Nicole is having thoughts late at night, apparently. Maybe it’s from all that cleaning. She’s tired and reflective.
The first part of this is a big whine about how overwhelmed she was when their story went viral. It totally wasn’t her own doing or anything. It just happened. They were hanging out, just being normal, and wham! Viral.
The problem with that is that some of the most god-awful photos of the shitshack and surroundings were taken by a professional news photographer. You know, from the media. The media that Joe and Nicole invited to come to the shitshack and witness the awfulness of what the state was doing them, so their story would go. . . you guessed it. . . viral.
So pardon me if I just don’t start playing a mournful sympathy tune when she whines about how unprepared she was for notoriety.
But this part gets to me.
I can choose homebirth and you can choose a hospital birth and we can still get along.
Isn’t that nice? It’s all tolerant and friendship-like. No reason for any quarreling or disagreement. Just use the opportunity to ask questions. Maybe you’ll learn something (implied: you stupid, ignorant dumbass). Nicole, of course, doesn’t need to ask any questions unless they are geared to box her opponent into a corner so she can deliver a resounding blow to the jaw.
Spend ten minutes reading a thread following some controversial shit she posts and you’ll see what I mean. There is no reasonable discussion. Disagree with her and you’ll be banned forthwith. Tell her you plan to circumcise your infant son and watch how tolerant she is.
But regardless of the fact that she doesn’t even know how to begin implementing the sentiment she wrote above, the basic idea is okay. All of us (I hope) have friends or family with whom we disagree from time to time. My closest friends in the world (apart from Dave) are Republicans. It gives me pain, and I am happy that they are unhappy Republicans who aren’t going to vote for Trump, but they are Republicans nonetheless. It’s not a deal-breaker when it comes to love.
But some things just aren’t open for negotiation, and where we draw the line is a very personal thing.
For me, racism is a biggie. Make a racist joke in my presence and you’ll probably never say anything in my presence ever again. Religion will also drive me over the edge. It’s all fine as long as nobody tries to proselytize me. But start with crap about how you’re concerned about my “everlasting soul” and we are going to part company rapidly.
Those two things might not bother you.
But back to Nicole. The three things she mentions are unschooling, off-grid life, and stay-at-home dads.
She isn’t actually participating in any of those three things at all.
Her children aren’t “unschooled.” They simply are not educated at all. Period. Nothing educational is done for or with them, and making a box doesn’t count.
I was a homeschooler. I understand the concept of unschooling. I even empathize a bit. I also understand with a whole lot of hindsight what the weaknesses and pitfalls are. Homeschooling, be it conventional or the unschooling variety, is not nothing. It takes work and attention on the part of the parents to make it optimal.
The Nauglers are not “off-grid.”
They are squatters living without utilities in a garden shed. They depend totally on water from a source off their land, on food from sources off their land, on power from sources off their land except for the tiny bit of juice they generate with two small solar panels. Take away their off-the-land resources and they would all be dead in two weeks for sure and probably sooner than that.
And Joe Naugler is not a “stay-at-home dad.”
He’s an unemployed lazy-ass moocher, and for years he’s been mooching off his wife and anything the public gets conned into giving him. I have been a stay-at-home mom, and I assure you, it’s not like what he does.
Just saying you’re unschooling, or living off-grid, or living in a cabin, doesn’t mean you actually are doing any of those things. Words have meanings, and we assign those meanings so we can communicate.
Haven’t I already talked about this before? Ah yes, I have. Remember the camel?
I know, it’s idiotic, but he’s awfully cute.
. . . others cannot define who we are.
Yes, we can.
The slam at Caitlyn Jenner is uncalled-for and pretty close to a racist joke in terms of how offensive I find it. There is an enormous difference between being trans (something Jenner cannot help and cannot change, like having red hair or bad teeth), and pretending you’re a “homesteader” when you’re really a squatter in a garden shed. The two things are not even remotely similar.
We are all sovereign beings.
Are we? Really?
Am I a queen, a supreme ruler? I don’t think so. Do I possess supreme or ultimate power? Nope. (And obviously, I am not a coin.)
Neither does Nicole or Joe Naugler.
None of us do.
Nicole gets this nonsense from the so-called “sovereign citizen” movement.
That’s from the FBI’s website. I assumed that would be an okay source to use, since one of the Blessed Little Plans is to have a sit-down conversation with the FBI.
None of us are “sovereign,” with the exception of a very few actual monarchs and most of them no longer have absolute power in their countries.
And Joe and Nicole are not exceptions to that, as they had very clearly laid out for them in court just the other day. How many times do the authorities have to drag their asses in there before they start to get the message that they cannot just do whatever they like?
Coupled with all this is the idea that you can become anything you want if you want it badly enough.
Well, no, a bear cannot become a frog. I cannot just say I am an FBI investigator and suddenly be one. Being “confident in who we are” does not mean being delusional about our capabilities or possibilities. It doesn’t mean that you say you are a homesteader when you don’t meet a single one of the criteria that define that term.
And then she veers off topic to that of criticism, which is of course, always unfair when directed at her, and totally understandable when emanating from her.
If your ideas have merit, they will be adopted voluntarily. If they have to be forced, well, there’s a good reason why. They probably aren’t good ideas to begin with.
This is called argumentum ad populum. It’s a logical fallacy but one that is widely believed. If lots of people think something (Monsanto is evil, vaccines are dangerous, Jesus is real, prayer works, Trump would make a good president), then that has to be true.
No, it doesn’t.
If we’d waited for the argumentum ad populum, the descendants of slaves would be enslaved still, women would still not have the vote, and gays would not have the right to marry.
But let’s assume it’s true for a second. If living in a garden shed, crammed in with 13 people and no utilities is a good thing, if doing nothing whatever about education but letting kids just run around doing whatever the hell they want all day long, if begging for money on the internet, if having children you simply cannot afford to educate, feed, clothe and house—if these are all good ideas that have “merit,” well, then why isn’t everyone else doing that?
What just astonishes me, and makes me more than a little bit sad, is that as of right now, four people read that little essay of Nicole’s and thought it was great.