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Go out with you? Why not... Do I like to dance? Of course! Take a walk along the beach tonight? I'd love to. But don't try to touch me. Don't try to touch me. Because that will never happen again. "Past, Present and Future"-The Shangri-Las

Thursday, December 04, 2008

This Gust

I got a few days off recently, and returned to Kannapolis, just in time to

A. come over all sick again, days after declaring myself fully recovered, and

B. have the bathroom plumbing get all backed up. After a few false starts the landlord found a plumber who has worked in this area for many years. He worked on our house as Laurie and I discussed Jonathan Haidt's theories about the role of disgust in morality. I was pretty convinced that disgust had long since ceased to be an overwhelming factor in my moral views; not that I never feel disgust, but that I can differentiate between immorality that inspires disgust in me (murder, rape, child abuse, etc.) and acceptable things that inspire disgust (smoking, odd but harmless sexual practices, etc.).

Eventually the plumber got everything working. As I shook his hand, he said it should be good for another five years.

"By then," he added, "Obama will be out of office and I'll fix it again. I did a job for a black lady the other day. She said she voted for Obama and she'll vote for him again. I said 'you may be voting for a dead man.' I don't believe he'll make it."

It's possible, of course, that he was expressing a fear that many of Obama's supporters hold for the President-Elect. But his twisted smile suggested otherwise. It's also possible that he was hoping for Obama to be killed because he simply doesn't like Obama's politics. But I assumed, and assume still, that he was hoping for Obama's death out of Honkey Pride.

I don't know when I've gone so swiftly from gratitude to loathing. I wanted to take the hedge clippers to this cross-eyed hillbilly's fist-sized adam's apple.

Of course I did nothing but glower at him and stiffly walk away, but the link between disgust and moral views was, for me, sharply reasserted.


FLT3 said...

Well done. The underclasses should be ignored. I hope this guy's own toilet backs up and fills the double-wide with shit, defacing the black velvet Willie Nelson AND the "I Saw Branson, Missouri" collector's cups.

Aaron White said...

Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?