Petty Theft Runs in the Family

Saturday, 5 November 2016

When I was 7 or 8 I stole a pack­et of erasers from Mace’s Supermarket in Connersville, Indiana. I knew it was wrong, but I did it any­way. I got caught. I do not re­call the ex­act chain of events that there­by tran­spired, but I got hollered at by my mom, went to my dad’s work­place and got hollered at by him, was re­turned to Mace’s where I got hollered at by the store man­ager. I do not re­call if the po­lice were called, but I do re­mem­ber that the threat was there. I learned a lesson.

Today, my son took two pack­ets of Tic-Tacs from Giant Eagle. When I dis­cov­ered this, I felt tri­fur­cat­ed; like I was that lit­tle boy again, and like my mom must have felt deal­ing with that lit­tle boy’s malfea­sance, and al­so as my­self, at 35, be­ing both of those at the same time. We re­turned to the store, and I made him go to the ser­vice desk and ask to speak to the man­ager, and I made him fess up to the man­ager when he ar­rived. He got a lec­ture that I very much re­mem­ber get­ting.

His pun­ish­ment was los­ing all of his Halloween can­dy — if he feels the need to steal can­dy, he doesn’t de­serve can­dy that was given to him. He was su­per up­set about that and felt more than a bit of re­morse — al­though it took him awhile to get there.

At one point he said that he knows he has “good deep down in­side me” and I told him that it doesn’t need to be deep down in­side, he should let that good fill him and flow out of him, so that he can be a good per­son to every­one.

We’ll see how it goes. Parenting is full of sur­pris­es — and déjà vu, too.

Car Stolen, Almost

Thursday, 11 July 2002

I thought my car had been stolen yes­ter­day. Turns out the University had de­cid­ed it and 3 oth­er cars need­ed tow­ing to an­oth­er park­ing lot far­ther away. Why? So a tem­po­rary chain link fence could be put up. The rea­son for the fence is not ob­vi­ous, it mere­ly par­ti­tions part of the lot from the rest. It ap­pears that the fence is one of those things that ex­ists on­ly to make things slight­ly more grat­ing for peo­ple. So I searched the lot for about a half hour won­der­ing if I had parked it some­where else and had for­got­ten. As my anx­i­ety lev­eled in­creased I re­al­ized that my 1993 Oldsmobile EightyEight wasn’t there. Shit. So I go back to call se­cu­ri­ty and here we go:

Security: “Notre Dame Security this is Sandra.”
Adam: “I’m call­ing to re­port a stolen ve­hic…”
S: “Oh! Were you parked in D2? We towed 4 cars out of there to the North lot to­day.”
A: “Yeah I was in D2, did you tow a…”
S: “We’ve got a grey Ford Pickup, li­cense plate num…”
A: (curs­ing in­ter­nal­ly) “No, that is not my car. I have a…”
S: “…and we have a grey Oldsmobile that be­longs to…”
A: (irate­ly) “I have an Oldsmobile but its navy not grey, the name is Adam Harvey.”
S: “I’ve got an Oldsmobile with Indiana plates reg­is­tered to a Harvey A. Barnard.”
A: (more in­ter­nal curs­ing) “Yeah, that’s me.”
S: “There is no cost to you, sir. Have good day.” (click)
A: “Fuck.”

Absurd. Especially in the ex­is­ten­tial­ist mean­ing of the word.

Its gonna take awhile to read Atlas Shrugged since the book it­self is large enough to be borne by Atlas. So to amuse my­self while I read it I’m go­ing to rip on Ayn Rand’s phi­los­o­phy: Objectivism.

Day 1: The last few pages of the book (af­ter the nov­el it­self) are de­vot­ed to a syn­op­sis of her phi­los­o­phy.
Major Objection: A phi­los­o­phy that de­pends on a pulp print­ing of a book to get a word in edge­wise rather de­feats the cred­i­bil­i­ty of said phi­los­o­phy.
Metaphysics: “Objectivism re­jects any be­lief in the su­per­nat­u­ral-and any claim that in­di­vid­u­als or groups cre­ate their own re­al­i­ty.”
Major Objection: This in ef­fect states that so­ci­eties should not ex­ist. For what is so­ci­ety, but a mass con­sumed cre­at­ed re­al­i­ty? Lunatics are os­tra­cized for the very rea­son that their cre­at­ed re­al­i­ty ex­ists in con­flict to the sta­tus quo. Objectivism al­so there­fore op­pos­es the ex­is­ten­tial­ist idea that mean­ing is cre­at­ed and ex­ert­ed by the in­di­vid­u­al. For Objectivism, mean­ing must ex­ist as fact on­ly, the ul­ti­mate prag­ma­tism.