a thoughtful web.
Share good ideas and conversation.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by johnnyFive
johnnyFive  ·  862 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: February 28, 2018

Do you not drink at all? Certainly goes against the stereotype :)

FirebrandRoaring  ·  862 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Don't measure me, or anyone, in stereotypes. It's dimunitive and disrespectful to the actual person on the other end. I'm sure you wouldn't be amused to be surprised at when it turns out you speak more than just your native "American".

No, I don't drink. I knew from a young age that drugs, smoke or alcohol interest me none. An accidental straight-edge, if you will; a happy coincidence, since Ian McKay, a friend of Henry Rollins' — an icon of mine — made waves that started the straight edge movement. My parents must think me a freak, as they try to get me to drink a glass of something every holiday we spend together.

That said, I have two exceptions. First is nootropics: I want to see what mind is capable of, given enhanced conditions. Second: if I ever get my hands on LSD without landing in jail, I'm taking that sucker. There's something about the idea of expanded consciousness that appeals to me. I'm a creative type, and stretching the limits of connections my brain can make appeals to me. I'd have to pick the moment to take it: I know that mood and the state of mind going in matter a lot in the outcome, and the downswing of my anxiety/depression/apathy would kill the opportunity and/or mess me up bad time — but I'm up for the experience.

johnnyFive  ·  862 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Don't measure me, or anyone, in stereotypes. It's dimunitive and disrespectful to the actual person on the other end. I'm sure you wouldn't be amused to be surprised at when it turns out you speak more than just your native "American".

I'm not sure why you took my statement seriously, as it was not intended as such.

FirebrandRoaring  ·  862 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Look. I'd like to think you're a splendid fellow, and you've given me no reason to think otherwise. I'd also like to think you mean no harm when you joke about the laughing stock that my people — and, by extension, me — have been reduced to. You do it in good jest, expecting your company to laugh about it with you. Here, you'd be about 99% correct in your assumption: those around you will laugh at the single-dimension image of a nation with grand history full of human virtue and human error.

I won't.


Because my people are not a laughing stock. Because I am not a laughing stock.

Because I hear the "drunk russhan" line of bullshit so much, it's sickening. I've become a punchline in the eyes of the whole world thanks to your government's propaganda efforts born out of fear and some serious discomfort over "them russhans'" nuclear arsenal.

Because your people, in particular, tend to assume the same blissful ignorance as they connect with the world at large and pretend like their images of other nation are what those nations are, and I've seen that too many times to even crack a smile.

Because when I tell people I don't drink, they look at me the same funny look and somethink you did: "You don't drink? Well, that does not comform with my stereotype of you" — and then the subtext kicks in: "There must be something wrong with you. No way my perceptions are false".

Sure, you don't mean it. It doesn't matter: that's what you're saying anyway. It's woven into your worldview since the day you were born. And you, of all people? God damn.

johnnyFive  ·  862 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Your comment is more than a little hypocritical. Saying stereotyping is bad when it's about you because of all the things "my people" (whoever they are) supposedly say and think is, to be generous, contradictory.

FirebrandRoaring  ·  861 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Don't give me a "supposedly" in a thread where my non-drinking doesn't conform with your single-line portrait of a Russian.

Did you really consider it wise to jab a Russian with "wow, you don't drink, that's a new one"? And then you get surprised when I have something to say about your people (Americans. I'm talking about Americans). Then you see me spell out, in no uncertain terms, how sick and tired I am from that comparison because of how ill-conceived and thoughtlessly consumed it is — and you give me "no u".

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, because it's important to reaffirm: I think you're a good person, and from what little I know about you, I have respect for you and your life achievements. Kung fu? Man. I respect a man who takes care of their body. I have nothing against you.

I have everything against you shoving that intellectual garbage of a comparison into my face, hoping for me to chuckle back. That image that you've decided to measure me against? Even in a jokular fashion, it isn't simply low-class: it's mental rot that I'm too tired to witness, not simply because it's omnipresent in the Englishsphere, but also because of how lazy it is to consume and reproduce.

You strike me as a person who also takes care of their mind. I expect better of you than to humor a Russian with a Russian stereotype. Imagine how fucking stupid it would look for me to go "Yoo kaen koong-foo? Yoo sey yoor not faet? Wot? Yoo know lo, too? Yoo sey yoor not stoopeed?!" (aside, of course, from the best rendition of the Russian accent I've ever seen).

johnnyFive  ·  861 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I understand that people are sensitive to different things at different levels. So that this is a sore spot for you I get, and fair enough. I thought you knew me well enough to know that I don't take that kind of stereotyping seriously, and that I'm about as far from nationalistic as one can get. But again, I get that we all have stuff that gets under our skin, and I'm not saying you're wrong for not being amused even if my intentions weren't malevolent.

Where you lose any semblance of moral high ground, though, is how you've handled it. You're assuming my motivations while also overgeneralizing about a country, at the same time that you're complaining about overgeneralizations. If you'd just said "hey, this is a sore spot for me, don't joke about it," I would've respected that. That's the grown-up way to deal with a difference in interpretations and/or sensitivities. But I don't respect a temper tantrum or a baseless assumption of bad faith.

FirebrandRoaring  ·  861 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Fair enough. I get that I've taken the issue too far, and I see now that I could have handled it differently, including giving you the benefit of the doubt.

I apologize for taking the conversation into the territory of pure pathos. You may have noticed: I do that sometimes. Still learning to control all the repressed anger. I'm sorry that you had to experience an undeserved outburst. Thank you for being patient with me.

johnnyFive  ·  857 days ago  ·  link  ·  

No worries, and as I said, we all have the stuff that bothers us. And part of any learning process involves missteps :)

One of the things that I like about hubski as opposed to a larger community is that we get a chance to have conversations like this. It's precious rare these days.