SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Post fishing rant



June 06, 2016
Monday PM

jpg Jeff Lund 

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - I just lost my fourth straight steelhead. Fourth! Not in the same day, but still! So I need to get my mind off the torture of spit flies and broken leader...

The first distraction came in a text from a former teaching colleague in California about stereotypes vs. racism.

I’m an optimistic dude, but I also realize that some things will forever be.

People will always be intolerant, racist, sexist, elitist, etc.

Even if they aren’t, a little semantic gymnastics can fix that. It’s an unfortunate by-product of the freedom those we honored on Memorial Day provided us.

Freedom from tyrannical rule has been perverted into a freedom from responsibility, freedom from accountability and freedom to be a donkey, particularly with the First Amendment.

But what can we do about it? Is the burden of responsibility on me to not say offensive things in the interest of civility? Or on me to not be offended by someone exercising his or her free speech? Civil is a pretty subjective word, one we have the freedom to define on our own.

The First Amendment allows us to argue which candidate would ruin our country less, or slower. It allows us to get angry and say things and offend other people because their world-view is different. When our truth doesn’t match with someone else’s, we make it. Restrict the parameters of experimentation and we can guide our conclusions. It allows us to call others narrow-minded while not being bothered by a legitimate attempt to understand and respond.

It allows comedians to make us laugh at the observations that became stereotypes.

Maybe we shouldn’t laugh sometimes, but we have the opportunity to, the freedom. Some might argue that being able to laugh at our differences is a more effective way to get along than to eradicate potential insensitivity in favor of sameness.

So again, what do we do?

Work needs to be done but do we really believe we can elect a political figure to fix -isms? (By the way, nothing says patriotism like threatening to move to another country because you don’t get what you want in an election. Right? Did you move out when your parents made you come home at dark? Did you change colleges because you got the General Education course with the professor who never gives “A”s? If you did, then enjoy Canada, you are a man or woman of your word.)

Anyway, let’s take a tour of some classic literature examples of putting the burden of expression in the hands of something other than the people at an individual level.

In Fahrenheit 451 Captain Beatty justifies the burning of books and equalizing of the masses: “We must all be alike. Not everyone born free and equal, as the Constitution says, but everyone made equal. Each man the image of every other, then all are happy, for there are no mountains to make them cower, to judge themselves against. A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it.”

Protect people from inferiority! Yes! Eliminate conflict and mean.
Pain has been eliminated from society in The Giver, and with it, emotion and color.

Protect people from intolerable actions or regressive, archaic ways. Perfect!

Maybe the government can use science to fix flawed brains filled with old, offensive ideas a la A Clockwork Orange, or make the past more palatable with historical revisions at the Ministry of Truth like in 1984.

I don’t believe we’re headed for the Hunger Games if Donald Trump is elected or turned into defenseless Proles under President Clinton.
Maybe the error is not in whom we elect or the side we choose, but believing we can really achieve utopia, or Free Speech consensus, through political election, regulation or strategy.

But like I said, I’m just emotionally compromised because I lost a steelhead.

Jeff Lund ©2016

Jeff Lund is a Teacher, Freelance Writer, living in Ketchikan, Alaska
Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @alaskalund
Contact Jeff at Email –


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