one to successfully compile a spreadsheet from two-hundred different data sources provided with links.

  14. marthamckie says:

    I LOVE this piece of social work you have done, “You Monsters Are People.” As long as we can avoid lethal duels, but just come out with winners, it may take care of the whole evvabody having a loud complaint at all times problem. As far as the victim angle goes, I’m more sick of the people who “hate victims” than the people who feel like they can’t get away from victimizers, but the people who “hate victims” LOVE “hating victims,” and they will never stop. The people who “hate victims” are like victimizers to the power of two. The duelling system is supposed to make this stop before it turns into a nightmare of algebra.

    Social technology. That’s what this is. Remember, fellow commenters, duelling doesn’t have to be with deadly weapons.

    • I’m on board with what you’re saying. Very public and loud personal disagreements are the least fun when there is no social overlap or agent for change. It all gets to the point where everyone is acting so offended and awful and being so loud that I just want to stay,

      “Stop. Settle this. We’ll watch and then this can be put to bed.”

  15. “Allow me to explain a few things about life…”, Classic. And also, Preach!
    People really need it spelled out for them these days. My main gripe in public relations is how much social time is wasted on trivialities, when being direct and then receptive might actually teach you both something. Heaven forbid we’re foulable, though. These days, if someone notices your learning they’ll automatically assume you’re incompetitent. And so people fake their ways through life, and get promoted to their proper level of ineptitude… where they’re no longer good at, nor enjoy, what they do — but it pays the most so who cares?
    Screw all that. I’ll take an ole’ fashioned duel anyday. I call the terms. Staring contest at dawn. My back to the sun. No blinking, or I get to wet-willy you out of town.

    • This made a lot of good very points and I could not agree more. Faking it to make it, assuming people are inept (or evil) because you’ve shown a single fault– it’s all stupid and awful. Top flight commenting, sir.

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