Monday, April 28, 2014

Hysteria is Back, and as Offensive as Ever!

A hundred years ago, before medical science grew to the level of knowledge that it boasts today, there were a lot of things that we just didn’t understand.  We knew by then that sicknesses weren’t caused by evil spirits and demons, but rather germs and viruses, but we still struggled with what to do about that.  Antibiotics hadn’t been invented, and modern hygiene was still only just coming of age in many places. 

"She may or may not float like a duck, but she definitely smells like shit!"
Sometimes, these misunderstandings resulted in things that we look back on now and think “boy, were we ever stupid!”  For instance, sending tuberculosis sufferers to the “cleaner air” of the mountains, where the less dense high-altitude air only exacerbated their problems.  Or bloodletting, still practiced far more widely than anyone would ever like to admit into the 20th century. 

And despite all of the advancements in medical science since,
they still haven't cured stupidity.
One of the more embarrassing, and contemporarily offensive, notions developed back then was the concept of “hysteria.”  Hysteria was a pseudo-medical explanation for women doing all sorts of insane shit. It was the notion that a woman will react viscerally, emotionally, and uncontrollably to things that make her uncomfortable.  Essentially, it was a way to explain away the complete agency of women, which allowed them to be placed in a category somewhere between a full, responsible adult, and a child who must be protected from, and guided through, the rougher, more unpleasant parts of life for fear that the stresses of dealing with such things might lead to a bout of hysteria. 

Hysteria was used by the feminist movement in their attempts to prove the existence of the patriarchy.  You know how I feel about the “patriarchy” and how much of a serving of cow dung that concept is, but the fact of the matter is that you couldn’t hardly argue with their hate of the concept of hysteria.  They considered it offensive, and as I’ve said before, I find myself agreeing with the true, first-wave feminists more often than not – it fucking was

The hilarity of the current situation becomes clear when you realize, as I have, that subsequent waves of feminists have brought the concept of hysteria back into the feminist mainstream.  They don’t call it hysteria anymore, but the concept is exactly the same, and just as offensive – women cannot handle things that upset them emotionally and psychologically and therefore must be protected from these things.  It is yet another attempt to establish the “equal, but special” rules that the new-wave feminists want in place as regards women.  They want equality when it suits them, but special treatment when it does not.  They want agency when it is handy, but hand-wave it away as soon as having agency becomes an issue.  In a sense, they want to return women to their previous, offensive status of “not an adult, but not a child, either.” 

Sort of like being not a man, but not a cat, either, but way less fucking awesome.

One of the ways in which they are doing this is by bringing the concept of hysteria back into the mainstream.  There is a new (newish? I don’t really know) trend amongst the feminist crowd that revolves around the concept of “triggering.”  Under it’s current definition, I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how “triggering” is not exactly the same, in concept, design, and practice, as “hysteria.”  Therefore, I must conclude that the idea is just as offensive.   

Originally, “triggering” was used to describe the negative effects that a PTSD-afflicted violent rape victim might feel if exposed to images of violence and rape, and so feminist blogs and feminist-sympathetic venues would post trigger warnings to any video or link that they posted that might contain violent or rapey images.

Fair enough.  I guess I can’t complain too much about that, because it makes sense – someone suffering from traumatic stress after a traumatic event probably should be warned before you subject them to imagery related to that event.  I’d suggest that you shouldn’t take a PTSD effected soldier and make him watch the first 20 minutes of “Saving Private Ryan” without first making sure he’s cool with it. 

Or eating a rasher of bacon in front of your dog without sharing.  That's just mean.  

The problem is that it has gone so far beyond that reasonable standard at this point that feminist bloggers and other feminist-sympathetic venues are being demanded to post ‘trigger warnings’ about the most innocuous of things.  Political discussions, talks about breastfeeding, talks about when to have a child and when not to – I’ve seen all three be ringed by a complete accoutrement of buffering “trigger warnings” to ensure that any hysterical, er, easily triggered women don’t read it. 

It’s even gone so far that students are now demanding that professors give trigger warnings before discussing controversial topics in classes, or even completely innocuous topics that might be hard to understand, as if experiencing a difficult-to-grasp subject is simply beyond the capability of some women to handle.    

It is hilariously funny to me that the old idea of women being so unable to control their emotions that they must be protected from disturbing or disorienting things lest they fall into hysteria, which was considered so unforgivably offensive, is now being championed by the very same people that found “hysteria” claims to be so far beyond the pale. 

Who cares if they call it “triggering” and have to post “trigger warnings?”  How is that any different, in any way whatsoever, from the old concept of hysteria?  That women must be protected from things that they might find disagreeable, or they will face emotional and psychological problems as a result? 

Ladies: Feminism is not your friend.  They aren’t looking out for your best interest.  They want to infantilize you so that they can gain control of you, and that is literally it in a nutshell.  Don’t let them.  Be yourself.  Make your own choices, and do what you think will make you the most happy, without worrying about whether a cohort of bitter, harridan spinsters will approve or not.  And for Christ’s sake, don’t fall for the idea that you must be protected from things that you might find disagreeable.  That’s just stupid.  The vast majority of my mental, spiritual, and social knowledge and experience comes from times when I was in situations that were less than comfortable.

The entire idea that we should be able to live a life of comfort, and never have to confront something that makes us uncomfortable unless we choose to, is what is offensive to me.  That is the real travesty in all of this.  

Friday, April 25, 2014

Music Stuff

Borepatch often does an impressive job of sampling and discussing the history of classical music on his blog.  I appreciate that part of his blog a lot, because it allows me to learn new things and expand my musical horizons. 

One thing that has occurred to me is that there are many parallels between the classical composers of yesterday, and the actual musicians of today.  I’m not talking about throw-away pop claptrap.  Every generation has that, and it is as forgettable as one could imagine.  I’m talking about musicians.  Poets. Men like Maynard James Keenan. 

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but I am an absolute adoring fan of Maynard James Keenan. 

For those of you who don’t know, he came to fame as the lead singer to the band Tool.  He is also the lead singer to the group “A Perfect Circle,” and the only permanent member of the band “Puscifer.” 

He has an absolutely amazing voice, and a talent for creating lyrics that are literal poetry.  Since I’m a tough, outdoorsy manly-man type, I can’t talk about this much more without losing my man card, but long story short, he explores mysticism, religion, psychology, emotion, sorrow, grief, and joy in his words and his vocals better than any poet I’ve ever read.  In one song, he creates an unserious, comical character on parole, who is concerned about getting thrown in jail again now that he’s committed another crime, and in the next, he’s cycling between sorrow, grief, anger, and faith in a way that takes you on that trip with him.  His songs are interwoven, and many times go together inseperably.  In one of his albums, you can play three songs from the album at the same time over one another, and the combination of the three make an entirely new, 4th song.  This was not an accident.

The man sang about his devoutly Christian mother’s death, after she endured 26 years of paralysis and misery, and made the two-part song 10,000 days (approximately 26 years: the length of time his mother suffered) to discuss his feelings about all of those things after she died.  He goes from talking about her, her suffering, and his inability to understand how she could love a God that had made her suffer so, to his feeling of contempt for the people in her church’s congregation who made her death all about them, to his anger at God for making her suffer, to his assurances that she could stand before the gates of heaven and demand entry, and even God, himself, could not turn such a perfect being away.  He ends the song singing her praises, with the final words being about how she lived a good life, and in the process, saved his own.  Many people speculated that he had actually found Jesus and became a Christian, himself, in this song, such was the level of feeling. 

Even the band names mean something.  A Perfect Circle comes from a parable about the true meaning of art and beauty, in which a king sent envoys to the four corners of his kingdom to search out an artist capable of creating a portrait of the king that was fit for a king.  The man who was chosen did not paint a beautiful scene, or produce a portrait that he created.  Rather, in front of the envoy, he wet his brush, and proceeded to paint an absolutely perfect circle, freehand.  The songs by the band interweave mythology (tracks titled “orestes”) astrology (3 libras), religion (Thomas (as in “doubting Thomas) and Judith, which was a rant at his mother because he could not understand her devout devotion to a God who had damaged her so (this one is especially jarring when you realize that it comes before 10,000 days, and before his mother died).   

I just found a new track by the band A Perfect Circle called “By and Down.”  I’m lead to believe that it was originally produced in 2006 (unfortunately, APC is on indefinite hiatus) but was only released at the end of last year. 

It is shockingly beautiful. 

Moving in and out of the shadows.
It's no easy mission,
Holding on to how I picture you.
Showing only bits and pieces,
Till the tide betrays you,
And your empty allocution.
Searching your eyes for a hint or a trace of humility.
Searching your eyes for the saint is an act of futility.
Searching your eyes for a hint or a trace of it.
Searching your eyes for humility.
Searching your eyes for a hint or a trace,
I'm still searching, searching.
Showing only bits and pieces,
Till the light betrays you,
And your empty allocution.
Rode the Piper by and down the river.
Carcass crippled underneath,
The pounding waves of adoration.
Pied Piper float on down the river.
Bloated carcass, crippled knee,
The weight of adoration.
Moving in and out of the shadows.
It's no easy mission,
Holding on to how I picture you.

One Size Does Not Fit All. Ever. And It Never Will...

I try to live by a few simple ideals that allow me to try to be the person that I want to be, while at the same time, navigate the slings and arrows of life without going completely and irredeemably batshit insane.
Not sure why I put this here...

One of these ideals is to at least attempt to be positive.  I do a pretty good job of it.  This blog is really my biggest outlet for negativity.  When you see me angry on here, it’s because I’m NOT being angry in real life, and it is cathartic to have an outlet so that I’ve not a miserable bastard to the people around me all the time. 

I’m a pretty smiley guy.  I try to find the bright side to everything. 

This is Your Pilot Speaking

It’s been pointed out to me that my positivity and just general amicable nature is contagious, which leads to me quite often having the advantage of working with people who are at their best, rather than at their most bitchy.  I try not to mention work on here, out of respect for my boss, and just because it is generally good policy, but by way of giving an example of what I’m talking about, we had a company-wide meeting the other day, and one of the kitschy ideas someone had was to put out a “kudos” box where you could write a quick note to someone, anonymously, giving them a compliment for a job well done or whatever. 

There were three of them in there about me, and all three of them were essentially “thanks for being such a cool dude to work with/good, positive attitude” type comments.

I’ve been like this my entire life.  You wouldn’t think that this would lead to many downsides, but one big one is that I really don’t have very much experience in my life in dealing with people who don’t get along with me. 

It’s happened so few times that I can remember clearly the names of every person that has felt that way.  Dealing with these people is a life experience that I’ve never really had to learn.  It is jarring to me for that reason, because it has happened so few times, and I’m absolutely shitty at dealing with it. 

Not that I really care if someone doesn’t like me or not.  It isn’t important to me that everyone likes me.  I am not nice specifically because I’m seeking validation from everyone else around me.  I do it because it makes ME happy, and reduces my stress level to not be in conflict all the time.  I also do it because one of my core values is to be a solid dude; as Joel over at TUAK puts it:

Recently, I’ve had a person come into my life who I’m really struggling with getting along with.  This guy isn’t a bad guy, and he doesn’t mean to be.  He just has a different way of looking at things, and my eternal optimism and positivity rubs him the wrong way.  I think that he sees it as me not caring enough about the challenges that we face in our endeavor together, and would rather that I acted upset and stressed out all the time, rather than smiling and laughing, because, to him, that would mean that I cared more. 

I think this because he is almost my exact opposite.  He operates in an agitated state of eternal negativity.  He likes to dwell on the bad things, and blow them all out of proportion.  He puffs up, gets excited, and makes accusations when I am more interested in calmly solving the problem.  I think that this is an effort by him to make sure that everyone knows that he cares.  I don’t think that there is any ill intent behind what he’s doing.  He isn’t trying to throw anybody under the bus, even though that is often the practical result of his actions, regardless of intent,  but the constant alarmist negativity rubs ME the wrong way, because I think that it is counter-productive, and puts all of the people that we need to cooperate with us in finding a solution into defense mode, instead of pro-active solution-finding mode. 

Essentially, in what is a very rare occurrence for me, I’ve found someone who’s personality and mine are like oil and water.  Regardless of what we do, where we go, or how we approach it, each of our ways of handling things annoys the ever loving shit out of the other, and we literally cannot find a way to get along. 
NO!  Fuck you, fuzzy penguin!

Again, I’m not really criticizing the guy; how can you be upset at a man who cares that much about what he does?  More than anything, I’m criticizing myself, because I seriously cannot find a way to get along with him.  I think that part of the problem is that I’ve been stressed out and scared recently, what with my heart thing, and so my capacity to internalize the negativity and not spew it back has been reduced. 

But I think this is an important lesson for every person on Earth to understand, and that lesson is this:

No matter how cool of a dude you are, or how smart you think you are, or how smart you actually are, there are people in this world who are going to deal with things differently than you do, have different desires than you have, and who think that your way of doing things is wrong.  Even if the guy is dumber than you are, and the choices he is making are abjectly wrong, they are still his choices to make, not yours, and it is your responsibility to figure out how to work with him, not his.  If we all reciprocated that attitude, we’d all be more productive, happier, and just generally better people. 

We can debate endlessly on who is right and who is wrong, but if that guy’s way of doing things make him happy, who are you to tell him that he’s doing it wrong? 

And as a quick addendum to all you statists, leftists, progressives, and authoritarians out there:

Who the hell are you to force him to do things your way?  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Borepatch on Secession

Borepatch put up an interesting post about the seething nature of our current political situation.  He wonders if secession may happen again in the United States, and whether it may be in his lifetime.  Go.  Read.  His points are more nuanced than I can possibly summarize.  

My response is thus:

It looks like this all may very well happen within your lifetime, Borepatch.  It’s scary and disheartening, and I think it all boils down to the fact that leftism is asupremacist movement.  They think that they are the smartest people in the room, and use their own perceived intellectual superiority to dismiss all dissenting opinion.  After all, if they are the smartest, why would they deign to listen to the opinions of the dullards that surround them?  Why would they give those opinions any merit at all?

"Typical American citizen outside of the cultural hubs,"
According to leftist jackwads
The problem is that these folks aren’t nearly as smart as they think they are, and the worst cognitive block that they display is their failure to realize that people don’t like to be ignored, dismissed, marginalized, and have their rights and concerns trampled over by people claiming to be their betters – the intellectual elite. 

"Out of bread, eh?  Then let the dullards eat cake!"
The dislike it enough that it makes them angry.  When their angry voices are ignored, and dismissed as the voice of ignorance, or, more recently, that of “domesticterrorism” they are going to get violent. 

It is as inevitable as the setting of the sun, and yet these supposedly “intellectually superior” leftists can’t see it coming.  They just disregard and ignore; lampoon and mock; and then act all surprised when even clear cut cases like the Bundy affair blow up in their faces.  Ten years ago, even, the Bundy affair wouldn’t have even been a thing:  the government would have filed a lien against Bundy’s property for the back payments, and fined him for every day his cattle continued to trespass, adding economic sanctions up to and including seizure of bank accounts and garnishing wages to make their point.  All non-violent, and all a perfect solution to the problem.  Nobody would have said a thing.  But add in a decade of marginalization, dismissal, and mocking by the leftist elites, and the people of Nevada are righteously pissed off.  Top it off with an armed SWAT raid with armored vehicles, further displaying the leftist arrogance and contempt for the poor, stupid people, and the people of Nevada considered getting violent. 

Ten years ago, this would have gone totally differently, but not today.  Today, the BLM, run by intellectually “elite” leftists, mocks and lampoons its dissenters, and responds violently and threateningly to any dissent, because their view is that the dissent is just the ignorant ramblings of stupid people in flyover country who can’t think at the same level as they can.  They don’t take a second to consider WHY these people are standing up to them.  They refuse to ponder whether these people have valid grievances or not, because THEY DON’T CARE.  They just know that this moronic sedition, perpetrated by mouth-breathing flyovers, must be squashed at all cost. 

"A traitor is everyone who does not agree with me" King George III

I don’t see the attitude of this supremacist movement changing any time soon, either.  The reason is because of the true nature of the end goal of leftism, which is not communalist, or socialist utopia, but rather power over the people.  They could form their socialist utopia any time they want, with mutual agreements between consenting people and a relatively simple network policing that, but they don’t do that.  Instead, they insist on dragging us all in along with them, against our will, by force.  They insist, not on communalist or socialist lifestyles for themselves, but for everybody, and they do so not for the sake of socialism, but because socialism allows them to have power.  

Just look at this cocky fuck.  You think he gives a shit about whether you have health insurance?
Power to dictate to people what they may or may not do.  Power is the goal.  Equality?  Egalitarianism?  Fairness?  All means to an end.  They don’t give two hot shits about any of those things, except for the fact that they can provide for them the power that they crave.