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.

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Bishop Briggs Show

If you can see her, I highly recommend it. She puts on a great show. Her voice is even more impressive live. She has ungawdly amounts of energy – she runs, bounces, jumps up and down. Screams. flails, air punches; you name it. That woman does not STOP. I’ve never seen a performer with so much energy. I’m fairly certain she is not on meth because she didn’t speed up or twitch she just seemed to never tire. Her words were measured and normal as she talked with the audience. She would tell a few short stories to catch her breath then would launch into another song. She also amps the audience. She loved getting us all to sing her lyrics.

As my best friend, LaFemme, pointed out; all her songs are EPIC. The pounding, thrashing, sounds that blend with her voice are truly moving. You just have to hear it to get it. I liken her to what Portishead would sound like if they did gospel instead of hip-hop.
Kind of both?

But, bonus! She tested out a new unreleased song – which was uncharacteristically CUTE.

In fact, everything about Bishop Briggs is adorable. Every time we cheered she’d tilt her head and beam that big smile with true gratitude. She was so THRILLED that we loved her. But how could we not? The woman is a powerhouse singer with outrageous energy who absolutely loves to perform. It was worth every penny of reseller ticket costs. I’d put it in my top ten of best shows.

…yes she did “Like a River” and it gave me goosebumps.

smart phones and the decline of society

I am coming to the conclusion that it’s not smartphones that are screwing up society, it’s the indirect effect of “immediacy” – because of tech like smartphones, everyone expects immediate answers. So it seems like everything you do requires another meeting, another answer, RIGHT NOW

that’s what’s driving me nuts. Before this tech, people communicated by phone and letter,. so people were used to waiting and scheduling things in advance or just muddling along without everyone’s input all of the time

now in order to be a part of something you are expected to show up all the time and be an active participant on everything

no more assuming people will just do their job. You have to go to endless meetings and discuss every freakin thing at any hour of the day and figure everything out together. Which normally I’d think is great but geeziz it’s true of EVERYTHING. nobody will just do a decent job of whatever, they expect everyone to be a part of it because after all you have a car, you have email, you have a smartphone so clearly you can just show up

Breaking Bad was great….

When I watched Breaking Bad, I thought was the absolute best show I’d ever seen on TV.
Then I saw Orphan Black.
Then I saw Mr Robot.
Then I saw Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.
Then I saw Stranger Things.
Then I saw Sense8.
Then I saw 3%.
Then I saw Dark.
Then I saw Altered Carbon.

Breaking Bad was amazing with the plot, and characters but the other shows have other shining accomplishments. I can’t say enough about Dark’s incredible cinematography and intricate plotlines with acting that goes above and beyond what we ever see here in America. But Altered Carbon is like watching Blade Runner ramped up times ten. 3% is character-driven and brutal in its depictions of human aggression whereas Sense8 has a sensual joy that no other show has ever touched (or probably will try) StrangerThings has its nostalgia and amazing acting. The Marvel shows are intense fantasy with shades of moral questioning thrown in. Mr Robot gives you a roller coaster ride not unlike Fight Club while Orphan Black was just identity exploration gone haywire.

though it’s been slow to catch up, I’d put Cleverman as an honorable mention becuase of it’s vast array of characters who, much like the old show Heroes, struggle mightily with racism, identity and ethics while navigating a terrifying world teetering on the brink of fascism

Ursula K Leguin

Ursula K Leguin has died. She was the first sci-fi writer I read who was a woman. I was 13. I had read some fantasy stuff before but nothing could have prepared me for the brilliance that was The Dispossessed. She blew my mind. She made me hunger for more. Not just more sci-fi,. but more sci-fi like that. Playing with stereotypes, challenging tropes, and questioning our cultural mores. I honestly could not believe such writing existed before I stumbled upon her. She blazed a trail that was so necessary yet so welcome. Until I “found” her, I didn’t even know you could write things like that (and be popular!) She gave me hope and something to look up to. But it wasn’t just her books, it was her essays, her introductions for other authors and her missives she sent out for her fans. She was a bright spirit, despite what her writing was like,. with a quick wit, a sharp perspective and a very warm personality. I always wished I could meet her just to let her know how important her work was to me. But I take solace knowing that she knew, even if she didn’t know it was me personally, that her work was needed and loved by so many. The best part was knowing how happy she was to be doing what she wanted; sending messages to society, shouting into a void that whispered back in lines of gratitude and love. I am glad I was able to be a part of that. I will miss her. Even though I never knew her, she knew me.

Clara and the Doctor

Eldest and I love talking about Doctor Who (and it took some time to get him hooked, gotta say) because we don’t quite agree about ANYTHING but we agree enough to really have rousing debates. The latest is that he doesn’t like Clara for precisely the reason I love Clara. She’s no Donna or Amy but I like Clara *because* she doesn’t have a personality focus. All the Doctor’s companions (that I’ve seen) had a very prominent personal focus for being on teh show – Rose’s romance and verve, Amy’s intensity and cleverness, Martha’s pining and independence, Donna’s boldness and peace-making, even Craig had his lovability and everyman-appeal. But Clara is just somewhere in the middle of all of them. A little bit of everything but none in particular. She was refreshing for me. She could say “no” to the Doctor, like Martha could. She could be clever like Amy. She could be vivacious like Rose. She could be demanding like Donna. She could even be lovable like Craig, wise like her grandfather Wilfred and dependable like Canton or even suspicious like Micky .
But the best thing about Clara was her story. Sure the seasons had some stupid episodes and there were times I found myself rolling my eyes are what the writers were doing but Clara’s character never disappointed me. She never went over-the-top and never faded into the background. She had nuance and style without hitting me over th head with her issues. What they did to her (via Danny) was horrible and scandalous and I think I was even more angry than how they treated Donna. But Clara still had her own story that made the Doctor himself want to understand her. She had a place in the universe – many universes – that went beyond her place as companion. She always felt like the Doctor’s sister, to me. And no other companion ever made me feel that way.
I think Clara loved the Doctor in a way no other companion ever had and probably never will.
If nothing else, I say to you, four words: The Rings of Akhaten