Thursday, October 21, 2010

Radically honest man tarred, feathered

December, 20, 2010 - Oklahoma City, OK ---

Police removed local geologist Matt Price from the Petroleum building where he was hanging for two hours after being tarred and feathered by disgruntled former friends and colleagues. Patrolman Derrick Quinn reported, "We had to wait for the angry mob to disperse. Man, do they hate radical honesty."

Anonymous sources confirmed that the incident began a little after 5:45 pm, when Mr. Price abruptly commandeered the podium from the Keynote Speaker at the State Department of Energy conference. Reportedly, he asked conference attendees, "You think you'll be drawing a pension in ten years after the state pension fund defaults?," and going on to say, "Infinite economic growth on a finite planet is impossible. The fact is, we're all going to be poorer than poor. This is the beginning of the end for America... I just hope we can keep the water running and the lights on."

Assistant Vice President Wendy Bingham observed the tarring and feathering but did not participate. "I didn't feel like the mob would respect my authority if I told them to stand down," she said. "First there was the shouting and stripping, and then someone got on Twitter and all of a sudden there were like ninety-five people here. Some of them had torches. But I have no idea where the tar came from."

"I'll say this for Matt - he didn't go down without a struggle. Last thing I heard, he was yelling something about humanure."

Mob participant Andrew Jacobs appeared sheepish after the incident. "At first Radical Honesty wasn't so bad. It was like, 'your breath smells like wet dog,' and other funny s%^t. Then Matt started reading some whacked-out website called TOD or LATOC, or something. That's when he started talking about NINJA loans and net energy returns and Export Land Models. I wouldn't have minded too much except he always turned out to be right. Why couldn't he understand that too much reality is painful?"

Crowd member and college roommate Jason Brinks was still pumped from the excitement of the event. "Whoooo, that feels good!" he reported. When asked how Mr. Price had antagonized him, Mr. Brinks said, "Well, mainly he suggested that inviting my thirty closest buddies to Vegas for my bachelor party was going to create enough carbon emissions to drown a couple of children on some island somewhere. Man, I don't need that on my karma. But I really, reeeeeally want to go to Vegas."

Matt's cousin Monica was also spotted in the crowd, although she claimed to be an innocent bystander. "I have to give him credit. Matt wanted to improve the world with his Radical Honesty, because he had some idea about not being able to solve problems if we couldn't talk about them first. I could handle the info about resource depletion, unprecedented species extinctions, frightening levels of topsoil loss and imminent planetary eco-cide. But then he started talking about all these kinds of 'flations, telling me there wasn't going to be any retirement left and no college for the kids. That's when it all got too serious, and I had to block him on Facebook."

After being removed from the flagpole off the second story of the building, Mr. Price admitted that the Radical Honesty program was "considerably flawed." He went on, "Dr. Blanton says that you need to be totally honest to be in real relationship with other people and that lying is the primary source of modern human stress. Basically, that turned out to be BS. My wife left me after I was radically honest about my attraction to her sister, my parents still aren't talking to me after I said they'd be dead in five years if they didn't lose sixty pounds each, and frankly my prospects for promotion at this point are looking pretty slim. Also, being tarred and feathered was highly stressful. Way more stressful than lying."

Close friend and closet prepper "John Smith" was credited with preventing a lynching. "That mob was hungry for blood, but they eventually settled for torture and humiliation," he said. "I tried to warn Matt this would happen. You can't really be truthful about this stuff with people who wouldn't know an exponential population curve from a hole in the ground. It's too far out of their experience, it's too overwhelming. That's why I go with sugarcoating and manipulation. Positive spin, that's how I roll."

When asked if he would continue with the program, Mr. Price replied, "Hell, no. I thought people would respect me for my principled, honest assessment of reality, but it didn't turn out that way. So now I'm going back to regular old silence and deceit - right after I get someone to clean this tar out of my crack."


Sharlene T. said...

But, it's true... No one really wants to hear the truth... unless it mirrors their thoughts... They much prefer ambiguities and equivocations... too bad, but there it is... Come visit when you can...

knutty knitter said...

Nasty stuff tar....

The distinction between adult thinking and child thinking is truth. Children tell it like they see it. Adults have learned to lie. Otherwise society would become impossible to live in.

On the other hand - choose your battles wisely. Not much to be gained from the truth about somebodies new hairdo. Lots to be gained from encouraging them to do the right thing environmentally.

I'd have joined the tar and feather brigade :)

viv in nz

Brad K. said...

One comment about radical honesty - the line about attraction to the wife's sister. The so-called honesty only happened after the breakdown in his character.

The initial outbreak - hijacking the microphone - isn't all that respectful, honest, or honorable.

The character, respect, and trust about and of the speaker is a critical part of a troubling communication.

. . I am not convinced that this episode is as honest as it is radical.

Peak Oil Hausfrau said...

I hope everyone understands this is supposed to be funny, without taking it too seriously and overanalyzing... some people make the mistake of thinking that I take the point of view of one person in the "story." There actually IS a self-improvement program called Radical Honesty, and I thought first of how much destruction and anger it would cause.
A. We need more honesty.
B. Some kinds / approaches of "honesty" are not as effective as others; and honesty of FACTS should not be confused with honesty of projections/predictions/beliefs.
C. Kudos to people who are balancing the need for honesty and urgent action with an understanding of psychology and empathy for other people.

Anonymous said...

In 1981, during an evening meal, a friend began to rudely and forcefully criticize my discussions about resource depletion and other environmental topics until I lost my temper and ordered her out of my house. At that point she told me to calm down and explained she was only trying to show how most people would respond to those thoughts which threaten their way of life. Only many years later did I realize her accurate perception of human nature and the problems faced by those to attempt to point out problems we face as a species on this planet.

Anonymous said...

VERRY funny, peak oil hausfrau! Brad Blanton, author of Radical Honesty and founder of the workshop in honesty.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious. Sent it to a couple of friends who will also love it; a fellow doomer and a doomer-ish sort who thinks I am highly depressing; she will enjoy reading about the revenge of the depressed. : D

Alexander said...

Good post, very interesting.