Mirroring back bad behavior vs. Taking the higher road

Just finished reading this article in the New York Times (posted yesterday) titled “We Brought Charles Murray to Campus. Guess What Happened.” That taking place on the University of Michigan campus. And reflecting on a Google Hangout discussion I partook in last night where a self-described “MGTOW” was arguing that mirroring feminist behavior is necessary in order to show people the wrong in their ways.

Hmmm…  The topic of whether to employ the tactics of one’s “enemies” continues to leave me with mixed thoughts. On one hand, I tend to think it best that we hold ourselves to higher standards and refrain from behaving like schmucks since that sends a better message to the general public observers. But on the other hand, I can also see where groups who behave in such foul ways as disturbing assemblies and refusing to allow invited speakers to speak and blocking entrances to lecture halls really do deserve retaliatory comeuppances, partly because it’s just desserts but mostly because I’d like to think if they experienced this sort of treatment in kind they might realize just how much it sucks and agree to a ceasefire.

The subject honestly perplexes me. If you allow the other group to behave like hooligans without behaving in kind, perhaps onlookers and outsiders will come to associate them specifically with the use of such tactics and disassociate themselves as a result. At least one can hope. BUT in the meantime, your speaker has been unfairly berated, along with the attending audience who came to listen to him or her, not to a loud crowd of assholes hellbent on pushing their own political agenda (nevermind if it doesn’t even apply in the given situation, they not being the types to actually look deeply into what exactly it is that they are protesting). And there’s the concern that the outside world will just ignore what’s going on, leaving your organization fuming but without any real recourse. That’s entirely frustrating and unfair. We’re supposed to be a society all about the free exchange of ideas, but that’s cannot be the case when hooligans do nearly everything in their power to be super disruptive and derailing.

But what happens when we fight fire with fire? Sometimes we do draw more attention to the situation, though not always in the ways we’d wish. While observing and reading about the tactics of MRAs (men’s rights activists), because I was unaware of the extent feminists were misbehaving prior I got the initial impression that the MRAs were a bunch of bullies. My sympathy toward their causes was hesitatingly expressed because I didn’t wish to closely associate with bulldog jackassery, not from them or from the feminists they were reacting to. The more I learned about how feminists were conducting themselves (after a few-year hiatus from keeping up with much going on in the feminist scene), the more I began to grasp why MRAs were acting as they were in response. But I still loathed their tactics and wished they would take the higher road instead. To which they commonly responded that they tried that and it led nowhere other than them and their plights being roundly ignored. Which is probably true. For many, I imagine, it didn’t register as a concern until a bunch of women out in society claimed to feel threatened, insulted, and unfairly mistreated.

Having said that, I came to take issue with the so-called “MGTOWs” (Men Going Their Own Way) whom I encountered online (never having actually met a self-described one in person) because I found that they tended to go on the offensive when dealing with women, not waiting for an incident to react to before spouting off epithets and deriding random women they happened across as “whores,” “cows,” “sluts,” “cunts,” and openly celebrating their hope for us to die alone with our cats. Deal with enough jokers like that your sympathy threatens to dry up entirely. Which I openly expressed a few years back once I completely tired of their incessant and unwarranted remarks toward myself and others who hadn’t done a damn thing to them to provoke such a reaction. They tend to argue in response that they’re entitled to behave this way due to how womankind tends to be, dismissing any objections that the individual in question they’re currently addressing isn’t guilty of what she’s being accused of, stating that she could be if she so desired thanks to the current state of the System. So therefor we all deserve to be tarred and feathered outright regardless of who we are, what we’ve done, how we actually live, or what values we assert. I’d say that’s mad…completely and utterly. That strategy and worldview is every bit as bad as that professed by the worst feminists they’re claiming to be trying to combat.

Leads a person to a “no win” situation in a hurry. Can’t communicate effectively with people employing such tactics. Can’t stand to even be around them. Can’t escape them since they like to seek out those they disagree with. Can’t live and let live since they refuse to do so. Can’t fight them back half the time without looking like the bigger asshole through the way the situation winds up being spun. Can’t defend oneself effectively since members of groups like this like to travel in packs and prove relentless in the harassment they dole out. So what then? Where do we as individuals and as a society go from here?

I worry that if we attempt to fight fire with fire that we’ll just wind up burning down the whole house. That nobody will ultimately win but a whole lot on both/all sides will wind up suffering. That free speech will be lost amid the chaos. And that people won’t limit their reactivism to tit-for-tat exchanges where they’re willing to lay down their arms when the other side agrees to do so, preferring instead to sadistically keep on and on at them beyond the point of reason. Why? Because humans sometimes revel in behaving like assholes. Smells like POWER. Easy to get drunk on the stuff.

But there’s a lot of truth in the claim that people are stubborn to learn the wrongs of their ways without feeling the brunt of such treatment themselves. Having been around dogs all my life, I am aware that some dog personalities are obstinate to the point where they simply don’t (or possibly can’t) learn to stop biting until they are bitten back hard  and enough times in response (usually by other dogs, mind you). They’ll take rough play too far amid human cries for them to stop and demands for them to settle down, and I believe a good bit of that pertains to the dog not respecting the human owner’s authority. Because there are little or no consequences for their bad behavior. That’s another topic for another time, but I toss that out there because I’d also argue that we humans tend to be a lot like that ourselves. Thoughts of the debate over child-rearing and the use of spanking as discipline springs to mind. Some screech at the idea, calling it abuse in all cases, while others swear by the tactic in raising their own kids. Just the same, some kids report being spanked by their parents as having been character-building for them while others sulk  well into adulthood over the matter. I’d argue that it entirely depends on the temperament in question as to what the approach ought to be. Divvies up differently for different people. Some people will eventually gain enough empathy and/or sympathy to come to recognize the err in their ways and will aim to make amends with those they’ve harmed. While others will continue behaving like jackasses until the end of time unless they’re physically stopped from doing so. Many in the middle will finally experience a lightbulb moment where they’re essentially forced to realize that they don’t like the just desserts doled back onto them so therefore they must discontinue doling it out to others. Consider it an appeal to one’s self-preservation (if only in regards to preserving one’s own peace of mind).

We tend to be a selfish bunch. Some of us will carry on with a behavior until something obstructs our actions and exacts a consequence that we find sufficiently uncomfortable. Perhaps when it comes to feminists and antifa they would be swayed by having their own rallies invaded and “safe spaces” disrupted and their own speakers shut down. Maybe. But maybe not. Perhaps they will then up the ante, as those with a well-entrenched victim mentality are prone to do. But I’m willing to bet a good many of them could be influenced to change their ways if they were shown a clear comparison of what their group did and how it made people feel vs. what wound up being done to them in retaliation, assuming the retaliation was kept directly proportional.

But that then leads to the next problem, which is that people have a hard time keeping reactions and responses proportional. People get angry and lash out and sometimes take things too far, which then makes victims of those you were aiming to merely mirror. That’s no good. But there’s always an asshole in the crowd who doesn’t understand proportion yet craves revenge and winds up making the whole situation worse for his own group. And I say “his” here for a reason — many of those who escalate the situation to violence are men. Women prefer utilizing more passive-aggressive, crazy-making approaches generally. Initiating an act of violence or a major overreaction tends to hurt one’s cause more than anything. So then you’ve set your group or movement back all the more and brought yourself and your affiliates scorn from the general public. That scorn isn’t soon to be forgotten either in most cases. Ruin your group’s reputation in such a way and it might never be restored.

So what the hell do we do with this?

My instinct keeps telling me we have to adopt a higher road in our responses. But I’m not 100% sold on the idea, acknowledging the handicap it can create for those unwilling to properly defend themselves and to give their tormentors a taste of their own medicine. Self-respect tends to hinge on being willing and able to stick up for oneself. But it’s all in how we go about it. And the bigger the group, the more likely that one idiot therein will take matters too far and muck up the situation for all involved. Hence why I don’t involve myself in groups. Hate the idea of my own reputation being tarnished due to the actions of somebody else. But sometimes we’re grouped together whether we mean to be or not, as in attending a speaking event. To outsiders we’re then viewed as supporters of the speaker, whether we’re just there out of curiosity or are devoted fans. Might not have any idea of what other groups are in attendance or what they might stand for, but that doesn’t stop opposing parties from lumping us all in together. Not sure how to get around that, aside from staying indoors and away from all others.  tongue_out

We ought to be able to rise or fall on our own merit and be judged according to our own individual actions. But that’s a bit naive to expect, especially considering the hold and influence group dynamics and their enshrined ideologies commonly exercise on their participants. No human is an island. We tend to judge people in accordance with the company they keep, even if that company was kept unintentionally or accidentally. Especially now that so many are actively aiming to make real world events mesh with the socio-political narratives they’re pushing forth. It ceases being about accuracy. Quite obviously.

There are no easy answers to this conundrum. Perhaps it comes down to assessing what’s most appropriate in each event and situation. Doesn’t appear to be a one-size-fits-all approach that won’t eventually run into trouble. I’ll continue pondering on this matter.

“Modern Times: Camille Paglia & Jordan B Peterson”

Great to listen to those two discuss what’s going on in academe, between the sexes, and in society in general. I will return to this post later to highlight key points of their discussion.

Karen Straughan’s afterthoughts on Chris Cantwell and white nationalism

All of her points made there sound reasonable to me.

“Postmodernism and Cultural Marxism | Jordan B Peterson”

Celebrating one mother’s life

That video really impacted me today. It’s from a new channel I just discovered this morning called Ghetto News Network, and it’s of the creator’s mom’s birthday celebration in light of discovering she has cancer. She really sounds like a nice lady, like she helped a lot of people. They look like a bonded family, and thank goodness for that. Can’t ask for much more than that in this life.

Makes me want to call my own Grandma.

We need these positive connections and lasting bonds in order to weather the storms. We need each other, undeniably. No human is capable of living as an island, and it’s amazing the transformative power of good people willing to help us, especially early in life. That’s a true blessing that we’re very lucky to have ever experienced. Strikes me as quite cruel when people are neglected and denied powerful connections and guidance, but the responsibility ultimately lies with us as people. Pain likes to pay forward, but so does charity and good will. It’s very easy to feel alienated in this day and age, to feel lost and unbound. These connections are what make life rich and meaningful, and it’s a real travesty for one to never know what that’s like. Very, very sad when that’s the case and guaranteed to create more problems.

I worry sometimes that the self-sacrificing people who’ve come before and touched our lives might be going extinct. That’s a powerfully disturbing thought, I know. I worry if their spirit might be fostered in future generations and carried forth or if it will wind up relinquished due to us not sufficiently recognizing its importance. That honestly scares me all the way down to the core, pondering what kind of world we’d be living in without their impact and support. My prayer for us today is to try to hold on to what matters most, to be careful about discarding old ways of being before thoroughly understanding their relevance and desirability. Because life can be very long and hard in the absence of a flame of compassion and loving service toward one another. And I stand as a hypocrite in saying that, acknowledging how I segregate off into my own little apartment and more often than not don’t reach out to offer help or consolation to others when I am able.

There are so many lessons to reckon with in this life. So many questions and dilemmas. But, hard as it is to say goodbye to those we love dearly, we truly are blessed to have ever known them, and hopefully we’ll learn from them and pick better paths ourselves. Hopefully.

My heart goes out to that family. May that man’s mother not suffer too much with her illness. This will be a very trying time for all of them, I don’t doubt it, but I appreciate them sharing a glimpse into their lives and what they’re contending with. There are no words to mollify the grief of losing a loving parent figure or reckoning with that inevitability. All we can do is keep them in our hearts and minds and try to do better ourselves. To try not to lose these lessons gleaned.

Jordan Peterson – “Developing Your Inner Psychopath”

Journaling on a Saturday afternoon in late July

The mother of the kid who batted that rock that busted my car’s windshield just stopped by to tell me goodbye since they have to move out today. Ya know, people have said that she’s probably just being nice now because she wanted my help in dealing with the landlord and whatnot, but today demonstrates that’s not the case. She and her son wouldn’t have stopped by to let me know they were leaving had that been all it was. I honestly do think she’s trying to keep on the up and up. And her son’s not a bad kid despite the property damage occurring.

We exchanged phone numbers and plan to remain in contact so that I can learn of her whereabouts and let the other neighbors know how she and her son are doing eventually. Sad situation. Sucks to witness someone in that position. Don’t know what else I can do at this point though. Out money and still trying to get my own life in order. But if I hear of somebody having a room open up, I’ll let her know.

In the process of uploading a vlog I recorded this morning that goes in on single mothers quite a bit, though I didn’t mean that personally against her. Just sucks to keep seeing women get in a situation like hers, plus it’s tough on the rest of society as a result. Had mixed feelings about sharing those views in a video today considering all that’s gone on this week, and I was wondering at the time if she had just been playing up to me in hopes of us rallying and getting the landlord to permit her to stay on here. But our hands were tied, and I think she knew that deep down.

See, I don’t hate individual mothers in these circumstances, though I do hate how common this trend has become in our society. It sucks to meet so many people dependent on local or state aid and in dire straits financially. The bleeding heart inside of me wants to reach out and help and tolerate our government’s reallocation of funds and resources to help single mothers and their kids, but the tough love side of me also understands that continuing these programs as we are is only encouraging the growth of this trend and obviously in no way disincentivizes it. We have a problem here, folks, and it’s not going to go away on its own. Certainly what’s been tried and even ramped up in recent decades is only exacerbating this mess. So what now?

It’s like we’re in this clusterfuck of a tangled web where there are so many single mothers (not to mention children in poor households in general) already in existence to where we’re in a no-win, deep-shit conundrum. If we cut aid to them we worry that they might suffer—as they likely will—though their visible suffering might also (hopefully) generate a deterrence so that others work harder to not follow in previous women’s footsteps in the these ways. But in the meantime many, if not most, single-mother-headed families would suffer, make no mistake about that. It would become a shit show in a hurry. There’s no doubt that opportunistic or well-intending others claiming to advocate on their behalves would get extremely vocal in an effort to essentially shame us all into reinstating welfare provisions. Don’t doubt that for a second, and we all know how reactive people get when guilted. Guilt does a number on me also, so I’m no exception there.

However, if we can’t find a way to toughen our hearts a good bit, when and how will it all end? When 80-90% of children in this country are being born out of wedlock and raised in single-mother-headed households? That’s not fair to future generations or to the rest of society (for various reasons). Yet this trend does not appear to be losing traction one iota over time. So what then?

There comes a point when we have to accept that a worthwhile outcome won’t always leave us feeling particularly good about ourselves, especially in the short run.  As life likes to teach us: the easiest way isn’t often the best way. If it feels terrific now, you can bet that whatever potential consequences there are are just being delayed. Cynical as that may sound.

Decades back, people let their hearts and minds expand and throughout the process opened the public coffers, only to wind up leaving future generations to deal with the postponed and inevitable consequences (hindsight being 20/20). Like the fact that our society can no longer afford this bloated welfare system, AND that having such a (growing) scheme like this in place only creates an incentive for more and more people to rely on it. Why wouldn’t they? It’s freely available. Up for the taking. Welcome to human nature.

I know that folks like to claim that women don’t go out and have kids with the intention of milking the system. Probably not. HOWEVER, how much do you want to bet that a lot of young mothers-to-be would’ve made different life choices had this system not been in place to provide a safety net to them? If single mothers and their kids were more often than not rendered dependent on private charities or at the mercy of the kindness of strangers or otherwise left destitute on the streets, do you think the single motherhood trend would continue to climb? Really? Outside of the middle class, I seriously doubt it.

But no one wants to be the bad guy and say “NO, that’s enough.” Especially not when there are anti-abortion Christian activists on one side of the aisle screaming about how merciless we are as a society, mirrored by liberals on the other side of the aisle screeching on in nearly the same vein (albeit placing the focus on different demographics) but in a secularized fashion. Weird that it’s turned out this way, considering what bitter enemies those camps profess to be. The rest of us are here, stuck in the middle and being squeezed and pressured and guilted nonstop from both/all sides.. If we outliers to these camps make a case for this not being the right way forward, we’re denounced as heartless by some, as baby-haters/baby-killers by others, as outdated and non-progressive, as sociopathic and lacking empathy and consciences, etc. We’ve heard it plenty of times over by now.

If we make cases for a lack of public financial resources to sustain this setup they’ll then suggest that we should just tax the rich more—voila—problem resolved, right? Wrong. That’s no more of a sustainable solution than what we have already. Want our wealthiest businesspeople to up and leave the U.S. (as if plenty aren’t already planning to relocate to China — a topic for another time)? Beyond that, all the money and assets the rich people possess still isn’t enough to save this nation from its mounting debt. So, for as much appeal as stealing from Paul to pay Peter might hold for some, it’s still not going to get to the root of the matter. AND that approach still in no way creates a disincentive for women to become single mothers.

The problem lies within each of us as individuals ultimately. Nobody else can stop us from making poor decisions. And nobody else can force us (as of yet) to take advantage of the technologies currently available so as to avoid these outcomes. We have options that we’re not taking seriously enough. Plus, we have popular culture that’s beyond toxic in how it actively promotes and defends poor decision-making and those rendered disadvantaged as a result. It’s all backwards, topsy-turvy, and proving fatal in the long run for us as a nation and for western civilization overall.

This is a bigger issue than women’s rights. And it’s a bigger issue than liberalism and knee-jerk sympathizing. I understand that sympathy — really, really do — but look where we’re headed. Some, like Steven Pinker, like to think that crimes rates are declining and will steadily continue to do so indefinitely, but there’s evidence to the contrary to dispute that and there will likely be much more if we continue this trend of bringing in kids who aren’t being raised well due to a lack of energy, time, resources and/or whatever else on the part of single parents (and the government agencies they rely upon). Worse still if these are unwanted children, which plenty of them are. Far too many, if you ask me. What we’re doing currently as a society isn’t helping as intended and instead is only furthering this trend. We see this. Yet no one wants to be one of the jerks to stand up and help cut off the flow to welfare recipients. Makes one look and feel like a major asshole to take it there. Understandably so, considering how much people banked on these policies proving effective. This is a big letdown. The plan did not succeed.

I don’t know. Am super tired today (as well as highly caffeinated) and can’t stay with this topic any longer right now. Just an upsetting state of affairs that I have no idea how to help in making stop. Presumably, however many of my fellows are either afraid to voice (or even further develop) their real opinions on these matters because they wish to avoid being harassed or possibly tarred and feathered, while others actually whole-heartedly believe pouring more and more money into Big Government social programs in the face of this already-skyrocketing trend might somehow eventually win out. The former strike me as cowards and the latter as delusional.

Will resume this topic another day. Today I’m just hoping my neighbor lady and her son are able to find a place to stay very soon. And I’m praying for others to think a whole lot more deeply about these issues and to more seriously consider what they’re getting themselves into BEFORE doing so. Because not all of us are sweethearts willing or able to provide the desired aid and there’s no guarantee how long the public coffers will hold out.

“Biblical Series II: Genesis 1: Chaos & Order”

Today listening to part 2 of Jordan Peterson’s series on the Bible:

I appreciate his attempt to bring biblical stories back into relevance by examining them through a modern psychological lens. Very interesting stuff.

“Joe Rogan Talks About the Biggest Unsolved Mystery Of All Time”

And then youtube went and removed the video clip in question, so in its place I’ll have to post the entire 3-hour podcast. Dammit.

The portion in question (which I’ll have to find on there later) was an excellent conversation between those three.