Wednesday, January 9, 2013

De Do Do Do De Da Da Da: 5 Irrational Things

So I'm watching the Daily Show last night, and Jon Stewart does a pretty awesome job unpacking the sheer irrationality of our political culture about gun control...

Which made me want to talk about the top 5 mindsets that are driving me nuts this week.

1. "They're Coming for Our Guns." - No they aren't.  You'll  know if they do.  And if it does happen, it won't be a mild-mannered, duly-elected president who constantly seeks bipartisanship and compromise.  Take a good look at Stalin and Hitler.  If people didn't see them coming, it's because they chose not to.  Those dudes were telling everybody that they were going to take over and become dictators.

Besides which:

Be rational: you cannot beat the U.S. government - not even with assault weapons.  You shouldn't try.  Try becoming involved in actual democracy, instead of preparing for its collapse.

2. Our Treatment - As a Society - of the Crime of Rape.  ARG.  I can't handle it.  I just cannot handle the way we treat rape in America.  I can't handle supposedly mainstream politicians saying all kinds of awful false things about rape.  I can't handle kids sexually assaulting and raping other kids and bragging about it on social media (see below).  I can't handle idiotic towns which value teenaged football teams over their daughters' safety and well-being.  I can't handle judges who say crazy crap and let rapists off the hook, yet face no consequences for their actions.  I can't handle colleges which pretend that rape doesn't exist or treat the victims like they are the problem.  I can't handle it.

The culture surrounding rape is so misogynistic that it should be classified as a form of psychosis.

We do not talk enough about what it is like to be a woman or girl in America.  And we do not do a good enough job teaching our sons and daughters how to respect women and girls.  I'm so angry about it right now I'm not sure I can be coherent.  I'll have to revisit the subject later.  But I simply do not understand why we can't place respect for and kindness to each other above whatever the hell it is that people get out of abuse and force.

3. Parenting Stopping at the Social Edge.  Indulge me in a soap-box moment, if you will:  I'm a little old school in some ways, among them my firm belief that kids need to learn manners.  Manners are how we learn to treat each other decently and kindly in society.  And manners have a place in all aspects of social life, including social media.  I'm horrified when I hear about cyber-bullying and sexually-explicit posting/texting/tweeting by kids.  I know it's easier for some parents to ignore their kids' social and sex lives, but addressing social and sexual issues with our children is a burden we should all try to undertake.  That's how we teach our kids to be good people - by being involved, by talking about what people should do in all kinds of situations, and then by modeling the behavior ourselves.  You don't learn how to be a decent person in a vacuum.  Sure, some people are good and kind from birth.  But not every child is Cinderella.  And I know I - as an adult - have to remind myself to be kind.  It bears teaching.

4. "Government Is Bad."  This is such a facile belief.  And it's one that makes no sense in a representative democracy, because the government is just an extension of we the people.

I feel like I talk about this a lot, so I won't drone on, but suffice it to say: even Grover Norquist - who says he wants to drown the federal government in a bathtub - has things he likes about the government.

Like national security.

And Congress - where would he be without it?

5. Moral and Factual Relativism by People Who Claim to Care About Morality.  Circling back to the rape issue here (where apparently a wide swath of conservatives believe whatever they want to believe about rape - regardless of actual facts or what is right and wrong), but this is also about people who claim to be holier-than-we constantly casting aspersions on everybody.

Mike Huckabee and Sandy Hook.

Pundits publicly doubting the veracity of Secretary Clinton's concussion and subsequent blood clot, casting aspersions on her for supposedly being unwilling to testify on Benghazi.

Whole swaths of Americans being branded as unworthy of political voices and unwilling to take care of themselves, because they don't agree with the Republican economic policies.

...Yeah, it's just too much irrationality for me today.  De do do do, De da da da is about what I've got as a summary.

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