Arguing With A Brick Wall

Howdy, howdy! How’s everyone doing this bright and beautiful day? It’s that time of year where all of the doctor check ups/appointments seem to pop up together. Dad and I had the one with our PCP last week, he has one with a shoulder specialist this week, I have a dentist appointment that I’ve been putting off since the pandemic began next week, at the end of the month I see the pulmonologist, then early next month we both have at least one more appointment. Anyway, it has me thinking about masks and how people refuse to wear them. It’s annoying. It’s idiotic. It’s just people being assholes. And I’ve already ranted about it before, but I guess I’ll do it again.

I laughed.

Despite what people say, there’s no reason not to wear a mask. Other countries have been wearing face masks for years. In Japan, it started about 150 years ago as a way for miners to cut back on inhaling dust. In 1918 they became more popular to help stop the spread of influenza. And from there it’s just become a normal part of life. It’s common courtesy to wear a mask, especially when sick, so you don’t spread your germs. Yes, having to wear it every time you go somewhere can be annoying if you’re not used to it, but that’s no reason to flip out about it. So, why are Americans so opposed to the little piece of cloth? It’s ridiculous.

I even got bored enough that when a friend made a snide comment on another friend’s Facebook post, I engaged in a stupid argument that ended up being about how masks are bad for kids, physically and mentally. I asked for sources. He sent three articles and a YouTube video. I didn’t watch the video (I had stuff to do and I prefer to read), but I did go through the articles. The first one quoted a study, but the study they link to is for something completely different and doesn’t mention the quote at all. The second article made claims without research to back it up (the research papers it did reference weren’t horrible, but left a lot of questions open), didn’t mention that solutions have been found for many of the issues, and was obviously skewed in what it mentioned or neglected to mention. The third article wasn’t even relevant since the study it was based on has been formally retracted due to questionable methodology. It took me a few clicks and some light reading to see how many holes these articles were full of. I didn’t even have to Google anything. I just followed their own links. Why don’t other people do that? It’s not usually hard, unless the sources and effort put into the article are legitimate. If everything is legit, it’s much harder to find flaws. And yet people still insist on using this stuff as “facts.” Just stop.

Yeah, I know. It’s all a conspiracy by the Left to control people. Right? Just like pants and shirts and shoes and every other item of clothing. That’s all masks are. New clothing. Why don’t you run around naked if you’re so against a piece of clothing? It’d be more entertaining than hearing another rant about civil liberties. Or is it because you don’t believe in Covid? I guess people are just dropping dead for no reason. Seriously. I don’t understand people. And it’s like arguing with a brick wall. Non-maskers are fucking idiots and that’s all I’m going to say on the matter.

I’ll try not to go off on a rant next week. Feel free to share your thoughts or comments here or on my social media pages as usual, but I will be monitoring any arguments and intervene if things devolve too far into chaos.

The Problem With Privilege…

Howdy, howdy!  Any time something awful happens in the world, after the initial shock wears off, there seems to be an uptick in talk about “privilege” among my Interwebz friends.  I don’t know why.  Awful things happen because people suck, not because they’re privileged.  But still, the debates arise.  Normally, I avoid these conversations and keep my opinions to myself because, frankly, my opinion doesn’t really matter and doesn’t mesh with most of my friends’ opinions.  So, instead of joining the debates on Facebook and Twitter (which almost always devolve into name calling), I thought I would share my thoughts about privilege and my experience with it here.

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I, in fact, do not like to live dangerously, but here it goes

I actually really hate it when people start throwing around the word “privilege.”  It’s not because I don’t believe it exists, but because I don’t believe it’s an insult to the people you’re calling privileged.  Nor is it something to be ashamed of.  A privilege is a good thing.  According to the OED, a privilege is “a right, advantage, or immunity granted to or enjoyed by an individual, corporation of individuals, etc., beyond the usual rights or advantages of others.”  Why would anyone in their right mind be ashamed of that?  Granted, not everyone has earned these benefits, but be honest… if you received some kind of special treatment from other people, would you feel guilty?  I don’t, and I get a lot of special treatment (cripple privilege is very much a thing).

The word “privilege” is, however, an insult to everyone you’re not including in it.  I’m white, which comes with its own set of privileges according to the people who bandy that word around.  I’m also female, crippled, and not entirely heterosexual.  All of which, according to these same people, make me somehow lesser in the eyes of others.  Don’t get me wrong, these people will tell me that I’m just as good as everyone else, just as good as a straight, white, able bodied male, then they turn around and say that the male has more privilege (read: is treated, and thus viewed as, better by others) because of the way he was born.  That’s a contradiction.  I’ve had this conversation before (oddly enough, never with the straight, white, able males because I’ve never met one with the gall to insinuate I’m lesser to my face) and I really want to tell people to make up their damn minds.  Are we equal or is he (the so-called privileged guy) better?  You can’t have it both ways.

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I also dislike calling people privileged just because they got certain genes, because it gives them a kind of power they don’t deserve.  Everyone deserves respect and courtesy, but that’s because we’re all humans.  Treat people the way you want to be treated until they give you a reason to treat them differently.  Don’t give them special treatment then call them privileged, because at that point they’re just accepting what others are offering them.  Now, if they demand to be treated better than everyone else, they’re entitled asshats.  Entitlement is different from privilege.  Entitlement means they’re assuming they’re special.  Privilege means you’re assuming they’re special.  At least, that’s how I feel about it.

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This is what I think of when they talk about privilege.

I know this post will piss people off, but it’s just my own thoughts.  “Privilege” isn’t something we should feel bad about having.  It’s something that is given to us by other people and it can be taken away.  All the word really does is reinforce the idea that some of us are lesser because of genetics, which is stupid and hurtful.  I think a better phrase to describe people who think they’re privileged is to say they have an unhealthy “sense of entitlement.”  That’s all.

Feel free to share your thoughts or comments here or on my social media pages!

Political Correctness: The Cake Is A Lie

Hello, hello!  A few days ago, I posted the following image on my personal Facebook page and one of my friends thanked me for it.  I’m still not entirely sure whether she meant it as a “hey, I never thought about it that way before” kind of thing or as an “I can relate, as someone has done this to me” kind of thing.  Either way, I was a little taken aback.  Have we, as a society, really become so politically correct that we can’t take kindness at face value?  That we have to be told when people are being nice even if it clashes with our personal beliefs?  I even went so far as to read the comments on the original post (never read the comments), and people were actually arguing that saying ‘You’re in my prayers’ to someone you know is an atheist is like serving PB&Js to someone you know has a peanut allergy.  So, you’re going to go into anaphylactic shock because of something someone said?  That’s a mighty severe allergy you have there.

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This isn’t common sense?

 Seriously though, when did we become so caught up in ourselves that we couldn’t look at things from the other person’s perspective?  Honestly, I noticed a significant rise in this type of behavior when people started encouraging “political correctness.”  The Right argues that political correctness is a restriction on free speech.  The Left argues that it’s simply about being respectful and that there’s no hidden agenda.  I’m sorry, but any phrase that contains any form of the word ‘politics’ is hiding something.  That’s what politics are: the art of who can hide their true agendas from the public the best.  It’s sad, but true.

When we can no longer walk down the street during the holidays and wish people a Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah or a Joyous Kwanzaa or whatever we celebrate for fear of offending someone, things have gone too far.  When we can’t try to comfort an acquaintance the best way we know how for fear of offending someone, things have gone too far.  When sincere attempts at kindness are met by snark and anger under the guise of political correctness, things have gone too far.  So yeah, this whole political correctness thing has gone much too far.

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This.  So much this.

 There’s no hidden agenda behind political correctness, but in order to be truly PC, you have to fit the mold created around that ideal.  You can’t be overtly religious, you can’t have your own opinions unless they match everyone else, you can’t be different.  But America was built around differences.  It’s not called the Melting Pot for nothing.  We should celebrate our differences, not try to squash them out.

Don’t get me wrong, the basic concept or goal behind political correctness (treating each other with respect) isn’t bad at all, just the execution of it has perverted it into something else entirely (hence, the cake being a lie).  You see, respect goes both ways (even if politicians on both sides would have you believe otherwise).  Personally, I’m not someone who believes in the power of prayer, but I’m not going to disrespect someone else’s beliefs by telling them not to pray for me because of it.  Just like when I tell someone I’m sending them good vibes, I don’t expect a lecture on science calling my vibes pseudo psychological hippie crap.  That’s the kind of crap that’ll make me never talk to you again.  Learn to accept kindness at face value.

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That works too.

 In other words, stop worrying about being “politically correct.”  Be kind.  Be respectful.  Remember that we’re all different and occasionally people are going to inadvertently do or say things that go against your personal beliefs.  And if someone ever truly hurts you, whether physically or emotionally, by all means let them know.  But if it’s simply a case of their beliefs clashing with yours, let it go*.  After all, if we were all the same, the world would be a pretty boring place.

*This only applies if they’re being nice and respectful to you.  If they’re being asshats, do what you have to do.