11/17/2013 by syrbal-labrys
There are trends I see hither and yon on the internet and in life that drive me to drink. Almost literally, as in “For pity’s sake give me a martini (and fuck that vermouth bit) before I slap the shit out of someone!” Now, the following examples are not from any place in particular, but of general types that make me want to pound heads (not mine) on desks and slam typing fingers (again, not mine) in car doors to make it all STOP. Most involve trying to make everyone reading feel a sense of shame and responsibility for things the readers may, but as often are NOT responsible for at all.
(1) “We deserve it, we did it to ourselves.” Usually, this one is trotted out after some asshole gets elected or re-elected. And certain liberal/progressive sorts line up to flagellate themselves and every other non-Rethuglican in sight with statements like this. Speak for yourself, you defeatist son of a bitch, ok? I did NOT elect either Bush, nor Cheney, nor Christie or any other asshat I’ve seen this comment come out like sewage from a broken pipe. What the Democrats and other progressive sorts have done wrong is AS A PARTY they’ve been “reasonable” and frankly, when there is no adult in the GOP room, it is actually a better idea to fight bullshit with a bigger hose. But I, personally, have NOT participated in that and I will not accept blame or shame for it. The GOP has been winning since 9-11 by flogging fear, and the Democratic Party has “patriotically” gone along with talking about risks that are incredibly inflated. This paralyzed any real discussion about how to solve the problem. STOP KISSING THE ASSES OF THE FEAR-FLOGGERS AND SPEAK SOME TRUTH. Scared people vote Rethuglican, dumbshits! That is why, along with gerrymandering bullshit, you keep losing – because you keep agreeing with the fear-flogging.
(2)”We dropped the ball/We sold out.” This one gets trippingly typed as a sort of generational comment. “We” is almost always the Viet Nam generation. We stopped rioting in the streets and decided to have lives – how fucking dare we, eh? We sold out and bought big houses, stock, and cars. Christ on a whole wheat cracker, seriously? What, “my” generation should have just Haight-Ashbury’d ourselves to early death like so many Janis Joplins? Fuck off. And as for the sell out for prosperity? Again speak for your fucking self, not ME.
I have a house some of our friends speak of as a “cottage” because they are NOT my generation and they are the ones buying McMansions that need two big incomes to pay for. And I don’t even LIVE in my under 1700 sq. foot home; I live in a place that is 20 x 24 a walk across a patio we laid with our own hands. This is because WE are supporting our disabled veteran son (and his bride to be) while he rebuilds a life shattered by the military tossing him on the scrap heap and his first wife beating them to the punch with abandonment. Our house is the first and ONLY house we ever bought and the mortgage is NOT underwater from “trading up” and it will be paid off in less than a year before the wage-earner retires. I won’t ask to be ‘excused’ for owning a place to live.
Second, I don’t own stock and never have and never will. I consider owning stock to be the destruction of this country because working men and women — you know, the PRODUCERS of product, get screwed over in the name of stock-holders; so, no, I sure as fuck did not sell out and do not participate in that shit. So, take that bit of shaming and shove it. Because we pay our taxes and at a higher rate than Mitt Fucking Romney, and we get no tax breaks from our home state like our employer does, btw. (Looking at YOU Boeing!) So, no, I did not sell out and become a corporate thug.
Third, as for cars? We never even owned a new one until about 2005 (And I’ve been driving since 1971) and it wasn’t a big ticket item at all. So, yeah, don’t be saying “we” unless you have a mouse in your goddamned pocket.
(3) “We are all guilty here.” Got that one from Sunday School, did you? Yeah, shove THAT guilt inducing bit of bullshit, too. It is not a black and white world that way, and some are most surely more guilty than others and some are guiltless. (And Sartre saying otherwise is why he got consigned to my philosophical septic tank, thanks.) For instance, people whose choices are SO limited that every choice offered is something wrong in some sense? Well, they cannot be dinged for a bad choice if all choices were tinged to begin with, and fuck you if you want to believe in bubbly unicorn farts otherwise.
This is often used by people who really, truly ARE very guilty and they want the blame shared out on many shoulders to distract you from how they are actually screwing over everyone. Don’t buy that shit! Because it leads to shit like this:
It’s rather like ordinary consumers being dinged for electrical usage just trying to keep houses warm enough for the kids in winter — while huge stores and companies (have you fucking seen Las Vegas at night?) use enough just to be SHOWY, to pay those wee house bills a hundred times over. Likewise, telling everyone to take 4 minute showers while companies use more water in those four minutes than the entire nation would use taking a simultaneous 4 minute shower, pretty much not solving a problem. Just making a bunch of tense, pissed-off, barely wet and with soap behind the ears people.*
Basically, I think shame and guilt is pretty useless. I am shameless and IF I do something others call “wrong” and I am guilty? You can bet your asses I have a good reason and acknowledge the lack of “moral rectitude” or wtf ever for my actions. I do my absolute best every day in every way I am capable of in a given situation. And I am fucking tired of being told it is not good enough by people who (1) don’t know me, (2) want to sound all wise and pious while merely showing a total loss of will, and (3) want to possibly excuse their own guilt and decadence by spreading the blame. If someone is culpable and feels no shame or guilt on their own, you will never evoke it with the above statements. Drop the shaming rhetoric, analyze and attack the fucking real problem. And oh, before you point fingers at the general public? No matter who you are? “Mea culpa”-up first, or shut the fuck up altogether. Don’t include me or anyone else in your alleged collective guilt.
Because the “rocks” you get from anyone not trained from birth to bowed heads and bent-under-guilt shoulders will NOT be ice in a glass of booze. More the sort that took down the Biblical Goliath, ok? Because now and again, there is a Biblical metaphor I like and that one is one of them — keep pumping guilt at the little guys/gals while the big asshats spread the blame and sooner or later, one of us is going to clock you!
*For the official record, 9 times out of 10, I DO take four minute showers, or baths in 2 inches of water. I also am a rabid light-turner-off’er; but that doesn’t mean I think I am handling the issue of America using more power and water than we have a right to use. Yes, I own a HUGE Victorian bathtub that can empty an electric hot water tank — I only fill it when I am SHARING it! Because my bicycle is built for one, but my bathtub is definitely built for two!