which kind are you?

two groups of people…

Group one is 50% homicidal maniacs who can’t wait to get their hands on some knives so they can go on killing sprees. The other 50% are kinda-sorta holding them back but mostly just doesn’t care if they go on a killing spree so long as the maniacs leave all the goodies behind for them to eat.

Group two is a wide-range of weirdos who have a hard time getting along but mostly just want to split up everything fairly. They argue A LOT. There’s probably a homicidal maniac or two mixed in there but it’s hard to tell because everyone’s always arguing. Most of the time, though, when a maniac shows up, the rest of the group gets rid of them. In fact group two is pretty harsh on themselves whenever someone shows up who isn’t “acceptable” they have a tendency to oust them quickly.

Are these two groups the same? comparable? Which group would you rather be in? The take-your-chances-with-murder-for-big-reward group? or the never-find-peace-but-live-fairly group?

Carrot Sticks – a side view

https://thethinkingorc.wordpress.com/2019/03/22/carrot-sticks/

 

 

 

This, and the resulting very civil comments, is absolutely worth reading. is not that long. he’s talking about the mindset of the angry, rights-busting conservatives from an anthropological prism and I think he’s totally right.

I would add that for some of these people, the consternation is twisted higher from the source: some people are upset at the government’s complicity in over-throwing the moral feudalism they grew up with and it makes them believe in conspiracy theories. but some are aghast that their own children have rebelled against the very system which afforded them the “rightful” privileges the parents expected gratitude for bestowing.

I watched this shift as an outsider my whole life. I like the fact that the newest generation takes most of our “non-conformity” as their baseline; their “normal”

I remember reading a book from the 50s, in it, one of the characters remarks in how it’s too bad the children have to shun a particular little child because their parents got divorced. I had to ask my parents what the hell this meant: why would kids shun another kid whose parents were divorced? they struggled to give me an answer that made sense but I could see the situation did not surprise them.

I also would expound upon this aspect:
“It used to be about not doing anything weird, and looking down on anybody who did.
Now it’s about not doing anything cruel, and looking down on anyone who does.
There used to be people it was not only OK to be cruel about, but REWARDED to be cruel about.”
The first shift happened (I think) when people were forced to share space with others who had genetic differences – skin color, hair structure, body ability – and realized that they could detect a similar humanity with those “other” and therefore changed the rules to “we extend non-cruelty to those who may APPEAR different but are actually accepted as fellow humans” and the definition changed to “if they can’t help it, you can pity them instead of being cruel” Which essentially was the moral model of disability (and here “disability” includes anyone who cannot conform due to genetic differences)to the pity model. People used to think it was morally superior to feel sorry for POC. That was considered “enlightened”

this is why it became important to change the rallying cry of human rights past “we can’t help it so stop being mean to us” because it exonerates the perpetrator from continuing to exclude “the other” so long as they are no longer actively harming them. Passive harm through inaction, refusal to help and systemic harm was acceptable because of the pity model “too bad, that’s just how things are. Just adjust” (and be happy we aren’t outright killing you anymore”)

At this point, we are still stuck in different zones between “it doesn’t matter whether I choose to identify as this person type, I have the right to exist and move through society just like anyone else” and “look, just stop killing us” when it comes to oppression in our developed country of America. We recognize that “choice” and “genetic difference” make no difference in how cruelty is applied – it’s against our beliefs of opportunity and freedom to continue to allow society to structure itself around the notion of “those of us who are good” versus “those of us who are abnormal”

One of the things those people cannot see is that (at least from a purely pragmatic POV) eliminating “good versus different” model actually results in a larger, stronger social fabric. They cannot see this because they were indoctrinated with the notion that the strength of our society relies upon purity.

Exposure and tolerance are self-perpetuating feed-cycle: the more time spent around “the other” without harm, the more tolerance builds. It is as simple as that. But growing up without the mindset of “you are a good citizen when you act like us” gives new generations a jump-start into that cycle. Even as far back as the 90s, children were being raised into and around families that fought hard for respect and recognition and saw the pointlessness of cruelty as a social fabric. So I do believe this is a construct that is crumbling.

 

It seems glacially slow, but it is happening with lightning speed to those of us who remember the earlier days.

Brand names twitter

I’ve seen a few opinions on the whole Brands that tweet as a person thing and I gotta say, I think it’s awesome.Because every time I see a brand put out any PR, I already anthropomorphize it anyway. Lots of people do. A huge brand like Burger King or Target cannot be comprehended as it is: a massive grouping of people from the top elite millionaires to the lowest cashier. So when a brand puts forth sayings from one mouth and begins to sound like a distinct character, I can really dig that. I KNOW quite well Pop-Tarts is not a person. I know that Wendy’s does not have a unified viewpoint on any one issue. But to see them talk to each other as if they were people is amusing precisely because they are not people. It is no different than watching a cartoon. Dogs do not talk and neither do toasters. but watching them talk about deep, serious issues like depression and friendship is fun. We do this every day when we read webstrips. So why not take it one step further and do it with brand names? I have no idea why Sunny Delight would be having an existential crisis but it’s amusing to imagine it. To see it played out amongst several brands is entertaining because it isn’t real at all.

So stop acting like humans are so stupid that we can’t tell the difference between a concept and a person. We grew up learning that when we watched Sesame Street.

 

#brandnamestweet

#SunnyD

 

Resistance is futile

I know it seems terrible that there’s this guy who is literally on top of you, hacking away at you with a machete, but I promise you, me and few other guys are holding him back. You can’t see us, because we’re behind him and we don’t want him to know we’re the ones holding him back, but yanno, calm down,. don’t start screaming or anything because we’re here, we promise. Just imagine how bad it would be if we weren’t here; he’d probably be hacking your head off instead of your legs. So don’t call for back-up. We’ll hold this guy back until he’s tired of hacking at you.
I mean, we knew he was unstable and talked a lot of shit about carving people up when we brought him along to your dinner party, but we didn’t know about the whole machete thing. We thought he was just carrying a baseball bat. No, we can’t pull him off you right now because if we did, you wouldn’t invite us to your next dinner party. Don’t worry, he’ll get tired after a while. In the meantime, you should thank us; he’s only hacked a few of your fingers off so far. We’ll make sure he doesn’t get near your neck. Don’t scream. Don’t call for help. I promise we’re here. Just try to smile and go along with whatever he says. Once he’s gone, we’ll finish up.

trying to be healthy isn’t easy

I do a lot of ranting about the medical field. I suppose it’s funny that I’m trying to train to be IN the medical field – I’m going to radiology school! – but my problems with the industry aren’t with medicine or science, it’s with the people who try to run it.

So here is my latest…

Office personnel.

I don’t think I would be writing about this, I probably wouldn’t even be thinking about this, if it weren’t for the fact that over the years, I’ve conferred with many, possibly hundreds, of people with medical conditions that force them to deal with health practicioners regularly. I’ve been on blogs, forums, run communities and talk in person with so many people about all the issues surrounding health care and there is one thing that comes up again and again as a common experience. Shitty office personnel.
Here is a small list of grievances I have heard over and over

1) attitude – It blows my mind how many medical staff seem to think that because they work in a health care environment, they have the right to be terse, rude and callous towards the people who are forced to run their gauntlet. I suppose it is a positive feedback loop; patients have no choice but to put up with whatever treatment they are given and as such offfice personnel believe they have been given the right to treat patients any way they please. Perhaps it has to do with stereotyped perceptions – patients who contact office personnel often are in dire need by the time they show up and as such they may be anxious, angry, in pain, whining, or afraid and so the personnel believe they are the ones “putting up with” the patients. I worked retail for many years and I do know how shitty the genpop can be when they feel wronged or unsettled. But rather than make any attempt at placation or peace, office personnel seem to adopt a permanent emotional eye-roll towards “difficult types” despite the fact that those difficult types are probably the ones most in need of gentleness and understanding.

2) bad skills – apparently I am too good to work in a medical office. I’m pretty sure of this because medical offices were on my list as a “good job” for a long time yet they never once would call me for an interview. After experiencing one too many mishaps with my information and files I can only conclude that the medical office personnel ideal is someone with barely a 7th grade understanding of English, who types 10 wpm and only understands computers with Windows 95. Clearly phone trees are the devil’s work, putting someone on hold is more complicated than just hanging up on them and leaving a message is less reliable than sending a raven through a winter storm. I have been in situation my mouth literally agape at the sheer ineptitude an basic ignorance of logic a medical office personnel seems to have. Quick example: my insurance company wanted the date I would see a specialist before they would approve the visit. The office personnel of the specialist I was allowed to see would not book a firm date without insurance approval prior. I discussed this catch-22 with the office personnel of the medical specialist no less than three times each before finally succumbing to screaming the phone number of the insurance company’s rep then hanging up. Why was this so frustrating? Because while the insurance company rep understood the problem, they had no way of resolving it through ME, they needed to speak to someone at the office. But all anyone would do at the specialist’s office was repeat the mantra “We need approval before we can book the procedure” over and over as if saying it more times would unlock the holy sepulchre of insurance red tape and let the reimbursement monies rain down. I could not get them to call the insurance rep and when the rep tried to call them, they merely insisted they could not discuss the issue with them because HIPPA. It was maddening. Of course the real problem was that the office personnel had a few rules and to go by and nothing would make them waver from that script. Not even basic logic.

3) HIPPA violations -I’m not talking about violations like have been published in the news – stealing people’s info and selling it or whatever. I’m talking about secretaries and assistants essentially feeling entitled to your medical history and information and then insisting that you broadcast it all over the waiting room. It is has become a habit of mine now, when I am asked by the new person-with-a-badge “so what’s wrong? what brings you here?” to say immediately “no offense, but who are you? Are you my nurse? my doctor?” to remind them that I am under no obligation to tell them ANYTHING. Maybe it will make their job easier to know my details but that’s not my problem. If I don’t want to let the entire ER floor know that I’m shitting out massive quantities of green peanuts, it’s my right to keep that to myself until I’m talking to the person who is actually going to treat me. Yet, the lower down on the medical heirarchy you go, the more offended they will get when you assert your right to be close-mouthed. I ask for their credentials and it’s never the professionals who get mad. You know why? Because professionals know quite well how important it is to establish your credentials before taking control. But ask the person behind a desk why they needs to know the details of why you are standing in front of them, trying not to puke or bleed-out and watch them get huffy as a rooster.

[more later]

Emelia Holden video: No, it’s not a double standard

To the knuckleheads who say “but it’s not okay if a man does that to a woman?!” in reference to the Emelia Holden body slam video: No, it’s not okay. Because when a man is upset with a woman, all he needs to do is puff up and yell, and she will be intimidated because men are usually larger and scarier than women. When a woman wants to intimidate a man, she has to get super physical. If you doubt me, imagine if Emelia had just turned around and yelled at him,. He would have smirked and kept walking or said something infuriating like “hey, calm down honey” blah blah blah. She had body slam him to get his attention and make him realize she’s just as scary as him. THAT is why it’s okay for a woman to do it to a man and not the other way around. If a woman touches you when you don’t want to be touched, you can raise your voice and yell at her and she will likely be intimidated. If she’s not, feel free to get physical about it. But remember to pull your punch depending on how big she is. The object isn’t to hurt the offender, but to make them realize that you have power too.