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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  28 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Some thoughts on compassion

I dunno, man, Eisenstein is a name to conjure with, too.

    He said, I will destroy Tiamat, our mother, on condition that all you brothers and sisters make me the supreme ruler of the universe. (I'll leave it to your imagination to draw parallels to the US after World War Two.)


We study science and taxonomy and classification and normal curves and probability distributions and key characteristics and ICD10 codes and DSMV codes and then we get REALLY REALLY UPSET whenever someone applies a stereotype. It's the stupidest fucking thing in the world that the sum total of our learning is arranged around grouping objects, thoughts, behaviors and concepts based on similarities and then act like only the most horrible people will characterize "all republicans" or "all NRA members" or "all religious people" or "all women" or "all African Americans" as having any fucking thing in common with any other because only racists, chauvinists and other -ists do horrible, callous shit like that. Better yet, the enlightened among us know that the proper woke process is to accept that you, the worm in the majority, can make no generalizations about any tribe but your own. We also know that there is a sliding scale of oppression whereby the more poorly your own tribe is represented, the more generalizations you can make about other tribes.

Openness towards others is a necessary component of larger society. If you want anything other than a monoculture, you must not just accept but encourage minorities wherever you see them. Yet the prevailing treatment for difference is a thoughtcrime witchhunt. MInorities may celebrate difference while the majority may only profess inferiority. And for the enlightened upper-class white male? Doesn't fuckin' matter. We'll hire away your kindergarten teachers to tutor our kids through the pandemic. "Food insecurity" is Doordash running late.

It means something else to these people.

In these United States you either succeed beyond your wildest expectations or your life is one of moral and intellectual failure. If you aren't featured on MTV's Cribs it's because you aren't working as hard as the people who are. The Kardashians? Bootstrapping entrepreneurs, every last one of them.

I'm doing really goddamn well. I'm sitting here hatewatching poverty documentaries while carving casting wax at an ex-Rolex repair bench to cast up in shibuichi in my garage while waiting for my airbrush to show up so I can get started enameling on fine silver to teach myself cloisonne. I'm the kind of asshole who can say "faberge" when someone asks "how do you like your eggs." 30 years ago I'd be comfortably middle class but now? Now I employ women in their late '30s with graduate degrees who live with fucking roommates. The Gini coefficient has a steep goddamn slope and I'm scrabbling up it as best as I fucking can.

But sometimes I look back at where I came from and who I grew up with and those mutherfuckers have been abandoned. And they're being told it's their fault. And you know what? Happiness is graded on a curve. Their lives are only going to get worse and they know it on a gut level so if they want any happiness the best thing they can do is make it worse for other people.

The Republicans are fully a troll party at this point. Their whole thing is "owning the libs." To "the libs" this means doing stupid pyrrhic self-harm things that make the world a worse place in pursuit of irritating people they've never met. What they're doing? Is they're dragging us to hell with them. Ask them. They'll tell you.

If you're trying to understand others, and you're asking me to compare post-war globalist foreign policy with fucking TIAMAT? You need to shut the fuck up. Seriously. You are so far up your own goddamn navel that the only people you're reaching are the ones who grew beards specifically so they would look less ridiculous stroking their chins. out here in the world? It's pretty goddamn simple. I will stereotype Group A so I don't have to think about Group A and if I meet someone from Group A and interact with him he will cease to be a member of Group A and become a friend. And the whole pursuit of the Internet, of society, of media, of culture, of government for the past 40 years has been about making it harder for me to interact with anyone from Group A.

That's it. That's the story. That's the whole enchilada.

    Consider the following as a general principle: in any fight – and more and more of our political discourse has become a fight – the resolution lies in the things that are hidden by the fight, the things that both sides agree on without even knowing it and the questions that neither side is asking. So for example in the fight over immigration, one side says, “Immigration is harming us, they are breaking our laws, let's keep them out.” The other side says, “You horrible bigoted, intolerant people, this nation was built from immigrants. It is inhumane to run detention systems and separate families. We should welcome the unfortunate masses from the world.” Nobody, at least in the mainstream media, is asking why are there so many immigrants to begin with. What has made life in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and so forth, so unbearable that people are willing to risk their lives and their children’s lives, willing to leave their homes and families. for a totally uncertain future? What would it take for you to do that?

Holy fucking strawman, batman. The whole fight is "why should I/shouldn't I care about Guatemalans enough to compete with them for jobs."

There will be othering. Peaceful view/War view is like Aldo fucking Leopold arguing that shovels are good and axes are evil.

We can all be as compassionate as we want; so long as there's a large media organization hell-bent on turning the world into cartoons, someone else will cheerfully murder you for being in a stereotype on their bad side. i recognize that it's one of the Liberal Stations of the Cross to turn inward and blame myself for the redneck racists of the Q Klux Klan but I'm fucking over it. I can give as much of a shit about the poor locksmith who made it out of prison but at the end of the day if I voted for Hilary it's because I want to eat babies.

veen  ·  27 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    because boy do I dislike some parts of it.

I did warn ya, man. I particularly hated the part where he's like "Entropy? Fuck that! We have...checks notes... biology!"

The answer I think I'm looking for, is this: given that there will be othering, that there are large forces amplifying it in society, what can we as individuals do? I don't think giving up is the answer.

kleinbl00  ·  27 days ago  ·  link  ·  

And had you praised it I would have been a lot less savage in my assessment.

Given that there will be othering, we must all do everything we can to diminish the impact on others. Sure, "change begins within" but it doesn't end there. You can open your heart all you want to the cops of Kenosha but until you make police violence a routinely-punished felony the Jacob Blakes of the world will continue to get shot seven times in front of their kids.

The real problem with essays such as this is they're a call to inaction for people whose hearts are already in the right place. You need to do something about the people whose hearts are in the wrong place to make sure that they can't make it worse for everyone. This is where the language of warfare comes from - mobilization is a prerequisite for change.