While doing my usual “scroll through Facebook to make sure the world still exists” thing this morning, I stumbled across two interesting things from the very same source: The Blaze. For those who don’t remember, The Blaze is a cable news network started by former Fox host Glenn Beck, a Mormon with a decently good head on his shoulders, but with a lot of socially conservative leanings that I can’t get on board with. Conservatism, as we understand it in the U.S. today, conflicts with itself–they want “small government,” except that they want the government to impose social conservatism.
First I saw this well-phrased, well-written emotional appeal to the American public to stop the divide, to reach across the aisle, and to heal the country:
Well, I’m sorry, Glenn, but you don’t get to be the Voice of Reason right now.
I’ve noticed many people on the left and right pulling this schtick, where, after years, if not decades, of peddling divisiveness and hysteria (remember The Blaze and Michelle Bachman’s attempts to link President Obama to the Muslim Brotherhood?) and then, when you see that the mess you’ve been creating is getting ready to implode or explode, pull a 180 and try to take the highroad, saying, “We have to stop this!”
You. We have to stop you.
You, Glenn Beck. You, Rachel Maddow. You, Milo Whateveranis. You, The Young Turks. You people now trying to act like this mess isn’t of your making–you are the ones who must be stopped, because this mess is of your making.
This random guy being attacked by his own allies because of his appearance? You created this. You paved the road here, you sat us down in the vehicle, and you drove along that road until we reached this point. You did it knowingly and deliberately, to boost your ratings, and now you’re saying “No, we shouldn’t be divided. We’re all humans”? Where was that spiel when you were trying to link Obama to the Muslim Brotherhood?
You monsters did this. You created the circumstances, you lied, you manipulated the facts, and you misled everyone, waiting to release critical information until the most opportune moment, and this hysteria that you’ve created is a direct result of all of that. I wrote about how the news purposely and deliberately withheld information about rotting farms across the country until the most opportune time, and they decided that time was when they could blame it on Trump’s immigration policies instead of droughts, wildfires, and government interventions paying farmers to grow crops regardless of whether the crops survive. All of this has been happening for years. But now that the media can blame it on Trump and ask if he’s going to claim responsibility for the famine–because, yes, people really are that hysterical–we hear about it.
And what about the fact that critically important news items seem to pop up and vanish just as quickly, keeping the masses in a paralytic state of paranoid fear? This was the entire point of your attempts to link Obama to the Muslim Brotherhood. You know it, I know it, and everyone knows it. You rode that “Obama is a Muslim Kenyan” line every bit as hard as Donald Trump. In fact, I lost a longtime friend with whom I used to play in a rockband, because of his constant peddling of Glenn Beck bullshit, telling me that I needed to be afraid of the Muslims who were infiltrating our government. You did that, Glenn. You took over his mind and replaced his rationality with fear by exploiting his vulnerabilities.
And now you want to say “We’re all humans”?
No, because you’re not. You’re not a human. You’re an immoral monster. You’re a disgusting, mutant salesman obsessed with your sales numbers, and you didn’t give a damn how much damage you cause to humans while you attempt to sate your ravenous hunger.
The alt-right for years, Glenn–for years has been calling Obama a Muslim and a Kenyan hellbent on destroying America from within. If that sounds familiar, it’s because you have a documentary that asserts that very thing. You can’t just distance yourself from it now that it’s grown beyond your control, because you planted the seeds that became that tree. And you’re still doing so, you slimy toad.
What is this shit, Glenn? That article was released yesterday. Yesterday, Glenn! On your website.
This diehard, rightist propagandist, wacky, inaccurate, nonsensical article propagating the notion that transsexualism is a new thing that should be condemned rather than allowed appeared yesterday, 24 hours ago, on your website. And now you want to say “We’re all humans”? What about transsexuals like me, Glenn? Are we “all humans” too? Because this article on your website from yesterday suggests otherwise. “Trans people should get back in the closet and shut up,” is what this article from yesterday on your website asserts.
You want to dance in Romulan territory while proclaiming your neutrality, and it doesn’t work that way. Libertarians are in the neutral zone. You, though? You cast your lot with the Romulans a long time ago, just as the leftists cast their lot with the Federation. And I’m over here like, “No… Why did we let people like Glenn Beck push this to the point of war?”
Now we jump from war with Syria (which, it’s time to confess, we are fighting) to war with North Korea to trans military bans to Nazis to possible trade wars with China to raging anarcho-communists in the blink of an eye. You won’t let people sit down and take a deep breath and remind themselves that “We’re all humans,” because you’re too busy peddling fear trying to keep their eyeballs glued to their television screen and listening to you prattle on about Obama’s ties to the freaking Muslim Brotherhood.
You don’t have the right to stand there and appeal for calm now, Glenn. Neither you, the Nazis, or Antifa have the right to do that. You’ve all taken your sides. Maybe you didn’t have the foresight to see where it would go. Maybe you didn’t realize what you were doing. I could accept that. But you’re still responsible for his mess. You can’t just pretend like that isn’t true. If you want to call for calm and unity now, that’s great–you can join the call of libertarians and anarcho-capitalists who have been calling for calm, liberty, tolerance, and love for years. At this point, though, you’re tainted by the circumstances you’ve created, and you owe the world an apology if you want to change your tune now.
You directly contributed to this. In fact, wasn’t it because you wanted more leniency to say wild, speculative things that you formed The Blaze in the first place? And you continue to dance in the redzone of conservatism–the very same redzone that created the alt-right that morphed into Neo-Nazism, as that lunatic article from yesterday shows. Of course, trans people have always existed, Glenn. The only question was whether we had to pretend otherwise, or whether we could embrace it. Through most of human history, it was “pretend otherwise.” This led to many suicides and many problems–like with a guy you may have heard of named J. Edgar Hoover.
If you want to appeal for calm, that’s great, but you’ve got to extract yourself from either side. You have to get out of the left versus right paradigm entirely, or you’re not appealing for calm. You’re appealing for victory for your side. “Conservatives have the high-road because conservatives are calling for calm… It’s the leftists who are calling for violence still.”
You made this bed. Either set it ablaze or lie down in it.
I’ll spare you all the details and give a brief summary. Arvin Vohra criticized Liberty Hangouts publicly, and members of Liberty Hangouts defended themselves. This led Arvin to apologize and correct himself, and on this thread of comments there appeared a discussion between Jason Weinman (with whom I’ve had disagreements with the past because, if I recall correctly, he went hard for Gary Johnson) and Michael William Miller of Liberty Hangouts about various things I don’t really care about. During the name-calling and pedantry, Michael said:
If you mean we support traditional values, yes, but we have never called once for legislation forcing anyone to do anything.
And, moments later:
[D]o you want to debate this on a livestream? [W]e’d be more than happy to host it on Liberty Hangout. 🙂
While, from what I can gather, the debate invitation was to discuss whether or not Liberty Hangout had called for legislation of traditional values, Jason Weinman declined the invitation. However, I would gladly debate anyone at Liberty Hangout on “traditional” values, and whether it’s a concern that they’re being eroded.
My Values Are My Values, and Therefore Correct
Everyone believes this to be true. It’s an application of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, in fact. Just as we use our ability to play the guitar to understand how skilled another guitar player is, so do we use our own values to judge the values of other people. When we look at uncontacted tribes that segregate girls from their tribe when they hit puberty, we reject the idea as backward and immoral, because our values tell us that it’s wrong to treat people that way, it will have severe permanent damage on the girl’s self-esteem, and there’s nothing magical or mystical about periods. Yet this assessment itself is built on our values that it’s bad to cause severe permanent damage to people’s self-esteem, and our values that positive self-esteem is a good thing. I’ve discussed this countless times before and won’t go into it in full detail. Instead, just check out this article on the subject. Or check out this one.
More importantly, the reality of the situation isn’t just that “traditional values” are being eroded from within, although many right-wing figures would deny this and focus their efforts on controlling immigration, in full disregard of the fact that America influences the rest of the world, not the other way around, but also that we are seeing cultural competition, and it functions exactly the same way as economic competition. Worldviews compete in the market in exactly the same way that businesses do, and the one that proves to be most efficient wins out in the long-run. In terms of culture, efficiency appears to be measured primarily in inclusiveness. This also makes sense in economic terms, as exclusiveness reduces a business’s customer base.
For example, acceptance of black people as equals won out the culture war when the two sides pitted against one another: one side advocated continued open racism and segregation, and the other side advocated an end to these things. Motivated by self-interest, the majority of people would have put their personal feelings aside, in the event that they were racist, to advocate for equality, because this, in Mississippi for example, increased their customer reach by 37%. An openly racist business in Mississippi immediately loses 37% of all customers, and more, when it’s considered that many people who aren’t black would refuse to do business with such a company. Many others are motivated simply by empathy, which is also self-interest, since no one wants to be filled with negative emotions like guilt and sorrow.
I have no desire to argue whether one side is right or wrong, even when it comes to “traditional values” (one assumes this to mean heterosexuality, anti-transgenderism, etc.) versus contemporary values, because both sides are subjective. Each can be demonstrated as desirable by its own parameters, and each can demonstrate the other as undesirable by those same parameters. Someone who thinks that transsexualism is a mental illness will obviously think that the normalization of transsexualism is a bad idea, because it openly accepts what they consider to be a mental illness, and they find treating mental illnesses as normal to be a bad idea.
Cultural values change over time, and they clearly move in some direction that I won’t try to name. The arc of human history is pretty evident, though, in that we’ve moved toward secularization and acceptance, rather than toward heightened religiosity and bigotry. We’ve also moved from despotism toward liberty and individualism, at least until the rise of fascism in the 20th century that has set us back so drastically. I’d hazard the guess that there is a common thread that connects these things–the move away from bigotry, the move toward secularization, the move toward liberty–but it’s something to think about some other day. The fact remains: cultural values change over time. Whether they are improving or getting worse is up for argument.
It would seem obvious that a stagnant culture would self-destruct in very short order, but it’s equally obvious that there has never been such a thing as a stagnant culture. Today, our culture changes at a shocking speed and is incredibly robust–so robust that many people don’t consider the United States as having a culture. Compare that to the relatively defined culture of Venice, France, and Saudi Arabia. Here in the United States, we have a culture that includes hateful assholes like Steven Anderson (a pastor who openly says that he wishes more trans teens would kill themselves), wonderful nameless Christians who don’t give a shit if someone is trans, atheists like myself who take no part in religion, people who openly believe themselves to be witches, people who openly worship the devil, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and even scientologists. The only description that will fit these many disparate beliefs and worldviews is that the United States’ culture as a whole values religious freedom.
In another sense, we have goth culture, emo culture, jock culture, snob culture, cheerleader culture, Christian culture, white culture, black culture, Japanese culture, Mexican culture, and so many others that it’s immaterial whether every single individual actively enjoys and embraces all of these different sub-cultures, because, again, on the whole the result is that the Unites States’ culture values cultural differences. This literally allows us to pick and choose what we like from each culture and incorporate it into our lives for personal fulfillment.
I think Michael and I both will agree that “cultural appropriation” is a positive thing, and that SJWs can fuck off.
This allows even the most ardent transphobic Christian to watch and enjoy Japanese anime, to eat burritos, and to have a goth son who listens to Megadeth (though the parent, because of the cultural conflict, won’t be happy about it, hopefully the parent realizes the futility and counterproductive nature of denying the teenager the ability to embrace their own preferences). The United States is basically a gigantic buffet of different cultural elements, and we are actively encouraged (nevermind the lunatic progressives) to take only the dishes that we like, while ignoring the dishes that we don’t like.
My wording in my willingness to accept a debate with Michael isn’t accidental. I have no desire to argue with him about the utility and value of “traditional values.” He has gone to the buffet and taken different dishes–that’s fine. I have absolutely no standing to tell him that the dishes he took are inferior, bigoted, hateful, or narrow-minded. They’re the dishes he likes, and that’s okay. My argument is that it’s not a problem that the Accepting Trans People Dish has been placed on the buffet. I’m not arguing that the “traditional” dishes should be removed from the buffet, and, evidently, Michael isn’t arguing that contemporary dishes should be removed from the buffet (so, really, there’s not much of a debate there).
However, it remains true that anyone who subscribes to traditional values will consider those traditional dishes to be superior to the contemporary ones–and that, in my estimation, is wrong. Not only is it a subjective assessment of different values that is based on the values that go into the assessment (it gets really hard to explain), but the closest we have to “objective” criteria (economic growth, prosperity, and peace) suggests that it’s a positive thing when culture shifts from “whatever it is” along the unnamed thread toward liberty, secularization, and acceptance. This becomes subjective because I value economic growth, prosperity, and peace, and I have absolutely no objective reason that I can point to in order to suggest that economic growth, prosperity, and peace are good things (see Darkside Philosophy for an idea of how deep that rabbit hole gets).
So the questions are ultimately:
Does the presence of contemporary values on the Cultural Buffet in any way decrease the value of traditional values?
The answer is “No,” but, to be fair, I don’t think Michael would make that argument in the first place. This is sort of counterintuitive. If we laid out a buffet of ten different currencies, all of them equal to 100 of whatever currency they are (one hundred dollars, one hundred pounds, one hundred euros, etc.), it would seem to cheapen the value of the 100USD if the USD customarily were the only option. However, given that monopolies are inherently wasteful and inefficient (whether cultural, currency, or business monopolies), the presence of competition would more likely increase the value of the USD.
Is the presence of contemporary values on the Cultural Buffet a negative detriment to the traditional values?
This is very similar to the first question. If a child of one of the traditional diners is intrigued by the look of some contemporary values dish, it could be argued that the mere presence of the dish piqued the child’s imagination, which wouldn’t have happened otherwise. But here we have to point out: if the traditional dish is superior, then there is no harm in allowing the child to taste the contemporary dish. If we place a bowl of chocolate ice cream, and a bowl of sprinkle-covered shit on the buffet, it wouldn’t really be a problem, no matter how much one didn’t want one’s child to eat sprinkle-covered shit. If the chocolate ice cream is better, then even if the child does get the chance to taste the shit, the child will surely go running back to the ice cream at the first opportunity. This is the cowardice and weakness that underlies cultural protectionism: if their values were truly superior–as they profess to believe–it would be unnecessary to prevent others from being exposed to other values. I have no issue with my clients trying out other I.T. companies, because I know they’ll come running back to me in very short order.
Are traditional dishes likely to survive the diversity of the buffet in any noteworthy sense?
The answer here is “no,” just as the traditional dish of “divine right of kings” hasn’t survived the buffet. Sure, a few people every once in a while can be found eating that dish, but the total impact that dish has on the overall culture is negligible. Greek Mythology is another traditional dish that hasn’t been treated well by the buffet. Even though we can find people today who worship Zeus, Greek Mythology is widely considered mythology rather than a religion, and the total impact that Zeus worshipers have on wider society is negligible. As long as no one comes along and removes the dish from the buffet, it’s up to the people who like and prefer that dish to convince other people that it’s a dish worth having.
If one can’t do that, then I guess the dish isn’t that good after all. I don’t have to convince people to try my chicken enchiladas, because they’re freaking delicious, and smelling them while hearing everyone raving about them (no joke, my chicken enchiladas are amazing, but it’s not my recipe) will entice them to try them. I don’t have to convince people to not eat the beef burrito; I just have to convince them to give my own dish a shot. And if my dish is really as good as I say it is, after that it will speak for itself.
We’re hearing a lot about cultural appropriation these days, and it’s a topic that I think is pretty stupid, and I’m not going to spend much time talking about it. However, it occurred to me earlier that “hating white people” is cultural appropriation.
For obvious reasons, hating “the white man” didn’t originate with white people. It originated with black people as a response to systemic oppression and racism. Not all black people hate white people, obviously, but it certainly wasn’t gay people who invented hatred of gay people, trans people who invented hatred of trans people, or white people who invented hatred of white people. In every real sense, “hating the white man” and “hating the white devil” are aspects of black culture and Middle Eastern culture.
By adopting this battle cry as your own, white liberals, you are undermining their struggle and appropriating their culture. The black people of whom we’re discussing were abused, enslaved, and oppressed by the white man, and came to hate “him” as a result. You didn’t suffer through that, and adopting their response to that suffering cheapens what they actually went through. It’s the worst kind of cultural appropriation.
So I’m sorry to break this to you, but if you’re white and hate the white man or hate on the white man, you’re guilty of cultural appropriation. Those weren’t your struggles, and that’s not your mantra. That expression–“I hate the white man” is a reaction to widespread abuse and hardship that you didn’t go through. You didn’t suffer through that, you haven’t gone through what they went through, and you haven’t earned the right to hate the white man.
^ Cultural appropriation.
If we want to talk about cultural appropriation, let’s talk about how liberals have appropriated hatred of white people, in the process coopting and undermining the significant and pervasive struggles that led to that hatred. If you condemn white people for making burritos because that’s a hispanic dish, then you have to condemn white people for hating the white man because that’s a black dish.
So, to the white liberals who hate white people, you’re guilty of cultural appropriation. Not only that, but look at what you’re appropriating! You’re appropriating their entire struggle, their response to generations of slavery, rights denial, and abuse. If you think it’s “wrong” to culturally appropriate a burrito, then how wrong is it to appropriate the entire struggle of a race?
I want to start this off my commending Jon Jafari for having the courage to express his opinions in an environment that is increasingly hostile to any amount of dissent. With universities throughout the country playing host to vicious riots and attacks against people who were invited to speak, and with DDoS attacks regularly taking place against any popular person who dares voice a criticism of something else, it has become difficult to openly say what you think. This is, in fact, why the media missed the mark so much on the 2016 Election. Criticism around the clock from every corner of the web and media attacked Trump supporters, washing them all as racist, homophobic, transphobic, and xenophobic, to the point that many people were reluctant to express their support for him. But then they were able to voice their opinion through the ballot, where there was no more judgment, no ostracizing, and no hostility.
I’ve had people criticize me for daring to criticize another transgender person. That’s how deep and pervasive the groupthink has become–the allegation was, seriously, that I was not allowed to express a negative statement about another transgender person, because I’m transgender, and that means my individuality, my thoughts, and my mind don’t belong to me–they belong to my tribe. I became a heretic simply for expressing my opinion.
The Internet is largely the domain of the same people who riot on college campuses. Partially due to observable biases that see right-wing figures blocked for hate speech while left-wing figures can rant all they want, social media increasingly leans to the left. This is exacerbated by the reality that anyone who expresses their opinion invites themselves to be ripped to shreds. Combined, we’ve ended up with a very loud leftist bent on the Internet and a meek, intimidated right that is only beginning to speak again.
Nowhere was this more apparent than with my since-deleted video criticizing the Liberal Redneck. One person after the next came and attacked me, simply because I dared criticized a leftist who was, purportedly, “speaking for me.” This hearkens back to the tribal mindset I mentioned earlier–I was being told to shut up and be silent, to let the tribe speak for me, and I was ostracized when I refused to allow my voice to be cut off and stolen by a group with whom I disagree. The attacks were so constant and so persistent that I did something I never thought I’d do: I deleted the video that caused the ruckus. The only things that remain of it are my follow-ups about tribalism and the Us and Them mentality that demands I sheepishly abide what the tribe says on my behalf, whether I agree with it or not.
For someone like me, even voicing an opinion at all can, much of the time, result in attacks. I once commented on a video of a woman overreacting that someone smacked her with a newspaper by saying, “This is how liberals acted every time Trump opened his mouth.” The first reply to that was from a Trump supporter who criticized me for being transgender. People on the right will relentlessly attack me for being transgender, regardless of how unrelated to the discussion it is. Meanwhile, people on the left will relentlessly attack me for not being a Democrat.
It’s easy to stand on video today and say, “I support gay rights.” It’s not only easy; it’s passe. It’s expected, especially in places notoriously dominated by millennials, like YouTube, Twitter, and Reddit. There’s no battle there, no controversy there. It’s little more than virtue signaling at this point. Remember the episode of South Park where Stan and Cartman drove a boat into the dam and broke it? At the end of the episode, Stan musters his courage and confesses that he broke the dam. Then the rest of the crowd decides that Stan means it in a metaphorical sense, and the assembled people begin stating one after the other, “I broke the dam.”
Finally, Cartman, laughing a bit, steps forward and confesses, “I broke the dam.”
That is what it is to be a modern progressive in a university, in a city, or on the Internet. It’s a safe, uncontested position, where on is bolstered on all sides by people who agree, because people who have the courage to disagree are either silenced and told to go along with the majority, or are condemned and, increasingly, outright attacked violently. It takes no courage to be a Mississippian high schooler standing up and saying that he believes in Jesus, either, because that’s the prevailing opinion.
Caitlyn Jenner made a huge stink last year about going to use the women’s restroom at Trump Tower, after Trump had stated that transgender people could use whatever restroom they wanted in his building. It took no courage to do that. She wanted to be like Rosa Parks, except Caitlyn would only ride the bus if she knew the bus driver would let her sit wherever she wanted. The courageous act would have been going to South Carolina or Mississippi and doing it there. It takes no courage or bravery to jump onto a bandwagon that everyone else has jumped on.
During the 2016 Election, I unfollowed a number of YouTube personalities for proclaiming quite inexplicably things like “I’m interested in politics, and I’m going to discuss it! If you don’t like it, unfollow me!” I unfollowed them because it was bullshit. There was nothing courageous about being yet another YouTube personality jumping on the Sanders bandwagon without being able to give a single, cogent reason that Sanders made a good candidate, and neither was there anything courageous about proclaiming “I’m with her!” once Hillary stole the nomination. And now that the election is over, all those people who were “interested in politics” have gone back to cosplaying or whatever they do, having fully confused their eagerness to jump on a bandwagon with genuine interest and awareness of a complex subject.
I like Jon Jafari’s videos. That’s why I’m aware of his existence in the first place. The only video of his that I don’t like is the one about the Dungeons & Dragons movie, and that’s only because it hits so near to home for me, because my grandmother did think that shit, and was convinced of that shit by our pastor. Jon’s a hilarious guy, and he’s the only person I’ve ever watched who made me genuinely ask, “How does he come up with this shit?!” while laughing hysterically. I don’t particularly care about his politics, because he’s just a guy who makes stuff that I like. That doesn’t place his opinions in any place higher than my own opinions, just as I disagree with David Gilmour of Pink Floyd on several things, and even with John McAfee on a few.
I like Mark Dice’s videos–most of them, at least. There’s almost nothing that I agree with Mark Dice about.
I like Jim Sterling’s videos, and he is commonly called a SJW. I don’t think he’s one, because he is perfectly reasonable, and the mark of the SJW is that they are completely unreasonable. I disagree with him on a number of things, but that doesn’t stop me from liking him and enjoying his videos. Considering Jim intentionally encourages a Cult of Personality type of thing, that’s particularly humorous, but The Jimquisition is all in good fun. Even though he says “Thank god for me,” I think he’d probably be a little concerned and probably a lot disturbed to learn if there is a little kid out there who says each night before going to bed, “And thank you, God, for Jim Sterling” with sincerity.
What I’m saying is that we should all break this cult of personality thing, but it looks like it’s actually going to take off and become worse, with Oprah announcing her intention to run for office in 2020. All of his knowledge of physics in the world wouldn’t make Neil deGrasse Tyson a good administrator, and neither would it make him any more likely to hold sound policies. Being funny as hell shouldn’t give Jon’s opinions any more validity in anyone’s eyes–he’s still just some guy expressing an opinion.
But it does, and now condemnation pours in from all over the Internet on this funny guy who dared express his opinion because that opinion wasn’t the bandwagon, trendy opinion of the day.
I happen to think Jon is wrong. There’s no such thing as immigrant. There’s just an animal exercising their natural right to move from a place with fewer resources to a place with greater abundance. Just as the birds have the natural, innate, and unalienable right to fly south during the winter, so does a human have the natural, innate, and unalienable right to go any-damn-where they want, as long as they don’t trespass on another person’s property. But while people can own property and claim resources–a claim that stands prima facie and can be disputed formally, but, if not overturned formally and with civility, cannot be undermined without the initiation of force, violence, or coercion–a nation isn’t a real thing, either, and so a nation can’t claim resources.
Jon said that a nation is either sovereign or it isn’t. That’s an incorrect way of viewing the world, as it places tremendous value and weight in imaginary, artificial human constructs. Nations aren’t sovereign because nations aren’t real. They’re categorical constructs meant to simplify classification, and the tribal nature of our species had made them far more trouble then they’re worth, because instead of being just handy labels to convey characteristics quickly and easily, they become delineations that we’re willing to fight, torture, kill, and maim over. “How dare you hail from a different tribe? You are wicked!” becomes the norm, instead of, “Oh, you hail from Europe? So you’re more likely to have this, that, and the other characteristic. Neat.”
But I do commend Jon, even though I don’t agree with him, for having the courage to go against the grain. A lot of people would adamantly deny that the Internet, particularly, has a strong bias to the left, but that’s to be expected. People in the south insist that there’s no social pressure to be a Christian, too, but there most certainly is. I’ll leave once more with this video by TheraminTrees on conformity, and how the social pressure to conform and jump on the bandwagon compels us more than we think. At the very least, people should have the proper context for viewing Jon’s statements–he’s just another person–and should neither take him as a gift to the alt-right or an enemy of the left, and he definitely shouldn’t become Public Enemy Number One just because he dared speak his opinion.
Through the last year, I’ve been working on a book titled What Steam Greenlight Teaches Us About Anarchy. Since I was also writing (and completing) Dancing in Hellfire, which had a higher priority, as well as daily articles, thrice-weekly podcasts, and weekly videos through most of last year, SGAA (Steam Greenlight and Anarchy) didn’t get much attention, but I did make a fair bit of progress with it–it’s about 100 pages. I’ve actually got several documents that are around that length and in some state of “needing to be finished.”
Unfortunately, Valve is shutting down Greenlight, which immediately made the book obsolete. By the time I finish it, Greenlight will be little more than a bad memory for people, but it’s also eerily pertinent that Valve has, due to community pressure, shut down the anarchic Greenlight to replace it with an alternative that is, without irony, much more state-like, with more power concentrated in Valve’s hands and with Valve employees unilaterally making the decisions that the wider community once made democratically. It basically parallels the rise of the state, and what we would expect to happen in an anarchic society if the underlying mentality is not first eradicated.
The underlying mentality is two-fold:
“I don’t approve of this, and therefore it shouldn’t be allowed to exist.”
“We have to take these measures to protect ignorant/naive/stupid people from themselves.”
These statements are never said so bluntly, but those are the hearts of the position that we need Valve to intervene in the process and implement some quality control.
I Don’t Approve
It hardly needs to even be pointed out that “I don’t approve of this” is a subjective value statement, and isn’t an objective truth. Even if there is 100% agreement that the item in question is of extremely low quality, it remains a subjective value statement, because widespread agreement doesn’t turn a subjective value into an objective one. We can go back fifty thousand years and find 100% agreement that the Earth is the center of the universe, but that wouldn’t make that an objectively true statement.
As far as I can tell, this mentality is limited pretty much to Steam, as I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say something like, “This movie is shit! What is it doing in Wal-Mart, where some unsuspecting person who doesn’t know any better might buy it, believing it to be a good movie?” or “This music album is terrible! What is it doing in this record store? It has no business being in this store alongside Pink Floyd’s A Momentary Lapse of Reason!
Yet when it comes to Steam, we do hear these sorts of arguments.
In a lot of ways, I agree with the premise. I no longer even check Steam’s weekly sales and specials, because it’s never anything more than page after page after page of bullshit games that no one has ever heard of and are on sale at 19 cents from 99 cents. Here is a screenshot I took a few months ago of exactly this. It has actively discouraged me from browsing Steam’s special, which, in the longrun, hurts Valve because it means they aren’t selling games.
What is all this bullshit?
I would have rather seen more advanced filtering options, though. Even something simple like being able to filter out all indie titles or all “games” smaller than 100 MegaBytes would have gone a long, long way toward fixing the problem that is an overload of what I consider to be bullshit, crappy games that aren’t worth 99 cents by a long shot. I wouldn’t download and play this shit if it was free. I don’t want to look at it, I don’t want to look through it, and I don’t want to see it.
So… I don’t.
Rather than demanding that what I consider to be bullshit is prevented from landing on Steam altogether, I find it vastly preferable to check my ego and entitlement and to remind myself that there are billions of people in the world, and that my opinions aren’t objectively right. Rare though they may be, there is surely someone out there who genuinely likes Pajama Sam and wouldn’t have found it if it wasn’t on Steam. There’s surely someone out there who likes Temper Tantrum, The Slaughter Grounds, and all kinds of other games that I consider to be bullshit trash. I consider Rise of the Tomb Raider to be bullshit trash, too, and Mass Effect 3. Not to mention Dragon Age: Inquisition.
Basically, what I’m saying is that I have my preferences and you have your preferences. We all know this to be true, and people only get butthurt when they mistake a reviewer’s word as objective truth. But despite the tendency of some misguided people to interpret my or Jim Sterling‘s reviews as irrefutable fact, the only fact is that reviews are opinions and opinions are, by their very nature, subjective. So we need only apply this to our assessment of games on Steam to realize that just because we dislike a game–despite probably never having played it–doesn’t mean that no one likes the game, and that any attempt to remove the game simply because we and 99% of other people like it is nothing more than an attempt to spit on, ignore, and overrule the 1% who do like it.
Some would say that “We’re only talking about video games! C’mon, and chill out!”
But we aren’t just talking about video games, because this same pattern plays out in the real world in very real, damaging ways. It wasn’t terribly long ago that homosexuality was illegal because this minority of homosexuals was overruled and forced to go along with the majority who felt that homosexuality was bad. And while we might say “Yes, but we’re enlightened! We’re on the other side of that argument!” it would be wrong to say that, because right now exercising one’s rights to act in accordance with their religious beliefs is being universally spit upon by the majority. The minority of people who want to live their lives according to their moral values and choose with whom they do and do not associate are being spit upon and, once more, forced to go along with the majority.
The attitude hasn’t gone away. It’s just a new majority tyrannizing a new minority. Nothing has changed beyond which side of the aisle has the power. Tyranny today remains alive and well, such that this woman has lost the right to choose with whom she associates, simply because she is in a minority of people who would choose not to associate with people who partake in behavior that she doesn’t approve of. Of course, we say that we don’t approve of her behavior, don’t we? We don’t approve of her lifestyle choice to not associate with LGBT people, and therefore we won’t even allow her to do it. It’s no different from fifty years ago, when the majority didn’t approve of the lifestyle choice to be LGBT, and therefore wouldn’t even allow people to be LGBT.
Same shoe, different foot.
It’s my contention that this mentality has to be assaulted and addressed everywhere that it appears, because we do readily see it playing out in the real world. It’s not the application to LGBT issues or to video games that is the problem; the problem is the underlying mentality that connects both, that arrogance and ego that suggests, “I don’t approve of this, and thus it shouldn’t be allowed/shouldn’t exist.” How can we say we’re just talking about video games, when we see exactly the same thing happening in the real world, and real people being demonstrably tyrannized and prevented from being free to choose the people with whom they associate, simply because they are in a minority?
We find ourselves arguing opinion against opinion. Bob is a fundamentalist Christian who hates LGBT people, believes they are the product of Satan, and believes they’re going to hell. Tim is what we’d call a Social Justice Warrior, and as such Tim hates fundamentalist Christians. Bob thinks that being LGBT constitutes “abhorrent behavior.” Tim thinks that hating LGBT people constitutes “abhorrent behavior.” Bob wants to make it illegal to be a practicing LGBT person, and Tim wants to make it illegal to be a practicing fundamentalist Christian*.
Once upon a time, the majority agreed with Bob, and homosexuality was illegal and transsexualism was a mental illness. Today, the majority agrees with Tim, and fundamentalist Christianity is illegal in practice. There aren’t too many people who are more impacted by this than I, since I’m an openly transsexual lesbian resident of the state of Mississippi. And yet I stand, and will continue to stand, for people’s right of free association, even when I am the person they don’t want to associate with. It would certainly suck to walk into a gas station and have the owner tell me that I wasn’t welcome there, but it’s the owner’s business and property. At what point did we forget this?
We have to separate ourselves from the situation and recognize that we are arguing opinion against opinion and that neither side is objectively right. Bob isn’t objectively right to say that being LGBT is evil, and Tim isn’t objectively right to say that wanting to disassociate from LGBT people is evil. Why? Because morality is a set of subjective value statements built from assumptions. Even something like murder can’t be definitively stated to be good or evil, so how can something infinitely less destructive be objectively good or evil? The only exception to this might be rape, because, despite many attempts to do so, I have yet to come up with a theoretical scenario wherein rape would be considered morally good. It doesn’t matter how far-fetched our hypothetical scenario is; if we can come up with even one example wherein murder would be the morally right thing to do, then the conclusion must be that murder is not objectively wrong. So, to reiterate, with even murder being morally ambiguous, how could we ever attempt to make the argument that something with consequences considerably less dire and permanent can be absolutely morally clear?
Right now, you and I are on the wrong side of historical morality in countless ways. Two hundred years from now, people will look back on us and will decry us as heartless, immoral fiends, just as we do today when we look back at the ubiquity of slavery, sexism, and racism. We shouldn’t delude ourselves into believing that the set of moral values we currently have are eternal and will never change, because they will, and I can point to at least one specific area where, in a few centuries, you and I both will be known as evil barbarians.
We are horrific to our non-human brothers and sisters. Not only do we kill them and eat them after they’ve lived their lives in abysmal conditions that we would quickly identify as torture if a human was forced to endure them, but we actively consider animals to be our property. Does that sound familiar? It should, because the arguments people use today to justify their treatment and perception of animals are exactly the same arguments people put forward 150 years ago to justify their treatment and perceptions of non-white people. Even though we know now, scientifically and beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt, that animals think and feel things, we continue to largely treat them like unthinking, unfeeling automatons who are our property.
“‘My’ pets,” people say, claiming ownership of these living, breathing, thinking, and feeling creatures. Even I say “my cats,” though my position on them is clear, and I generally use the expression as shorthand–“my” cats are mine in the same way that my friends are “mine.” But even without going into how we commonly have to do things that animals don’t want “for their own good,” the fact remains that we participate in the widespread enslavement, torture, and murder of, if I recall correctly, eighty-five million animals a day, just in the United States. Society will one day look back on us, having ruled that eating meat is immoral, and call us evil barbarians.
My position is almost identical to Richard Dawkins’ position on this. Strictly speaking, yes, the vegans are absolutely right. It is unconscionable, and it is unjustifiable, yet I continue to do it. I eat meat. I passed through a vegetarian, and even a vegan, phase, but today I eat meat. But they’re right–the vegans are right, and their logic is unassailable. I’m not trying to convert anyone to vegetarianism or veganism, but it’s simply true that there’s no way to justify it in the modern world, and that a rational evaluation of the situation leads inexorably to the conclusion that eating meat and using animal products are immoral things to do.
We Have To Protect People From Themselves
I noticed last year that a scary number of people want to speak for me, to the extent that if I dare try to speak for myself, I was frequently slapped back down and told to shut up. The most jarring example was my video about the Liberal Redneck, where I criticized him for criticizing a fundamentalist Christian woman, and criticized him for asserting that she was a racist, simply because the woman was a white Christian. The response to this video was so bad that I actually took the video down. The video had like 5 likes and more than 80 dislikes, and one comment after the other, it was just “Uh… He’s speaking up for you, you idiot!” and “He’s on YOUR side, dumbass!”
It was one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever experienced, because there I was, speaking for myself and expressing what side I was on (neither the Christian’s nor the Liberal Redneck’s), yet people were disregarding that and telling me to shut up so that the Liberal Redneck could speak for me. This continued through all of last year. I remember seeing one Facebook post from Occupy Democrats that I remarked, “This had better have been written by a black female Muslim lesbian. If not, whoever wrote it needs to seriously re-evaluate why they think they have the right to speak for so many people.”
We have divided ourselves into these groups, and these groups demand our loyalty, to the extent that if we dare speak for ourselves or show any disloyalty, then they will turn and hang us alongside the other group. It’s an attitude that is rampant in the United States: “If you aren’t with us, then you’re against us.” Take, for example, how I repeatedly attacked Hillary last year, which led to countless people assuming that I supported Trump. This is especially noticeable on my Quora profile, where nearly everything I said about Trump or Hillary led to someone calling me a Trump supporter. I don’t know why. I have never supported Trump, and never would. His positions are contrary to almost everything I believe.
The recent women’s march showcases this, too, because it wasn’t a “Women’s March,” was it? No, it was a Democratic Women’s March, but no one is allowed to say that. When a Pro-Life group of women expressed the desire to join the march, they were told that they couldn’t. So it couldn’t possibly have been an All Women’s March; it was a Women’s March As Long As You Side With Us Politically. It was the same thing I experienced with the Liberal Redneck–neither he nor the dozens of vicious people who attacked me were interested in LGBTQ people. They were demonstrably only interested in Liberal LGBTQ people.
The only “group” I speak for are the lesbian shemale anarchists, and, the last time I checked, I’m the only one of those.
More to the point, a few years ago the Russian government made gay pride parades illegal. The reason they gave was that they had to protect children from being corrupted. While I’ve no doubt that the person reading this disagrees with the Russian Government about what constitutes “corruption,” the fact remains that their desire to protect the “innocent children who don’t know any better” from things they deem to be bad is what led them to do it. Again, that should sound familiar, because it is precisely what people have argued in regard to Steam Greenlight–it is necessary, they say, to protect the people who don’t know any better from being exposed to these things that they deem are bad.
If you haven’t seen that mentality playing out in the United States, then you haven’t been exposed to what we call the Social Justice Warrior. This isn’t an insult aimed at anyone who advocates social equality–I’m an egalitarian, after all. No, SJW refers to a specific type of person, like the kind of person who would say something like “I can’t wait for all these people who disagree with me to hurry up and die.”
That’s fucking scary.
That should fucking scare you.
And these are the people who say that their positions come from empathy! This guy honestly and truly believes that he came to his beliefs because he’s just so filled with empathy toward Group A–and all this empathy that he feels with Group A just accidentally leads him to talk like a fucking psychopath about the people in Group B. I can barely imagine something more psychopathic than “People who don’t agree with me need to hurry up and die.”
And it’s got a like!
This is the long-run result of the extreme divisiveness that has characterized American society for the last several decades. “If you’re not with us, then you’re against us. And if you happen to have any of these characteristics by which we’ve divided ourselves but you still don’t agree with us, then you’re an idiot who should shut up and let us protect you from yourself and your stupid opinions.”
* Many would instinctively reject this assessment, but they would be wrong. It is currently illegal to live according to fundamentalist Christian values, as the previous link about the flower woman shows. It would be illegal for someone to tell me that I wasn’t welcome in their store because I’m transsexual. We are willing to allow them to quietly believe these things, but the moment they attempt to act in accordance with those things they believe, they are committing a crime, and we will prosecute them. So yes. It absolutely is illegal in the United States to practice fundamentalist Christianity.
Stay tuned for Parts 2 through 5, which will be posted over the next week and are from the actual book What Steam Greenlight Teaches Us About Anarchy, instead of this precursory explanation.
For those unaware of this relatively obscure issue affecting this extremely small town, Rienzi, MS is a town of 320 that recently received threats from an atheist organization threatening the small town with up to $500,000 in fines and litigation if they did not immediately cease flying a Christian flag over a veterans’ memorial. While the mayor of the town relented, the people of the town are getting ready to fight back, and there’s so much confusion and misinformation around this issue that some things really have to be cleared up.
Not a First Amendment Issue
The First Amendment, in full, states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The wording is not accidental. It is concise and clear, and explicitly states that Congress shall make no law. I recently criticized Trump’s Supreme Court Justice nomination because Gorsuch does not respect the separation of church and state , but the fact is that “separation of church and state” is a colloquialism not expressed anywhere in our Constitution or the Bill of Rights. Politicians and elected officials absolutely are allowed, by the letter of the law, to legislate and rule based on their personal religious beliefs. I don’t like it, and I advocate against it, but the First Amendment does not in any sense prevent it. In fact, the First Amendment cannot prevent it, as doing so would be making a law prohibiting the free exercise of the politician’s religion.
Not a Federal Issue
Even if the First Amendment did apply to the issue, it wouldn’t apply to the small town in Mississippi, because the Constitution and the Amendments apply only to the federal government. There appears to be severe misunderstanding in the United States, in that most people don’t seem to understand what the “state” part means; they appear to think that “state” is to “nation” as “county” is to “state.” This is incorrect, and a result of decades of federal encroachment on states’ rights. Mississippi is a state in exactly the same sense that Germany is a state. Just as Germany surrendered some of its autonomy in joining the European Union, so did Mississippi surrender some of its sovereignty in joining the United States.
The only Constitution that has any applicability to this issue would be the Mississippi Constitution, and the only thing it states about religion comes from Section 18:
No religious test as a qualification for office shall be required; and no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect or mode of worship; but the free enjoyment of all religious sentiments and the different modes of worship shall be held sacred. The rights hereby secured shall not be construed to justify acts of licentiousness injurious to morals or dangerous to the peace and safety of the state, or to exclude the Holy Bible from use in any public school of this state.
Quite clearly, rather than prohibiting a town from flying a Christian flag, the Mississippi Constitution states that this mode of worship must be held as sacred. When I discussed this on Facebook, someone immediately asked if I’d care if someone flew a Muslim flag over the memorial. No, I don’t really care. One idol is as bad as any other in my book, whether the idol is the Christian flag, the American Flag, or the Muslim Flag. People swearing loyalty and obedience to scraps of cloth is an issue regardless of what is on that scrap of cloth, but to what, exactly, a person gives their religious dedication isn’t my business.
A Small Town
I don’t know the demographics in this town of 320 people, but I can tell you that, based on everything I know about Mississippi, chances are that we’re looking at 99% of the population being Christian. When I pointed this out, someone said it would be fine, as long as “everyone agrees.” As long as everyone agrees? Such a ridiculously high standard is not applied to anything else that the government does. Homosexual marriage gets legalized, regardless of whether everyone agrees. Marijuana gets legalized, regardless of whether everyone agrees. Abortion gets legalized, regardless of whether everyone agrees. The implication is that the government can do anything that it wants, but if it wants to go against the dominant liberal trend, then it must have unanimous agreement and no dissent.
This is a recipe for tyranny of the minority over the majority. Because <1% of the town doesn’t want the flag to fly, the 99% are tyrannized, their desires ignored and discarded. But, of course, if the 99% wanted to legalize same sex marriage and only 1% was against it, then same sex marriage would be legalized, wouldn’t it? Because it’s not about minorities or majorities; it’s about the liberal agenda and going against it. If you want to do what the liberal wants you to do, then 1% of the population dissenting is enough to get you your way. If you want to go against what the liberal wants you to do, then 99% of the population agreeing with you isn’t enough.
Disrespectful to the Dead?
I had another atheist tell me that they found it disrespectful to the dead. An atheist said this. Speaking as an atheist, that’s fucking retarded. To the atheist, dead people are dead. They don’t have feelings that can be hurt. They can’t be disrespected, because they are inanimate, rotting matter. But, again, when it’s convenient for the liberal agenda, it’s fine for an atheist to talk about being disrespectful of the dead, even though the atheist has no rational or justifiable reason for respecting the dead in the first place.
But don’t veterans have the right to a secular burial?
Well, we’re talking about a memorial, not a graveyard. I don’t know enough to say whether there are any remains there or not, but it would help these people to know what we’re talking about. However, no. Asking for a secular burial is asking for a secular religious ceremony. Burial rites are, and have always been, religious in nature. The modern embalming process has roots deeply in religion, and so does the burial ceremony. The only truly secular way to deal with human remains is cremation; every other method will be touched by religion to some degree, and many forms of cremation are derived from religion.
It’s very much like people who have secular marriages. It’s nonsense. Marriage has two roots: political and religious. Political in the sense of royalty and nobility, and religious once it spread to the commoners. There is a case to be made that monogamy itself is a religious concept, but it doesn’t matter how far we go back when talking about marriage. It evolved into a religious ceremony, orchestrated and performed by churches. “Secular marriage” is, too, asking for a secular religious ceremony.
The first reply my post got was someone pointing out that Mississippi has the highest high school dropout rate in the nation, and telling me that I should go back to school. Putting aside the high chances that I’m more highly educated than the person who said this, it is exactly this sneering, condescending attitude that pissed off middle America and got Trump elected. “Stupid hillbillies! Bible in one hand, and guns in the other!” right? President Obama himself said that. It is an attitude widely shared among liberals, and the implication is that, because the high school drop out rate is so high, the people in this small town are uneducated and thus can’t be allowed to govern themselves. Instead, they need this educated city slicker socialite to govern them, because otherwise they’ll just keep eating lead-based paint chips.
Atheists Need To Chill
I said that atheists need to stop looking for reasons to get upset. I stand by this statement. This one atheist in this town of 320 got a stick shoved up his ass and decided that he needed to contact an atheist group with powerful attorneys and threaten this town with half a million dollars in lawsuits in order to make these 319 people bow, acquiesce, and obey this one person’s demands. Threatening this town with extortion and violence in order to make them do what you want to do, when the end states are ultimately imprisonment, if the town doesn’t back down and then refuses to pay… I think we have a word for it, when you threaten someone with extortion and violence if they don’t do what you want them to…
It’s called terrorism.
So from a transgender lesbian atheist in the state of Mississippi to another atheist in the state of Mississippi near the town of Rienzi, fuck you, you entitled, violent extortionist piece of shit. This town of 320 people has the right to govern itself. If you don’t like it, you have the right to move. Their choice to fly a flag does not injure you, does not harm you, and does not affect you. Grow up, stop being a baby, and, if you want to fight for something, pick a real issue. There are plenty for you to choose from that aren’t stupid.
The part of the Mississippi Constitution, and, indeed, the First Amendment, that you’ve overlooked is that the government cannot prevent people from freely exercising their religion. That’s what the people of Rienzi, Mississippi are doing. Stop trying to be a tyrant, and let them be free.
Before I get too deeply into this foaming-at-the-mouth lunacy, I want to briefly turn to the definition of patriarchy, which Google, of course, handily provides:
Hm. Well, that was pretty cut-and-dry. As can easily be seen from the actual definition of the word, the United States is not a patriarchy. That Jessica Valenti would, in her liberal-soaked hysteria, resort to using such an inapplicable word to describe the situation in the United States serves as a wonderful example of exactly what is wrong with modern “progressives” and why Democrats just lost the election. So let me put it briefly.
Liberals, in case you haven’t noticed, you are preaching to the choir, and everyone who isn’t in your choir is absolutely sick of your raving, hyperbolic, nonsensical bullshit; everyone except dyed-in-the-wool Democrats are already sick and tired of the false dichotomy world you have attempted to craft, where either women are uncontestedly dominant or we live in a patriarchy, where any act of racism against a black person represents an oppressive neo-Nazi system, but where your frequent attacks against white people, men, and Christians go unchallenged by your very own condemnations of racism, sexism, and religious discrimination.
Yes, this, liberals, is exactly what you are doing wrong, and you are continuing to do it as though it didn’t just cost you the presidency, the Supreme Court, the House of Representatives, the Senate, a record number of governorships, and control of every single Federal three-letter agency. This psychosis–because no other word adequately describes it–that you are creating and fostering where either “Republicans lose” or “[We are now under] [t]extbook fascism!” This insanely polarized world where either “Regardless of the outcome, we need to work to mend and heal… as long as Hillary wins” or “Fuck you, you racist, misogynist pieces of shit, [White America],” and where we either have a matriarchy–which we obviously don’t–or we have a patriarchy.
That’s the true danger underlying this insane dribble that these people are putting forward, I’ve talked about it at length and in podcasts, in articles, in videos–everywhere. They can’t even comprehend that we might live in a world where there is neither a patriarchy nor a matriarchy, where things aren’t perfect for either sex, and where men have some advantages and women have some advantages. In their minds, we are not living in a matriarchy, and thus, we must be living in a patriarchy.
Let’s talk for a moment about the liberal idea that a person’s gender shouldn’t matter. Now let’s bask in the anger that “liberals” are displaying because that “glass ceiling didn’t shatter.” Excuse me… You can either say that gender shouldn’t matter, or you can say that it sucks a woman didn’t win the presidency. You can’t say both, because, unlike so many of the black-and-white false dichotomies you throw our way, this actually is exclusive: either something matters or it doesn’t. If gender doesn’t matter, then there is no glass ceiling, as it is utterly and completely irrelevant what gender the person is when they are elected President.
And going as far as saying that we are a patriarchy because we have a male president–allow me to ask, then, would that make us a matriarchy if Hillary had won? Of course not. Anyway, that aside, liberals have, again, moved the goal posts, and this is what is destroying the Progressive movement. You can argue that gender shouldn’t matter, or you can be upset that a vagina didn’t win the presidency. It’s a true dichotomy, and the way you moved the goalpost while pretending you are still fighting for the same equality and egalitarianism that began with the Civil Rights Movement is precisely why you’ve bled support.
It’s not because the White Supremacist, capitalist patriarchal oligarchy fought back.
It’s because you went from “Gender, race, and orientation shouldn’t matter” to “We want a matriarchy! Black supremacy! Special benefits for LGBT people!”
You know what? I already made a video about this subject. So I’ll just end this article now and post it here. It’s long, so grab a cup of coffee or tea, a cigarette, get comfortable, and watch.
I’ve seen a lot of hatred unleashed in the past few days, spewing forth from people across the political spectrum, including Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians. I, for one, refuse to rejoice over someone’s death, and I would urge you not to, as well, because love starts with you.
You can love the person while hating what the person does and has done.
In fact, you must love the person. No matter how great the injuries they’ve given others and no matter how much blood is on their hands, if you don’t love them then you’re hardly any better than they are. The libertarians and self-proclaimed anarchists celebrating Fidel’s death–the only difference between them and Fidel is that they waited for nature to take its toll, while Fidel, being part of nature as we all are, took matters into his own hands.
Fidel killed an estimated 7,000 Cubans, tried to get the USSR to nuke the United States, and tortured and imprisoned countless. This is why you hate him? Has it not occurred to you that, by this criteria, you must hate more than 90% of the world’s population? The United States, supported by a huge chunk of Americans, has killed way more people than that, just in the last fifteen years. We incarcerated far more people than Fidel ever did, and our reasons were every bit as empty and political as Castro’s–he might have incarcerated people for protesting, while we have police and quasi-military agencies lining up at Standing Rock to abuse American citizens. We have the highest percentage of prisoners in the world, and most of them have done nothing wrong by any rational standard. This is true in Europe, as well, and the Middle East, and Asia, and India, and Russia, and China. No matter where you go, these things are true.
And, let me just fill you in, if you are hating more than 90% of the world’s population, then you can’t possibly be any better than the people you hate.
Yes, condemn the murder of people, the incarceration of people, the robbery of people, the torture of people. Absolutely, but…
Whoever hates his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
1 John 3:15
It’s an irony that’s not lost on me, that despite being an ardent atheist I sound more like a follower of Christ than the overwhelming majority of Christians out there. I wouldn’t agree that you’re a murderer, but if you’re thinking in such literal terms then you’ve completely missed the point, and–
Holy hell, did I just say that?
Forgiveness isn’t easy. Forgiveness isn’t supposed to be easy. It’s supposed to require a lot of restraint, compassion, and focused, intentional reflection on your part in order to forgive someone, and, the more harm they have done, the harder it is to forgive them.
But when you’re looking at the legacy of a bloody tyrant, that is when it’s most important to cling to your humanity and consciously choose love over hate. That’s the moment that matters, the moment when it’s most difficult; that’s the moment when the infidels are separated out from the rest. This is when the rubber hits the road, when the going gets tough, and when the people who simply talk shit are separated from people who walk the walk.
Whatever else is true, this is a human being who did love people and who was loved, and this human being is now dead. His brief moment of existence in the cosmological clock of the universe is over, and he will never exist again; a piece of the universe, a piece of reality, has been irretrievably lost forever.
Meanwhile, the ideas that this man embraced live on. While you’re over there rejoicing in his death, to the observer you look no better than he. I hate everything Castro represents. You won’t find very many people in the public eye who represented the diametrical opposite of my beliefs, worldview, and ideology as much as Fidel Castro did. For fuck’s sake, I’m a transgender anarcho-capitalist. Castro would have hated me if he knew I existed, and he would surely have put me to death if I lived in his country.
If you’re LGBTQ, I want you to take an hour or two to sit down and read this, consider it carefully, and then proceed. I want you to forget for a moment everything that you’ve been told by Democrats; I want you to come at this with a fresh perspective and an open mind, because I am watching–I am watching, my fellow LGBTQ people–as you are abused, used, and manipulated by the Democratic Party, and it breaks my heart. You are human beings, and you are not being treated as human beings. You are being treated as resources, as votes, and not much else. You, the proud LGBTQ community who stood and fought for your rights, found solace in a Democratic Party that offered you acceptance, only to pull a bait and switch; what they offered, it has turned out, was not acceptance but compliance.
We have much to thank the Democratic Party for. It was, after all, the Republicans who fought so hard against us, and the Democratic Party took us in at a time when we needed allies most. However, it has become painfully clear that they did not take us in out of any care or compassion for us; they took us in solely because they were building a political coalition to take on their chosen scapegoat, and so they needed us and our support. It was almost a quid pro quo–we used them and they used us–but it was never truly egalitarianism or equality that they sought.
Our goal is, and must be, to create a world where gender identity and sexual orientation do not matter. I believe that this is a goal we can all agree on, that we should move toward a world where transgender people are accepted as people, where homosexuals are accepted as people, where lesbians are accepted as people, and where, regardless of a person’s gender and sexual inclinations, they are accepted as people. The left has deceived us by pretending that they wanted this, too, but it has become clear that they didn’t.
The Democratic Party wants a world where sexual orientation matters, because if sexual orientation does not matter, then there is no longer an LGBTQ community that is part of their coalition. Egalitarianism would destroy the modern Democratic Party. It needs it to matter that a person is gay, that a person is black, that a person is Muslim, because it has built a coalition from these people. If suddenly these characteristics cease being places at which lines are drawn, then their coalition literally falls apart. They want you to be a pariah and, even if you’re not, they’re going to consistently tell you that you are.
I am a transgender polyamorous lesbian.
I’m as LGBTQ as a person can get. I fight my battles alone here in the state of Mississippi, though, generally with nothing but disdain heaped upon me by liberal elements within the LGBTQ community, because I do not toe the party line. Because I will not sign on with the Democratic Party, I am a pariah. I have been attacked by supposed allies of the LGBTQ community, all because I’m not a Democrat. I’m not exaggerating; it has happened repeatedly. Their alliance with LGBTQ people is not built upon their compassion and acceptance of LGBTQ people; it is built upon our willingness to ascribe to their ideology, and the moment we don’t do that, they turn against us with all the fury that they otherwise direct at straight white Christian men.
“Allies” they call themselves, and that’s true, but only in the sense of “political allies.” Their alliance with you is not derived from their desire for egalitarianism and equality, but their realization that you side with them politically, and the very moment you don’t do that, the kangaroo will turn and hang the jury with the innocent. This is all the evidence we need that they don’t care about us. They care about our votes. They care about our obedience to their political ideology.
Someone who truly cares about you won’t turn their back on you the very moment you step out of their political line.
Behold: the response of “Allies” when you aren’t a Democrat.
It’s a horrific group-based mob mentality. “If you’re not with us, then you’re against us.” It’s not “being LGBTQ” that they care about–clearly. Just look at those comments. How dare I disagree with a liberal! All because I dared speak up and speak my mind and not be a liberal, they turned on me viciously, highlighting in the process exactly how they view the world: Us and Them. Once I spoke out against a liberal, I was no longer LGBTQ–I was one of Them. I was an enemy. I, an LGBTQ person, was no longer LGBTQ to these Allies of the LGBTQ community.
Because I didn’t toe the party line.
It’s inescapably clear that their concern for you is not built on the fact that you’re LGBTQ, but on the fact that you’ll side with them politically. I think I’ve made this case clearly–we have only to read above and see exactly what happened.
Consider Milo at Breitbart, as well. He’s a Republican, and widely despised by these same “allies” of the LGBTQ community, all because he dares disagree politically. It’s right in our faces. “Toe the party line, go along with what we say, bow to us, and we’ll ‘accept’ you. Challenge us, show any dissent, and we’ll turn and hang you with them.”
In order to keep you siding with them politically, they will lie. Oh, good God, they will lie, manipulate, and fearmonger.
I am a strict advocate of non-violence, but I swear I would probably beat the hell out of Donovan Paisley for this. So he terrorized a “friend” of his by telling her that she would be captured and imprisoned, until she broke down and cried. He did this to force her to bow to his anti-Trump, Democratic hysteria. He doesn’t give a shit about her. How could he care about her? You don’t terrorize your friends. You can warn your friends, sure, but what he’s saying here isn’t a warning; it’s hysterical terrorism with absolutely no basis in reality.
Trump has said several times that he thinks transgender people should use whatever bathroom they want. The leader of the Republican Party is on record saying that he doesn’t really care about the transgender issue, that he doesn’t care what bathroom people use. I am no Trump supporter, but I do advocate truth, and the undeniable truth is that Trump is on record advocating transgender rights. Full stop: Trump is on record advocating transgender rights. He even said this during the Republican Primary, when he was in Full Conservative mode. This is a man who poses you no danger whatsoever.
Donald Trump is on record saying that he is fine with same sex marriage. These statements are not hard to find. Donald Trump has never said or suggested or implied anything that indicated he is ever going to do anything that would harm the LGBTQ community. In fact, Donald Trump has gone on record vowing to protect the LGBTQ community.
Compare these undeniable facts with the fearmongering that your “allies” are using on you.
Your “Allies” are telling you that you’ll be electrocuted and tortured in conversion therapy against your will. Your “allies” are telling you that you’ll be caught and sent to death camps. Your “allies” are telling you that you will be captured and imprisoned. Your allies are doing everything they can to terrorize you, when the facts–when the actual, verifiable facts–point in exactly the opposite direction: Donald Trump has long been an ally of the LGBTQ community. For fuck’s sake, Hillary Clinton opposed same sex marriage as recently as 2013, while Trump has been an actual ally since the 90s.
I don’t know how much plainer I can make it, fellow LGBTQ people. First, I’m generally not considered one of you at all, and why? Because I’m a libertarian, not a liberal. Simply for being a libertarian rather than a liberal, “Allies” of the LGBTQ community have turned and attacked me viciously–and not just me, but every outspoken LGBTQ person who dares to not be a Democrat. Your allies are doing everything they can to convince you to be afraid, to terrorize you into submission, to make you cower and weep in fear. It’s so pervasive that these same people consider me an enemy of the LGBTQ community! I am LGBTQ!
They don’t accept you because you’re LGBTQ. They accept you because you vote Democrat. And they will pull out every trick in the book from deceit to manipulation to terrorism to keep you voting Democrat. They don’t care about you. They care about forcing you to bow to their political ideology.
Trust Me. Please.
I can show you to a group of people who genuinely don’t care about your political ideology or your sexual orientation. I can show you to a group of people who care about you not because you vote for their political party, not because you’re gay, not because you’re a minority, but because you are an individual and a human being. I can show you to people who will respect you regardless of what you say, who will stand up for you and your rights regardless of where you fall on the political spectra, who will stand up for you and your rights regardless of the clothes you wear, how you do your hair, or what you do with your genitals.
No, they are not Republicans. I would not ever send you to Republicans. Conservatives have certainly gotten a lot better in recent decades, but abandoning one political party to sign up to another won’t help–you’ll just become a tool to be manipulated and used by them, as well.
But first you must divorce yourselves from the Democratic Party. They do not care about you, and they do not accept you. Their care and their acceptance of you depends wholly on your willingness to vote for their political ideology. And when they need to, they will throw you under the bus in a heartbeat to further their political ends.
It’s time to stand up. It’s time to end this abusive relationship.
I should point out that it’s entirely possible Donovan’s post was satire, in which case I’d owe him an apology–but not the Democrats. Because though his is the only one I saved, I’ve seen countless sincere ones exactly like this. Poe’s Law should never apply to something like this.
Following Brexit, many Remain advocates wanted to vote again, because so many people hadn’t voted at all–this despite the Brexit vote having the highest turnout in the UK since the 90s. As I pointed out then, those people did vote. They simply voted “Indifferent / Doesn’t Matter To Me.” There’s no other way to slice it; refraining from voting is voting for “it doesn’t make a difference to me.” A second round of voting, then, is nothing more than an attempt to let these people change their votes after the fact, from “indifferent” to “leave” or “remain,” and, they presume, the lion’s share of them would change from “indifferent” to “remain” if they’d known Leave had a chance of winning.
But I’m a believer in consequences and giving things a chance. The Brexit issue is complicated, isn’t it? What if most people would now change their vote from Indifferent to Remain, and the previous vote was nullified. If I love democracy so much*, then wouldn’t I be glad to see that? Yes, and no. See, it’s a matter of bailing out, isn’t it? Brexit took a gamble; I think they should have to bear the responsibility of seeing it through before they change their minds. Isn’t that pig-headedness, though? “Stay the course” and all that?
Kinda, except that, in regard to Brexit, we haven’t even begun to see what consequences it will have. The consequences so far are completely reactionary and are the case of self-fulfilling prophecies. People expecting the UK markets to crash pulled their money out of the UK, which caused the pound to fall, which caused more people to pull money out, which caused the pound to fall further. It’s a self-fulling prophecy all the way, and a simple matter of confidence.
The average person wants nothing more than to get on with their life and be left alone. They don’t want to be told how racist they are because they live in a rural area with a very low minority population and happen to not have any friends who are black. They don’t want to be called racist because their jobs were outsourced to Mexico and India thanks to the Minimum Wage. They don’t want to be called sexist because they are from a world where husbands are somewhat subservient to their wives, and where the wives want to be somewhat subservient to their husbands. The wives don’t want to be called “female misogynists”** because they love and support their husbands, are housewives, and all that. They don’t want to be told how homophobic they are because they’re grossed out by two dudes kissing, and they don’t want to be told how transphobic they are because they think penises belong in tidy-whities, not panties.
They just want to work, support themselves and their families, and enjoy life in the way that they enjoy life.
Democrats, you lost these people because of the above paragraph. I implore you to stop doing that. They’re not the ones who divided America into “white working class people without college degrees” and a coalition of “blacks, women, LGBTQ people, Muslims, and Hispanics” and then pitted those two sides against each other. You did that. What did you expect to happen? Did you expect they would just let you assault them and their values in perpetuity without ever striking back? You did, and I know you did–you thought they couldn’t fight back. As Trae Crowder said, “This is our world now, and you’re not getting it back.”
And so now, instead of realizing that insults, ignorance, and attacks are not the way you will win these people over, you double down on the offensive, hateful rhetoric, saying that you are not failing to understand these people. But yes… You are. If you are equating fifty percent of the population to this racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, misogynistic straw man that you’ve built up in your echo chamber, then yes, you most certainly have failed to understand.
I will never stop talking about the tragedy in Orlando, when a Muslim terrorist murdered 49 people, and I will never stop talking about the way that mainstream conservatives extended the olive branch to the LGBTQ community. “You’re one of us, an American,” they said. For fuck’s sake, bridges in Little Rock, Arkansas were lit up in the colors of the rainbow. All over the United States, including places deep in the Bible Belt, there was loud outcry and support for the LGBTQ community. And, because one tragedy was just not enough, liberals and the LGBTQ community slapped back the proffered hand of peace and shouted, “No! We are not one of you! You are just as bad! You did the Crusades!” as though an idiot preacher like Steven Anderson saying mean things is actually as bad as murdering almost fifty people.
Recently, Donald Trump was on 60 Minutes, and the host asked him about overturning Roe v. Wade. Trump responded that he would certainly appoint conservative judges, and that the matter of abortion should go back to the states. The host then replied, “But then some women won’t be able to get abortions.”
Trump rightly pointed out, “Yes, they can, but they’ll have to go to another state to do it.”
Conservatives in Mississippi don’t want to ban abortions in California. You get that, right? They think it’s abhorrent, unforgivable, and murder, but they have no desire to govern California. Let the Californians govern California. The conservatives in Kentucky have no desire to outlaw gay marriage in New York. They think it’s weird and gross, but they have no desire to govern New York. Let the New York people govern New York. This is where the Great Divide truly occurs, because liberals are not willing to compromise, as the 60 Minutes interview clearly showed.
That a woman might actually have to drive to another state to get an abortion… is unacceptable to the liberal. They see it as a violation of the woman’s rights. They see it as oppression. The liberal does want the people of California to tell Mississippi that they must allow abortions and gay marriage, but the conservative does not want the people of Mississippi to tell California that they must not allow abortions and gay marriage. This is what is meant by “small government.” The liberal, whose entire worldview is built upon big government being the answer to all of life’s problems, is no longer capable of understanding that.
The liberal doesn’t hear “The woman can still get an abortion. She just has to drive to a different state.”
The liberal hears “The woman is being oppressed, and her right to choose is being thwarted by hillbillies.”
Of course, I’m against all of it. I think this should be a matter between a woman and her doctor, and no one else, but this means that the doctor would have to be allowed to say, “No. I don’t perform abortions. Here’s a pamphlet for adoption agencies.”
And I just lost the liberal again, didn’t I? It sounds great to leave the matter between the woman and her doctor, right up until we allow the doctor to determine what the doctor does and doesn’t do. So what, the doctor doesn’t want to perform abortions? Doesn’t the woman have the right to have an abortion? Doesn’t the doctor have the right to not be enslaved and ordered to do things he doesn’t want to do?
Yesterday, I spoke with someone on Facebook who insisted that the Confederate Flag is a flag of white supremacy. Now, my grandfather owns a store with “Confederate State” in the title. I know these kind of people very well, and I know exactly why they fly the Confederate Flag. When she said that she “guesses” she doesn’t know what the flag means, I suggested that she ask someone who actually flies the flag what it means. Her response?
Congratulations, lady, on ensuring that compromise is impossible.
She believes that people who fly the Confederate Flag are white supremacists, and she will not ask them what the flag actually means because they are white supremacists and she doesn’t listen to what white supremacists have to say. It is circular reasoning; it is the reasoning of the echo chamber, of the safe space, as she and the other liberals sit in their self-imposed isolation chamber telling themselves how racist, homophobic, islamophobic, transphobic, misogynistic, and evil everyone else, and then refusing to listen to what those people have to say because they don’t listen to racist, homophobic, islamophobic, transphobic, misogynistic, and evil people.
Just read this article. It equates to “I understand them perfectly. They’re racist, homophobic, islamophobic, transphobic, misogynistic evil hillbillies carrying a gun in one hand and a Bible in the other.” So I want to address that article’s author quickly, since I’m sure they’ll be notified I linked to their blog.
Look, asshole. I’m from Mississippi. I’m a transgender atheist born and raised in Mississippi, surrounded by fundamentalist Christians in a way that you can’t understand, regardless of where you’re from. My family has actual compounds for when the Antichrist takes over, okay? I have spent more than my fair share of time criticizing them and trying to reason with them. And you don’t know what you’re talking about.
It is not racist to not have any black friends, although I would point out that the people in the south are substantially less racist than the people everywhere else. Look, the town I live in is 70% black. And when I went to Vegas in 2015, I encountered tons of people who assumed that I was racist because I’m white and from Mississippi. That’s absurd! We can’t be racist. You, in Michigan, with your 2% black population–you have no idea what it’s like to actually live among high concentrations of non-white people. You’re not afforded the luxury of racism in such an environment. If I didn’t want a black cashier, a black dude at the gas station, a black woman doing my taxes, or whatever else, then I wouldn’t be able to get anything done.
It is not racist to recognize that there are some pretty big cultural differences between white people and black people. I’ve dated black girls. Hell, I lived with a black couple when I was 18. I can tell you from firsthand experience that there are major cultural differences, but none that can’t be bridged. I can tell you this, too–I’ve never had my ass kicked in dominoes/bones like that, or Spades. This is a statement of fact: the black people with whom I’ve played dominoes and spades would crush any of the white people I’ve ever played with; they take it to an entirely new level. It’s like checkers and chess, really.
Every Thanksgiving–prior to when my family stopped inviting me because I’m transgender–my family, after eating, plays Spades. We’ve never played dominoes, but we’ve played a ton of poker and Spades. And my dad may be the only one who could even compete with any of the black people I’ve ever played with, and I’ve no doubt that my father would ultimately lose. I was playing checkers while they played chess. Is that racist of me to say? Probably, but it’s more a matter of culture than anything, and I don’t care if it’s considered racist or not; it’s my experience and a statement of fact regarding my experience. As I’ve said elsewhere, we can’t let ourselves get into the mindset of calling facts racist.
I have nothing in my heart but love for everyone. I don’t care what the hell their skin color is, or how different their culture is from mine. If I can bridge the gap, then I’m going to. If I can’t, then… that sucks, but that’s life sometimes. I would ask the liberal how many black friends they have. I’m being honest here. I have many liberal friends on Facebook, and, to my knowledge, they don’t have any black friends. The only black dude some of them know is one they’ve all nicknamed “Nigger Dave.” No, I’m not kidding. And these people are as far north as you can get without crossing into Canada. And they’re millennials. And they’re liberal.
For years, the singer in my rock band was a black lesbian. Did I ever care? No. Why would I? She remains the best singer I have ever heard, a truly talented musician who should indisputably be on the radio.
I don’t give a shit what her skin color is, what her sexual orientation is, or anything else. She’s my friend, and she’s fucking amazing.
I can’t say that this is true of every Mississippian, and goodness knows I have no idea what it’s like to be black–or anything but “me,” actually–
–and I’d certainly never suggest she’s never experienced racism in Mississippi, or homophobia in Mississippi. I have absolutely no doubt that she has, and that’s fucked up. My point is that, per capita, far less racism goes on in the south simply because of pragmatism.
It is not homophobic to be grossed out by gay people and to not want to be friends with them. It is not transphobic to not want to associate what what you consider to be a guy wearing girls’ clothes. It is not transphobic to think of a transgender person as a guy wearing girls’ clothes. People have different worldviews. You have to tolerate them. As long as they’re not forcing people to bow to their worldviews, tolerate them. Is it messed up? Sure, so don’t be friends with them. That’s where your rights end.
There are millions and millions of us who just don’t care. And that’s okay! I know the liberal response to that–I’ve addressed it before. You’re not allowed to be neutral on LGBT issues. If you’re straight and you’re pro-LGBT, then you’re an Ally. If you’re straight and not pro-LGBT, then you’re homophobic. Neutrality is no longer acceptable to the left. Compromise is no longer acceptable to the left.
Allowing conservatives to ban abortion in some states, thereby forcing women to have to go through all the trouble of driving to a different state*^ is not acceptable to the liberal, because all they can do is think of that straw woman who can somehow afford an abortion but not the gas to drive to it. But that gets into its own problem, doesn’t it? They don’t think the woman should have to pay for the abortion; they think the doctor should be their slave, not getting paid and not getting a choice about the work he/she does.
You have the right to FREEDOM not FREESTUFF.
Conservatives don’t want to take your birth control pills away. They just don’t want to pay for them, just like you don’t want to pay for the Westboro Baptist Church. They don’t want to take your abortions away. They just don’t want to pay for them.
Governmentally, Donald Trump’s presidency is bad. There is nothing about Trump’s policies for me to really get behind. However, every indication that I’ve seen suggests that Trump is going to spend most of his time attempting to bridge the gap between conservatives and liberals. He is, after all, a deal maker–much adieu has been made about his ability to make deals.
The problem, as I see it, is that liberals aren’t willing to compromise, and so there can be no deal. And even if Trump does manage to miraculously work out a compromise where liberal states get to be liberal while conservative states get to be conservative, without a pervasive ideologically awakening to the ideas of self-governance and liberty, I don’t see it lasting beyond the next president, because as soon as liberals are back in power they will start forcing Mississippi to allow gay marriage and abortions all over again, taking us right back to where we are now.
It all starts with compromise, and compromise starts with understanding, tolerance, and empathy. But evidently it’s not enough that they lost the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Supreme Court, the White House, 900 federal positions, and lots of governorships because of their unwillingness to tolerate and their unwillingness to compromise.
I’ve spoke before about how the people advocating that Mississippi employers and clients should be forced to accept me as transgender aren’t doing me any favors, because their dislike will have resentment piled on top of it. Their dislike of me will move from the open, where all they can do is shun me, into the shadows, where they can do whatever they can get away with. If you take away someone’s ability to say “I hate you” and condemn that person for saying it, yes, you drive them into the shadows to express their hatred, with resentment and bitterness added to it.
If you want to reach these people, then follow my lead. Your methods won’t work and, in the end, will only get people killed.
You have to reach these people on a personal level, by alleviating their fears and showing them that you are just a human being, just like them. You can’t do that if you treat them like they aren’t a human being worthy of respect and compassion.
Tolerance starts with you, not them.
* I hate democracy. I hate democratic republics, too. They’re the best of a terrible situation. As Churchill said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others that we’ve tried.” He’s exactly right. Democracy sucks, and republics suck. If we are going to have a state, though, it must be a republic.
** “Female misogynists.” You’re really a jerk if you say something like that sincerely. You couldn’t more transparently say that “Everyone who disagrees with me is a misogynist” if you tried. I’m with you in that there is a lot of self-hate here in the United States, but you’re not thinking big enough if you think it’s as simple as women who vote for Trump hate themselves.
*^ This is already necessary in many cases. I had to drive my sister to Little Rock to get an abortion a few years ago, because she had already gone past the point at which Mississippi would allow one. It was not the end of the world.