wSep 15, 2008

Political Post....maybe a personal post later this evening

What the hell, did Heroes premiere last week? Shows how little I care about the show, I guess. Did anybody watch it? Did it stop being a suck-fest?

I like this article on white privilege and the 2008 presidential election, by Tim Wise. Source.

White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because “every family has challenges,” even as black and Latino families with similar “challenges” are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.


White privilege is being able to make fun of community organizers and the work they do--like, among other things, fight for the right of women to vote, or for civil rights, or the 8-hour workday, or an end to child labor--and people think you’re being pithy and tough, but if you merely question the experience of a small town mayor and 18-month governor with no foreign policy expertise beyond a class she took in college--you’re somehow being mean, or even sexist.

Also, I really liked this entry in Emma Bull's LiveJournal, which relates to the comments people leave on the Internet, or even things that are said in normal conversation.

I understand the impulse to reply to everything you ever read, but if all you ever have to say is something cynical and that smacks of "Well, clearly you should have seen this I did!", then it gets pretty old. Read it, people! Conversational etiquette, both online and offline, FTW. In fact, I think I'll just quote her entire post, because you should read it.

"Why are you surprised?"

"Did you really think that...?"

"This is old news."

"It's just business as usual."

I've been hearing and reading these lines, and others like them, a lot lately. They show up when someone--sometimes me, sometimes someone else--gets angry about the election, about FEMA, about law enforcement, about politicians, about a government agency, and says so. When they do, someone will almost always respond with a variation on one of those lines.

I'd just like to say this to the people who are responding that way:

You're seriously pissing me off. Shut the fuck up.

Because here's the implied message of those lines: "You're cute when you're naive and ill-informed. I, however, am too smart and experienced to believe that what's upsetting you can be changed. I'd like to take this opportunity to publicly ridicule you for your embarrassing lack of knowledge and world-weary sophistication."

Do you think you can consider yourself one of the good guys when you ridicule someone for speaking out against things that harm others? Does your ego need so much public propping-up that you'll scorn someone else's distress and anger, if it gives you an excuse to declare yourself smart?

Maybe you really do believe there's nothing we can do about cruelty, injustice, corruption. Maybe you really are shrugging off the world's problems. Okay, you're allowed. It's exhausting work, trying to fix the broken shit, and not everyone can do it all the time every day. I sure can't.

But when you try to make yourself feel better about it by denigrating other people's outrage, you don't get a pass. That goes beyond sitting this one out; it makes you part of the problem.

So if you're all world-weary and wiser than me, I don't want to hear about it. Because those lines up there and their little friends are just an attempt to make you feel big and me feel small. They don't do one damned thing to make the world a better place.

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scribbled mystickeeper at 4:09 PM

I don't think Heroes comes back until next week... but I could be wrong. The end of the last season was pretty good, so hopefully it continues.

By Blogger Dave, at 11:15 PM, September 15, 2008  

I also mistakenly thought Heroes was going to premiere yesterday, but then found out I was wrong. It premieres on NBC at 8 next Monday, the 22nd.

By Blogger Gordon, at 1:25 PM, September 16, 2008  

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