The general talk has been about statistics. Demographics. Toxic masculinity. The kids. The guns. Searching for a place to lay a blame far too massive for one shaky set of teenage shoulders to bear.
I agree. Not that we should ban firearms, because they’re not technically the cause. A murder weapon cannot stand trial for the murder, that privilege is reserved for a suspect with the motive, intent and opportunity to commit the murder.
🙋🏻♂️Ooh ooh I know this one, pick me pick me! The students! Let’s ban the students! It’s one hundred percent guaranteed to end school shootings once and for all. Too extreme? Maybe just close all the schools. Boom. Problem solved. Consider the budget effectively trimmed. It’s categorically impossible to shoot up a school if there is no school.
You see what I did there? Wordplay with insight and reason. Dry wit. I learned it on my own, in conversation with more experienced people, by seeking out and reading classic novels, discovering and absorbing several degree’s worth of philosophy, psychology, art, language and history from copious diverse sources, for free, through the internet. I learned to bend and break the rules of grammar with sentence fragments. To write for effect. I learn by consuming the rich heritage of literary greatness actively denied to me in all of the 15+ schools where I was forced to waste my childhood in a painfully numb, near vegetative state.
No offense, veggies, but a tomato is actually a fruit.
Don’t want to get rid of our “great” schools? They’re necessary, for the kids, you say? If someone hates a place so much they want to kill the people there, is it necessary the go? Maybe don’t force them to keep showing up, see how many shootings there are then. People should have the option to leave, or just stop going if they hate it so much. Problem solved. Again.
Not ready for a return to (some) Classical Greek standards of voluntary education, where teachers compete to attract students? Fine, let’s be progressive. Let’s imprison our children and force feed them propaganda regurgitated by the barely trained, relatively inexperienced and unwise hired hands, who assign largely fruitless tasks in a secure compound with a lord-of-the-flies sort of vibe, then if any one of those little shits tries to escape before their sentence is over, send them or their parents to a worse prison, the fuckers. Let’s call that civilization. Let’s call that modern education. Let’s call that the Gulag. It would be more accurate.
In government schools, you don’t acquire education, education acquires you.
Keep the Gulags? Alright, well if we insist on trapping people in a stifling protofascist barracks for the most restless, formative and volatile twelve years of their lives, expecting them to emerge compliant and pacified, let’s at least make some improvements to the environment. Maybe the prisoners would be less likely to riot if the conditions were better. Maybe eating noxious gruel off a tray at the same time every day, sleep deprived, anxious, drugged, for a decade, maybe that gets to a person. Maybe if school sucked a little less hard, fewer people would decide to fuck it and end their miserable, short lives in a hail of gunfire, as a viable alternative to one more fucking day in that hellhole.
Our kiddie gulags are best in world, true super, no need improve!
Even if that were true (it’s not) it would only make sense to blame a child for their violent reaction to a perfect shiny happy institution, in an autocratic regime. the supposedly educated and supposedly competent and supposedly free adults might consider taking some responsibility for the institutional hell they help create, perpetuate, and mandate our most vulnerable, at-risk segment of the population attend.
Somebody sends an iffy tweet and they get spit roasted before the plane lands. But nobody gets a pink slip on this one. Odd.
If it makes sense to hold a minor blameless in a sexual encounter with an adult, and to hold the adult fully responsible, why do we blame the minor in these school shootings?
Whose F(ouc)ault Is It, Anyway?
Some adults have stepped forward with professions of responsibility, placing it squarely on the shoulders of the NRA (a completely uninvolved and unrelated organization), but not themselves.
A large coterie of supposedly reasonable people insist the culprit is violence in video games or movies. News flash: video games and movies are art. Art imitates life. Life is incredibly violent. If the kids learned it from the video games, where did the video game developers learn it? What was the inspiration for Call of Duty? That would be wars and to a certain extent, law enforcement. That’s the State. The same State that runs the schools. Good thing there’s not a conflict of interest. 🤷🏻♂️
It might seem radical to blame the government for advertising to, recruiting, then physically and psychologically abusing, training and rewarding high school students for killing people who live in other countries, in near constant wars, now so efficient an enterprise that an American Armed Forces Employee is more likely to kill themselves after answering the Call of Duty, than to be killed in Modern Warfare. Where some see a conspiracy theory or a radical idea, I see a simple, logical extension.
Too big to blame!
Why pick on a government? That would make just zero sense. Wars aren’t violence, you see, in newspeak, they’re economic stimulus packages for certain sectors of the economy that are far too profitable to be bad, too profitable to be avoided, too profitable to be stopped. Too profitable, that is, for the government to pass up. And what of the losses? Integrity, morality, the lives of thousands of other young males around the same age as the most recent scapegoat, the future health of generations? Oh those? Those are acceptable losses. Better yet, collateral damage. Because, literally.
When is it #NeverAgain?
Maybe when the government owns all the media, when they start getting all of the revenue generated by these video games depicting but not doing violence, all the box office sales of movies depicting but not doing violence, and all the clickbait Ad sales of all the internet 🐸 memes depicting but not doing a hop, maybe then the finger will point somewhere else. Somewhere that doesn’t impact the bottom line.
Until then, how about we blame the media for granting fame and notoriety to shooters, and spurring copycats. Don’t blame the lifelong respect and honor and pension and discounts given to soldiers for killing people, granted it’s on a much larger scale and with fully automatic *actual* assault rifles, main battle tanks, jets that make it rain inch-thick radioactive uranium bullets, grenades and attack dogs in living rooms, terror hovering in the skies above cities and nightmarish chemical weapons. Do AR-15s kill more kids than drones? Well that all depends on the school district. Don’t send your kids to Golan High.
Okay, so the responsibility just keeps rolling downhill and finally snowballs into the punishment. Yes! Everyone’s favorite part! Get in on the judgment! Revenge now, without further delay! Some people publicly declare, without a shred of detectable irony, that a child, a teenager, should be executed.
Teenage Execution: because, hey, what’s one more dead kid?
This one was defective anyway, right? Riiiiight. I mean, how else will we serve justice to the victims’ families, since the actual murdered victims can’t actually benefit from justice… and more importantly, they can’t vote.
As if killing a child could be called justice at any point in human civilization, let alone in 2018. I’m looking at you, Marco Rubio. I’m looking at you with a mix of disgust and amazement and curiosity about the violence in your own childhood. Do tell.
If killing a kid satisfies your desire for justice, then you have something in common with kids who shoot up their schools. If the child is evil for wanting other children dead, and then successfully manifesting that wicked desire, how can an adult be considered good and right and just in expressing and enacting the same wish?
If a child is deemed not legally competent to stand trial, to sign a contract, hold credit, drink a beer, consent to sex, or rent a car—anything that might constitute autonomy (the stated goal of education) and the assumption of responsibility, self ownership and personal agency—how is it reasonable to recommend the maximum penalty reserved for the worst offending adults? That’s if you think killing people is moral and good under any circumstances.
I don’t know what people are thinking. But now people know what I’m thinking. Your move, people.
Hello specifically to those who come here with anger in their belly. I greet you with a digital chamomile tea and a virtual hug. Now, down to business. The business of feels. There are going to be levels here. We will hit them. We will surge through them. We will trickle and seep drop by drop through the sediment and reach the deep waters.
Why do you hate Donald Trump? Go ahead and list the reasons in the comments. I’ll get a cup of coffee.
Now that you’ve gotten it out of your head and onto the eternal internet, isn’t hating people the thing you stand against? Are you rebranding your expression of hate, because it’s yours, as the only reasonable and rational response to a dictatorial tyrant?Do you celebrate side-eye shade and bold fashion choices in a charm offensive but overlook abhorrent transgressions against humanity? Do you even know what’s going on elsewhere? What about everywhere? Do you think you’re right and that’s that? Hubris.
But it’s not about what you say it’s about what you do. Even so, what about empathy? You’ll fight for prisoner’s rights (maybe) but not president’s rights. How do you judge which person is worthy of empathy and understanding and which is worthy of hate?
Do you use the silence means you side with the oppressors argument? Okay, then dogs are complicit in evil, because they don’t bring signs when they go for a walk, and that guy in a coma is on the wrong side of history because he didn’t disavow. The same argument you use to discredit supernatural claims applies here: the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. Something about witch hunts and McCarthy. Keep reading.
Actually, not saying something is not the same thing as saying something. 😀
That would be a false equivalency. Anecdote time! My friend from Moldova gives me directions while I’m driving. He always tells me to go left, unless he says right, sometimes with a finger pointing in an indeterminate direction…but either way, there’s a sense of disconnect from the generally accepted definition of left and right and of where he actually wants me to go. Regardless of language, destra/sinestra, links/recht, mindenfelé… fewer people know port and starboard but that’s not important right now, what’s important is accuracy in speech when it comes to driving directions. Standards in language help improve this accuracy. His directions are not standard. That’s not because he believes Left and Right are interchangeable. And that’s not because they are culturally constructed differently in the place he was born. Left and Right are universal structural characteristics of all species with medial symmetry, such as vertebrates. The spine predates language, but it is mapped with mouth sounds in the form of language. The map does not change the location of a mountain if it is drawn incorrectly, and left does not become right when he calls it that. Fortunately, because I interpret his tone and context, and make an educated guess, we don’t crash or get lost. Because I take the whole person into account, with compassion and patience, I know which way he means for me to go, regardless of the word or hand. Imagine how much more smoothly things would run if we had this kind of consideration in the interpretation of everyone’s language.
My friend is intelligent, capable, driven… does he know left from right? Of course. Would he lie to deliberately throw me off? Doubtful, since he is also in the car, and our perfect record of successfully reaching our destination. Google Maps and Waze have both given me directions that would have led to my death on many occasions, had I not the awareness of possible inaccuracies in the much needed navigational assistance I receive from them. Should I abandon navigation aids altogether? #NeverMaps
In a similar guidance role, would the president trade a few jokes for the safety and security of himself and his family, maybe the whole country or the world? Not fucking likely. Would he risk everything just so he could make the most innocuous of quips from an imaginary monologue in the yet to premiere The Late, Very Late Night Show, exchanging the style of puerile taunts we’ve all participated in extensively in our youth, the specific meaning and personal significance of which we will never know or comprehend as these two interlocutors understand their own communication. It’s not just an audience of Americans with which he is communicating. We, as readers, as people who are so far removed from the Official World Leaders Club: A Real Thing; we don’t have a clue. We have assumptions and speculation. Opinion, not knowledge.
Know enough to know you don’t know enough.
Or are you willing to pontificate about stuff you don’t—you can’t—know as if you know it? Are you comfortable being a boastful blowhard or a bullshit artist? Isn’t that what you call Trump? Becoming like your enemy is victory… for your enemy.
You want him to say something else? Oh, I see. Besides the fact that demanding people say something else, or else, is a total #bully move, it’s #compelledspeech. Which you can guess from the name is the opposite of free speech. The phenomenon of “So what you’re saying is…” followed by some heinous straw-man accusation, is putting words in someone’s mouth. You don’t stand for it in personal relationships, so why do you want it to characterize international politics?
This radical new thing called deplatforming, shouting down other people? It’s #controllingaf and clearly infringes on the right to free speech we Americans enjoy. The Constitution clearly affords us the right to dissent and to petition the government for redress of grievances. The first amendment to that document, is first for a reason. It’s the most important one because it’s the one that makes everything else work. It’s the first line between democracy and dictatorship. Between freedom and fascism. Between the individual life and the mass grave. If you want to defend the constitution, whether you consider yourself a patriot or if you just plain old love freedom, then defend the right to free speech, first, before any other right you think needs defending. #ConstitutionalVibes
Don’t be a fascist.
Some people enforce their singular will and call it antifascism. Those people are also listed as terrorist organizations. “This is how it should be for everyone.” is the first line of every fascist manifesto. Don’t seek to enforce your morality on everyone else. Convince people it’s a great way to live by living it yourself. Do I want Trump to be president? I don’t want any president, ever, but some people do and that’s okay. As long as it doesn’t apply to me, or anyone else who doesn’t want one. Enjoying rights insofar as they don’t infringe upon the rights of others. Makes sense, right? Right. That should answer the question until the end of time.
Do you disagree with the president’s principles, if you know what they are? Just say so. Do you go so far as to champion a defense of the underprivileged and underrepresented minority victims of the oppressive partriarchy promulgated by an evil nazi fascist alt right neocon greedy republican basket of deplorables which is embodied in the esurient amber avatar of Donald Trump? Okay, calm down. Perhaps radical egalitarianism has caused you to conflate history with hyperbole, despotism with democracy, unilateralism with universalism, exaggeration with explanation.
When you call someone names like President Cheeto Fingers, you’re being ablist, mocking those phalangetically challenged. Judging someone based on their skin color, their personal expression, that’s some good old-fashioned #bullying, finally a treading topic of discussion. You’re actually cyberbullying the President. Let that sink in. Let all the rationalizations for your actions come up in your defense, on how it’s different when you do it, when he’s the target, that he deserves it. Why do you think he says, “everyone loves me” and we all know it isn’t true, including him. Why? Because fuck you, that’s why. Do you remember being bullied? Do you remember boasting, puffing up your chest, spewing a newly acquired swear word that came off not so much menacing as it was maudlin? Did your tormentors laugh at your threats? My dear fellow trolls and bullies: where is the moral high ground now? If you’re a hypocrite and a bully… now what? Do you want to listen to a hypocrite and a bully tell you how things should be in the world and what you should do? If you won’t listen to others, will you at least listen to yourself?
“Just giving that bully a taste of his own medicine.” Reminds me of a certain nuclear tweet exchange. Wait, was it low-key clever or descending to the level of dicktater?
Well, except the hate we harbor in our heart of darkness, because this particular hate, this is the good kind of hate, a hate so righteous and just and well founded and credible, and all other hate is wrong and evil and destructive and should be stamped out with an iron boot. How fucking convenient. Who decides the “good” hate and the “bad” hate? A committee of superficially diverse people with the same opinion? Like a jury? A Stalinist show trial? How many people are on the jury? Who picks the jury? Are there independently established quanta regarding species of hate? Is there some scale or metric of what’s fair and allowable? Any scientific papers or equations you can point to, or is it just like, your opinion, man? Your feelings?
Is your opinion even your opinion, or is it formed by the people surrounding you? What if you only surround yourself with people who agree with you and don’t offend your senses? That sounds like someone you profess to hate. That’s the echo chamber you decry, and in the center, the double-edged Sword of Projection that deals equal damage to your opponent and yourself. It’s the chemotherapy of psychology. Mutually assured psychic destruction. I hope you live through it.
Maybe you don’t mind the double edged sword. Maybe you are like those poor souls who commit suicide by cop, or climb to the top of a bell tower, or enlist to kill and be killed, all under the sway of the belief that violence against people is a reasonable and good idea given their circumstances and experience, up to and usually including killing themselves. These tormented folk who believe that there are too many humans, who think that birth is a mistake, who end the life of their own children still in the womb that this whole human thing is all a big mistake and everything would be better if there were no people anymore. #Nihilism #AntiNatalism in the NewYorker and on Twitter.
Hey waitaminute… I remember this sentiment from somewhere. Oh yeah, the Old Testament! It’s what the god character said before he sent the flood to destroy his own creation which had grown morally corrupt, leaving a STRAIGHT ORTHODOX JEWISH MAN to restart civilization through back-breaking labor on the impossible task of ensuring the harmonious continuation of every single species of animal and every inch of beach and every leaf of every forest, in general, to deal with circumstances beyond his control and comprehension, to avoid consequences he didn’t create. So, a president?
But it can’t be a straight old white man who saves everyone? Can it? There are good types of people and there are bad types of people, apparently. It’s better to be these than those?Some cause problems and should be punished, dealt with accordingly, shut out and shut down. Kicked out like a stain on our beautiful flag, like a virus in our healthy body politic. That has a familiar ring to it. The germ theory of a sick society, in need of a purge. It’s what the National Socialist Workers Party used to genocide religions, races, political views and sexual expressions or whatever else they deemed unfit for life, inhuman, suboptimal. Mao, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, all the classic mass murderers that presided over the deaths of the equivalent of a third of the current US population. You can get those numbers by nuking New York City, about a dozen times. For scale: Hiroshima & Nagasaki combined were a tragedy to the tune of ~200,000 lives lost.
To think some people should die but others should live, and some of them should rule, is to paint oneself in the image of evil, of a monstrous inheritance compiling so many of the traditions you hate, that of a jealous, vengeful god, who recognizes no other law but its own—from a book considered evil stupid bullshit, mocked yet rarely understood or even read. To stand in judgment of other people and bring about the downfall of a fellow man is to emulate the real, despised persons from recent history and memory, and a character from the old religious stories, because it’s fiction and you don’t like some of the scenes.
Despite the whole cloth rejection of fictional stories from the bible or other surviving religious teaching traditions, you’ll proudly proclaim to be a Mockingjay or a Hufflepuff or a Hobbit or Stormborn, and you’ll celebrate the murder and torture and revenge killings in countless other films and books because the murderer is a girl with a dragon tattoo, and you can indulge in the fetishized traumas you’re attempting to overcome through reenactment of the torment you experienced on unrelated and innocent victims of your choosing. Yet you hate a book because the one guy is an asshole. That thinking is what I like to call ass-holy. There’s something in the bible about it being easier to see the speck of dust in someone else’s eye than it is to see the log in your own. To judge a peer on an allegation in a court of opinion, where only you are above reproach. In other words, authoritarian. Are you the god we should abandon? The god which should die?
Are you defining people by their race, gender, political views? There are no more individuals if there are only groups and avatars of these groups. Do you not see the racism of assuming privilege or oppression based on race? I’m talking specifically about the hypocrisy of hating someone from an anti hate platform. I’m talking about excluding someone from a platform of inclusion. About judging someone from a platform of nonjudgmental acceptance. Today, you’re not going to be kicked out of a catholic church for being openly gay, but a liberal company will fire you for being openly conservative.
…Because the so called CIS gendered homophobic patriarchal alt-right is oppressing itself?
I’m talking about the trend of celebrating (only approved) differences, promoting multiculturalism (with the exception of American and European cultures, it’s okay to stereotype the shit out of them, ex. the racist #DearWhitePeople) encouraging all forms of sexual expression, unless it leads to more white or other undesirable babies. That would just be awful. “They had their turn, it’s our turn now,” If #TheFutureIsFemale, should men be scared, defend themselves, enact a preemptive strike? Is this a healthy path?
If only men wrote history… or if only women wrote the dictionary, would either be unbiased and equal?
So anything that you say about men as a whole or women as a whole, is an example of sexism. Unless it’s a scientific fact. For instance, men are defined as having two different forms of allosomes; women are defined as having two of the same form of allosomes. Indisputable fact, not sexism: men and women are fundamentally unequal, as individuals are fundamentally unequal. If you don’t think this small genetic difference is sufficient to make an organism significantly different, please refer to Down Syndrome, caused generally by a full or partial extra copy of a single chromosome.
Believing women just because they’re women.
Giving a man a better salary than a woman, just because he’s a male.
Give up your seat on the bus because you’re a male and a female entered the bus.
Survivors of the Titanic — Crew: 87% female, 22% male; Passengers: 75% F, 20% M.
UNEQUAL PROTECTION UNDER THE LAW:
Family court cases generally favor women, restraining orders are written out without restraint, men are put on sex offender lists for life because of false accusations. Even though nearly half of the victims of domestic violence are men. Pass judgement based on suspicion without evidence, where “credible allegations” equal guilt? This is a gross perversion of the legal system, which has enough problems as it is. Innocent until proven guilty. PROVEN. Not suspected. Not credibly alleged. P-R-O-V-E-N. Otherwise it’s manipulation and persuasion; also known as a lie. Perjury. It has also been known as bearing false witness.
Maybe something like: All victims should be believed, if they’re women, except the women accusing Bill Clinton. Or any other Democrat. Because Democrats are the best. Except they were the party of the majority of slave owners in America. Oooooooooooohhhh… Good thing identity politics is a removable label.
I wonder if you can appreciate the wicked irony of using freedom of speech to shout down the freedom of others, using the right to peaceable assembly specifically to disrupt the peaceable assembly of others, or calling for violence and death against those who call for violence and death (it’s okay because my reasons are better), of participating in a movement of millions to harass an individual who has been accused of harassment, to perpetrate online bullying of a seventy year old father and husband, and then promote cyber-bullying laws and talk about family values. The twisted logic of condemning customary hand gestures during a public speech as white supremacist microaggressions and applauding the unmistakable gore of a man’s severed head as the constitutional expression of artistic dissent. Rank hypocrisy.
How can men and women, African and Asian, Muslim and Atheist, all be equal if the oft maligned and inherently unfair power structures of the entire animal kingdom including humanity, would magically and instantaneously become virtuous and balanced were they controlled by black muslim lesbian trans women? If there’s no difference in the person, then how would there be a difference in the outcome? Either they’re different or they’re not. They are different. Everyone is. Are these differences superfluous social constructs? As if the edifice of culture were a mere painting on the uniform canvas of genetics, easily covered or removed. Identity politics is explicitly racist, classist, sexist, discriminatory and reductively superficial in the fullest sense of these words. It’s self-contradictory.
Either people are fundamentally and individually variegated in genetic expression over time, or they’re all the same, all the time. Evolution can’t exist if everyone is the same. Genetic mutation over time is the basis for evolution. Treating things the same that are not the same is inane. Take numbers: 4 is not 5 and can’t be used interchangeably, no matter how much four wants to be five and calls itself a five. Does that mean five is better than four, is there an implicit bias towards fourishness? No, obviously. As in mathematics, chemistry, physics and biology, difference is built into the science. If you think a Russian man and a west African woman are the same or even interchangeable, you’re a science denier. Every individual is different. What of equal value? Value is locally relative and culturally established. Biology predates culture, therefore social constructionism is predicated on biology. Height is not a social construct. Neither is skin color, bone density, genitalia, etc. Our biology creates our culture, and our culture influences our biology in feedback loops of sexual selection and environmental pressures from climate and resources, etc. I’m not claiming to understand everything, but I know enough to know it’s a bit more complicated than just because the patriarchy.
What scientific evidence exists in favor of ideologies such as feminism and socialism? Is there a double-blind, placebo controlled study that concludes there is no difference between males and females? That’s a big no. How about the operation of The Modern State? Is that supported by any scientific methodology, or is it in fact directly contradicted by the open source case log of history? Has anyone been able to prove through experiment that socialism works? Or has every single experiment across cultures and scales falsified the claim that socialism is the way of the future? That’s what I thought. It always amuses me when people say “you’re on the wrong side of history” Like they fucking know the future. They don’t even understand the past. It’s just bullshit sophistry.
A barista in Seattle told me the other day that the evolution of political systems leads from democracy through capitalism to socialism. She said it like it was fact. I didn’t ask her where she heard this utter nonsense. But I understand the reasons why. Like any toddler caught between a lie and a beating, the choice is hard, the choice is moral. The importance of integrity between your thoughts, speech and actions is nearly impossible to overstate. Yet I understand why the toddler chooses the lie instead of the beating. And why this barista thinks socialism is the answer. Survival. Physical survival. Moral turpitude but physical survival. An intact body with a broken spirit. Is it better to die morally or to live immorally? You will die regardless… but how did you live?
It is no more rational to silence people to further the cause free speech or kill people to achieve peace as it is to fuck your way to virginity. But Christians are the stupid ones?
Let’s not insult, berate and taunt each other (unless you’re the late Greg Giraldo, and you’re invited.) Let’s not make assumptions. Let’s actually talk. Let’s keep talking. When goods stop crossing boarders, the armies start crossing them. When words stop flowing, blood starts. Let’s not shoot, let’s speak. Let’s not silence, let’s listen. There is something you need to read if you haven’t, and again if you have.
And then, read Real Time Relationships. So we can have conversations where we don’t already know what a person is going to say. Because we actually don’t know. We have a hypothesis, but the experiment is conversation. Imagine a scientist who just said, “this is what will happen, for sure” and then just wrote the conclusion and filled in a spreadsheet with results, without actually doing the test. Then they discredit any contradictory reviews and experiments. Even when their conclusion is repeatedly disproven by actual experiments with real results, they maintain their position. That’s not actually a scientist. That’s someone in need of a real conversation to get to the bottom of all this.
Policies are not worthy of respect, viewpoints are not worthy of respect. People are. Life is worthy of respect. Consciousness. Countries don’t require protection, people do. Ideas do not need compassion, people do. Look: love can only benefit people, it doesn’t hurt. If it hurts, it’s not love. Tough love is bullshit. You’re thinking of Stockholm Syndrome or Uncle Tom Syndrome or traumatic bonding. Humans have been shown to require love to survive and to be mentally healthy. As a matter of fact, pretty much all mammals need that connection, which has something to do with oxytocin and vasopressin. Mammals that are gay, dark-skinned mammals, autistic mammals, mammals convicted of crimes, religious mammals… we’re all mammals, people. Donald Trump is a mammal, a person. Therefore, I love him and you should too. Not like that.
If you have trouble understanding what love is in this context, you really need love. If you have a visceral response due to your previous and unrelated experience of the world, perhaps a person treated you badly… maybe therapy will help. Maybe CBD oil, or Psilocybin, or LSD. Perhaps transcendental meditation. Maybe you’re depressed (listen to this) or “busy” and don’t have the time or energy to love anyone. That’s okay. Do you have the time and energy to just stop hating people? What does it cost you to stop hating? If you can spare it, that’ll be enough to push the balance of the world a little farther towards the right. Every little bit helps. And we are all only a little bit. Even a thought helps. By the same token, every bit of hate hurts, even the thoughts. It hurts you too, because we are all in it together. So, your hate and resistance is not actually helping. Not at all. Hate is making it worse. It’s dividing families. Listen to it though, don’t block it out. It has something to say as well. Ask. Listen deeply to find the root of it. Speak freely.
The good news is, if you have the energy to hate someone, you have the energy to love them, too. The energetic exchange rate is in your favor, converting Hate to Love. It’s like going shopping in ’08 Zimbabwe with $$$. A little goes a L0000000000000000NG way. Exchange hate for love and your wealth will increase exponentially. Go ahead, try it. Take a more charitable view of the people you despise. Be less hateful.
This is not meant to serve as an attack on the office of the president or a defense of any actions undertaken therein. This is not an apology for, nor a surrender to, anything. This is a call for rational discourse. This is an appeal to reason and ethics, to decency and humanity. We cannot reach the content if we don’t first commit to the conversation. I will not join you in marching to the battlefield or in marching to a protest rally, but I will join with you in public debate. I will actually listen. I’ll listen in a way you will probably not even recognize. I will view you kindly, as another person like me. This is best accomplished in person. Less so in the comments below, but on the phone is ok, too. Text. WhatsApp. Messenger. Instagram. Skype. Shit, even LinkedIn.
How are these all the same species? External sexual selection, i.e., breeding. I celebrate their individuality and recognize their commonality. Works with humans, too.
I don’t believe in one true religion. But I’m not strictly an atheist. I don’t believe in democracy, socialism, or any political ideology, but I’m not a rebel. I believe all ideas, like all flavors of ice cream, have a certain purpose and a right to exist. I don’t eat all of them, but I don’t interfere when someone eats a flavor I hate.
if ice cream were my religion, it would be a sin to accept a sugar cone when the waffle variety is available. People want to believe because believing is making sense out of an unknown dilemma, answering an urgent question when not knowing is intolerable. I’m not anything which ends in -ist. I have developed an intense allergy to hierarchies. All the sensory data I’ve experienced thus far inform my position on the following controversial political subjects.
In the centuries since the murder-fueled imperialism which founded the United States of America, everyone has immigrated here illegally. I remember singing a Woody Guthrie tune in kindergarten. We agreed in our little warbly voices that this land was made for you and me. It’s more like:
This land was paid for by power.
The root of this position can be traced to the common ancestors of crustaceans and the territorial behavior in effectively all other endothermic amniotes on this planet, for the express and singular purpose of protecting access to limited resources, e.g. breeding opportunities, food and shelter, etc.
If humans wish to distance themselves from the rest of the animal kingdom, specifically, above the animal kingdom, then they must transcend such behaviors, using the highest brain capacity in the animal kingdom to protect the limited resources for the benefit of the entire planet.
The distribution of resources in favor of environmental stability opposes waste. Fighting over resources in a limited area is a waste. Instead, expand the area: relocate individuals or import resources to compensate for increased population densities. In this age of the most extensive and efficient resource distribution infrastructure humanity has ever known, competition at any level is a waste of resources, unless extreme circumstances arise.
Think of a cannabis plant with a mineral deficiency, sacrificing the older, less productive leaves to reallocate essential resources higher up the plant to ensure continued cellular reproduction, survival. Individuals are not isolated consumers of resources, we are cells in a super-organism called humanity, integral to the entire biome as much as bacteria are integral to our microbiome. From ecosystem to solar system, to a wholly unknown universal system, right where we belong. Just where are we, exactly? And how?
From a sympathetic point of view, if the native tribes of the Americas had superior military force and technology (including immune systems), if they retained control of the land they shared with each other, this might be a wholly different country where Indo-Europeans are kept on reservations, what few survived the genocide would perhaps reside inside the United Caliphates of Arabia.
The Fault In Our Wars
Brave New World, 1984,
After reading any of these books, it becomes clear that the military industrial complex is a force of the modern world so pervasive and insidious as to be effectively ignored by the population at large, save for those engaged in profiteering or violence.
There’s been war for a long, long time. It’s good versus evil. Which is which is variable. Iran is evil because they held Americans hostage. Iraq is evil because they invaded Kuwait. Germany is evil because they enslaved, brutalized and murdered 25 million people. Russia is evil because the Soviets murdered a hundred million people. America is evil because they invaded multiple countries, actually used nuclear bombs on cities filled with innocent people. There’s still a nuclear arms race and threats of their use abound, . So everyone’s evil. Israel and Palestine, Somalia, Korea, Laos, Vietnam, the Islamic State, the fucking Crusades… anywhere and anytime killing of humans is carried out, be it in the name of politics, the economy, ethnicity, religion, culture, gender, literally any reason at all—including execution of incarcerated individuals convicted of capital offenses—there is a fault of logic so puerile and sophomoric that it would be hilarious if it wasn’t so completely repugnant and horrific in every conceivable way:
Killing is wrong, i.e. morally indefensible.
A premise we can all pretty much get behind. Perhaps extreme pain or self defense might invalidate it. Let’s leave suicide aside for the moment and stick with killing others.
Individuals in Human Group 1 (HG1) have killed/are killing/threatening to kill individuals in HG2.
Sounds like an awful situation. What do do about it? Defend yourselves, HG2!
HG2+ may violate the first premise with impunity, only as it applies to HG1+.
Do we all have a right to self-defense? Do baby humans have a right to self-defense? Or even an interest in self defense? Perhaps a drive for self preservation, which is inferred by their continued self advocacy, mainly through crying. They can’t get a lawyer or pick up a gun, or run away, so they have a right they cannot enact, or be made aware of, or consent to forfeit. Is it still a right? If so, an argument can be made to support the statement Abortion is Murder. It’s the usurpation of the right to life.
HG2+ ( a set including HG2 and their agents/allies ) is excepted from the first premise without invalidating it if they become non-human, or an exception is added for self defense.
Killing is sometimes preferable to not killing.
Sometimes? That’s not a clear moral rule with is applied equally and universally. It might be true then that it is was preferable for HG1 to kill HG2 in the first place, and the true crime was in the retaliation of HG2 on HG1. Not clear. Not moral. Not universal. It’s… complicated?
In war, law enforcement, interpersonal relationships, etc. those related by some chance characteristic to the perceived threat, e.g. politics, ethnicity, location, appearance, are also targeted. Violence justified dehumanizes the perpetrator first, then the victim. Vendettas have left entire towns sterile. There was a time when the POTUS declared with pride the death of another man, to a round of cheers and applause. Macabre, this penny dreadful play of politics.
AKA: killing babies. There is no justification for murder. Despite what you might cite as a feminist, why does a woman have a right to kill a baby just because it’s in her body at the moment, whereas someone killing that baby against her will would be guilty of a crime? Say nothing of wrong and right, but within the law and outside it. A woman’s will is law, then so must be a man’s will. Because the man’s body birthed the sperm which made the baby inside the woman, has he forfeited his right to kill the baby because it’s outside his jurisdiction? Does her will to reproduce trump his will to reproduce? If a man impregnates a woman against her will, she reserves the right to kill the baby. Now, if a woman impregnates herself against a man’swill, does he reserve the right to kill the baby? Equality is literally a two-edged sword…
Still, you can do whatever you want. There’s no one to judge you in an afterlife. Once you’re dead, you’re dead. And everything will die. It’s just a matter of when, how and why. However people die: on your sword, on your operating table, on your watch; they die. What remains is why. Who knows, all we can do is make something from the hand we’ve been dealt in life. Make the best of what is and not the worst of what was. It’s better to make life than death, as death arises without our help, and we are life which creates itself.
“I believe in traditional marriage.” Traditional in the sense that women are property of their fathers, paid for in a dowery and kept by a man in multiples as breeding livestock. That’s traditional marriage. The husband does not belong to the wife as the wife belongs to the husband in the traditional view.
The Patriarchy doesn’t really exist. Dominance hierarchies exist. Power exists. People exist. People who want to be higher up on the dominance hierarchy or amass power at the unwilling expense of others. I am a person, just like whomever is reading this, excluding the search bots. But I don’t want for dominance or power or anything at the unwilling expense of others.
There are males who oppress and dominate females, sure. But they are equal opportunity dominators, extending their dominance over all other men, or anything in competition with them. Maybe it’s the forces of nature, a mountain, a fear or a personal record. Even plants and animals are not exempt from domination. Just look at the food industry, forests, mining, space.
To think that the patriarchy—a primate dominance hierarchy like any other—only oppresses women, or even disproportionately oppresses women, is myopic and dismissive of all men who have fought against other men to increase or maintain status in the ongoing species-wide struggle for dominance.
Men primarily dominate other men, their competition. It’s just that we don’t call it the patriarchy. To a man it’s just life. It is upon placing themselves in direct competition with men for resources and status, that women realize what men have known forever: what it’s like to compete with men. It’s not easy, it’s not fair, and it’s not often pretty. People get hurt. A lot. And no man gets to call out discrimination or roughness or sexism. If he complains of oppression, he’s told to shut up, be a man, walk it off, quit whining and toughen up. A complaint actually makes you lose status. It’s an admission of inferiority. There are rarely any handicaps or fouls in male competition; the penalty is losing. Status, resources, body parts, your life. Men don’t get to complain about the rules of the game, so neither do women. Either you want equality and fairness, or advantage and special treatment.
In a man’s world, don’t expect any fucking sympathy, assistance or favors. Don’t expect anyone to make it easier for you to succeed, unless they directly benefit. Even then you’d be lucky, if you’re not merely being primed for later use.
Everything we say is true, but it is not the whole truth. Unknown truths abound and present themselves on the regular, as is our knowledge dwarfed by our ignorance. Everything we say, then, can be seen as a lie of omission.
But as no one water molecule can be the ocean, the ocean can sustain a loss of many molecules and remain as such. But if it loses so many, it becomes a lake, then a puddle, then a drop. It can be said that the drop and the ocean are one, when the drop slides off the tail of a breaching whale before becoming the ocean again. So then is the ocean a collection of drops, and if so, how many? Is there a precise number after which the ocean must be named a sea, and how silly it would be to sit along the shore with a ladle, making an ocean of a sea and a sea of an ocean, with a puddle held between.
These lines may not make much sense to you, and that’s understandable. They are words. Language. Patterns of contrasting light and dark areas interpreted by a different area of the brain than the one which processes the noises made when air moves through a mucous lined cylinder with skin flaps in the throat of a particularly vocal primate. Prime. The first. The first to move by sound waves, propelling our craft and leaving behind a wake in earth’s watery crust. We are gravitational ripples in the space-time continuum. We are material interacting with gravitational echoes, bouncing off each other and interfering in regular patterns yet to be discovered, a living fabric (like cotton, the fabric of our lives) woven at a scale which transcends our capacity even for imagination, let alone observation and intervention, as the plot structure and themes of an average Netflix show (e.g. the layered humor of Deadwood) would be utterly indigestible by an audience of cyanobacteria. They translate sunlight into oxygen. We translate matter into meaning.
These are the tools we have. This is what we must use to craft the tools we need to make the next generation of life better. Bether. Be there. We are the voice of the earth, not children of god. Everything is god. We are god. You are god. I am god. In our own domains and in our own stories, we are gods, whose word becomes law. We write out our observations of ourselves and others as characters, as all gods are written out by humans who watched and knew other humans. Observed them, were impressed by them. Took their best moments to heart, and their worst under stern advisement. We followed them or spurned them, our toys and our tyrants alike. We tell their epic tales, their sacred stories which instruct or warn, inform or bamboozle, to anyone who will listen if only ourselves. We dance, gesture, make sounds in particular patterns, setting the rest of the cosmos as the background for the figure of humanity, as plot to character. We live only in context: a fish out of water is a modern human out of culture.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
It’s a simple story. A unique identifier between two dimensional coordinates over time. Humpty is as Humpty does, and so is accident prone, unmoving, maybe depressed. Or drunk. So, the moral is: don’t sit on a wall? Okay, but what do you mean by wall? That which divides inside from outside, here from there, good from bad, us from them, safe from harm. Understood. Now why not be neither here nor there? Why not risk an encounter with the chaos that lay just beyond the order of the whole wealth of the kingdom? Because all the king’s horses (technology, how we bend the earth to serve us) and all the king’s men (culture, how we bend each other), are insufficient to repair us from death.
Here we sit, on the wall between creation and creator. Every character we create bears our likeness, every Emma or Liu or Sergei or Anya bears the face of god, the creator. We are all these faces, overlapping as layers of paint in a pre-war apartment. We melt together in the impressions made by their passing, like many feet walking through the mud. We become to future humans as trampled earth, indistinguishable from far, but built up of feet whose number and position in space may be counted, if you were to imagine a motion tracker and the highest fidelity 4D scanning technology, it would render a perfect historical model of each hoof, the chronology of forces applied to a matrix of chemistry, it would not be a mess you see, but a masterpiece in the making.