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Sunday, August 03, 2014


I was very young when I had to look up the definition for defiant in the giant American Heritage dictionary my dad had for us on his desk.  I think I was nine or ten, but I had seen that word in a report given to my teachers by the school psychologist who was constantly checking in with me to see how my prodigious little brain was working.  The word defiant came up in the report enough times for me to remember how to spell it so I could look it up.  Even as young as I was, I understood the cognate to defy and I knew what defiance was.  I was pretty sure what the word meant, but me being me, I had to make sure before I used it to bludgeon the school psychologist's brain to smithereens.  I did not like her one bit.

So of course I was defiant.  I was sick of looking at pictures or drawing pictures and telling her what they meant.  If I recall correctly, this report was brought about by my graphic description of Injun Joe kidnapping Tom Sawyer and how the kids got away.  I went a little fast and loose with Mark Twain's prose in my drawings and blood was involved.  She asked me why I drew blood and I told her that I was thinking of her when I drew that picture then stared in that scary way only little girls have. 

Number one, she said I lied about reading Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.  No little girl of my age could possibly read those books and understand them.  I had read both books when I was seven years old.  And I had understood both.  Secondly, she said that no child my age could possibly have my vocabulary and after having spoken to my parents knew it was something I was not learning at home.  Because I kept insisting I was reading books she was sure I couldn't read, I was defiant.

I've always loved to read and it was a skill my parents encouraged.  My entire family knew the perfect present for me was books and I received them often.  When I ran out of things to read I would spend time at the library.  I often attempted to check out books the librarian was sure I couldn't read.  When I was eight and wanted to read Mary Shelley's Frankentstein and Bram Stoker's Dracula (my gothic phase, it passed mercifully quick) she called my mother who told her, probably with a sigh of exasperation, to just let me read what I wanted.  Back then I loved libraries because there were so many books to read, so much to learn.  I learned the limits of the regular library when I was in high school and rediscovered the love of archives in college.

However, according to this one woman, with letters behind her name, if no actual knowledge existed, I was defiant in insisting that I could do something that most other children could not. It didn't matter that I was doing it and could reasonably discuss the books I had claimed to read, she was certain that I had not read them because other children my age were not.

It seems to me that most people these days are much like that misguided school psychologist, so locked into what they think should be, that they are totally ignorant of what really is and that those of us who do see it and speak up are labeled as defiant.  Defiant as we speak out on how our Constitution is nearly is rags because of this current administration, which was only helped along by the two administrations before it.

We are defiant because we "cling" to our values and beliefs because we know them to be true.  Defiant because we insist that we can protect ourselves better than anyone or anything else.  Defiant because we insist we can provide for ourselves and resent the living hell out of those who refuse to do so while insisting it is our duty to provide for them.  We remain defiant by insisting that our 200 year old Constitution means exactly what it says and tough boogers on those who cry because it doesn't say what they want it to say or give them the power they think they should have.

All in all I have been defiant my entire life.  Some call it stubborn.  I will cop to both accusations.  Because I know both to be true.  However, I am not stupidly defiant or stubborn.  I can back up my stance with facts and logic.  The moment some idiot says, "Well, it feels like..." SLAP!  Feelings have no place in anything but interpersonal relationships and should be kept between those people.  Feelings are the worst things on which to run public policy.  It's just stupid.  No, let me be clear, it's fucktarded.

So, yes, I will remain defiant throughout my life.  I will not just let them come take things from me without a fight.  More of you should do the same.  Because it's very true.  If you don't stand up for you, why should I?

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