This is going to be a little non-specific, so bear with me will you?
Okay, people, you have to stop acting like your issue is the only one of value and that no one as ever been hurt like you’ve been hurt. Everybody, and I mean everybody, has been hurt at some point or another. We’ve all been victimized in one way or another and while some people will talk about it, a lot of us are just trying to get on with our fucking day.
Don’t go telling me that being a black man is harder than being a white woman. Both have problems, and those problems are often so different they can hardly be compared. The black man isn’t under the constant threat of being raped AGAIN (rape stats are quite high you know) and the white woman isn’t under threat of being pulled over for driving the posted limit in a mostly white neighborhood. Both are in serious jeopardy of having their intelligence dismissed and insulted on a regular basis. Neither can expect that after being assaulted on a Denver Street and holding their attacker until the police come that the police officer would refuse to press any charges and would let the attacker just walk away, which happens to gay men. Also, if the black man and white woman are straight they can legally marry in every state in the nation, even to each other if they like. The gay man? Not so lucky.
See? Everybody gets shit on. In different ways everybody gets some shit. But nobody’s shit is more important, or more galling, or a deeper shame on humanity than anyone else’s shit. Ya’ll need to stop using it as cudgel to try and shut each other up like your shit is the only shit worth talking about. I’ve been seeing quite a few people waving the cudgel and perhaps without meaning to, demeaning people who have dared to suggest that they think maybe they’ve suffered too.
The attempts I’ve seen by some people lately to diminish other people because they’re trying to explain that lots of people have troubles has been pissing me off. None of you have the right to claim that only your problem matters. None of you gets to claim that you know the problems that someone else has experienced is greater of lesser than yours. If you weren’t there, if you haven’t experienced it yourself, you DON’T FUCKING KNOW!
You also can’t just look and say “Ah, you’re a white man, you don’t understand.” Because I would argue that judging my level of understanding based on my skin tone is a bit racists in and of itself. And it’s sexist to say the same thing because I am among the bewanged. You don’t know what I understand or don’t understand. Even if you’ve read every word I’ve posted here, I’m too much of a satirist to ever give a straight answer that isn’t at least a little bit calculated for some effect or other. I only give about 25% of all that I’m thinking, because other wise every post would be nineteen pages minimum and would include the word “fuck” even more than they do now. What you have here is the condensed, quick and dirty version of my thoughts, freeze dried and fired at high speed.
Not one of you fully knows the other person’s history, and I suspect that most of you don’t even have an inkling as to the depth of their past experiences. You may notice I rarely discuss my own, you may or may not wonder why that is. I’m not going to go into it now, which is probably a pretty good indication of what a happy story it is and how many hours filled with skipping through the daisies it contains. I’ll tell you, my total cumulative daisy skipping time in over thirty-two years is four hours, which leaves me twenty hours below the national average for my age, race, gender and socio-economic background.
Now I want to make it perfectly clear that I’m not singling one group or another out in this. This isn’t me attacking the “White Privilege” arguments that have been going around. I’m not attacking the rape argument that seems to have popped up once again. I’m not even going after the gays, mostly because that Denver thing was some bullshit and I think they have good reason to be pissed about that.
This isn’t one thing, it’s all the things. I’ve been seeing this solipsistic insistence that only the complainer’s complaints matter and while it’s rarely said, it is heavily insinuated that anyone else who dares to complain has an invalid complaint. That’s the shit that pisses me off.
I’m a white male, but I’m going to divorce myself from my group for a second here. I’ll explain why in a second, just work with me here.
The white male is not supposed to be afraid of anything because we’ve got all the privileges tilted in their favor. They do have most things tilted in their favor, I’ll admit to that, but they also are made to feel like they somehow owe the entire world an apology just for being born white and male. Every other group resents the to the point that they start to resent right back, just to even things up from their view. Since one of the hallmarks of white male privilege is to not see it, all they see is everyone hating on them just for being white and male.
They see that some white males have acted like assholes, and they’ve been told to judge everyone as individuals, and then they see that they’re judged solely based on our gender and race and assumed to be rapists and assholes. They even see that everyone but them is allowed to have a group just for them. Everyone but the white male is allowed to have their own gender or race specific clubs. So, the white male gets scared actually, because they see the resentment of them everywhere and they don’t understand why they’re being resented. They perceive that they’re all alone, not allowed to gather as men, not allowed to gather as whites. So when they defy what they see as a rule, gathering into clubs that are closed off to women and minorities by tacit approval of their elders, they decide to defy all the rules. They drink, they judge people by skin color or economic level, they rape, they physically abuse. In short, they start acting like the racist, sexist, elitist thugs that they were accused of being all along.
A lot of what makes white males act like such shitcocks is that they really are afraid. They’ve been told they’re supposed to be the rulers of the world, except they don’t actually have that much power anymore. They see the resentment of their power, and they see the encroachment on all sides while the power they feel that they never really had crumbles under their feet. These guys are afraid that they’re about to be made to pay for all the years that men with their skin color oppressed everyone else. They’re terrified, so they try to cover up by being total assholes and pressing every advantage they have. As I said before, they often manage to become the very thing they were feared and resented for.
Are their complaints valid? Some of them, the early ones defiantly. They were hit in the face with a big ball of unexplained rage. Are their complaints more valid than those of women, blacks, Asians, Latinos… all the rest? No. Are they less valid? Ahhhh, now here is the question. Are their complaints less valid? I would say no, otherwise it would invalidate my stated thesis. Maybe some of their later complaints hold less weight, or were made invalid by their later activities, but the early basis of their complaints did hold water.
Now as for the reason I divorced myself from the group, well part of that I can explain here and part of that is too much of a tangent for this post. I’ll explain the part that fits and I’ll expand on the other half later.
See, I know women fear rapists, that’s why I don’t rape anybody and I don’t put up with those who do. I do not say boys will be boys, or that maybe he miss understood, I grab my thumping stick and I attend to the situation. I also don’t tolerate racist bullshit around me and I deliver witty and well worded smack downs when I hear dumb mother fuckers using racist arguments to back up their bullshit. I don’t put up with the horseshit and I let people know it when the subject comes up. I rarely deliver my verbal pantsings to specific people in public, because humiliating a person in front of the group is likely to make them less willing to alter their behavior rather than more.
However, I also throw out the reminders that white males aren’t the only ones full of shit. Everyone’s group has a lot of people who are also full of shit. Ain’t nobody’s hands clean, and ain’t nobody’s hands completely dirty. There isn’t anyone who hasn’t felt afraid either, and there isn’t anyone who hasn’t felt pain. Everyone’s pains and fears are different, So different that they become incredibly difficult to even compare and you totally can’t claim that one kind of pain or one kind of fear is a greater fear or a greater pain than that felt by someone else. You’re pain doesn’t get to be elevated at the expense of someone else’s.
Only when you all step back and really look at the other persons complaints can you begin to understand how to make them understand your own. Just hurling the complaints at each other while demanding the other side “just doesn’t get it” doesn’t do anything positive. In fact, as my reading of a few thousand comments in the last month has proven, it does a great deal of harm and has made a few people feel they want to run away and never interact with the person in question, which means that everyone lost that encounter.
Nobody gets to claim the greatest pain. Nobody gets to claim the greatest fear. Everyone hurts and everyone is scared, but you’re acting like a lot of wounded animals. For fuck’s sake, stop biting each other.
The problem is not acquiring nuclear weapons
I can do that
That is not the issue
The real problem
Is getting ENOUGH nuclear weapons
You would think
My contacts could get 15 bombs
There are more than that in one Russian sub
They say they can get a Russian sub
Only five missiles.
Something about a ‘per customer’ quota
And all the people Bush has pissed off
Dealing with middle men sucks
But I can’t speak Russian
And former KGB and I just don’t get along
Not since Burma anyway
I’ll admit I lost my head
But the shit had it coming
You do NOT talk about Prince like that
Man is a legend
People who say “Let’s go crazy” sucked
They deserve to be hung upside down and covered with honey
Then lowered into a fire ant hill
Don’t talk shit about Prince
Sometimes people wake up
In the middle of the night
Sometimes people find themselves
Fearing the future
Sometimes people come to me
Because they’ve woken up
These people don’t often face
The questions that show up at 3AM
They don’t know how to handle the questions
That normally pass while they sleep
They ask me,
“What the hell am I going to do?”
And I look these people
And I smile
And I tell them the answer
“It doesn’t matter.”
I tell them
“None of it really matters.
Because when they take over
You’re probably going to be eaten
By mutant squirrels.”
People who come to me
At 3 in the morning
Looking for advice
Deserve what they get.