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comment by francopoli
francopoli  ·  889 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Sense of Alienation

I'm a gamer. That means I hate women, am a part of the alt-right, am racist and one step away from shooting up a school.

I'm a metalhead. Which means I am a druggies who gets into fights, worships Satan and abuses Animals.

I play D&D. So I summon demons and participate in anti-social behavior.

I'm Irish. So I'm a drunken lazy lout good for nothing but menial labour.

I own guns, so there is that baggage.

I'm a liberal. Ever feel like you don't belong? Be the one liberal Sanders supporter at the gun range. There are literally dozens of us left-leaning gun nuts! DOZENS!

All my life I have been on the outside. All my life every problem has been my fault, my friends' fault. And every time these foolish stupid garbage discussions come up, the people pushing them turn out to be ugly people who buy drugs from gay male prostitutes, etc. There are a lot of people like us out there, the problem is that we are quietly doing our own thing and disgusted by the loud voices screaming from their blogs, from the TV from the pulpit, from the podium. It gets frustrating, it makes you angry. And I've been dealing with this shit for 40+ years now.

The only advice I can give you is build up thick skin. Learn to laugh at your adversaries. Fight for the ideas you believe in. Help those around you in need. Leave the place better than you found it. Don't be ashamed of who you are or the hobbies you have, or the people you vote for, or any of the incidental bullshit that is used to label you and put you in a cage. Be the better person.

Men are programmed to Build, it is sort of our purpose. So, build something with meaning. Build a group of friends that will walk through hell with you. Spend time with them, eat meals with them, fight the battles with them. Play games, tell jokes, pick them up when they fall, scream all the louder when you kick ass. The internet has been a disaster for friendships and interpersonal support groups; this is one reason I think that so many men kill themselves in this day and age. Trump won because there are millions of people out there that have been cut out of life. The jobs are gone, the communities are crumbling, the families are torn apart as the kids run the fuck away. Trump tapped into that anger and now he is President. We fight him by being better, by building freind circles, families and communities.

So many people have spent the last year in a filter bubble. I've been screaming at anyone who will listen that Trump was going to win, and I was told to shut up, I was called a "BernieBro" I was called a misogynist because I did not like Clinton, I was even called a neocon(!)...after writing checks to get a Socialist elected President. Yet, here I am, waiting for the rest of you to catch up to where I was six months ago. The thing about me? I've been called every name in the book; you cannot insult me. But when it comes time to clean house, to move forward? You bet your ass I am going to remember every one who shit on Sanders, on Dean, on Warren. We have a fight on our hands. We have the opportunity to build things. And IMO most of that building will be offline. Look at all the people saying they are going to be offline for a while, I don't think it is a coincidence.

So go out this weekend. Get real face time with people. Go to a protest and see that there are others like you out there. Go to a bar and watch an NFL game. Go get lost in a group of people. And next week let's start talking about the work ahead of us.

goobster  ·  889 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Get real face time with people. ... Go get lost in a group of people.

My wife and her friend dragged my grumpy ass outta the house last night, and forced me to go to a birthday party at The Old Spaghetti Factory for a good friend who just turned 50.

Marginal food. Terrible service. (Apparently they have gotten slammed every night since they announced they are closing, and are short-staffed and don't have a lot of menu items any more.)

We had some laughs with 40 good friends crowded around the table.

But it was very subdued. Most of us are Burners/hippies/progressives. We have worked for more than 30 years to get the meager social gains our society has been enjoying recently, and watched decades of our good work get completely dismantled in three short days.

We're tired. We just don't have the fight in us that we had when we were 18, or 28, or even 38.

We've lost. Our friends have lost. We are lost.

I keep thinking of the survivors of the Titanic, after the ship has disappeared below the waves, and the water has calmed, and a quiet pall falls over the surface... here we are floating on the cold ocean in a flimsy raft... nothing but ocean in every direction around us...

Well, fuck. now what?

francopoli  ·  889 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Well, fuck. now what?

We fight, or we die. Same as it ever was.

I was hoping to fight for climate policy, alternative energy, infrastructure. Now we gotta fight for Obamacare, the Supreme Court, Republican tax cuts that loot the treasury and the paving over of the environment.

To help you feel a bit better, I work and live around evangelicals. They are all down because Trump won't talk about God, he's a liberal Hollywood degenerate who has been divorced twice and he is married to a slut who took naked photos. (And for the quote-miners, those are their words, not mine.) The middle sane conservatives and those of us fighting for better justice and the middle class might have something in common over the next four years as Trump turns into a clown show.

Remember, Trump is a liberal-ish New York Republican. On the social stuff I doubt he is going to do anything that is not a simple virtue signal pander. He wants to loot the treasury and help is Wall Street buddies make a few more billions, middle class be damned. The economic stuff he wants to push is going to do a ton more damage than anything else he is going to do, and that needs to be fought.

The thing you should all be freaking out about? Chief Justice Roberts just got his Conservative majority on the court.

I've been telling anyone who will listen that if you treat these people in Rural Redneckistan as an other, you will lose. I hate being right.

goobster  ·  888 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    The thing you should all be freaking out about? Chief Justice Roberts just got his Conservative majority on the court.

This is what I keep hammering into people, over and over and over. Everybody wants to be all liberal touchy-feely woo-woo and hug it out... but the fucking reality is that the Supreme Court's decisions have far more effect on our daily lives, because they dictate the rules. They draw the lines.

Roe v. Wade will be overturned by this time next year. Planned Parenthood is history.

The Republicans have said that these are the reasons they won't meet with Garland Merrick. They want to flip the Supreme Court conservative so they can kill these specific rulings. They already have the test cases lined up and ready to go as soon as they get their conservative judge appointed.

That shit right there? The public can do NOTHING about. There's no senator you can call. There's no protest on the Mall. These 12 people sit in a room together and discuss the minute details of law and precedent and constitutional interpretation. There is NOTHING the populace can do to sway that opinion. The Justices are shielded from that.

So the court goes conservative, they overturn Roe v. Wade, out goes Planned Parenthood, and uninsured women (which is everyone that is not upper-middle class, because - oh right! - Obamacare is gone) now have 1900's-quality health care.

This is a court that will rule for the rest of my lifetime.

THAT's what these feel-good liberals need to understand.

WanderingEng  ·  889 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think you underestimate the lasting impact you and your generation has had. I work in an electric utility, an industry known for being conservative. I see women and gay coworkers treated equitably. Maybe that's easy to say as a straight white man, but I really think it's true.

I think one of the more lasting social changes is people are more aware that differences like gender and sexuality aren't relevant to their lives. Thirty years ago someone might have spent their entire life never personally knowing an out gay person. So when confronted by someone gay, they felt uncomfortable. Today it's much more common, and I have out, gay coworkers. They aren't out because Obama told everyone to be nice, they're out because the decent but uninformed, sheltered people are now decent informed people.

I think that's how we move forward under Trump. Don't look at the worst of our neighbors and think all is lost. Look to the ones who are good and just don't understand, and help them understand.

goobster  ·  888 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thank you, that's a good perspective. And an important breath of fresh air.

katakowsj  ·  888 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Agreed. More often than not, our worst fears lie in anticipation of events that never materialize.

Also another cognitive bias, part of being human, we remember our slights over our succcesses. How many times have you celebrated being in the short grocery line as long as you lamented being in the long line with full of senior citizens burning your time as they fiddle with handfuls of coupons?

snoodog  ·  889 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    But it was very subdued. Most of us are Burners/hippies/progressives. We have worked for more than 30 years to get the meager social gains our society has been enjoying recently, and watched decades of our good work get completely dismantled in three short days.

Can you elaborate how today is any different than 3 days ago? In my little corner of reality nothing has changed. How have we regressed 30 years in the scope of a day? I would argue that if we did any regression it would have occurred much earlier when the Hillary cheated her way to the democratic nomination.

I feel like some of the conversations we had leading up the the elections were subdued mostly because we didn't want to offend one another or get into another pointless augment about who was at fault or who is more wrong.

goobster  ·  888 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Short version:

1. Supreme Court flips conservative. The conservatives already have test cases lined up and ready for the court to challenge Roe v. Wade, and numerous other women's rights issues. All of those decisions are reversed because we now have an activist, conservative, literalist, Supreme Court.

2. Trump's pick for the head of the EPA is someone who has said publicly that global warming will actually be beneficial because it will warm up the climate in places like Michigan and Wisconsin, so those people don't have to move to Florida when they get older. He also believes there is "clean coal", fracking is an excellent plan for energy independence, solar and wind are a "waste of time", and that the National Parks should be opened up for oil and mining.

3. Trump has often said that NASA is a boondoggle and a waste of money, and one of the things he wants to do is cut that budget item entirely.

4. Trump is anti-science, and has called it a "flawed belief system".

5. Trump is anti net-neutrality.

6. Trump is anti-immigration, despite the fact that many of the industries the US is known for, were developed by people who emigrated to America, because it was the land of opportunity.

Do I really need to go on?

The President is really just a figurehead, because we have checks and balances in our tri-cameral system.

Unfortunately, those checks and balances have all been lost. The Senate is Republican. The House is Republican. The President is Republican. And the Supreme Court shall soon be aggressively Conservative.

THAT is how things have changed.

Trump? I couldn't honestly give two shits about. He's the best con man the US has ever produced. So what? Big deal.

The problem is that all of the people whose beliefs are antithetical to mine - science, equality, and decisions based on good data - are now in power, with a blank check, and there is no balancing weight on the other side of the scales.

The reason the US works so well, is because radical changes are hard, because you need to make a solid case for your plan, and convince people who are not necessarily on your "side" to agree with you. This takes the rough edges off of things. It makes change a gradual and measured thing, and prevents wild swings in policy and programs that cause instability and uncertainty.

That's gone.

The effects won't get really dramatic until after his first 100 days in office, but - like Brexit - even before then, the network-effect of unintended consequences will begin to ripple out and unsettle even the most die-hard conservative apologists.

snoodog  ·  889 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I mostly agree with you in your sentiment. I too dont feel welcome among liberals even though I feel that I mostly identify with liberal values. It feels like in order to be liberal in Seattle you have to hit all these mandatory check boxes and if you miss even one you automatically get thought of as a dirty conservative and have values you dont believe in assigned to you.

Like guns? Well too bad you cant be a liberal, you must hate women, gays, be against abortion and want everyone to convert to Christianity. Its like shit really? Cant I just like guns?

francopoli  ·  889 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    It feels like in order to be liberal in Seattle you have to hit all these mandatory check boxes and if you miss even one you automatically get thought of as a dirty conservative and have values you dont believe in assigned to you.

This is why virtue signaling pisses me off. All these judgemental pricks are out there with their hashtags and facebook filters, yet when it comes time to get off your ass and actually DO SOMETHING they are too busy drowning in Netflix and twitter drama. I have a shit-ton of anger right now, and there is a real part of me that wants to sit back and say "I told you mother fuckers, I fucking told you!" while I watch it all burn. But like that quote in the movie with the talking tree and squirrel, I care about the country because I'm one of the assholes who has to live in it.

Life will go on. The fights will materialize. And those of us left that still give a shit will have to step up a bit more than expected if we want to leave the place better than we found it.

OftenBen  ·  889 days ago  ·  link  ·  

francopoli 2020. I'd vote for you.

francopoli  ·  889 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Sadly I'm a single, never married, non-church-going, foul mouthed, ugly motherfucker and therefore unelectable. But I can write checks and make phone calls for the guy/gal with charisma who CAN win.