I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
February 04, 2017 - 11:26 a.m.
Here's my problem. I can write about politics every single day. I open the paper and find 10 things that outrage me. But what good would that do? I have made a resolution to not link to articles that outrage me on Facebook. Nobody needs my help getting outraged. The same goes for blogging. I will only write of things we can do to make the world better. I'm not being Pollyanna. I'm not going to avoid discussing our problems. I'm just going to put it in ways that either suggest actions we can take. I'm always hesitant to fire up the base; it can lead to extremism and always leads to polarization. I want peace, love, and understanding, not conflict. The thing is that conflict is sometimes the only way to get there. Just don't dehumanize the opposition.
When I was a kid I watched a lot of movies and TV about war. World War II was just 20 years in the past. The news was dominated by the war in Vietnam. There was less on the Korean War till M*A*S*H. One of the things I learned was the derogatory terms American military used for the Enemy. On Combat they were fighting the Krauts, on McHale's Navy the Nips. In Vietnam and Korea, it was the Gooks. There's a good reason for this. It's a lot easier to kill Krauts, Nips, and Gooks, than people. In a similar vein, it's easier to enslave niggers.
The same thing goes on in political disputes. We get called Libtards, and Snowflakes. We call them Nazis and Rednecks. Think about when Spencer got punched. Spencer is a leader of the alt-right. He's a white separatist. He is a racist, though he'll deny it. There are many kinds of racists but what is he called? A Nazi, the most extreme form of racism in history, one that tried to kill an entire ethnic group, my ethnic group, the Jews. Spencer is not a Nazi. He's called that because it generates more hate. As I said before, I'm for peace, love, and understanding, I don't want to ramp up hate. There are other ways to build up resolve.
Oh great, I finally remembered what I wanted to write about. This hit me last night in bed as I was falling asleep. It is not totally unrelated to what I've written so far but it will take a bit before it comes back to it.
Time for a flashback to the days before Facebook when I used different social media. Keep in mind, all these people are adults not high school students. In a blog, someone I tangentially, let's call her Heather 1, knew insulted a friend of mine's looks. It was cruel. I sent her a private message appealing to her better angels and nicely said that she knows better than that and should take it down. She responded by writing another blog insulting my looks and posted a picture of me where I was trying to look silly at a Ren Fair. There was a back and forth between my friends and hers. Heather 2 said that we shouldn't be so thinned skin and that Heather 1 has every right to insult us. More people started criticizing the Heathers. Heather 2 then said that we were all mean and shouldn't say bad things about Heather 1. She did not see the irony.
So why am I dredging up ancient history about people I have nothing to do with now? Because I see people acting like Heather 2. My first protest march against Trump started at the Trump International Hotel and Tower and I did a Facebook check-in there. Facebook asked me to write a review and I obliged. I gave it the lowest rating, 1☆ and wrote this:
I wouldn't stay there if everything was comped including room service. How could I even go into a place with the name of a bigot and misogynist written in big letters over the entrance.As you might expect, though I didn't since I didn't think people would read it, I got some comments, some not so nice comments. The newest one that I hadn't seen till just now says, "This guy should kill himself." Another one was, "What a loser. Rating a place that you haven't even stayed at. Go stay at the Snowflake motel loser." Snowflake is the reason I brought it up. He called me a snowflake but he and his compeers are the ones all upset at my criticism of Trump. It's just what Heather 2 did.
This is exactly what Trump and his people do all the time. Trump spews so much invective but thinks the press is so unfair when it writes anything negative about him. This is part of his character that he demonstrates every day. He's a Heather, just not as cute or well-spoken.
I hope that didn't outrage you as I started by saying I don't want to create outrage. I'm serious about this. Part of me wants to delete all this. I won't because I invested too much time on it. I'll just hope that it generates smirks and smiles not anger and hatred. I look at our politics now as a battle between harmony and dissonance. I'm on the side of harmony.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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