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.