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.)

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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.

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Related Links:
The American Reality Vs. The American Ideal

 

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

 

 

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We Need to Do Better

I’m sure there are many people writing about the pitiful sentence the Stanford rapist got when the guilty verdict was finally rendered.  I’ll keep this short, because I’m sure there are plenty of writers saying everything that needs to be said, so maybe this is more for me.

His sentence…It was because of his money, his pedegree…  His blue eyes, his “nice smile….” Rape culture…something.  All of those things.  I don’t know.  Without a shadow of a doubt (and without personal bias) I believe that a young black man would be spending his life in prison, were he found guilty of the same crime in the same circumstances.  And that is only right for a crime this serious.   So why should Brock Turner be any different? Why should he deserve any leniency or deference to how the sentence might affect his life?

I also have a friend who was kidnapped, held against her will, and assaulted by her “boyfriend” for several days. That man got a month in jail…

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Even those of you who agree wholeheartedly that Turner deserves to rot in the deepest, darkest cell the state has for 10-20 years may doubt just how often this sort of thing happens, this sentencing disparity…this caring more for the rapist’s future than for his victim.  What message does this send to a victim of assault or rape?  Victims already feel violated, worthless, lost, dead inside…

We have to do better, and the first step is getting more people to acknowledge that these things still happen.  We may like to have faith in the justice system, but it is clearly misplaced.  Judges apparently have more judicial discretion than sense with regards to sentencing, so maybe it’s time to set some very rigid minimum standards…  Not the “minimum sentences” for a crime that we already have, the ones that this judge apparently decided could just patently ignored out of sympathy for the rich kid.

Finally, if you can say “I’m tired of hearing about this rapist,” or “I’m tired of hearing about sexism/racism…etc”
TOO DAMN BAD!  That attitude is part of the problem.

We need to do better.

“Excuse me, sir, but your stupid is showing”

2/9/2015

Ah, Mr. King, you’ve done it again. I have been waiting to get my hands on some of your most recent novels, but, poor as I am, have had to be content with staring longingly at the book section of Walmart. Last week, I finally got my copy of Mr. Mercedes. As usual, I find in your writing a refreshing blend of humor, uniqueness, and, of course, captivating plot and characters. Some people might call you strictly a pop fiction writer, but I would wager they hadn’t read enough of your works, especially the later ones, to be able to discern your true talent. For instance, the tying together of a meta- plot arc spanning basically the whole of your writing career in the Dark Tower series took epic writing chops, so sayeth this humble writer. Some reviews have no doubt referred to your writing in “literary” terms, and I think this is more accurate, because you don’t just write stories, you write characters…real people. Yes, I am fully aware I sound like a gushy fangirl, but, believe me, I am coming to a point (I think.) I read and love your writing so much I know it has influenced my own, from the “artistic liberties” I take with sentence structure to the very tone of my writing. Your stories make me think.

Mr. Mercedes is no different. I am still in the thick of the novel, but the villain in Mr. Mercedes has gotten me thinking, and… I think, therefore I BLOG. Although I have some educational background in criminal justice, and have done quite a bit of reading on sociopathic killer-types, I really can’t say for sure what your “typical” villain might be like. Brady Hartsfield seems to fit a lot of the established characteristics (and maybe some stereotypes?) for sociopaths. He’s arrogant, narcissistic, seems socially underdeveloped yet is great at faking proper social interactions. His moral compass is completely off kilter (he still thinks he knows right and wrong, but his morals definitely don’t conform to social norms.) He’s also fairly intelligent…and perhaps also predictably, he does consider himself smarter than the rest of us sheeple.

And yet, like most criminal/villain types in pop culture, he is stupid. Not in the intellectual sense, so much as the moral sense, I suppose. As if we didn’t have enough reason to dislike Hartsfield for committing mass vehicular homicide (and then writing a letter to brag gleefully about it,) you wrote him as a casually unapologetic racist. While he doesn’t overtly go out of his way, at least not that I have read yet, to commit acts specifically for a racial agenda, throughout the narrative of his internal thoughts, he displays his tasteless views on everything from inter-racial dating to black people with “white names,” and peppered in there, in case you need more convincing, is his flagrant use of the N-word.

Now while all of this of course did achieve the likely purpose of causing me to dislike him even more, I found also that it put me off of his “character” as well. What I mean, I guess, is that many readers may dislike a villain for his actions, but like the function he serves in the story. Let’s face it; some characters make good villains (Hannibal Lector immediately springs to mind as an iconic good villain.) They have flare, charisma. They’re clever. Some of them even start out with sort of sympathetic reasons behind their villainous actions.

This douchebag, Hartsfield, while admittedly “clever” in the sense of planning and execution of his crimes, has sort of lost any credibility (with me, at least) as a good villain. As intelligent as he may be in some ways, the fact that he displays such racist ideals just proves his ignorance and selective use of intellectual and logical thinking, and thus causes him to go down in my estimation, even as a villain. While this may seem like an obvious statement (uh, duh, racism is stupid) what was more curious to me was how this changed my dislike for him, from simply thinking of him as a nut-job with a murderous agenda to thinking of him as a narcissistic, weak-minded brat.

So, if there is a point to this whole excursion into mental diarrhea, I suppose it’s that (in my book at least), If you’re a villain, it’s okay to be a psychopathic killer… as long as you’re not a fucking idiot too.

Thanks for coming along, readers.

Related:  https://alienredqueen.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/tunnel-vision-more-on-the-predictable-pathology-of-bad-guys/

G*ddammit, just STOP it already!

The above title could refer either to my need to check comments and notifications on Huffington Post, (where some moron has inevitably said something too dumb to ignore, or purposely picked a fight with me) OR it could, and DOES, refer to how very fucking tired I am of seeing all the race (and sex) hate online.  I sometimes wish I could go back in time to when I did not have constant internet access, and hence, was not nearly as aware of all the horrible things going on in the world, and subsequently, the horribly misguided and moronic responses of scared and ignorant people.  I’ll admit, I’m scared too.  I have a child, and my fear for her safety and happiness is all encompassing; no matter how vigilant you are, you can not protect against the senseless and amoral.

So, I’m scared.  But I’m also pissed!  I need to get off Facebook and the internet news for a while, because if I see one more person blame Obama for all the woes in this country and then support it with inaccurate “factoids” they picked up somewhere I might just explode.  If I see one more forwarded article posted by one of my Facebook friends whining about “why does Trayvon get all this attention but black on white crime goes unobserved?” I might just throat punch someone.

I have noticed an increase in my own political posts and replies in an attempt to combat all the rampant ignorance going around, and frankly, to some people, I am probably becoming one of those political posters that annoy me!!!  I don’t want to be that person… because it doesn’t do any good anyway.  It seems like most people either agree with your views or disagree.  If they agree, you haven’t really “enlightened” anyone.  And it feels like most people that disagree are loath to make room in their personal philosophies to consider any new info on the topic.

But back to the race thing, which is what today’s post is about… I ask you… I BEG you…

[Some**] black people… please stop threatening to riot when shit doesn’t go your way.  It doesn’t do anything to help your cause.  It’s basically like trying to bully people into action by threatening violence.

[Some**] white people… please stop playing the whole “reverse” racism card.  You are not helping “spread awareness” about the perceived plight of white people.  You just sound like a toddler whining, “it’s not faaaair…”

It’s bad enough there are still people who are comfortable being openly racist, basically acting like a bunch of uneducated hillbillies, but the rest of us, who think we’re “fighting for the underdog” or standing up for our rights are not helping.  Some people claim Obama is trying to divide the races.  Let me tell you, he doesn’t need to.  We do it all on our own.  And to me, the barely veiled racism of today is in some ways just as bad as the racism of yesteryear.  Passive aggressive, misguided…

Yes, both sides (and believe it or not, there are more races in America now besides black and white) are still seeing instances of inequality.  Both sides have victims.  Both sides have perpetrators.  The problem is not black and white.  When the race of a perpetrator is mentioned in the title of an article, unless there is specific evidence the crime was racially motivated, to me that’s a red flag.  That’s propagating hate.  And then if you go to the comments section of just about any news outlet online, someone will inevitably find a way to dredge up and grandstand on their particular beliefs, whether said beliefs have anything to do with the article or not.

So if you want to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem, for the love of God, or whoever, just stop with the “righteous indignation” and forwarded crap about race crimes…on both sides!!!  Isn’t people killing people bad enough???

okay...end rant...have to go mop up my brains...

okay…end rant…have to go mop up my brains…

(ps…and a note to myself…  JUST STOP ALREADY! Stop letting morons you don’t even know piss you off.  Stop posting political stuff on Facebook or being bated by others’ political posts. Slactivism is not activism, so.  Just.  Stop.)

**If it’s not already obvious, I qualify these statements with the word “some,” because I would never dream of impugning a whole group of people based on the actions of only some.  However, it’s apparent to me that the number of people spouting the nonsense have enough of a voice that they are still causing trouble.

All A@@holed Out

At least once a week now, I ask myself the same question, usually prompted by some ignorant, separatist redneck post or some anti-abortion self-righteous meme…posted by my “friends.”  Some of these are people I haven’t actually “seen” since high school, and even then, they were more like acquaintances.  Many are people to whom I used to be closer, and time and/or distance has come between us, but with whom I would like to keep in some sort of contact.  And then I’m realizing I just never knew some of these people to begin with.  And I actually like some of these people…I mean, except for the unfortunate fact of their intolerance…

Um...yeah, okay.

Um…yeah, okay.

Shall I attempt to point out the many ways this meme is ridiculous?  Firstly, the only people who have a problem with secularism are people who feel everyone should be their religion.  Secondly, pretty sure many of the “lazy, unproductive” people were that way before Obama got into office.  I can only assume this is a jab at people who are on some type of public assistance.  (These are also likely the same people who post memes like “before we help the poor in other countries, we need to help our own” and then go around bitching when any laws that actually attempt to do so get proposed.)

Thirdly–  Ow! I stubbed my fuckin’ toe!  Thanks, Obama!

But anyway, the question I have been asking myself is this:

At which point do I draw the line between respecting my friends’ views and differences of opinions to You’re just an asshole and I don’t think I wanna be your friend?”

Generally I would say, the difference would be whether or not their “views” encourage hate or discrimination of any kind.  But seriously…have you seen  some of the memes going around now?  The line between expressing opinion and attempting to insult/control the opposition seems to be becoming increasingly blurred.

And especially in lieu of the George Zimmerman verdict and all the “moral outrage” and barely concealed racism going around, I am SO sick of seeing hateful, ignorant posts about “reverse racism” and white victims of black killers.  How about we direct some of that moral outrage and righteous indignation towards the things that really matter, and maybe realize that all these posts are just widening the racial divide?

But, back to my original question, how do you personally decide when to accept differences, and who to cut loose because they are just too different (aka, an asshole)?  Frankly, I’m all “assholed” out.

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”
― Isaac Asimov