To Fight For The Simple Truth (2017Jan31)

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Sunday, January 29, 2017                                        3:11 PM

If people of a different gender, race, religion, or birthplace engender feelings of superiority and of fear—you should own that as your personal weakness, rather than try to legitimize it as public policy. It’s okay, you know—people don’t control their feelings, their feelings control them. Finding kindred spirits who collude in your rationalizations only encourages you to hug them more closely. The fear and ego remain clearly visible to the rest of us—hard as you may work to blind yourself to such ignorance.

Don’t work towards making your weakness into a part of our public discourse—work instead towards understanding yourself and these illogical feelings. And just because your daddy or your priest tells you something’s so, that’s just ignorance become a legacy of tradition—that doesn’t alter its incorrectness.

Stop looking around for enemies to blame—the torture inside you is your own. No one is going to find your happiness and make a gift of it to you—you have to find your own—and the answer is inside your head, not out there. Gripping tightly onto every external excuse, you strengthen your hate, increasing the distance between yourself and any hope of happiness.

The smile on a poor kid’s face isn’t due to he or she having all the things they want—it is there simply for lack of the bitterness and venom that experience is waiting to lay upon them. If we can gain experience without accepting the temptation of blame, we can retain some of that happiness, even into old age. People are not the groups they belong to—it’s pretty simple.

Human nature causes conflict. Individuals often conflict with each other. Trouble has many origins—categorizing people for the purpose of blaming groups only helps to camouflage the true causes of conflict. So when we seek to blame a group for a problem, we not only trumpet our weakness to the world—we actually strengthen the causes of our unhappiness, by masking them with ignorance.

The people who gain power and grow fat off of the status quo watch with glee, as all their neglect, posturing, and corruption get a pass—overlooked by the rest of us, as we foolishly fight amongst ourselves.

Sunday, January 29, 2017                                        5:43 PM

FB Comment:

Surely the humor of your argument doesn’t entirely escape you? We men eschew murder in theory, but will fight for our ‘rights’ or our ‘honor’, thousands opposing thousands, upon battlefields bathed in blood—it is justified. But a woman, about to lose her hopes, dreams, and plans for her future, due to an unplanned, unwanted insemination—oh no, there’s no justification for women to remove those potent cells before they become viable. Her fight for freedom is ‘murder’, simply because those cells have the potential to become a person. But all men’s actual murders—the heaps of corpses produced by war and whatever other nonsense we get up to—each dead body a waste of his mother’s nine months of travail, not even counting her raising to adulthood every one of the corpses—that’s all necessary, honorable, explainable. Men are justified—but not women. Funny, right? Try to be reasonable. I fear the theocracy you appear to dream of would be a little too ‘good’—for men.

Sunday, January 29, 2017                                        7:49 PM

What am I doing? I’m not teaching. Teaching requires a willing student—these people assume they know as much as I do, which may be true in a general sense, but not necessarily true of a specific subject. But that’s a fine point that goes by the boards—and with thinking that sloppy (and that’s the average, give or take) it’s no wonder that these back-and-forths on Facebook are such an exercise in futility.

The key is that word ‘social’, in ‘social media’. People type things onto social media in the same way that they converse—mostly for the pleasure of hearing their own voice. I, as a writer (of sorts) mistake all this typing for writing. I may be thinking very hard about what I’m writing, but nobody else is—they’re socializing, they’re having fun, they’re spending time.

No wonder they think nothing of saying the most horrifically ignorant things, but burst a blood vessel when I allow myself to be, shall we say, brusque. ‘You’re so rude! I don’t allow name-calling on my posts.’ You can be as big a monster as Trump, as long as you remember to be courteous at all times. But calling stupid by its proper name is beyond the pale.

I don’t think I have the patience for this. I got onto the Internet because people had begun to give me a pain in the neck, and interacting with other nerds as disembodied entities was fun. But now, everyone’s on the Internet, with pictures and videos and ‘brief biographies’—I might as well be hanging out in a bar, as far as the social thing goes. It’s worse, really, because in a bar you can walk away from the assholes. I’m one of the few people still doing this at a computer terminal—most people are doing this stuff by phone—so we don’t even have that in common any more.

You can see where the biased-feed problem comes in—I’d be glad to only interact with the people I like—but by creating a way for that to happen, Facebook has also created a dark space, where the ignorant and hateful can find each other, unify, and congratulate each other on how well they all agree. And that peer-reinforcement makes any kind of idiocy into a mighty cause.

FB Comment:

My resolve to confront Trump-supporters whenever and wherever has prompted many of them to decide they can’t stand the heat, and have blocked me. I know this because I see a lot of my friend’s threads, where they are debating someone who isn’t ‘there’. Apparently, these cowards only want to argue with friends who won’t be brutally honest about their ignorance. Well, if they support BLOTUS, I shouldn’t be surprised if they prefer their ‘truths’ censored and managed.

FB Comment:

I love these memes falsely claiming that Obama or Clinton did something equally criminal to Trump’s recent fuckups—the funniest part is, they seem to think that these false equivalences settle the debate. I guess they never heard of that ‘two wrongs’ thing….

Tuesday, January 31, 2017                                                3:38 PM

This whole social media thing is like a National Park that’s been overrun with so many tourists, discarding so much of their trash to the point where the beauty is hidden behind a lot of human garbage. The Religious Right started all this crap with their ‘teach the controversy’ BS—the PR version of covering your ears and shouting “La-la-la-la-la-la….” They, of all people, should know what happens when you start to deal with the devil. And if cutting yourself loose from science and reason is not making a deal with the devil, I don’t know what else could be.

Large numbers of people earnestly latching on to friendly-seeming misinformation being spread by a small group of hypocritical thugs—it’s not really PR anymore—it’s a lot more like Psy-Ops—as the Russians have apparently noticed, and jumped on board with.

Americans are used to fighting for liberty, freedom, and human rights—who knew we’d ever have to fight for the simple truth? And introducing such toxic mind-fucks into the seemingly harmless playground of social media—evil genius! Those of us who’ve spent a lifetime taking honesty for granted had better get our acts together.

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Post-Vote Politics   (2016Nov27)

Sunday, November 27, 2016                                            1:41 PM

The Election was followed by Thanksgiving, which allowed us to pivot—now that we aren’t concerned with lack of progress, lack of change, from our president—we can just be thankful for every day that things remain as they are, instead of getting much worse. If you close your eyes, you can almost believe that Trump won’t do any serious harm for four years, and then we’ll get a real president in there, and get back to work in 2020.

Perhaps the homunculus that ate at the center of Castro’s heart has given up the ghost because it finds a much more welcoming and powerful host, just a few miles North of Cuba. Trumpland—Viva el Nuevo Cuba!

We continue to block the news, here at the Dunn house. As I’ve remarked to many friends, I don’t need four years of the details on the bad news—I’ll wait for the movie to come out. Claire still reads the NY Times, so some news still leaks in—but at least we don’t have to wonder if it’s BS or not.

I’m curious how the ACA issue will play out. The way I see it, they have two options—they can just cold-bloodedly repeal the healthcare act—and let the medical costs just eat us alive again, with no security that it’ll cover us when we actually need it, or that we can even get coverage when we’re sick—or they can try to reform the existing legislation.

But the only way to really fix Obamacare is to make it single-payer, like it always should have been in the first place—and they can’t do that, can they? That would hurt the insurance industry—and god forbid they suffer—that’s why Washington fought it in the first place—and it’s the reason they can now claim it isn’t working.

The anti-socialized-medicine crowd hobbled the ACA so as to keep Capitalists in the game, to retain their ability to profit off of our suffering—so my money is on them trashing the whole thing. Why not? The time to stop them was November 8th—and that’s already past. Once the people have spoken, the lobbyists can get back to work—and they’re willing to do whatever they can to screw us out of money, even if it kills us.

So lobbyists are a big problem—as is business’s all-around choke-hold on our democracy. And the 25% of voters who voted for disaster are a problem—and the 50% of voters who just didn’t bother to vote are a problem. Our new president will not do anything to change that, or fix those problems—he is the result, not the cure.

People are eager to protest and petition and dispute the election—they don’t get it: the Election was the protest we were supposed to show up for—and nobody came. Well, that’s not entirely true—at last count, two million more Americans voted for the loser than the winner. But it wasn’t enough—and a protest after the fact is a pretty futile response—I mean: are we protesting Trump, are we protesting the Electoral College, are we protesting the stupidity of the American voter? What are we doing here? You can’t un-ring a bell.

I admire their spirit—but their timing sucks. Social media has given us all hot pants—we can’t sit down and plan for two years from now, or ten years from now—we have to organize a protest for next week or whatever. Why? Protesting isn’t an artistic expression—it’s a political statement. We can’t just run into the streets and yell about our feelings—we have to have a plan. We have to lengthen our timeline, build an engaged base, and strategize the hell out our next move—or this nonsense will never end.

America, you are headed down the wrong road—it looks like the same direction, but we’ve taken an unseen turn due to changing conditions. We’ve embraced too many of the cut-throat practices that enabled other countries to catch up to us—when we should have kept our lead by out-innovating other countries, instead of this panicky adoption of all their worst habits.

That whole Japanese thing in the 90s about working 20-hour days worked for them, but for us, it just made it harder to stop and think about what we’re doing. Other changes have similarly-tainted sources and similarly-tainted results. And now Americans either don’t have jobs, get underpaid, or get worked like a hated mule.

Capitalism needs a good kick in the balls. Its advantages shrink and its dangers loom larger and larger. I know it was our ‘battle standard’ during the Cold War, but that was then. It’s okay now—if Capitalism needs a ‘time out’, we have to give it one. We can’t be squeamish about it—Capitalism certainly isn’t going to scruple at sucking us dry. With the election of a debased billionaire, America has proven that making money has ascended above any other American ethic—and the destruction of two big buildings in NYC has made us a nation of cowards. We have to nut up—and start living as if we had money, instead of money having us.

I say we stop buying stuff. No, of course, I know we can’t do that. I don’t know—maybe we could buy less stuff? Maybe we could determine some things to be unnecessary? Maybe we could try to maximize our local purchases, replacing purchases from the big stores? I really don’t know how you kill Capitalism—but I think the democracy thing comes into it—if enough people start doing something new, the old thing dies, right? Maybe the best first step is to recognize our enemy for the deadly threat it’s become. All I know for sure is that electing a brainless billionaire, just because he’s a billionaire, is a giant-step in the wrong direction.

But enough about politics—I was never much for team sports anyhow.