Regarding Ultimatums on How We Think

A family member pointed me over to a Twitter thread, and wanted to know what I thought. It took me a long time to construct something because there was so much to deconstruct. So, with regards to the Gabrielle Blair rant, and my own need to get comfortable with why I all-but-dismiss it, I’ve put together a few words. I cannot promise you’ll like it.

As an aside, this post was originally a lot longer. I split out the bits that tried to explain some of where I’m coming from. Can’t promise you’ll like that one, either.

Her rant is as divisive, dismissive, and prejudicial. As a rant, that’s totally and completely fine. As manifesto, or a call-to-arms, or worse, an inspiration to others, it’s disappointing, disheartening, unproductive at best, and dangerous at worst.

It’s an unashamed and unabashed proud ultimatum. We believe as she does, think what she thinks, or we GTFO, period.

The one thing that ultimatums are good at is alienation. She doesn’t want to converse, or discuss, or convince, she wants to isolate and divide. Namely herself and those who agree with her (at least, today) from everyone else. She said as much, and she’s going about it the right way. I am in no way a Trump supporter, and will readily state that my respect for those who “come out” as Trump supporters takes a hit, but it doesn’t go to ZERO. People are more than that (some less “more” than others, but everyone is more). Given her apparent black and white morality that leaves no room for conversation, even had I the opportunity, I have zero interest in ever engaging with her. If I had been following her, I wouldn’t be now. I don’t care what she thinks because she’s made it abundantly clear she doesn’t care what I think. But here’s the underlying concern as far as I’m concerned: Today it’s Trump supporters, Who will it be tomorrow?

Related to that, What REALLY gets me is the “Cancel Culture” aspect of these ultimatums and the lazy I’m-offended-therefore-I’m-right mentality behind them. I LOVE classic argument, but if that conversation is brought to a sudden and unexpected end forever because I’ve said something that offends, and that umbrage is then used as a weapon to hurt me in areas totally unrelated to the discussion at hand, then we’ve found ourselves in an unhealthy situation with no easy way back to health. We’re talking about the sickness of the nation, and thinking we can nurse the situation back to health using obviously unhealthy methods? In what insanity does that work? For her, by my understanding of her rant, this isn’t about healing our culture or our society in anything resembling a cooperative effort – this is about amputation. Amputate the bits I disagree with until all that’s left is what I like, because obviously what I like is the only thing that’s good and right and proper in the world.

I wouldn’t even dare reply to Blair with something as reasonable as “Perhaps, but have you thought about X?” or “Could you elaborate on this and explain your reasoning, b/c it sounds like X?” because why? There’s no conversation there. There’s just her way or buh-bye. She specifically states that this is about Trump, and that other topics are on the table, but how could I trust her? I can’t. I don’t. There’s no way I could. There’s no way I would.

I have to wonder what the REAL point of her rant is. Was she trying to explain to people why she’s blocking them, or unfriending them, or whatever? Sounds like it, but seriously… why? She’s already flatly stated that she doesn’t any respect for them so why bother explaining to them? To me, and this is just my opinion, anyone that throws something like this out there without any sort of rope for a real conversation is doing little more than saying “Hey! Look at me! I’m awesome because I feel strongly about this!” They call that “virtue signaling”.

In spite of everything Trump has done (and I’m 100% with her on that – I agree, Trump is, as far as I’m concerned, the absolute King of the Buffoon Asshatery Parade), complete dismissal and loss of respect for someone because they’re a Trump supporter is ridiculously lazy. I get that she’s angry, and I can respect that. However, being angry doesn’t make her right, it just makes her angry. She’s got a “You’re either part of the problem, or you’re part of the solution.” black and white, burn-to-cinders-every-bridge stance on an incredibly complex set of issues. That set of issues is impossible for any one person to understand to the degree that justifies complete dismissal. Yeah, I know I basically just said “That’s horrible, but we don’t know the whole story…” and so I’m therefore immediately shunned. But she’s not looking for deeper understanding, she’s looking to vent her anger to people who echo her own thoughts right back at her. The rest can go fuck themselves. Honestly, I’d consider this divisive rant part of the problem, but I obviously have a different take on what “The Problem” is than she does. So be it.

As much disregard as I have for this kind of rhetoric, for flat-earthers and anti-vaxxers, for Covid-deniers and pretty much ANYONE that can’t or won’t separate their thoughts and ideas from their identity in the interest of actually bettering our collective situation, I’m not interested in “canceling” them. All that does is shove them underground where they might work in silence to undo more than can be rebuilt before I’m even aware of what they’re doing. It’s a simple matter of keeping your friends close, and your enemies closer.

To me, it comes down to this: You don’t win by becoming your supposed enemy. You win by being better than them right along side them.

So, I guess that’s what I think. If nothing else, she did get me thinking, so there’s definitely that win.

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A Little Bit About Me, Subject to Change

These thoughts came about as I was crafting a response to a family member who pointed me to some tweets made by a woman about Trump and his supporters. They were originally part of that response, but I thought I’d split them out.

So, a tiny little peek into what I think is the me relevant to that response.

I like to think I represent the reasonable, rational middle who does not vote party line. I’m typically economically conservative, and mostly socially liberal. For the most part. I support the right to abortion, but wish it weren’t a thing that happens. I believe over-population is a major concern that we’re not talking about because we don’t have the maturity to discuss solutions that would actually work. I’m pro-gun but recognize you can’t just sell them like pancakes at trade shows. I believe the Earth is damn-near perfectly spherical, vaccinations are largely a Good Thing, and that people should be given equal opportunity while leaving the outcome up to them. My relationship with religion drifts between disdain and appreciation as a way to find personal peace, and because I recognize the meaning it holds for many, I think it’s unforgivably despicable when it’s used as a social cudgel or a weapon in any way.

I’m sick of Trump, his bullshit, and the people not only putting up with it but willfully ignoring it almost as much as I am of being called a racist, a sexist, homophobe / transphobe / whatever-the-fuck-is-in-styleaphobe, etc. by various entities for no other reason than I’m a white male. But on the other hand, I understand that everyone looks at the world through their own lens, and no two lenses are the same. It’s important to understand the curvature of another’s lens before weighing in on their position, and that means listening. I’ll keep working on that.

TOTAL SIDE (On That) NOTE:
I hate like FUCK that this is the world my son will grow up in… every attempt made by a what appears to be a loud vocal virtue signaling narcissistic minority with it’s shortsighted if (big “if”) well-meaning agenda to make him feel guilty, or that his opinions don’t matter, or that his life is hunky-fucking-dory constantly non-stop all the time forever because he was born a male to white parents with a better than worldly-average income. Like that’s his fucking fault? I get it. Being a non-white-male SUCKS sometimes.

Being a white male sucks sometimes too, more and more thanks to those who blame us for their problems. But you know what? MY SON had NOTHING to do with your problems until you made him to have something to do with your problems by telling him he has something to do with your problems every single fucking day because of something he has NO CONTROL over – namely the same thing YOU have no control over, your skin color, your hair color, who you like to fondle, or whatever. You can’t have it both ways – simultaneously condemning those who you say (and possibly rightfully so) hold you accountable for your skin color and gender while you hold my son accountable for his.

I simply do NOT buy the argument that having white skin and a penis makes him or me culpable for acts committed by people in the past. No amount of mental gymnastics will bring me about to that point of view, either. People of every gender and every skin color have committed unspeakable acts of inhumanity throughout history. No people is free from guilt. Not a one. Do you really think white Europeans introduced slavery to Africa? Do you really think it wasn’t rampant before they arrived?

You are CREATING the monster by consciously calling him out on the same traits and characteristics you abhor being called out on. That’s bigotry. That’s racism. That’s hypocrisy. The very definition of. No. Nope. Fuck. That. Bullshit. And fuck you if you’re part of it.

I will do everything in my power to raise a compassionate, accepting, and generous son into a compassionate, accepting, and generous adult with acceptance and honest curiosity about anything that differs from him. I will do this in spite of you if need be, but it would be a lot better for all if it was in cooperation with you.

Honestly, I used to give a lot more fucks than I do now, but the constant barrage of “OK whitey”, “mansplaining”, “manspreading”, etc. etc. et-fucking-c., has left me with fewer and fewer fucks to give every day about Social Movement of the Week. The constant “Check your privilege” isn’t making me more conscious of it, it’s curling my hand into a distinct single-finger salute.

You (the generic “you”, not YOU) want me on your side? Stop devaluing my “whiteness” and my “maleness”. You can’t expect me to value you while you simultaneously claiming I have none. Be someone on whose side I want to be. I will NOT apologize for something over which I have no control over, or for grievances I had literally nothing to do with. If I benefit from them in obvious or subtle ways, then the only responsibility you can remotely claim is that I use what privilege I have to the betterment of others.

Which is exactly what everyone should do all the time constantly anyway.

Guess all this just makes me your typical Angry While Male defending his soon to be Angry White Male son.

Whatever.

Cancel me.

:END TOTAL SIDE NOTE

Anyway, back to it…

Biden is a shyster. A lifelong, greasy politician, who will likely take us further down the path of white apologetics, social cancellation, equality of outcome over opportunity, and political uber-correctness. I really don’t know him that well compared to Trump (who I honestly can’t say I know that well either), but sense that socially it’ll be a rough ride under his leadership.

Trump is a ridiculous joke of a man who uses his opportunity to sew discontent, division, and hate when we need exactly the opposite because he simply does not know any different – politics just isn’t his world. Opportunistic-to-a-fault, his single overwhelming guiding principle is his own self-interest. He will continue to divide the country with his superiority and racist rhetoric until the blood literally flows down the streets and the alleys are filled with the victims of the pandemic. Hint, it already has, and they already are. It’s already been a rough ride under his leadership, and I have no hope it’ll be anything but worse.

Still, BOTH will also do a lot of good things that the vast majority of their detractors will chose to ignore because of the all other things they do that their detractors don’t like, no matter how glorious their accomplishments. Maybe Biden will manage the pandemic and international relations better, and lay the foundations of a health care system that leaves no one behind. Maybe? Maybe Trump will handle an economic recovery like a rock star and bring us from the worst economic slump in history to the unchallenged economic leader of the world again. Maybe?

And yet, BOTH will also do a lot of very questionable things that will be used by the vast majority of their detractors to prove that they’re horrible people unfit to sit behind the Resolute Desk. Maybe Trump will institute Martial Law because he can’t find a political or diplomatic answer to the hole he’s dug us into. Maybe Biden will lead us one step closer to full on Socialism and yet somehow STILL not improve our broken health care system.

What kind of choice is this? This isn’t a choice.

So, that’s the relevant me in a nutshell.

Vocabulary Words

These are vocabulary words posted to Facebook by a member of my family in the months following Donald Trump’s election to President of the United States. What took me a pandemic to realize, she understood immediately.

Wednesday, 11/9/2016 – DEMAGOGUE: 1) a political leader who tries to get support by making false claims and promises and using arguments based on emotion rather than reason. 2) a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power.

Thursday, 11/10/2016 – MEGALOMANIA: 1) a symptom of mental illness marked by delusions of greatness, wealth, etc. 2) an obsession with doing extravagant or grand things. 3) the belief that you are much more important and powerful than you really are.

Friday, 11/11/2016 – DISILLUSIONED: 1) having lost faith or trust in something. 2) disappointed that something is not as good, valuable, true, etc., as it had seemed.

Saturday, 11/12/2016 – VIGILANT: 1) keenly watchful to detect danger; wary. 2) ever awake and alert; sleeplessly watchful.

Sunday, 11/13/2016 – DISCOMBOBULATED: 1) confused or disconcerted. 2) upset. 3) frustrated.

Monday, 11/14/2016 – ANOMIE: 1) social instability resulting from a breakdown of standards and values. 2) personal unrest, alienation, and uncertainty that comes from a lack of purpose or ideals. 3) Normlessness.

Tue., 11/15/2016 – XENOPHOBIA: 1) an irrational fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers or anything foreign or strange. 2) dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries. 3) extreme dislike or fear of foreigners, their customs, their religions, etc.

Wednesday, 11/16/2016 – MISOGYNIST: 1) a person who hates, dislikes, mistrusts, or mistreats women. 2) one who hates women or believes that men are much better than women.

Thursday, 11/17/2016 – FASCISM: 1) an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization. 2) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice. FOR MORE INFO: http://www.bremertonschools.org/cms/lib/WA01001541/Centricity/Domain/222/Fourteen%20Defining%20Characteristics%20of%20Fascism%20slides.pdf

Friday, 11/18/2016 – ETHNOCENTRIC: 1) believing in the inherent superiority of one’s own ethnic group or culture. 2) a tendency to view alien groups or cultures from the perspective of one’s own. 3) believing that the people, customs, and traditions of your own race or nationality are better than those of other races.

Saturday, 11/19/2016 – NEPOTISM: 1) the practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs. 2) patronage bestowed or favoritism shown on the basis of family relationships, as in business and politics. 3) the unfair practice by a powerful person of giving jobs and other favors to relatives.

Sun., 11/20/2016 – HEGEMONY: 1) the social, cultural, ideological, or economic influence exerted by a dominant group. 2) political or cultural dominance or authority over others. 3) the position of being the strongest and most powerful and therefore able to control others. 4) The processes by which dominant culture maintains its dominant position: for example, the use of institutions to formalize power; the employment of a bureaucracy to make power seem abstract (and, therefore, not attached to any one individual); the inculcation of the populace in the ideals of the hegemonic group through education, advertising, etc.; the mobilization of a police force as well as military personnel to subdue opposition. 5) the success of the dominant classes in presenting their definition of reality, their view of the world, in such a way that it is accepted by other classes as ‘common sense’. The general ‘consensus’ is that it is theonlysensible way of seeing the world. Any groups who present an alternative view are therefore marginalized.

Monday, 11/21/2016 – SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION: 1) the ability to see the impact of larger social forces on our everyday lives. 2) the vivid awareness of the complex interplay between our individual lives and the wider society. 3) being able to see the social world from diverse perspectives rather than solely from one’s own personal experiences.

Tue., 11/22/2016 – FALSE CONSCIOUSNESS: 1) a way of thinking that prevents a person from recognizing the injustice of their current social or economic situation. (EXAMPLE: Working class people believing that certain politicians and policies will benefit the working class when they actually represent and benefit the ruling elite). 2) a failure to recognize the instruments of one’s oppression or exploitation as one’s own creation, as when members of an oppressed class unwittingly adopt views of the oppressor class. (EXAMPLE: Lower income people voting to reduce taxes for higher income people because they’ve been convinced by the wealthy that they, too, will be rich one day – if they just work long and hard enough). 3) a situation in which people in the lower classes come to accept a belief system that harms them (the primary means by which powerful classes in society prevent protest and revolution).

Wednesday, 11/23/2016 – ISLAMOPHOBIA: 1) dislike of or prejudice against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force. 2) hatred or fear of Muslims or of their politics or culture. 3) prejudice towards or discrimination against Muslims due to their religion, or perceived religious, national, or ethnic identity associated with Islam.

Thursday, 11/24/2016 – REVOLUTION: 1) a fundamentalchangein political power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time when the population rises up in revolt against the current authorities.2) an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed. 3) a politicalupheavalin a government or nation state characterized by great change.

Friday, 11/25/2016 – HETEROSEXISM: 1) an ideological system that denies, denigrates, and/or stigmatizes any non-heterosexual form of behavior, identity, relationship, or community. 2) a belief that heterosexuality is the only normal and acceptable sexual orientation and is superior to all other orientations. 3) the belief that heterosexual activities and institutions are better than those with a genderless or homosexual orientation.

Saturday, 11/26/2016 – SOCIOPATH: 1) a person who exhibits certain behavioral characteristics, such as the following:

  • Having an oversized ego.
  • Lying and exhibiting manipulative behavior.
  • Exhibiting a lack of empathy.
  • Showing a lack of guilt, shame, or remorse.
  • Staying eerily calm in scary or dangerous situations.
  • Behaving irresponsibly or with extreme impulsivity.
  • Having few real friends.
  • Being charming – but only superfically.
  • Living by the “pleasure principle.”
  • Showing disregard for societal norms.

Sun., 11/27/2016 – DELUSIONAL: 1) firmly holding on to false beliefs despite clear evidence to the contrary. 2) maintaining beliefs, opinions, or impressions that are contradicted by reality, facts, and/or rational argument. 3) having beliefs that are:

  1. held with absolute conviction, and
  2. not changeable by compelling counter-argument or proof to the contrary, and
  3. implausible, bizarre, or patently untrue.

Monday, 11/28/2016 – FEARMONGER: 1) a person who spreads the ideology of fear through propaganda to fulfill a concealed agenda. 2) one who deliberately uses fear-based tactics, including exaggeration and usually repetition, to influence the public in order to achieve a desired outcome.

Tue., 11/29/2016 – NARCISSISM: 1) a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

  • Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  • Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
  • Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  • Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  • Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
  • Requires excessive admiration
  • Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
  • Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  • Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

Wednesday, 11/30/2016 – DISSIDENT: 1) a person who opposes official policy, especially that of an authoritarian state. 2) one who disagrees, especially with an established religious or political system, organization, or belief. 3) a person who actively challenges an established doctrine, policy, or institution. 4) one who strongly disagrees with and publicly criticizes a government or the official rulings of a group or organization. 5) a person who is rebelling against a government.

Thursday, 12/1/2016 – DEFIANCE: 1) open resistance; bold disobedience. 2) a daring or bold resistance to authority or to any opposing force. 3) open disregard; contempt 4) disposition to resist: willingness to contend or fight. 5) proud and determined opposition against authority or against someone more powerful than you are. 6) bold resistance against an opposing force or authority: engaged in acts of defiance against the regime 7) refusal to obey a person or rule.

Friday, 12/2/2016 – PATHOLOGICAL: 1) extreme, excessive, or markedly abnormal. 2) manifesting behavior that is habitual, maladaptive, and compulsive. 3) caused by or evidencing a mentally disturbed condition. 4) unable to control part of their behavior; unreasonable. 5) having behaviors or feelings not based on reason that cannot be controlled by the person experiencing them. 6) behavior or feelings that happen regularly and are strong, unreasonable, and impossible to control. 7) having properties that cause unusually bad behavior, especially regarding correctness or performance.

Saturday, 12/3/2016 – MORAL ENTREPRENEURS: 1) people in power who campaign to have certain deviant behavior outlawed. 2) those who crusade for the creation of new rules. 3) groups that work to have their moral concerns translated into law. 4) people in the business of persuading society to make policy from particular moral viewpoints.

Sun., 12/4/2016 – PSYCHOTIC: 1) characterized by or afflicted with psychosis (a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality). 2) mentally unstable. 3) intensely upset, anxious, or angry; crazy. 4) someone who exhibits extreme emotion or behavior. 5) one who has radical changes in personality, impaired functioning, and a distorted or nonexistent sense of objective reality. 6) experiencing an abnormal condition of the mind that involves a “loss of contact with reality”. People experiencing psychosis may exhibit personality changes and thought disorder. Depending on its severity, this may be accompanied by unusual or bizarre behavior, as well as difficulty with social interaction and impairment in carrying out daily life activities.

Monday, 12/5/2016 – UNPRECEDENTED: 1) never having happened or existed in the past. 2) without previous instance; never before known or experienced; unexampled or unparalleled. 3) unheard-of.

Tue., 12/6/2016 – HOODWINK: 1) to deceive or swindle by deception. 2) to cover or hide. 3) to deceive by false appearance. 4) to trick or mislead.

Wednesday, 12/7/2016 – GASLIGHT: 1) to manipulate someone by psychological means into questioning/doubting their own sanity. 2) a form of psychological abuse in which a victim is manipulated into doubting their own memory, perception, and sanity. 3) to cause a person to doubt his or her sanity through the use of psychological manipulation.

Thursday, 12/8/2016 – HYPOCRITE: 1) a person who pretends to be a certain way, but really acts and believes the total opposite. 2) one who professes beliefs and opinions that he or she does not hold in order to conceal his or her real feelings or motives. 3) a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.

Friday, 12/9/2016 – THIN-SKINNED: 1) easily upset, hurt, angry, or offended by what other people say about you. 2) oversensitive, especially to criticism or insult. 3) touchy; quick to take offense.

Saturday, 12/10/2016 – VITRIOLIC: 1) filled with bitter criticism or malice. 2) severely bitter or caustic; virulent; scathing; harsh; nasty. 3) something said or written that is very caustic or biting.

Sun., 12/11/2016 – OLIGARCHY: 1) a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique. 2) a form of government run by a small number of people such as wealthy landowners, royalty or powerful military figures. 3) government by the few, especially despotic power exercised by a small and privileged group for corrupt or selfish purposes.

Monday, 12/12/2016 – UNFATHOMABLE: 1) impossible to measure the extent of. 2) incapable of being fully explored or understood. 3) difficult or impossible to ever understand; incomprehensible.

Tue., 12/13/2016 – CRONYISM: 1) the unfair practice by a powerful person (such as a politician) of giving jobs and other advantages to friends and associates. 2) favoritism shown to old friends without regard for their abilities or qualifications, as in political appointments to office. 3) the practice of appointing friends and associates to high-level positions of authority, regardless of their suitability.

Wednesday, 12/14/2016 – DYSTOPIA: 1) a community or society that is undesirable or frightening, often characterized by dehumanization, totalitarian governments, environmental disaster, or other characteristics associated with a cataclysmic decline in society. 2) as bad as can be; the opposite of utopia. 3) a place, state, society, or situation in which everything is extremely unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one. 4) a society characterized by human misery, as from squalor, oppression, disease, deprivation, overcrowding, or terror, maintained through corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral, or totalitarian control.

CHARACTERISTICS OF A DYSTOPIAN SOCIETY:

  • Propaganda is used to control the citizens.
  • Information, independent thought, and freedom are restricted.
  • A figurehead or concept is worshipped by the citizens.
  • Citizens are perceived to be under constant surveillance.
  • Citizens have a fear of the outside world.
  • Citizens live in a dehumanized state.
  • The natural world is banished and distrusted.
  • Citizens conform to uniform expectations; individuality and dissent are bad.

Thursday, 12/15/2016 – MENDACIOUS: 1) given to or characterized by deception or falsehood or divergence from absolute truth. 2) a dishonest person, statement, or thing. 3) completely untrue or untruthful by nature, characteristically false or dishonest.

Friday, 12/16/2016 – MISCREANT: 1) an evil person or a person who behaves badly, gets into trouble and breaks the law. 2) one not restrained by moral principles; an unscrupulous villain. 3) a bad person who lies, breaks the law, causes trouble, hurts people, etc. 4) a vicious or depraved person; wrongdoer. 5) one who is utterly reprehensible in nature or behavior.

Saturday, 12/17/2016 – PLUTOCRACY: 1) a country or society governed by the wealthy. 2) an elite or ruling class of people whose power derives from their wealth. 3) a government controlled exclusively by the wealthy, either directly or indirectly. 4) a form of oligarchy ruled or controlled by the small minority of the wealthiest citizens.

Sun., 12/18/2016 – NEFARIOUS: 1) criminal, evil, malicious, and wicked. 2) Infamous by way of being extremely wicked. 3) flagrantly villainous, dishonest, and/or sinful. 4) morally bad.

Monday, 12/19/2016 – BAMBOOZLED: 1) tricked, fooled, misled, cheated, frustrated, confounded, perplexed, mystified, deceived, duped, confused, and/or bewildered. 2) deceived by trickery, flattery, or other underhanded methods. 3) thrown off thoroughly or completely.

Tue., 12/20/2016 – MARGINALIZE: 1) to push people to the edge of society by not allowing them a place within it. 2) to exclude a minority or sub-group and ignore their needs or desires. 3) to put or keep someone in a position of marginal importance, influence, significance, relevance, or power within a society or group. 4) to treat a person, group, or concept as unimportant, insignificant, peripheral, or of lower status. 5) to exclude or ignore a person or group, especially by diverting the public’s attention to something else.

Wednesday, 12/21/2016 – DUPLICITY: 1) deliberate deceitfulness in speech or conduct, as by speaking or acting in two different ways to different people concerning the same matter. 2) acting in bad faith; deception by pretending to entertain one set of intentions while acting under the influence of another. 3) contradictory doubleness of thought, speech, or action, especially the belying of one’s true intentions by deceptive words or actions. 4) hypocritical cunning or deception; double-dealing. 5) dishonest behavior that is intended to trick someone.

Thursday, 12/22/2016 – McCARTHYISM: 1) the use of unfair investigatory or accusatory methods in order to suppress opposition. 2) a campaign or practice that endorses the use of unfair allegations and investigations. 3) the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism. 4) the practice of publicizing accusations of political disloyalty or subversion with insufficient regard to evidence. 5) any attempt to restrict political criticism or individual dissent by claiming it to be unpatriotic or pro-Communist. 6) searching out and harassing dissenters; witch hunt. 7) a scenario in which a person or group is accused of wrongdoing in a persecutory manner without evidence – often a political situation in which someone makes wild non-evidence based accusations against another person or group.

Friday, 12/23/2016 – PROLIFERATION: 1) rapid increase in the number or amount of something. 2) a rapid and often excessive spread or increase. 3) to increase a lot and suddenly in number.

Saturday, 12/24/2016 – DEPRAVED: 1) morally bad, corrupt, wicked, perverted, or evil. 2) deviating from what is considered moral or right or proper or good. 3) utterly reprehensible in nature or behavior. 4) extremely wrong in a moral sense. 5) having or showing an evil and immoral character. 6) lacking moral decency. 7) a person with a total lack of morals, values, and even regard for other living things.

Sun., 12/25/2016 – RESILIENT: 1) able to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens. 2) springing back; rebounding. 3) strong and able to recover from damage quickly. 4) tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune, change, shock, hardship, depression, adversity, or the like. 5) adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or even significant sources of stress. 6) irrepressible.

Monday, 12/26/2016 – DISPARITY: 1) a lack of equality or similarity, especially in a way that is not fair. 2) inequality; difference. 3) the condition of being unequal. 4) a noticeable and often unfair difference between people or things.

Tuesday, 12/27/2016 – INIQUITOUS: 1) extremely immoral, unfair, or evil. 2) characterized by injustice or wickedness. 3) truly bad, morally wrong, extremely wicked, or completely unfair. 4) morally objectionable.

Wednesday, 12/28/2016 – UNHINGED: 1) mentally unbalanced; deranged. 2) unsettled, disordered, or distraught. 3) upset; unglued. 4) of unsound mind. 5) wild and uncontrollable.

Thursday, 12/29/2016 – HETERONORMATIVE: 1) denoting or relating to a world view that promotes heterosexuality as the normal or preferred sexual orientation. 2) based on the attitude that heterosexuality is the only normal and natural expression of sexuality. 3) a culture which conforms to heterosexual standards as the norm. 4) noting or relating to behavior or attitudes consistent with traditional male or female gender roles and the assumption of heterosexuality as the norm.

Friday, 12/30/2016 – NEGATIVE SANCTIONS: 1) penalties for disobeying a law or rule. 2) actions by one or more states toward another state calculated to force it to comply with legal obligations. 3) Measures taken by a state to coerce another to conform to an international agreement or norms of conduct, typically in the form of restrictions on trade or official sporting participation. 4) economic or military coercive measures adopted usually by several nations in concert for forcing a nation violating international law to desist or yield to adjudication. 5) official actions taken against a government to force it to behave in a particular way or as punishment for not doing so. 6) coercive measures adopted by a country or a group of countries against another state or individuals in order to elicit a change in their behavior. 7) official orders to stop communication, trade, etc. with a country that has broken international law. 8) to penalize, as for violating a moral principle or international law.

FUTURE?!

Bait-and-switch
Brain-washed
Cataclysmic
Countermovement
Cult of Personality
Deceitful
Despotic / despot
Dichotomy
Disenfranchised
Flagitious
Grifter
Harbinger
Hyperbole
Insubordination
Luddite
Neoliberal
Propagandize
Social dilemma

Pointless Thoughts on Netflix’s Cursed

So I thought I’d check out Netflix’s Cursed. I’m a mild fan of the Arthurian legends, so why not?

TL;DR, this is no Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I expected some sacrifices to story and believability and faithfulness to the legend in the interest of modern audiences, more specifically the politics of diversity. I understand that’s what sells these days, and without sales, there is no story. So I went into it with an open mind. Not as open as I would have been 20 years ago, if I’m going to be honest with myself, but open.

With every scene, I found the gates shutting a little bit.

Within 10 minute I was actively looking for the ONE strong white male character that wasn’t a complete tool in some way or another. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a single one. So now that I’ve tipped my hand, let’s have at.

First… we have a young woman in the lead role. Check. But I knew this going in, so no surprise there. It is an origin tale for the Lady in the Lake, after all. Still, there was a choice made during conception that probably included thinking along the lines of “we need a story with a female lead…”

Next, we have a matriarchal society as the oppressed faction which is oppressed by a patriarchal society run by white men. Check.

Next, we have a patriarchal religious sect led by a stereotypically one dimensional racist and oppressive white man. Check and check.

Next, we have a king who is overbearing, demanding, impatient, and selfish. And a white man. Check.

Next, we have the king’s council… a bunch of blubbering fat blathering men to the last. And white. Check.

Next, we have a noble knight who is gentle and kind, handsome, good with a sword, and can sing. This is Arthur. He’s African-American/English Anglo-Indian. Definitely not white, b/c that would eliminate any moral authority he’d otherwise hold. Check.

Next, we have a crude knight who is hell-bent on rape. And white. Check.

Finally, we have a wizard who has apparently lost his power and is a drunk. Also, he’s white. Check. This character, Merlin, might find redemption at some point in the story, and I’d be willing to bet your paycheck that it’ll be with the help of a non-white, non-male character.

In fact, the only white male who isn’t either racist, oppressive, an obvious rapist, or a drunk, is an 8 year old boy. An innocent who, if I were to keep watching, would probably be saved by the wisdom of a non-whites and non-males.

Yeah, I think I’m done with this show. But before you get all butt hurt thinking this is just me 1) making an effort to hold back the tide of equality, or 2) the inevitable expression of white privilege and white-maleness, you don’t know the whole story, or me (assuming you’ve gotten this far, which, lets face it, you probably haven’t). I just think this was poorly written and poorly executed by putting political motivations ahead of good story.

I will one day very soon try very hard to get my son to watch and fall in love with Buffy the Vampire Slayer as I did. Now THAT is quality writing that wraps a lesson in a story, instead of wrapping the story around a lesson. It features a supernaturally strong female lead with a ton of strong female and male supporting characters and doesn’t feel the need to paint every white male as a complete tool.

But this? Nope. I am not going to let him watch this trash. Though I fear the lessons it teaches (white male bad, everything else good) will be poured into him anyway.

This isn’t good story telling. This isn’t good writing. This isn’t a novel or interesting adaptation of the legend. This is pandering.

Call a Spade a Spade

Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito issued a broadside against the high court’s 2015 same-sex marriage decision on Monday when the court declined to hear a case brought by a former Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue a marriage license for such couples.

The two justices agreed with the decision not to hear the case but used the occasion to take a legal baseball bat to the court’s 2015 decision Obergefell v. Hodges, which declared that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry under the 14th Amendment guarantee to equal protection of the law.

Writing for himself and Alito, Thomas said that the court’s decision “enables courts and governments to brand religious adherents who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman as bigots, making their religious liberty concerns that much easier to dismiss.”

https://www.npr.org/2020/10/05/920416357/justices-thomas-alito-blast-supreme-court-decision-on-gay-marriage-rights

Definition of bigot
: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices

especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (such as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bigot

I’m not a legal scholar, but that definition seems to hold up.