Thursday, January 20, 2022

Microstory 1804: Good Opinions and Right Choices

I was raised in an extremely hostile environment. My parents were racist, hateful, and mean. When my older brother was first growing up, he tried to rebel against them. He didn’t go full liberal—because he didn’t know what that meant—but he didn’t agree with the kinds of things they would say. And they weren’t super obvious about it. They didn’t go around claiming that black people were inferior. They just used very unclever cover words like urban and hoodlum. They weren’t as inconspicuous as they thought they were, though, and my brother wanted no part of it. Unfortunately, they decided they weren’t going to give him a choice. They verbally abused him until he stopped talking all that lovey dovey nonsense. The world didn’t use terms like snowflake and libtard back then, but they would have loved it if they had been alive to learn them. Anyway, when I was old enough to start possibly making my own decisions, my brother realized how similar we were. He taught me to pretend to be like our family. I let them think that I was all about letting poor people die on the streets to save the dollar in my pocket, and not getting upset about the injustices we would see on the news. I did a really great job, blending in as the good little conservative boy that I was expected to be. I did too good of a job, actually. They were so proud of me. My brother and I had about the same grades in school, but since they were so disappointed in him, it was like I was the second coming of the messiah. I also had to pretend to believe in the messiah. I wasn’t an exceptional student, or person in general, but I could do no wrong, and my parents did what they could to give me the opportunities they felt that I deserved.

They paid my way into a preparatory school, which led me to a really great college. I hated every minute of it, but I figured I would take my free education, and do something positive with it. The problem was that I was so used to pretending to be an entitled prick that it was too hard to turn off at this point. I let them get me conscripted into a secret underground brotherhood, which was designed to foster a network of good ol’ boys who help each other go places, and get out of jams. It was so rough, being around people with such wrong opinions. I know people say that there’s no such thing as a wrong opinion, but those people’s opinions are wrong. There is a right way to think about how the world should be run, and a very bad way. It was impossible to walk away, though, and not because the only way out would have been in a bodybag, but because it was so tempting to accept their gifts. With their help, I was poised to step on a lot of heads, and make a lot of money. At that point, I didn’t really care that everyone who was helping me get there disgusted me to my core. Because maybe they didn’t. Maybe they weren’t so bad. None of my brothers were violent or outwardly intolerant either. They were great at hiding it, and some of them probably weren’t even that conservative at all. That’s obviously how the secret society formed, but we all make our own choices. I had to make a choice too. I had to do something to become my own man, and stop letting my family dictate how the world should see me. The brotherhood fed into a militia. Not everyone joined it, but it was an option. I continued to pretend, and took the path towards that anti-government group. They accepted me, and armed me, and it wasn’t long before they decided to plan an attack on the capitol. Before they could, I warned the authorities, and got the place raided. I finally made the right choice, and it was my last.

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