The Privilege of Selfishness

Sitting safely behind your computer screen, pissed about someone sitting for an anthem, while simultaneously supporting the vote to block refugees from other countries who are just trying to escape terrorists and war…

The epitome of American and white privilege.

The other day a friend posted about an alleged Bureau of Land Management decision to slaughter over 65000 wild horses to make more room for cattle. Whether or not this is true, what struck a nerve for me (that is putting it waaaaay lightly) was the person who commented on the post bitching about how our government should be spending money to save those horses “instead of the Muslim scumbags” coming over from Syria, because the horses “actually deserve it.”

Let that sink in for a moment.

America, a “proud Christian nation.”  Does the previous comment sound like something you’d want to be associated with as an American?  Does it sound very “Christian?”  Disgusting, is what it is.  I love animals, I do, but clearly this person’s love for animals is not as strong as their hate for other people.

Nope.  No problem here.

How very progressive…Nope. No problem here.

Bear with me, because I am coming back around to Koepernick.  You may not like how he protested, but it’s his right as an American and he isn’t hurting anyone.  I wish the same Americans pissed about a man sitting during a frickin’ song, signing petitions to get the player kicked off the team, put half as much energy into speaking out against the George Zimmermans and the Brock Turners of this nation.  Maybe some of them do, but for most of them, I doubt it.  And the rest of us who can see past our own fucking noses can’t even speak out against the Zimmermans and Turners for you without having to hear all the apologist ( and at its core, racist/sexist ) victim blaming and being called “libtards” or some other equally uninspired epithet.  The bottom line is Americans are becoming selfish (or maybe they are just more vocal about being selfish now that they have that great orange baboon’s ass for a mascot.)

14265053_1078897602166172_4641192136190826983_n

photo source Union Thugs

You may not like how Koepernick protested, and that’s your right… but it’s his right, as an American, to do it, and he isn’t hurting anyone.  Unlike Brock Turner or George Zimmerman.

I suggest you people (you know who the fuck you are, because even you don’t believe your pseudo-patriotism, deep down) get your priorities straight and get your fucking head on straight.   People need to stop acting like America is the only civilized nation, the only “great” nation, because to others outside looking in, we look like a bunch of gun-toting bullies.

I’m not gonna lie.  I love the idea of America, what it represents, but right now, we are moving farther away from that ideal, not closer, and it’s only when we defend the rights of those fundamentally different from us that we realize that ideal.

images-1

Related Links:
The American Reality Vs. The American Ideal

 

*As always, please feel free to comment, but please peep the comment policy. 😉

 

 

Advertisements

Dear Refugees,

Dear Syrian refugees, Syrian people, because you are more than your circumstances, which are dire right now… internet access is likely the least of your concerns right now, so you may never see this message.

But from me to you, I’m sorry there are some that would make a horrible time for you even more difficult.  Please understand many of them are also driven by fear of terrorism, although nothing so immediate as that which you are fleeing.  I’m sorry about those who would make things difficult with their lack of compassion.  I am a bit ashamed to be an American right now, because these are the people whose voices are loudest right now, and I don’t want you think all Americans are like this. Please know they do not speak for all of us, and there are many people here, regardless of our ethnicity or religion or socioeconomic status (or yours for that matter) who stand by your right to freedom and peace and welcome you in.

Signed,

An American Woman

No Disrespect But…To Be Honest…

A lot of people like to think they know other people, that they’re adept at detecting deception and above being fooled.  I always cringe when people recite that drivel about how people’s eyes move “up and to the right” for the truth and “down and to the left” for a lie, or whatever they say it is.  I remember very clearly when I was in college, one of my psychology professors telling the class that this was patently false.  Directionality of gaze was not so much the issue; rather a person averting their gaze in general, or being unable to look someone else in the eyes, could signify deception.

Then again, it could signify a lot of things; distraction, feelings of inadequacy or shyness, feelings of guilt (unrelated to lying.)  Plus, anyone who’s ever been done dirty by a spouse or best friend could probably tell you it’s completely possible for a person to look you square in the eyes and lie to your face.

Of course, I’m digressing, as usual.  The point is, a lot of the so-called clues to detecting when someone is lying to you, seem, in my opinion, vague and unable to be extrapolated to the majority of people with enough accuracy to be conclusive.  That may read like a mouthful, but all I really mean is that these “tells” don’t occur with enough consistency or reliability to be useful in most situations.  There are too many variables, and unless you are the type of person who likes to take chances with your relationships, you don’t want to accuse someone you care about of lying unless you’re damn sure.

Perfect example;  I’ve seen it mentioned before that people who qualify their statements with remarks like “To tell you the truth,” “Frankly,” and “To be honest,” are actually unconsciously cuing you to the fact that they are about to lie to you.

Am I the only person, then, that regularly uses those expressions…and then proceeds to do exactly that– tell the truth?  I can’t speak for everyone, but when I use that phrase, it usually means that what I’m about to tell you will either seem A) surprising/unexpected coming from me, or B) that what I am about to say is going to be the truth, but perhaps an unpleasant truth.  

Anyway, I’m definitely not disputing that there are often physiological and physical signs present when a person is lying.  However, I think these signs need to be taken in context.  The fact that lie detector tests are not considered reliable or accurate enough to be used in court should be at least some indication that many of these signs of deception are not consistent enough between subjects to be 100% reliable.  I would guess that some indicators are also more accurate than others.  For instance, involuntary reactions like pupil dilation and micro-expressions would likely be a more reliable indicator of deception than a turn of phrase, such as “To tell the truth,” the use of which is subjective depending on the speaker.  (For instance, perhaps that phrase was used frequently throughout the speaker’s childhood by his mother, and thus is a learned mannerism and has no bearing on deception.)

I’m sure there are people out there like Dr. Cal Lightman in Lie to Me* (I think they’re called poker players)and I have great admiration for people with that skill set.  But I doubt there are many of us regular Joes that can do what Cal does.  I’d wager that individually, how effective each of us is as a human lie detector will depend, in one part, on how much we know our subject, and in another part, how observant and aware we are of other people in general.

1786-1

Tangential to that topic, I’ve heard it said that people who preface their opinions with “No offense intended,” “No disrespect,” or some similar sentiment, are in fact, about to insult you.

This is another blanket statement with which I disagree.  It may be true that a lot of people use this phrase as a passive aggressive way to take a jab at someone, but–and again, I’ll only speak for myself here– when I say “No disrespect,” it is often when I know my opinion is directly contradictory to the other persons’s, or when there seems to be no way to stand behind my point without seeming combative.  It’s been my experience that some people become almost automatically defensive and even hostile when confronted with an opinion that is very different from their own.  Some people take it as a personal affront.  If you don’t believe me, scroll through your Facebook wall.  I’m sure you’ll eventually find at least one ridiculously hostile argument over politics, religion, sports, or something even less significant.

Anyway, as usual, I’ve sort of taken a short post and gotten way too analytical about it.  Thanks for bearing with me and my rambling.

And if  you don’t like it, No disrespect, But to be Honest...fuck you.  (Just kidding…sort of.)

When the Interwebz Attacks

Until now, the perception has been that you can say anything you like on the internet, without any consequences. Recent cases… show that is getting less and less true.

I’ve blogged…at length…about sex in video games and the experiences girl gamers face.  Some of these experiences are amusing.  Some of them are even funny.  Some are just plain irritating.  And anyone that has spent even a modest amount of time in online pursuits where there is some sort of interaction through either comments or live chat, has likely had at least one or two negative experiences with trolls or people that are just flat out ignorant asshats.  These are people who either intentionally look for others to harass, or  just feel free to say whatever half-formed thought crosses their half-formed brains due to assumed anonymity.  Maybe they think they’re “just having fun” or perhaps it makes these pitiable human beings feel better about their own ineffectual and pathetic lives to be able to take a virtual shit on people who might normally kick their asses in real life.   And some of them are just plain assholes.  Mean.

And these people will use whatever dirty epithet or blasphemous racial or sexual slur they can think of to insult you and tear you down.  It’s their only real weapon in place of something intelligent to say.

But even knowing all of this, even experiencing a lot of this, I was still shocked by the vicious cyber attack on Californian blogger, Anita Sarkeesian, after she launched a project to make a web video series about video game tropes and  women.  Not just the ignorant and inflammatory comments, but the fact that this woman was the victim of a concentrated effort to vandalize her Wikipedia page and organized efforts to have her YouTube videos flagged as “terrorism.” Additionally, she became the target of threats of violence, rape, and death.

Now, if you follow some of the comments made on the videos, you’ll notice that even people who supported this woman in a respectful way were subsequently flamed by some of the other commenters.

I am really floored.  Do all the idiots congregate in one place (comment boards on the internet?)  Or is it that most of the normal and good people (not all, mind you, but most) know there’s no point in even wasting time trying to argue with these narrow-minded, disrespectful morons?

It appears that Anita Sarkeesian has not only offended most of the remaining misogynists in the world, but even worse,  she has offended video game nerds by “insulting” their beloved games.  And by “video game nerds,” I don’t mean just “people who like or play video games.”  (After all, I play video games.  So does my husband and a lot of my friends.)  I mean those people who are so sad and pathetic that they live vicariously through their video games.  You know who you are.

Now, while the very existence of groups like the Westboro Baptist Church should clue me in on the fact that there are still evolutionary throwbacks in humanity’s pond, I have to admit, even I am still stunned that there are so many socially and intellectually stunted people in this world.  Watching the news everyday is depressing enough without this happy horse shit.

I wonder what it was about this woman that pissed so many people off.  As my step-father used to say “opinions are like assholes; everyone’s got one.”  I’m sure she is not the first person out there to spark a feminist debate about video games.  Is it just because she is semi-well known?  If I was more well-known, would I receive nasty remarks and threats of violence for this post?  Maybe I should ask WordPress to create a Widget exclusively for keeping track of death threats.  To hell with overall views and “followers.”  You’re not popular until you’ve received death threats from the dregs of society via the internet.  Bring it on (and I’ll happily ignore and delete them as per my comment regulations!)

On a more serious note, given the disappointing and disturbing trend in the past couple of  decades or so of the legal system’s increasing support of people’s unwillingness to take responsibility for their own actions, part of me hopes we will begin to see repercussions for online harassment.  Because that’s what it is.  Aside from rude remarks, some people seem to think they have the right to threaten and verbally assault others by dint of being online, and that having “freedom of speech” gives them the right to act like total assholes, when if they said some of this stuff to people’s faces, they’d get arrested or punched in the mouth.  If you ask me, some people could really still benefit from a punch in the mouth…

Cuz this is what would happen if you said that shit to mah face!

But maybe that’s just this humble female blogger being a “bitch.”