Monthly Archives: October 2015
I’ve been struggling lately with whether or not to engage in the latest version of the culture war (a term I find dubious at best) and how to do so if I choose to jump into the fray. I’ve come to believe that we are at a precarious place in our development as humans. Our cultures, mores and roles are changing rapidly, maybe, along with our environment, too rapidly.
I’m not at all against progress; I’m firmly for freedom of expression, freedom to self-determine, freedom to keep a firearm, and freedom from economic oppression. I, as an American, enjoy these at least conceptually and am well aware that many people throughout the world don’t even have these “freedoms” in the abstract. I am also aware that being privileged comes with some assumptions that make many of the issues we are dealing with in western countries, minor. Not to us, of course, but to parts of the world that view us in a less than favorable light.
So here we are fighting about the various versions of what we define as freedom. Especially troubling seeing it firsthand are the battles over gender and race, two things that we should have moved past due to the twin miracles of the Obama presidency and the best chance of having a female president we have ever managed. When I heard the joke “January 1st, the day when 40 million Racists become 40 Million sexists” I laughed, but as the possibility gets closer, the pre-reactions are getting stronger.
The emergence of the acronym-Americans, MRA, SJW, CS, and so forth, should terrify us all. Regardless of your feelings, political and/or social, the distillation of a type into a three or four letter word that encompasses the various shades should chill you to the bone. The confrontational nature of those using them should make you question the term “progress.”
What follows is a brief breakdown of the terms, a cast list if you will, of players in the new pigeon-holed play. Lets call it Birth of the Acronym-American Nation.
First the dreaded SJW or Social Justice Warrior: this (feminist) first amendment averse, angry man hater (or self-hater as the case may be) reacts with great vehemence at any perceived injustice, bristles at the fact that we celebrate Columbus day and not Stonewall day, and has an answer to anything ‘merican with un-American skepticism. If they are men, they are cuckolded beta males, if women, lesbians.
Second we have the MRA, or Men’s (Civil) Rights Activists. These hairy trolls stalk the fringes of the internet, still angry at their bitch of an ex who took not only their house but their kids as well (real or imagined), and dumped them for an ALPHA (see below) they originally started out as men with genuine complaints about a system that demonizes men and favors women in custody cases, and slowly devolved into seething balls of hate for all things “equal.”
Next we have the PUAs or Pick Up Artists, again, started out as something not quite harmless but not so harmful as noted feminist Robert Downey JR, would play one, but soon became more sinister. The Tucker Max effect, mixing privilege into the equation, and the subsequent empowerment of those formerly docile harpies known as college educated women created the modern PUA. PUAs are a curious lot, many are just out for sex, like any person young enough to still have a libido (or to have been lucky enough never to have dated an SJW) to the evolution of the SNL Roxbury Guys into metrosexual versions of Ahnold. There is a trove of literature on the subject, mostly confined to the Darwinian self-destruction of the species that results from unprotected sex with morons.
ALPHAS, Alphas are the top dogs, the best groomed, best postured, best in business, best in life men at the top of the food chain, that is, at least until some nerd builds an Iron Man suit. They excel at everything they touch and are focused, determined and often armed. They dominate simply by displaying alpha posture and either not letting anyone else speak or being so intimidatingly silent that no one dare speaks in opposition to their superior ideas. Alphas are part Stallone and part Ayn Rand, with a little fascist dictator thrown in for good measure. Many are ex-military, cops or contestants on the Apprentice, none are librarians or teachers, unless of course the subject is Gym.
Feminists, often confused with and sometimes intersecting with SJWs and pussies, are the root of all evil (the black ones are the worst, but we don’t acknowledge them, so they don’t exist, like global warming). They usurp traditional roles and take our jobs (not to be confused with illegals); they feminize men by making them get in touch with the feelings they cooked up in their evil feminazi labs just outside San Francisco. They make babies that they insist are theirs alone if they let you have them in the first place and possess the ridiculous notion that they should be in control of their own destinies. They are a part, and secret leaders in, the Liberal New World Order agenda.
#BLACKLIVESMATTER, No they don’t all lives do asshole, and if you don’t believe it I’ll fucking kill you!
Do I have to say that the above is at least partially satire?
Do I also have to say that I can identify with some aspect of every one of them and that some other parts make me want to retch?
No, I shouldn’t but unfortunately I do.
Welcome to hyphenated, acronym’d, uncomplicated, no shades America.
I’ve often been accused by friends, acquaintances and the occasional family member of being either “too liberal” or of just being “a liberal.” First off, I’m usually befuddled by the statement because I’m not sure what that even means. Can or should anyone define themselves simply on the basis of one aspect of who they are? Does being a Fireman automatically disqualify you from being a father, does being a firefighter disqualify you from being a woman?
I am a man, more specifically an African-American male, more specifically a man of mostly African descent, with significant European ancestry as well as American Indian, Mediterranean, and various other ethnicities. Does that disqualify me from being a feminist, or an occasional bigot? Do the thoughts to the contrary disqualify me from being any of the things I feel with a greater measure that I am?
I read a lot of “manosphere” related blogs, from the ones that take themselves way too seriously and occasionally make me throw my hands up and walk away exasperated, to those who try to walk the line of respectability and occasionally teeter off the edge. Does it make me a misogynist because I find nuggets of value in these writings? Does it make me a dreaded “SJW” when I disagree?
I’ve written before about finding inspiration in places that either scare me or repulse me (perhaps not in those words but this is heavily implied often) but alongside that inspiration, finding the proper amount of disgust.
When I was in College, I owned a copy of Iron John, flirted with the burgeoning men’s movement and got way too in touch with my feelings. I resolved that I was a good thing that I was raised largely by women. I understood what periods meant and had just enough of an inside track to having many a female friend with whom I enjoyed long talks if nothing else. I was 135lbs soaking wet and unsure of myself as a human let alone a man. I always bloomed perpetually late and in some cases, ended up better for it. In others, it was torturous, sometimes still is.
I remember that time culturally as well, the geeks were silently preparing to take over the world through every living room, and men were flirting with androgyny because we thought it would get us laid. It was the path of least resistance in a culture that was still trying to define and in some cases, undo manhood. Why try to wrap yourself up in the rugged traditions of being a man when those traditions were as much a restraint as they were freeing. They required so much damned work and so much effort, why not just give in?
From this, it is easy to draw parallels between men’s changing roles and the periods in history when women faced similar choices, at greater peril. Now that last part of the sentence is important, it isn’t an approbation designed to ramp up attraction from women. It isn’t an “I feel your pain” ploy for the affections of the other sex (this too has become complicated, misgendering be dammed!) it is a simple truth. Men, possessing of greater physical strength on the average and a history of using that strength to dominate those weaker than them have caused much violence over maintaining the preferred class, mostly White Angelo Men, another fact.
You don’t have to know much about history, only the broadest of strokes will tell you that there has been a great transformation in gender since I was born (the late 60’s) and that change has become the source of tension. As much tension as there is in the fact that change has occurred in other “roles” and categories as well. Gender, Race.
What it means to be an American in practice is catching up to what we’ve been taught it means on paper. Combine all the cultural upheavals that have happened in the past 100 years or so, accelerating in the last 15, and you have what we have now, a lot of angry, distrustful people of all stripes. The closer we come to the ideal America my Catholic school civics nun taught us, the less US we are.
Men are angry because we deeply fear the next woman we look at lustfully may not have been born that way, White men are angry because they feel the country, hell the world they’d been implicitly told was theirs is no longer exclusively so. Black men are frustrated because of the existing barriers of Race and our annoying inability to grow beyond victimhood, real or perceived. We, more than most, are schizo-Americans, entitled to all that we have never been allowed to have yet “entitled” still. We are stymied and stilted by our continuing reverence for a God that was never ours and lack of any real viable alternative.
Politically we are divided into camps of “Left” and “Right,” “Liberal” and “Conservative,” divided mostly along lines of education and race we are kept so busy with petty bullshit, fighting each other over it, that we don’t see who is truly benefiting from it. Hint: it is neither them nor us.
It isn’t just here that this wave of change threatens to devour us. Europe, especially the more liberal economies, are also struggling with cultural change. Israel’s dwindling interest in peace and its neighbors tiring of war has hardened each side into intractability. We are all to blame in a way.
So what about us middling folks, the ones who despite having strong inclinations to one side or the other, rest practically, in the center. Those who believe in live and let live but if my neighbor feels the need to use deadly force to stop an intruder from entering their home, that the neighbor should not only have the right to do so but must also live with it if he or she makes a fatal error.
What about those of us who believe that there are things that Socialism just does better and things that Capitalism, as unfettered as it can be with the balance of government enforced monopoly laws does far better than Socialism ever can. What about those of us who believe that all the amendments to the constitution should be equally protected, including the second, but none, not even the first, is absolute.
Or those of us who accept the right of everyone to determine their gender identification while still asking that those of you who do to please have patience with those of us who need to adjust to the idea. Or that those who feel that although traditional gender roles are outmoded, still respect the arrangements of others who adhere to them by choice. Just as we respect those who choose to turn them on their head. That in a world of division and fragmentation, both are equally brave in their own way.
What about those of us who are so far to either side in our heads, but realize that as we are now there is so far to go before a Libertarian or Socialist utopia can be achieved. That we, as humans, aren’t quite ready for total freedom without feeling the need to subjugate others nor can we be totally collective while maintaining our individual selves.
What about that middle?
Going for their base? Just plain giving up? Saying “fuck it” and descending further into school yard bullying? You decide…
I get email updates from many organizations, left and right leaning, the GOP is by far the most laughable in its appeal to the baser instincts of voters and this is only one (lame) example.
So instead of pulling apart their positions or going after a gaffe, this is the real question. Who is the worst. Well Mr Priebus, that is you sir, that is you.