Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Karen Bought a Printer and a Roll of Duct Tape

 

Walking around the block where I was never within 20 feet of another human being, I started reading some brightly colored signs that had been hung all over the place with little strips of duct tape. Each read “Wear a mask in public, and expose those who don’t online. Public photography is legal. Shame is legal. #2DUMB2LIVE.”

These gave me pause as they reminded me greatly of the “Neighborhood Watch” signs I saw all over the place when I was studying one summer in Cuba. (The “revolution” must be guarded, you see. It’s important for “comrades” to police each other.)

Is this where we are as a country? We should shame our neighbors over disagreements about public policy? When did we decide it was okay to bully our fellow citizens? To call them “dumb” for walking alone without a mask in the sunshine?

Perhaps I was wrong to do it, but I decided if it’s legal to tape a random opinion onto a public lamppost, it must also be legal to respond in kind by taking that opinion down.

Don’t worry though.

I threw away all the paper I touched, as I am firmly against littering, which I am certain is illegal.

Anyway, if you see a picture of a crazy looking woman in an Edgar Allan Poe t-shirt with bits of brightly colored trash clutched in one hand, a dog’s leash clutched in the other, I suppose that’s me being “shamed” online, but don’t let me know because I don’t use free social media where these sorts of things are posted. (What you don’t know can’t hurt you, right?)

Note to the Karen with her brightly colored paper and duct tape: If people are going into a business in the city where these signs were posted, people are currently mandated by law to wear a mask, so people wear masks without any public shaming. (Mostly, they are polite and want to help the local businesses stay in business.)

The mandate was put in place because this is a current “hot spot” where there is some ongoing COVID growth, though not exponential growth. (To be exact, in this county of 470,313 people, there have been 42 deaths as of 11 a.m. on August 7 with an average of one death every day for the last month. According to the county’s health department, a full half of these people, though valued members of the community, were 75+ years old.)

Also, you were very industrious with your duct tape, more industrious than I am. Despite my half-hearted efforts at resistance, you have plenty of signs still hanging around all over the place to scold other people. I hope you’re feeling proud of yourself. #sillytotalitarian

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  1. Jon1979 Lincoln

    You should have left another note on top of that one, saying that yellow signs violate the terms of the neighborhood homeowner’s association rules…

    • #1
    • August 7, 2020, at 3:50 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  2. Joshua Bissey Coolidge

    Lois Lane: Perhaps I was wrong to do it, but I decided if it’s legal to tape a random opinion onto a public lamp-post, it must also be legal to respond in kind by taking that opinion down.

    You were not wrong. I did the same thing with the Obama stickers I kept finding in random spots on my college campus several years ago. Same principle. If you can decide to make a lamp post into a political sign on university property, I can decide that it won’t be a political sign.

    • #2
    • August 7, 2020, at 4:01 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  3. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnellJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    This brings to mind the evil (and I do mean evil) that some government functionaries (governors and mayors) have adopted in making business owners responsible for enforcing their (the functionaries’) edicts on personal conduct related to the Virus Crisis. If their “inspectors” discover that a business is not requiring its customers to wear a mask and practice un-“social distancing,” the store will suffer various government sanctions. 

    By doing this, the government shifts the customers’ dissatisfaction to the business, instead of where it belongs. 

    • #3
    • August 7, 2020, at 4:50 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  4. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    This brings to mind the evil (and I do mean evil) that some government functionaries (governors and mayors) have adopted in making business owners responsible for enforcing their (the functionaries’) edicts on personal conduct related to the Virus Crisis. If their “inspectors” discover that a business is not requiring its customers to wear a mask and practice un-“social distancing,” the store will suffer various government sanctions.

    By doing this, the government shifts the customers’ dissatisfaction to the business, instead of where it belongs.

    This is why I wear a mask in stores, even though it is rare for me to not be able to socially distance. I know that the businesses have no choice in the matter, and I want the businesses to stay in business. I mean, it’s not their fault. But I don’t need the extra finger wag from the invisible Karen who wants to foment disharmony in the neighborhood by pushing people to be little narcs with their I-phones. I used to think that it would be really hard to take away people’s freedom in the United States because Americans wouldn’t stand for such nonsense. Instead, they are pushing for more limits???!!! It’s very disillusioning.

    • #4
    • August 7, 2020, at 5:00 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  5. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    You should have left another note on top of that one, saying that yellow signs violate the terms of the neighborhood homeowner’s association rules…

    Also, it was hard to type a response on my phone, but the Geico commercial you posted was clearly written by someone named Karen who wants to get her name back. I can hear her making the pitch in the ad meeting. “Cynthia is the busybody, gosh-darn-it! Cynthia!!! :)

    • #5
    • August 7, 2020, at 5:04 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  6. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy CarterJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Shame is legal? Cool. I’ve been waiting for it to come back. That’s what civil society has been missing for years.

    Now We can shame all the fat-asses to get into healthy shape. We can shame all the whores for having children out of wedlock. Who am I forgetting?

    • #6
    • August 7, 2020, at 6:01 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  7. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Shame is legal? Cool. I’ve been waiting for it to come back. That’s what civil society has been missing for years.

    Now We can shame all the fat-asses to get into healthy shape. We can shame all the whores for having children out of wedlock. Who am I forgetting?

    Baby daddies. Drug addicts. Drunks.

    • #7
    • August 7, 2020, at 6:19 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  8. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    I think the flyer maker’s choice to use the word “expose” was odd. She/he/ze is telling people to expose others during a pandemic. Odd.

    • #8
    • August 7, 2020, at 8:39 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  9. Maguffin Member

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Now We can shame all the fat-asses to get into healthy shape.

    Won’t work. I’ve been self-shaming myself for years (much more effective in my case than having external shaming), and my fat-ass is still very fat.

    I do have empirical evidence in the past that having a large strong man yelling at me does wonders. But I can’t afford Boss Mongo’s travel costs, let alone per diem. And he doesn’t scale nationally very well.

    • #9
    • August 7, 2020, at 8:49 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  10. Z in MT Member

    Anybody that ends a paper sign with a # phrase is an idiot. It is on paper not Twitter.

    • #10
    • August 7, 2020, at 8:51 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  11. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane

    Maguffin (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Now We can shame all the fat-asses to get into healthy shape.

    Won’t work. I’ve been self-shaming myself for years (much more effective in my case than having external shaming), and my fat-ass is still very fat.

    I do have empirical evidence in the past that having a large strong man yelling at me does wonders. But I can’t afford Boss Mongo’s travel costs, let alone per diem. And he doesn’t scale nationally very well.

     You are funny. You are welcome to any and all dinner parties I am ever allowed to host again, even if you get thirds from the dessert table. I’d rather be in the company of a fatty with a healthy sense of humor than a Self-satisfied scold who doesn’t understand we are all just doing the best we can in our horribly flawed human conditions. Plus I’ve packed on a few while staying “safe” during the lockdown. :)

    • #11
    • August 8, 2020, at 4:01 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  12. Old Buckeye Member

    Is the tag line 2dumb2 live her signature or her threat? If the latter, and someone takes it as an invitation to do something about an unmasked person, I don’t think she can claim THAT was legal. 

    I’m with you, Lois, on why I wear a mask. I also think it’s pointless to wear one outside–which is where this idiot wants photos taken. 

    • #12
    • August 8, 2020, at 8:14 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  13. Songwriter Inactive
    SongwriterJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Maguffin (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Now We can shame all the fat-asses to get into healthy shape.

    Won’t work. I’ve been self-shaming myself for years (much more effective in my case than having external shaming), and my fat-ass is still very fat.

    I do have empirical evidence in the past that having a large strong man yelling at me does wonders. But I can’t afford Boss Mongo’s travel costs, let alone per diem. And he doesn’t scale nationally very well.

    Long ago, I moved on from self-shaming to self-loathing. It’s really not any more effective for shedding excess pounds, though.

    • #13
    • August 8, 2020, at 8:29 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane

    Old Buckeye (View Comment):

    Is the tag line 2dumb2 live her signature or her threat? If the latter, and someone takes it as an invitation to do something about an unmasked person, I don’t think she can claim THAT was legal.

    I’m with you, Lois, on why I wear a mask. I also think it’s pointless to wear one outside–which is where this idiot wants photos taken.

    That’s how I took her intent as well. 

    And, to be fair, my “Karen” might be a “Ken.” Brightly colored paper… duct tape… anonymous shaming… implicit threats… I dunno. Could go either way. :)

    On the street where I have a condo in Austin, TX, someone twisted yarn to make a “wear masks” sign on a fence, which I just walk by when I am there. These particular signs in TN are actually aggressive, which just burns my biscuit more, as one might say.

     

    • #14
    • August 8, 2020, at 8:34 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane

    Songwriter (View Comment):

    Maguffin (View Comment):

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Now We can shame all the fat-asses to get into healthy shape.

    Won’t work. I’ve been self-shaming myself for years (much more effective in my case than having external shaming), and my fat-ass is still very fat.

    I do have empirical evidence in the past that having a large strong man yelling at me does wonders. But I can’t afford Boss Mongo’s travel costs, let alone per diem. And he doesn’t scale nationally very well.

    Long ago, I moved on from self-shaming to self-loathing. It’s really not any more effective for shedding excess pounds, though.

    Don’t self-loathe!!!! Noooooo!!!! That’s what turns people into Karens/Kens!!!!

    To be serious, staying in shape is really hard. Not eating too much is really hard. Not drinking too much is really hard.

    I think all those things have been made harder by the weird context our country has created for living in the Age of Covid, so here’s just another reason to not hate yourself but to hate the overreaching hand of a bloated government. ;)

    • #15
    • August 8, 2020, at 8:39 AM PDT
    • 1 like
    • This comment has been edited.
  16. Maguffin Member

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    I think all those things have been made harder by the weird context our country has created for living in the Age of Covid, so here’s just another reason to not hate yourself but to hate the overreaching hand of a bloated government.

    My dad quit smoking in the 70s by making a deal with my sister that he would quit smoking if she stopped sucking her thumb.

    So maybe what I should do is make an agreement with the government – if you cut the fat, so will I!

    • #16
    • August 8, 2020, at 9:33 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane

    Maguffin (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    I think all those things have been made harder by the weird context our country has created for living in the Age of Covid, so here’s just another reason to not hate yourself but to hate the overreaching hand of a bloated government.

    My dad quit smoking in the 70s by making a deal with my sister that he would quit smoking if she stopped sucking her thumb.

    So maybe what I should do is make an agreement with the government – if you cut the fat, so will I!

    Brilliant! I mean… you wouldn’t lose any weight because they wouldn’t cut any fat, but when they broke their promises, maybe they’d write you a check to just shut you up, so that’s something….

    Anyway, I’ve been thinking a little bit about it. I think power must taste like deliciously glazed doughnuts with Boston cream on the inside… impossible to resist… the kind you get when the Krispy Kreme sign is on because they just came out of the oven.

    The government eats power like some people eat those doughnuts… Nom nom nom nommmmmmm…

    After all, even my “Karen” was just trying to feel more powerful with her signs. Putting them up was an act akin to licking one’s fingers for every little dollop of sugary glaze. “I am exerting control over others! Yummmmm.”

    Power is addictive.

    • #17
    • August 8, 2020, at 9:45 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. Maguffin Member

    Lois Lane (View Comment):

    Power is addictive.

    I was thinking about this the other day. Some of the very same type of people who are telling us how many genders there are, and what words we can and can’t use, are the same types that years ago would have been on the other side yelling at people for consorting with people of another race, or not adhering to the cultural norms of the day.

    The same ones that would want to tell you that certain books couldn’t be in libraries because of the filthy filth filth they are, are the types that now are saying that about completely different kind of books.

    For a certain type of person it doesn’t really matter what the cause is – the attraction is the power it gives you over others.

    Some things don’t change.

    • #18
    • August 8, 2020, at 10:14 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  19. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane

    Maguffin (View Comment):
    For a certain type of person it doesn’t really matter what the cause is – the attraction is the power it gives you over others.

    Yep. That’s why it’s easy for politicians to switch on issues. For many, the policies aren’t the point. It’s the delicious nom nom nommmmmm…..

    • #19
    • August 8, 2020, at 10:34 AM PDT
    • Like
  20. MiMac Thatcher

    I bet some of those signs were stuck to the back of a “Hate has no home here” signs.

    • #20
    • August 8, 2020, at 11:28 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  21. cdor Member
    cdorJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I have one mask in my wife’s car and one in mine. They are the same two masks I took out of the package back in March when this Chinese virus began to rage. I have only worn them when inside a business or, because of a new Mayoral edict, when passing from the front door of a restaurant to my socially distant table. My other activities (I am fortunately retired) involve long walks outside or playing golf–no mask activities. I do have to chuckle when I see certain people wearing a mask while walking outdoors. However, I chuckle to myself. I do not scorn them publicly. There is no doubt in my mind that two or three years from now, long after this terrible nightmare has passed, some people will still be wearing masks in public just to show everyone how virtuous they are.

    • #21
    • August 8, 2020, at 11:51 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. David Foster Member
    David FosterJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Maguffin (View Comment):
    For a certain type of person it doesn’t really matter what the cause is – the attraction is the power it gives you over others.

    Very true. It’s about what the Czech writer Kundera called Circle Dancing…demonstrating affinity with those within the circle, and (safe) hostility toward those outside it.

    See my post Conformity, Cruelty, and Political Activism.

    • #22
    • August 8, 2020, at 12:04 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  23. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Maguffin (View Comment):
    For a certain type of person it doesn’t really matter what the cause is – the attraction is the power it gives you over others.

    Very true. It’s about what the Czech writer Kundera called Circle Dancing…demonstrating affinity with those within the circle, and (safe) hostility toward those outside it.

    See my post Conformity, Cruelty, and Political Activism.

    I think you’ve posted that in the past because I believe I’d read it already. You make some good observations. I love the Dos Passos quote you included partially replicated here: 

    From sometime during this spring of 1926 of from the winter before a recollection keeps rising to the surface. The protest meeting is over and I’m standing on a set of steps looking into the faces of the people coming out of the hall. I’m frightened by the tense righteousness of the faces. Eyes like a row of rifles aimed by a firing squad. Chins thrust forward into the icy night. It’s almost in marching step that they stride out into the street. It’s the women I remember most, their eyes searching out evil through narrowed lids. There’s something threatening about this unanimity of protest. They are so sure they are right.”

    I think my Karen would fit into that crowd.

    • #23
    • August 8, 2020, at 12:21 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  24. David Foster Member
    David FosterJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    the Dos Passos quote

    Particularly telling because Dos AGREED with the protestors, he also believed Sacco and Vanzetti were innocent…yet still, these allies in the same cause, he found scary.

    • #24
    • August 8, 2020, at 1:03 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  25. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Lois Lane (View Comment):
    the Dos Passos quote

    Particularly telling because Dos AGREED with the protestors, he also believed Sacco and Vanzetti were innocent…yet still, these allies in the same cause, he found scary.

    Indeed. 

    • #25
    • August 8, 2020, at 1:04 PM PDT
    • Like
  26. Stad Thatcher

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    You should have left another note on top of that one, saying that yellow signs violate the terms of the neighborhood homeowner’s association rules…

    And publicize her address online . . .

    • #26
    • August 8, 2020, at 1:51 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  27. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane

    Stad (View Comment):

    Jon1979 (View Comment):
    You should have left another note on top of that one, saying that yellow signs violate the terms of the neighborhood homeowner’s association rules…

    And publicize her address online . . .

    If only such a thing was on the flyer!!!! But no. This was done by a stealth Karen. 

    • #27
    • August 8, 2020, at 2:45 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  28. Tiger Member
    TigerJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    cdor (View Comment):

    I have one mask in my wife’s car and one in mine. They are the same two masks I took out of the package back in March when this Chinese virus began to rage. I have only worn them when inside a business or, because of a new Mayoral edict, when passing from the front door of a restaurant to my socially distant table. My other activities (I am fortunately retired) involve long walks outside or playing golf–no mask activities. I do have to chuckle when I see certain people wearing a mask while walking outdoors. However, I chuckle to myself. I do not scorn them publicly. There is no doubt in my mind that two or three years from now, long after this terrible nightmare has passed, some people will still be wearing masks in public just to show everyone how virtuous they are.

    In the whole state of Victoria, Australia, it is now compulsory to wear a mask outdoors. Not really a chuckling matter, now.

    • #28
    • August 8, 2020, at 3:51 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. Percival Thatcher
    PercivalJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Tiger (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):

    I have one mask in my wife’s car and one in mine. They are the same two masks I took out of the package back in March when this Chinese virus began to rage. I have only worn them when inside a business or, because of a new Mayoral edict, when passing from the front door of a restaurant to my socially distant table. My other activities (I am fortunately retired) involve long walks outside or playing golf–no mask activities. I do have to chuckle when I see certain people wearing a mask while walking outdoors. However, I chuckle to myself. I do not scorn them publicly. There is no doubt in my mind that two or three years from now, long after this terrible nightmare has passed, some people will still be wearing masks in public just to show everyone how virtuous they are.

    In the whole state of Victoria, Australia, it is now compulsory to wear a mask outdoors. Not really a chuckling matter, now.

    According to Brother Delingpole, folks are starting to refer to the Victoria premier Daniel Andrews as “Kim Jong Dan.” 

    The cops are breaking peoples’ car windows to find out where they are going. Something tells me that the response “your mom’s house” would probably get me into trouble.

    • #29
    • August 8, 2020, at 4:02 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  30. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane

    Tiger (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):

    I have one mask in my wife’s car and one in mine. They are the same two masks I took out of the package back in March when this Chinese virus began to rage. I have only worn them when inside a business or, because of a new Mayoral edict, when passing from the front door of a restaurant to my socially distant table. My other activities (I am fortunately retired) involve long walks outside or playing golf–no mask activities. I do have to chuckle when I see certain people wearing a mask while walking outdoors. However, I chuckle to myself. I do not scorn them publicly. There is no doubt in my mind that two or three years from now, long after this terrible nightmare has passed, some people will still be wearing masks in public just to show everyone how virtuous they are.

    In the whole state of Victoria, Australia, it is now compulsory to wear a mask outdoors. Not really a chuckling matter, now.

    I totally don’t understand what is happening with Australia. Is there no resisting this?

     While they may have some utility, unless in very close quarters for a long time like in a parade or protest, wearing masks outside as a deterrent for contracting Covid simply isn’t supported by science.

    • #30
    • August 8, 2020, at 4:49 PM PDT
    • 4 likes