Some people are pitchfork people. They like the heft, the balance, and the soothing calm that comes from polishing evenly-spaced sharpened tines. Pitchforks look cool. They are a tool of the people, organically working the land, who are unjustly set upon by legally-elected thieves and sheriffs. The cartoon-like leap-n-butt-grab is as humiliating as it is effective, as pitchfork-wielders drive miscreants before them, the way that God intended.

Other people are torch people. They like the swing speed, the balance, and the soothing calm that comes from staring into a dancing flame. Torches are a tool of wizards, using a powerful chemical reaction which few can explain, but all can understand. Making miscreants conduct a heat-avoidance jig is as humiliating as it is effective when torch-wielders drive miscreants before them. Fire cleanses in the righteous way that God intended.

You’d think torch people and pitchfork people, when meeting at a riot, could team up. Cooperate. Find common ground. That synergies could be utilized to make the riot even more fun and effective for all participants. It seems like a no-brainer. An idea as good as peanut butter and chocolate, toast and jam, or egg and nog.

Le sigh.

Whether you are a pitchfork or torch adherent, you have a responsibility. It is part of the social pact that takes place during an uprising. Uprisings are not caused by either torch or pitchfork people. They are caused by thieves and oppressors who are allowed total control over their victims because of an absent or malicious justice system. Knowing your target is important A pitchfork-favoring participant might very well be able to poke an escaping miscreant due to their longer reach, but instead must deal with a smoldering cloak because an imbecilic torch-favoring participant lit it up. A torch-favoring participant might be coordinating a fireship-style tactical move when they find themselves on the unhappy end of a clueless pitchfork-person’s mistargeted jab.

These mistakes can be avoided if you, as a responsible individual contributor to the mob, remain aware at all times who the target actually is.

Of course, thought leaders emerge over time. They are true believers and seek to expand their effectiveness by extolling the virtues of their favored weapon. This is a natural occurrence, and the wise ones will adopt a policy of not attacking allies, but warning their tribe.

Posts celebrating penetration depth during watermelon tests? Great! Advice on removing encrusted fluids and resharpening tines? Useful! Complaints about how everyone just naturally throws the weirdos who show up with hockey sticks or pick-axes into your tribe because “long wooden handle”? No problem. Accusing torch-wielding people of being no better than the target of the mob’s justice? No. Bad. Irresponsible. Not helpful.

The riot will end soon enough. Once the night is over, hey, go nuts. Fire: bad! And all that.

Posts philosophically waxing about how all things return to carbon dust? Great! What fabrics burn the longest or hottest when mixed with an optimal amount of pitch? Useful! Complaints about people who never remember to bring their lighters? No problem. Accusing pitchfork-wielding people of being no better than the target of the mob’s justice, and how, in fact, they should be set alight at the start of the next riot? No. Bad. Irresponsible. Not helpful.

As a responsible thought leader, you should, and have every right to, warn your tribe. Fire is indiscriminate and not easily controlled. Pitch is hard to remove, and will become harder to acquire once the EPA rules it a “toxic & racist substance.” Responsible torch-favoring thought leaders might take these objections to heart, and either write rebuttals or offer advice about the very real danger of indiscriminate torch flinging when storming a toilet paper factory.

Some torch-bearer is going to show up and go all “Grape Nuts” on me because I didn’t list the drawbacks of pitchforks. Fine. They are heavy, and some miscreants take multiple jabs to bring down. Like 100. Even the pitchfork-wielders who play soccer every day and are in peak physical condition are going to be exhausted. Once lit, fire will take care of any miscreant. Eventually.

Of course, true leaders who look beyond their own tribe might emerge from this chaos. They might write things such as,

“We all thought nobody would be stupid enough to wear black clothing, run into freeway traffic, and beat speeding vehicles with their Love Trumps Hate signs, but we were wrong. We’ve all learned a valuable lesson about being clipped by the side-mirror of the patriarchy. Should you find yourself in that situation, it would be prudent to find a torch-wielding partner to stand near. Torch-wielding people, it turns out, can be useful in a riot.”

The riot we all seem to find ourselves in has been decades in the making. We’ve always elected leaders that promise to storm the castle, restore justice, and return the king’s gold to the peasants from whom it has been stolen. Those leaders fought for us by dredging the moat, selling us supplies, and loading the catapults aimed at our mutual foe with fierce-looking memory-foam boulders. Because someone might call them sexist or racist or homophobic if they used, you know, real boulders. None of us thought boulders could be sexist or racist or homophobic, but we can now expect articles from real news sites like the Huffington Post to tell us why we’re wrong.

Finally, we’ve elected a riot leader who seems to understand that the oppressors in the castle are the problem. He’s suggesting things like draining the moat and slaying the alligators. This will make it easier, he points out, for the battering ram, manned by a whole bunch of thickly-armored dread ilk, to do what must be done.

Some of our fellow rioters are suggesting that maybe we shouldn’t do that. That maybe we’ve won. That maybe we should make peace, and hold an open dialog that provides the oppressors in the castle a chance to give us a heartfelt and sincere lecture about how we’re threatening them. “Sure,” our fellows confess, “they are virtually executing us, actively delegitimizing our media, literally beating us with their grievance signs, and even telling us who will be singled out for rapes, but it is the only honorable course to take. The oppressors in the castle have to hang somebody last and,” they propose, “we are the most worthy of that coveted position.”

Other mob allies tell us the real problem is the castle in the next county over, or that the pitchfork people are making everyone look bad because they are stabbing alligators. “Maybe we should take our torches,” they threaten, “and attack the horse people, because the horse people are strong advocates for their horses. Horses, frankly, are the real problem, and if their barns were burned they could be run out of our mob. You know, the way God intended. Everyone in the castle would magically respect us and restore our rights and treasure and allow us to live in peace and freedom, and there would certainly be less manure around the camp.”

Yeah… there really wouldn’t be.

Hey, look, I’m just a spork and camp jester. I’m not the mob police. Say and do what you like. Sometimes a rant goes awry. A post comes out a little unfocused. A media story appears using a rushed reporter’s made-up facts. Blame the lateness of the hour or an unsympathetic editor. Apologize. Sometimes an arrow goes astray and shoots someone in the butt and everybody has a good laugh.

Shoot enough arrows, however, and mob allies stop laughing. They start putting up pickets. Everyone starts spitting at you and calling you mean names like cuck. They forget you were ever an ally at all. Should the king elude mob justice, the mob might turn to focus on what is now a different problem. A problem it can solve.

Mobs are funny things. God help us.


The Spork Speaks — Tempest in a Teardrop — tempestinateardrop.com