Rules are for Suckers

In the beginning there was one rule. Don’t eat the damn apple.

We’ve been adding rules, regulations, laws, by-laws, and constitutions ever since. Rules may be meant to be broken so I guess we like to break things because we keep making more and more of them. We also like to make rules for others and not ourselves in the same way we think other folks’ rules don’t apply to us. Heck, even those who don’t like rules and regulations as a thing into and of themselves, love making up rules and regulations to try and circumvent the rules and regulations that get in their way. We’re a wacky bunch we humans.


I once leased from and later worked for a theatre manager who had an ever expanding lease. Each time a tenant would do something he deemed inappropriate he would add a new clause to the lease to try and prevent that behavior in the future. He also, at lease signing, had the practice of reading out loud each and every clause in the lease and telling new tenants exactly who was responsible for the addition of each clause. It was always quite a show. Too bad he didn’t sell tickets to watch it.

We don’t like to reigned in. It’s where this whole freedom thing comes from. We want to be free to do what we want. We just don’t want those we disagree with to be free to do what they want. So we make up rules. If we have enough power we make up rules to take away rules from others. Those are the rules.

When someone gets angry and wants to get rid of red tape, they typically have to use “the rule of law” to do so.

That old comfort blanket, “the rule of law,” has seen better days. It may actually just be hanging around like that quilt your grandma made as a reminder of what’s lost. Memories of things long gone. Or perhaps were never really there in the first place.


  • The stripping of child labor protections. Who knew folks in Arkansas read so much Dickens?
  • The battle over abortion.
  • Voting restrictions.
  • Guns.
  • Sheriffs who choose not to enforce laws they don’t like.
  • Banning books and libraries.
  • Anything happening in Florida, Arkansas, or pick a red-state.

That list could go on. (And does.)

“The rule of law” only works as a rule when everybody plays by the same rules. Or more importantly pretends to. Sad fact. At no time in history has everyone played by the same rules. We’ve done a lot of pretending though.

Ignoring all the rules when they get in the way seems like the latest trend. Take Clarence Thomas. Take Neil Gorsuch. Please. Take most of the Supreme Court thinking a bit too supreme for most people’s liking. And not caring that they are essentially undermining whatever they aren’t hiding behind those robes.

Take any number of politicians. Throw a dart and you’ll score a bullseye. But I don’t think it’s a new trend.

Are we living in some sort of new age where those of us offended (easily or no) by rule-making rule-breakers really have no where to turn?

No. It’s always been this way. Throughout the history of mankind. Pretending takes too much effort. There’s just no longer any incentive to hide the game, much less the rules. The illusion has been shattered from the top to the bottom. When a huge chunk of the populace can push hard to nominate and elect an indicted decaying orange turd for president, given all that we know, but the system can’t seem or want to find a way to hold him accountable, there’s no system or collection of rules to have faith in any longer. When the chief justice of the Surpeme Court can simply decline to answer questions about the intergrity of his institution what’s the point of that instituion even existing any longer.

Some of those suffering are going through the same kind of awakening that most children do when they discover their parents are human and have faults. Many doing the yelling and screaming about this supposed rule breaking are just pissed that they weren’t shameless or gutless enough to do it first.

The shysters no longer give a damn about things like shame. The suckers and the suckups keep contributing, whether they be small donors or large and it’s better to focus their energy on hoovering up the loose change than  the masquerade.

The rules haven’t changed. The games haven’t changed. The game players just realize they don’t have to work so hard on their act to bilk the bumpkins.

Author: Warner Crocker

I stumble through life as a theatre director and playwright as well as a gadget geek...commenting along the way. Every day I learn something new is a good day, so I share what I find exciting, new, stupid and often worthwhile.

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