Ever have to deal with a naughty kid?

Adult: Toby! I told you to put those toys away.

Kid: I am putting them away.

Adult: No you’re not, you’re playing with that truck. Put them away now.

Kid: Okay, okay. (Continues to play)

Adult: Toby, I’m going to stand right here and watch you put those toys away.

(Kid begins picking up the smallest toys and putting them away at a glacial pace, waiting for the adult to turn his back.)

Adult: Ten. Nine. Eight. (Toby will finish right on zero. Occasionally slightly after to test the boundary.)

This power play increases the cost of enforcement.

The more resistance, the more resources have to be put into compelling people to follow the rules.

Right now there’s yet another lockdown and we’re not allowed to go to the beach. First we feigned ignorance and got shoed away. We gave some cheek to the enforcers. Not enough to get arrested; just enough to annoy them and make them sick of telling people off for swimming at the beach. Enough that they’ll ask to be reassigned or reconsider their line of work. Demoralize them. Make it clear that, while they didn’t make the rules, they’re going to feel our ire for enforcing them.

Now we’ve moved on to the boundary-testing stage: we went to the beach at the crack of dawn to see if there were any enforcers. There were not. We went for a clandestine swim and both died of Covid six minutes later.

First it was 5:30 a.m. Next it will be 6:00 a.m. Keep pushing, pushing; make their lives difficult. Neither the National Police nor the local barangay officials want to be patrolling the beach at all hours. Especially the latter as the barangay captain must soon seek reelection.

Don’t aim at nobly getting arrested or fined. Well, do that if you want, but make sure that no matter how well behaved you normally are, you are constantly pushing, pushing against the fash, making their lives miserable and discouraging them.

Remember, humans get a power trip from issuing outrageous edicts. Incessant resistance and cheekiness on the part of the public has the opposite effect – it makes wielding power tiresome.

Don’t discount minor acts of rebellion so long as they are ubiquitous.

Have you ever tried to get to sleep with a mosquito in your room?

Same with facemasks. I personally won’t object when they are required in crowded, public indoor places because at least that is in good faith whether it works or not. However, if I’m being told to wear them outdoors or in a place that’s not crowded at all, I’m going to push back.

First, let it slip under your nose. Then wear it on your chin. Then let it hang from your ear. Then keep it in your pocket in case an enforcer confronts you. One step at a time.

Watch others and keep keep pushing just one move ahead of the status quo, i.e. if everyone’s already at the nose stage then you go to the chin. Test the boundaries. Make the enforcers squirm with irritation. Not just now and then but all day, every day.

In short, wherever you are being unreasonably restricted or bossed around, always be looking for weak points in the wall of authority.

Think like a naughty boy.

The herd is more important than the enforcers because the herd is more numerous. If everyone agreed to willfully ignore a stupid rule right now, that would be game over. As they are not doing that in most places, instead lead them astray like a Judas goat, little steps at a time. Show them that you can get away with not wearing your mask properly. Most people are followers so give them someone to follow.

If a member of the herd should turn enforcer (a Karen), stick with the naughty boy act. Pretend not to understand, ask for clarification, drag it out, act nonchalant so that she gets no power rush from bossing a stranger even if you end up putting your mask back on (and taking it off again a few minutes later).

Read the room. If everyone’s ganging up on you, resistance is useless. If bystanders are uninvolved and curious, charge ahead.

You can try this approach with Woke edicts, too. Pretend to forget proper terminology or feign ignorance. Ask constant, stupid (but innocent) questions in DIE training. Make the whole thing much less enjoyable for the zealots who imagined it going down quite differently.

To be clear, I am not discouraging you from direct and blatant resistance. You know your situation better than I do. Personally I’m not too keen on doing time in a Philippine jail, nor in being deported given there’s no other country I can easily get to.

This article is more for goody-two-shoes types who always listened to the teacher and do their tax on time.

For us, it is our moral obligation to kick against the pricks. It can be minor, but it must be constant.

Remove pleasure from power to discourage its overuse.


  1. jewamongyou · June 14

    Bad people use this tactic all the time, especially smokers who feel it’s their God-given right to smoke anywhere they please. It’s about time good people co-opted the tactic for the worthy cause of freedom.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. overgrownhobbit · June 14

    Heh. I’m guessing that would be a “No” to your initial question.

    Child continues playing with his truck

    Adult: I am really sorry you did that. For the second time, please put your blocks away in tbe block locker, and animals and trucks in the animals in the blue bin. Adult picks up an empty plastic bin

    Kid begins picking up the smallest toys and putting them away at a glacial pace, waiting for the adult to turn his back

    Kid: Wait, what are you doing-?!

    Adult: Picking up your toys. You can have the ones I pick up next month. It’s a shame. I enjoyed making the block city with you this morning.

    Depending on the personality, the kid pitches a violent fit and gets a spanking, howls (and is innored while adult puts in earplugs), or races adult to put away toys.

    Yes, my story is a metaphor for Covid and the Establishment, too. The Adult can be endlessly patient if she believes It is For Their Own Good. Hella creepy when you are not a child, and They’re not your mom, and in fact rather despise you.


  3. philebersole · June 14

    I think I take the virus threat more seriously than you do. It can really mess you up even when it doesn’t kill you.

    But, based on what we now know, it is ridiculous to ask people who engage in outdoor activities to wear face masks and observe social distancing. When it was thought that the virus was carried in droplets, it made sense to worry about infection from close contact with people out of doors or by touching surfaces. Now that it is understood that the virus is carried by airborne particles, we know that the winds carry them away. The only time to worry might be in close crowds around a refreshment stand or in a poorly ventilated public lavatory.

    On the other hand, masks offer little protection and social distancing none at all in enclosed spaces. The key to safety there is good ventilation, which is not being emphasized. As for myself, being 80-plus years old, it will be a while before I eat a meal in a restaurant or watch a movie in a theater. I have no problem with wearing a mask to medical appointments.

    I don’t think I have a right or duty to tell other people whether they should wear masks.


  4. MD · June 14

    Nikolai – what you propose is very similar to the technique taught in US military SERE school on how to be a prisioner of war. “Don’t be such a pain in the ass that you get beaten or killed, but follow instructions slowly and incompletely.”

    It’s somewhat passive-aggressive, but apparently effective.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. collegereactionary · June 15

    >This article is more for goody-two-shoes types who always listened to the teacher and do their tax on time.
    Thank you, I do appreciate this since most advice always seems to point the other way & assumes you know how to defend your interests. Being a goody two-shoes, I have no idea how to do that. I don’t pay my taxes though.


  6. Marriagesexandmore · June 15

    Here in Florida, masks were never a big thing. Nor were lockdowns. Just about non existent. The only time I’ve worn a mask was when I went to my doctor last year. Even then it was down around my neck because he thought the masks were useless and for show as well. When I went in stores, the greeter would try to hand me a mask, I’d keep walking and say, “I’m good.” I was going to let them force me to wear it. None ever did. Funny because Florida, and draconian lockdown states, have almost identical graphs, if not a little better for Florida. As far as political correctness, calling a secretary an administrative assistant or a steward/stewardess a flight attendant are things I will never do. Of course, I’ll likely never board a plane again so shouldn’t be a problem. I refuse to give someone else that much control over me and my freedom. If I can’t drive there, I do not need to go. There’s a lot of good things to see right here.


  7. overgrownhobbit · June 15

    It can really mess you up even when it doesn’t kill you.
    Yes. Look up treatments for mitigating the worst effects. Get in shape. A small cut or a rhinovirus (common cold) can kill ypu dead if deliberately mal- or un-treated.


  8. dickycone · June 15

    Sorry you still have to put up with all that silliness over the sniffles, Nik. My state just got rid of the last COVID restriction, the mask wearing. Most shops have a sign that says you can go maskless if you’re “fully vacinated” but no one asks if you’re vaccinated and it doesn’t specify that you have to be vaccinated against COVID, so I no longer bother with them.


  9. PSM · June 23

    “Think like a naughty boy.”

    Wonderful. This really stuck with me as a general approach to life in this increasingly controlled world. Strategic forgetting (“oh sorry, I forgot to put my mask on”) or misunderstanding is helpful.
    It reminds me of the general theory of escaping from someone in Brazilian Jiujitsu, especially when they are on top. You have to gradually make room, usually a small amount at a time. Eventually this allows you to escape. Being strategically naughty is creating this wiggle room.


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