Groups, labels and affiliations.

I deny membership, alliance, affiliation or identification with any and all groups and/or movements of a political, social, or philosophical nature. I will not be defined by a hashtag, nor the words and actions of others. If you wish to know my thoughts, beliefs or feelings on a particularly subject, I will be happy to share them; but I will not self-identify with some label that will over-simplify my range of beliefs, nor will I throw my lot in with any group of people too large for me to know all of its members or adherents. The world of logic, philosophy and social discourse has seen more reasonable, intelligent points and arguments summarily dismissed due to the application of "guilt by association" of the speaker than any other reason. 

I can't stop you from dismissing what I have to say on any subject. But you're not going to do it because of something I do not believe, something I do not condone, something I do not stand for.

Hand-Me-Down Representation

An illustration in why I refer to sex/race re-casting as "hand-me-down representation."


People: We need more diversity! More representation!

Child: I’m cold, I need a coat.

Studio: We hear you. Tell you what, let’s take these roles which were originally written for white males and cast women and/or minorities! That way, we know it will succeed, because everyone loved it when white men played them!

Clueless mother: Tell you what, your older brother hasn’t worn this coat in a while, why don’t you wear this?

Fans of the original: why do you have to do this? Why can’t you just make something original that was designed for that group? We don’t want our classic series altered to fit your agenda.

Child: but mom, I’m a girl. That coat won’t fit me! It’ll look bad! Besides, it’s old and worn out already!

Studio: anyone who doesn’t like this is just sexist/racist. We’re not going to listen to people like that.

Clueless mother: now now, anyone who doesn’t like your coat isn’t really your friend. Now run along to school.

In theaters:

At school:

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The Inevitable Cycle of Modern Social Movements

  

Phase 1: Recognition of a problem.

People are being discriminated against. A scandal has occurred. A company’s done something horrible. People decide something must be done. A name is given and a movement is formed.

Phase 2: Position is laid out intelligently

The reasoning is laid out. It’s made clear “this is who we are, this is what we oppose, this is what we want.”

Phase 3: some idiot mis-represents the movement

This is just another HATE movement! Its REAL purpose is prejudice! It’s to harass people!

Phase 4: Over-zealous extremists who identify with the movement retaliate

Someone decides that because their cause is just, they are then justified in doing anything and everything to further said cause, including harassing the idiots from phase 3, sending death threats, etc.

Phase 5: The zealots from phase 4 are now the face of the movement

It doesn’t matter why you started the movement. It doesn’t matter how correct your motives or how logical your arguments. Everything you say is going to be brushed aside and labeled the rantings of a hateful idiot, because you’re using the same label as the psychos from phase 4. Logic is deflected, intent is ignored, because it’s easier to just label you a nuisance.


          To be clear, the flaw in the social movement idea is not in the idea of social movement. It’s not what the social movement seeks to do – to bring people together under one banner to show wide-spread support or opposition to something. The flaw is simply in the name. The moment you give yourselves a name, you lump yourself in with eeeeveryone else who takes that name. And because social movements generally don’t have “membership lists” or any way to distinguish who IS and who is NOT a genuine “member,” that’s inevitably going to mean you’re lumped in with terrible people.

          The solution is simple. Don’t. Label. Yourselves. Oppose what you think is wrong. Stand up for what you think is right. If you believe there’s strength in numbers, great; find like-minded individuals. Quote them, share and exchange ideas. Just stay away from labels.  

Fate of The Furious

 

OMG This move

• None of those cars are capable of remote control.

• You’ve got his car stuck with your wenches…why are you not shooting out his tires? For that matter, why are his tires still functional with that much friction?

• ...here's the thing about stealing nuclear launch codes. First of all, you still have to give them to a human being capable of launching the nukes. And no, you can't hack the launch system. It's not networked. To anything. You have to contact someone at a launch station. You have to know HOW to contact someone at a launch station. And even if you DID that?

Guess what?

THE CODES CAN BE CHANGED. Yea. Congratulations, you stole something that's going to be worthless by the time you get back to wherever you're staying.

• How in God’s name is it that he just used an EMP that took out all the electronics in that entire base, and then took out the electronics in a sub that was specially insulated…but the electronics in his car, which the emp device was strapped to are perfectly fine? 

• And speaking of that sub, if they just fried all the electronics in it with an EMP, how are the immediately hacking into it afterwards? Not that they could actually do that even if it was functional but the entire point of the EMP was to take out its electronics. So what are you hacking?!

Let's talk about The Last Jedi

The story you could have told:

          After Leia was injured (in what by all rights should have killed her), Admiral Akbar, a character established in the original trilogy, a well-known, established character from many subsequent stories, takes over; making the subsequent death scene a dramatic meaningful moment, as it’s the end of a character with a forty-years history.

          But you needed yet another “strong female leader” character, so instead, the story you told:

          Akbar ends his forty-years history in a quick, meaningless off-screen death, to be replaced by a new character who doesn’t contribute enough to generate any real connection to the audience, ensuring that aside from the cool visuals of her stunt, no one really cares about her sacrifice.

          The story you could have told:

          Akbar has a plan to get the resistance to the nearby planet, and lets everyone know, as an intelligent leader would, but holds off as long as possible to allow Finn and Rose to complete their mission.

         But you needed to make sure the “strong female leader” character was portrayed as superior to the male characters, so instead, the story you told:

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On the subject of "cultural appropriation"

    “Cultural appropriation” is the absolute DUMBEST complaint I’ve ever heard of. “It comes from my country so it’s mine.” Bull crap. Can you IMAGINE if a French woman told a black woman she couldn’t wear some high-fashion dress because “that is a French fashion, it’s MY culture?” Or if an Italian told a Latino chef he wasn't allowed to serve pasta at his restaurant because "that's ours?"
‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍Once upon a time, people were pressured and obligated to DROP the traditions, dress and habits of their home cultures and adopt ours, because their habits were "unAmerican." If they wanted to BE Americans, they needed to CONDUCT themselves like Americans. The reason that's no longer socially acceptable is because in the 20th century there was a social push to accept the concept of "multiculturalism." In multiculturalism, people become citizens of OUR culture, but still maintain a connection to the culture they came from. Under multiculturalism, you can't say "take that damned turban off, you're American now, act like it!" because America is the great melting pot; so wearing a turban IS American.
‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍What these people refer to as "cultural appropriation" is ESSENTIAL to the concept of multiculturalism. It is the CORNERSTONE of the idea. Embracing, absorbing the cultures of the global community, that is how we as a nation BENEFIT from multiculturalism. The only way that benefits the nation as a *whole,* instead of just dividing us along cultural boundaries, is if we all *share* the myriad of cultures that make up this great landscape. The American ideal of multiculturalism isn’t “you stick to your culture and we’ll stick to ours and don’t you dare cross over.” The ideal is “we’re going to take what we love most about *every* culture, and make it a part of ourselves.”
‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍ ‍‍‍‍‍‍ ‍‍What's worse is that this ridiculous, backwards ideology is completely COUNTER-productive to promoting racial harmony. You want someone to respect and appreciate people of another race? Immerse them those people's culture. Show them all the great things that COME from that race. This goes doubly for children. Who do you think's more likely to grow up to hate a particular race: a child who grows up participating in and immersing themselves in that race's culture, or a child who is told "no, you can't wear that, you can't cook that, you can't wear your hair that way, you can't celebrate that, you can't do that, because that's THEIR thing. You stick to YOUR race and YOUR culture?" This narrative is PROFOUNDLY damaging to racial harmony, and these stupid SJW's are too clueless to even realize what they're doing.

Well, it's done. I'm not real happy about it, but I do understand it...

          Before I say anything else, I want to make something very clear. The following is not an endorsement of Donald Trump. It's not excusing anything he's done or said. It's not even me saying "well, the better candidate won." Frankly, I didn't vote at all this election because both candidates sickened me so badly that my conscience would not allow me to vote for either of them. No, what follows is me doing what I always do: making an attempt to objectively understand what's happened, even if I don't like it. That being said...

          The truth is, America did not vote Trump into office. America voted the Democrats out of office. Trump’s behavior did not win him the election. The Democrat’s behavior won him the election. This wasn’t a victory for Republicans. It wasn’t a victory for anyone. This was a failure for the Democrats.

          President Obama got elected on a platform of change. That was his whole campaign slogan “CHANGE!” “Yes we can!” etc. September 11th came early in Bush’s presidency, and the ramifications of that day dominated the rest of it. People were tired of feeling afraid and were tired of what was happening to the world. They were desperate for change. So when Obama came along, a man who was so very different from the past several presidents – different race (for the first time ever), different party, comparatively young etc.; and promised change, people got excited at their chance to be done with the disaster of the past 8 years.

          Despite how little I think of Obama as president, I would be infinitely happier with another term for him than I would having Trump in the Whitehouse, but I can’t help but notice parallels. People are as tired of the culture that has arisen from Democrat leadership as they were of the one that arose from Republican leadership. They’re tired of being immediately cast as small-minded and hateful if they didn’t fall in line with liberal philosophy. They’re tired of being cast as racist hicks for showing any signs of patriotism. They’re tired of turning on their TV, seeing their leaders display a sense of analytical calm regarding ISIS videos of men being put in cages and burned alive, young girls being beaten to death and gang-raped, and women executed by their children, but then visibly shake with anger over their OWN people for using the term “Muslim extremism.” We were seeing literal atrocities committed against our own people, but they were angrier over Americans for un-politically correct phrases. Conservatives – and more than that, people who are just a little less liberal than we’ve come to expect from this country – have raised concerns and opinions and instead of addressing them, they’ve been shouted down and told to be ashamed of themselves, their faith, their upbringing, their national identity, and their culture.

          Now, you can say “Well, now they how ‘group X’ has felt!” Or “well, maybe they should feel ashamed of themselves for being racist/sexist/prejudice/whatever.” And in some cases, sure; you’re right. In others, not so much; the Democrats spent a LOT of time focusing so heavily on how they think things should be that they overlooked how things ARE, and when you’re in charge of matters of logistics, with severe, far-reaching consequences, that’s a problem. But the fact that all these people “knew how group X felt” should also tell you something. If ‘group X’ didn’t like being made to feel ashamed of themselves and everything they’ve been raised to be, how long did you think you could get away with making everyone else feel the same way, without them acting on it? How long did you think you could say “your culture is bad, your faith is bad, your race (in regards to white people) is responsible for everything bad in the world) and you’re irredeemably evil and hateful if you’re uncomfortable with anything we do (and by the way, keep your damn religion to yourself, it makes us uncomfortable)” before people got sick of it and wanted a change? You can’t just pigeon-hole people like that. Human beings are never that simple.

          So then Trump comes along with his member berries, and for the first time in 8 years, someone close to The Whitehouse is voicing all these frustrations. He promised to focus on our country. To put us and our nation first. You can say “he just told people what they wanted to hear” and in a lot of ways, you’re right; but at the same time, when the party in power has failed to tell them what they’ve wanted to hear for 8 straight years, I have to believe there’s some blame to be placed over that.

          Meanwhile, the Democrats seemed absolutely bound and determined to continue with more of the same. DNC members even resigned after leaked emails made it clear that they had conspired to oust Bernie Sanders – who was also very different - in favor of Hillary, the practices, polished, quintessential politician. If they weren’t willing to shake things up with a member of their own party, someone their OWN members loved, it clearly wasn’t going to happen at all with them.

          I don’t know anyone who didn’t have reasons to hate Trump. The man ran the worst campaign I’ve ever seen. I can’t imagine a candidate behaving less presidential during a campaign. It should have been easy to overcome him. So for those of you who identify as Democrats and are politically minded, I invite you to ponder something. As easy as it is to simply groan and talk about “what’s wrong with people in this country,” if you want things to go differently next time around, perhaps you should spend at least some time turning that criticism inward and asking yourself why couldn’t you beat him? How is it that you couldn’t produce a candidate and a campaign that was more appealing to your countrymen than Trump? What are you doing that has made your party so unappealing to the people that a man like Trump seemed preferable to what you offer.

To those of you who identify as dems: you can turn the light of criticism and inspection towards everyone ELSE, and continue feeling superior, or you can turn it INWARD and maybe take back power next time. The choice is yours, but you just lost the House, the Senate and the Whitehouse to an orange nightmare and a bunch of Republican congressman. Perhaps a bit of introspection is in order...

Arguing on the internet: why it's usually about more than just "I need to be right."

This post started as a response to this on Facebook:



    By the time I was done, I wanted to have an easy way of referencing it, because I get this a lot.

   People always think this is where these prolonged arguments come from - that it's just some desperate need to be right. But that's really not always the case. The fact of the matter is that when a thought or idea is trending, that thought or idea started somewhere. A hundred thousand people – a few MILLION didn't suddenly agree to an idea all at once and decide to change the status quo view of things.

   Now before you go thinking that I think I'm starting a revolution by arguing on Facebook; that's not really it. It's less that I'm trying to *start* something than it is that I'm trying to *shut something down* before it gets out of hand. I feel the reason there are so many incredibly stupid ideas and philosophies that seem so prevalent out there is because one or two people got these stupid ideas, share them…and then no one bothered to point out why those ideas are so absurd. Everyone with the common sense to see the flaws in these arguments decided that pointing out these flaws “was beneath them” and “not worth their time.” As a result, no one saw the very logical counterpoints to these ideas. The only thing they saw was the ideas themselves, and maybe some trolls responding with “lol that’s gay” which just galvanized them further, until it reaches the point these stupid ideas become part of the status quo, and it’s too late to challenge them, because they’ve become so embedded in people’s minds that they won’t listen to any dissent.

   I don’t think that people understand how much power the internet, and the people *on* the internet, have to change how society thinks; how much of a role seemingly unimportant things like Twitter and Facebook have played in the present collective philosophy of our society (in case it’s not clear, I’m primarily speaking for America and Canada here, but I’m sure most of this applies to plenty of other Western countries). All those stupid little things we roll our eyes at because so many people are doing it, the truth is that when a lot of people see an idea gaining steam, they hop on the bandwagon and parrot the idea themselves, which gives said idea even more exposure, which influence more people, and so on until it becomes the defacto status quo.

   I feel like if everyone who disagreed with something said “who cares, it’s just Facebook?” Made their thoughts and opinions know, if everyone who still had common sense actually expressed that common sense in the same way that people without it did, we’d be in a better place collectively.

   TL:DR; Think of it this way. To those of you who think you’re “taking the high road” by not responding to all these things on: all those people who rant on Facebook? The ones at whom you roll your eyes and marvel at how ridiculous they and their terrible ideas are? Thanks to your silence, THEY are the only ones who are actually being *heard.* Thanks to your silence, THEY become the defacto voices of America. THEY are the ones who are being seen as representative of your country. Not because they have the BEST ideas. Not because their ideas are held by the majority. Because you were provided with a platform unprecedented in human history for getting your voice heard, and you didn’t think it was worth your time to USE IT

Hello Twitter

Hello Twitter friends (you're not still following me, are you? I gave up Twitter years ago). If you're wondering why I'm Tweeting again; rest assured, it won't be a regular thing. Basically, I discussed this issue at length several times over social media. The comment I most received was "oh, well why don't you just make your own hashtag? Why don't you just make your own comments instead of getting mad at what's already been shared."

Well, first of all, why do men NEED to start their own hashtag? Why, when having a dialogue about something so horrible, that is encountered by both sexes equally (and yes, when you're talking about non-physical abuse, it absolutely is), do we need to assign the role of "villain" to one, and "victim" to another; and why is that every high-profile article on this except for one has made it a point to focus *entirely* on male-on-female emotional abuse?

Why can't we focus on the act itself, and how wrong it is, and how it affect *people*? Why does this need to be turned into yet another sex/gender issue? Feminists like to assure me that "feminism is about equality for *everyone,* yet when discussing issues that *affect* everyone, the only victims the movement wants to talk about is women, and the only perpetrators are men?

Second, there actually is a #MaybeSheDoesntHitYou hashtag. But the fact that people keep asking me this just illustrates the problem: nobody's talking about it. #MabyeHEdoesntHitYou is trending on Facebook, it's getting showered with support, it's on the cover of major news outlet sites, and what of #MaybeSHEdoesntHitYou?

It's treated exactly like male abuse victims are: at BEST ignored, at worst silenced, mocked, and labeled as "shit disturbing" for "stealing focus from the 'real' victims" because God forbid we talk about the reality of domestic abuse instead of just parroting the traditional narrative.

This is why men are so many more times more likely to not report their abuse.

So fine. Gauntlet throne, I'll make my own hastag posts.