Still observing racial and gender-bent movements

American politics continue to blow my mind. Blew it hard enough that I pretty much gave up on the presidential BS from 2008 onward. Didn’t watch speeches from either Hillary or Trump, just as I didn’t listen to speeches by Obama or Romney or McCain back before. Don’t care. *shrugs* Same old, same old every time. Already know plenty of what Hillary Clinton talks about, seeing as how she’s been in the political spotlight since Bill was in office in the ’90s (during my teenage years). Gave up on so much of that shit. Had to. Continued volunteering for a local “peace-building” nonprofit organization until 2011, mostly because the international economic situation and war-mongering were hardest to ignore and not speak out about.

Still care. Just not quite as much, or at least not in the same way as once upon a time. Beginning in 2012 I wound up re-exploring gender relations issues discussed online, having around then initially stumbled upon the so-called “manosphere” which includes men’s rights advocates/activists (MRAs), MGTOWs (“Men Going Their Own Way”), PUAs (pick-up artists, as described by authors Mark Manson and Neil Strauss as well as Roosh V). Learned about feminism in the past and returned over the last 4 years to observing it generally as a movement, witnessing it transforming into this weird, new “SJW” (“social justice warrior”) hybrid (thanks to intersectionality conglomeration). Taken me some time to make better sense out of what all I’ve been looking at — an ongoing struggle, to be sure.

But went there, been doing that. Still, when the run-up to the 2016 U.S. presidential election began over a year and a half ago (ugh), I opted to tune out. Didn’t want to care. Know already plenty of reasons for why I don’t like and would never vote for Hillary Clinton. Saw no reason to concern myself with Trump. *shrugs* Sticking with Gary Johnson, so fuck it. That’s been my attitude for a long while now. Not been watching the news barely. Haven’t subscribed to cable television in my home for many years. Lack enough fucks to give to all that nonsense. I care enough to continue reading books to gain a better sense of perspective on where we are at this point in history, where we’ve been, and where potentially we might be headed, intentionally or otherwise. Occasionally share titles with pals open to giving them a perusing. Most aren’t. Living in my woman cave, working and paying bills and handling my own shit. What goes on in Washington D.C. is just more fuckery so far as I can ever tell.

Social relations matter more to me than politics. Probably because they’re down here on the ground where we individually actually have some direct control and power. At least can learn to better control our own selves, so far as we need to. But down here at ground level it’s clear that we’re not all constituted equally. Doesn’t break down purely according to racial or sex/gender or purely socioeconomic demographics — no, it’s far more complex than that. It comes down to us as individuals and what we’re apparently made of, what potential we might possess and whether we choose to work to unfold it. No one can determine that outcome — nobody but our own selves. And we divvy up across the spectrum in that regard, as is clearly evident to any of us who take time to look around.

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement is bugging me a bit lately in terms of what videos I’ve been watching on youtube. Watched quite a few over the course of the last few days, particularly paying attention to post-election protesters. Also went back and observed footage of campus protests in both the U.S. and Canada. Listened to law enforcement commentators and congressmen speaking on the subject. Today I came across an author, Colin Flaherty, who’s very critical of the state of the black community, calling hypocrisy on black people’s explicit racism against whites, examining news reports and showing displays of unjustified violence committed by black individuals against various others. Was an interesting channel. Is he racist? I don’t rightly care since he primarily focuses on numerous specific examples that we can then investigate for ourselves and form our own opinions on. Subbed.

Earlier today I also happened across a YT channel by Oshay Duke Jackson. Opted to subscribe to him too.

A few years before my Papa died, he warned me that there will very likely be a civil war during my lifetime and it will be race-related. Took that piece of advice and considered it in the years since. Initially assumed him to be wrong that the civil war would be race-related, though yeah, a civil war unto itself may occur. Tensions are mounting in this country and have been for a long time, and various factions seem intent on pushing the situation into the red zone. But race-related? During my lifetime it appeared that race relations were overall improving. Sure, we had the rise of gangsta rap during the ’90s and that set a trend that has yet to lose steam. But more interracial mixing has been occurring. Upon visiting my hometown in Mississippi, I’ve frequently been amazed at how much interracial dating is permitted and tolerated in recent years. Wasn’t like that even when I was a teenager a couple decades back. And I remember how racial divisions back then were sown and enforced by both older whites and older blacks, meaning black mamas and papas and grandmas took just as much issue with their child dating outside of their race as white mamas, papas, and grandmas did. See, people up north don’t seem to understand that fact. I come from a hometown where our high school then and to this day has segregated proms. Why? Mostly because black students throw a fit about changing this setup. It’s primarily their decision, so far as I’ve ever been able to tell, for why prom hasn’t been integrated yet. Yet we non-black folks are accused of being racist for this reality, which is basically to say they’re called racist for accommodating black people’s preferences in that town and school. Can’t win for losing there.

I’ve grown up observing a state known for possessing the highest black population in the union (nearly 40%), the highest out-of-wedlock teen pregnancy rate, the highest obesity rate, and one of the highest social welfare-dependency rates. Mississippi has the poorest public education ratings in the nation (switching places with Arkansas occasionally for 50th), high drop-out rates, and low economic opportunities throughout the state. Hence why people with ambition tend to leave, as did I at age 21. Kind of a depressing place to be, having lived in a few far-flung cities across Mississippi during my time down there, as well as attending Mississippi State University for a couple years. So I come at these topics with a perspective informed from what I have witnessed and directly learned about, not just what others may have told me.

Are most people racist? Probably. At least prejudiced to whatever extents. Appears to be a part of human nature. We may aim to take people as they come, but we still do tend to form opinions of demographics based on what our exposure to them has shown us. Oftentimes our exposure is too narrow and needs expanding, for which I’m grateful for the opportunity to live in the Midwest to juxtapose with Southern living, as well as my social science curriculum that did help in fostering a wider appreciation for what others may be facing, from Papua New Guineans to American black folks to Hispanics aiming to make a life in the U.S. due to widespread economic hardship in their native countries to Native Americans losing their cultures to the white Europeans originally brought here under indentured servitude, etc.

BUT…after college, a whole new education unfolds before us. How do those social theories perform when rubber hits the pavement? Do current socioeconomic and racial differences justify violent revolts? What other factors may figure into these situations beyond what was mentioned in the social science theories we were once educated on? When studying collectives, is it not an error to overlook the actions and choices of the individuals therein? Does that not produce a bias?

While no human is fully 100% an island, neither is he or she simply an irrelevant cog within some sort of hive-mind borg, individually obscured through a commonly shared identity.

I’m reflecting on Papa’s words tonight, pondering the possibilities for the future. I’ve said before that we can’t fight this system through the use of direct violence, because we wouldn’t win. Violence begets violence, and the State has more firepower than all of us combined. Act like a hooligan and expect to be treated as such. Harm innocent people who in no way have violated your rights to a similar extent, then don’t expect sympathy. Because that’s misguided. Won’t help anyone, including yourselves. Just turns more people’s hearts cold.

It’s almost as if some are pushing a self-fulfilling prophecy where they show up hostile and chaotic but see any response to that as proof of racism or sexism or homophobia or whatever that somehow justifies their initial aggression. But that’s not logical. It’s a skewing of reality, setting up a situation where defensiveness is paraded as some sort of offense. Why? To aid in perpetuating their own sense of victimhood. When aggressors are not plentiful, create them by making people stand up for themselves and others and then flip the script on them.  straight_face

That’s a shitty way to behave. Yet we see plenty of examples. Seems like more and more over time. I’m not okay with that. Nor am I okay with so much of the public kowtowing to political correctness requirements to where they’re unwilling to state the truth plainly, fearing social and possibly professional repercussions. Got people in a weird bind these days. Making cowards out of folks. Don’t want to us be reactionary in our responses to one another, but also don’t want to take shit lying down with our eyes and ears firmly closed. That’s not helping anybody either.

To be “good” or “bad”…that remains the question…

These terms continue to confuse me. And not for a lack of trying to sort it all out.

Look, I’ve come to the conclusion that we’re all mixed and that that necessarily is the case. Should one give into the so-called “dark side” or pursue “the Light”? I haven’t the foggiest clue anymore. Depends on what we mean by dark and light is all I can say on the matter at this time.

Plenty of which I’ve pursued during my life may be categorized by a good many as “bad,” as “dark”, as “self-destructive.” But I tend to take issue with this assumption, particularly when they’re merely offering some surface assessment. Continue reading

Tangled paradoxes

In each corridor I go in search of answers another paradox shows itself. Was just chatting last night with a buddy and this topic arose, since I can’t shut up about it. I’m always left frustrated by how all seemingly good ideas still wind us humans up in what appear to be unwinnable conundrums.

If we fight some other power to keep it from overtaking us (as in the cases of countries waging war), we risk our own society becoming damaged in the process. In the case of warfare: through maintaining standing armies and the risks (and empire-building) that go along with that; through attacking foreign nationals who very often are mere civilians not belonging to the extremist groups said to be presenting a direct threat to us (which then diminishes people’s respect for our nation’s military actions and gives rise to protests among our own citizens); through the exorbitant costs associated with waging war and how that impacts our economy overall, including how the military wound up transformed into a permanent employment sector in its own right; through soldiers potentially winding up psychologically or physically impacted as a result (and how that then impacts their families and the morale of the nation); through corporations finding ways to cash in on the war games via State contracts, which then provides them with an incentive to further lobby to keep us engaged in war where it can prove profitable; etc.

That’s just a cursory look at how ongoing warfare has led to negative consequences with lasting impact on a nation and its people and their way of life. And that’s not even going into how militarization has seeped into domestic police forces and influenced their tactics used.

See, the problem here for me is that I cannot figure out how we’re not ultimately going to wind up in a totalitarian setup eventually, somehow, some way. All roads appear to lead in that direction, regardless of people’s good intentions or what great ideas they might originally be operating with. Because technologies have changed the way the whole game of Life is played anymore, as have modern economics. The complexity is inescapable at this point, and yet history has taught us that the devil is in the details. What this might mean here is that the means employed determine the end outcome, unrealistic utopian fantasies set aside since they hold no real bearing. And it also means that any highly complex setup is vulnerable to corruption and ‘siphoning’ at various levels therein (as in the case of corporations getting into the mix and seeking ways to profit, even though through doing so they add greater complexity, which then further obscures the total reality of the situation, making it all the more cumbersome to apply necessary and effective checks and balances). Economic efficiency becomes a high priority, which comes with its own drawbacks in terms of how we humans are expected to mold ourselves to fit these demands. Before we know it, maintaining the system in question at all costs becomes a primary focus, because we’ve come to depend upon it and are accustomed to it and basically form an irrational attachment to it, even when it’s demonstrably creating more problems than it’s capable of solving.

The dog days are over…

If we minimized the size, scope and roles of our government, we’d potentially leave ourselves open and vulnerable to other nations that fortify and strengthen their own. And if we further strengthen and enlarge our own, this cycle of ramping up never ends — forward to totalitarianism. Can’t truly opt out or escape since the problem’s gone global and shows no signs of slowing anytime soon. This places us in the precarious situation of forcing all other nations to stand down against our demands, lest we wind up being made to stand down to theirs. MAD (mutually-assured destruction) is still with us — it never left and it likely never will.

If we don’t secure our borders, we risk being invaded, if only by an onslaught of immigrants who then wind up dramatically impacting our culture. But if we close our borders, we’re trapping ourselves inside every bit as much as we’re working to keep others out. And, realistically speaking, how does one truly and sufficiently go about securing a nation’s borders? The most determined will likely still find a way, especially along coastlines. This leads back to a massive top-down operation which is only possible under a powerful government. Which then, again, helps pave the way toward totalitarianism.

Another buddy and I were discussing the other day his concerns over climate change and what possible options people have at this point for reversing this trend (if one accepts climate change as a human-exacerbated phenomenon). He speaks of wind and solar power and people growing their own food and living simply. That all sounds well and good, BUT, again, climate change is only one concern among many that humans face today. We can’t put all of our energy toward addressing that, not when that’d leave us wide open in other areas. (See what I said above already about warfare and immigration.) Not to mention that the vast majority of people, here in the U.S. and elsewhere worldwide, don’t view this issue as being the numero uno concern to tackle. Plus, plenty of people are open to nuclear power because they’d rather that than accept drastic changes to their lifestyles and be forced to make sacrifices. Beyond that, these massive wind turbines and complex solar panels are sophisticated technologies requiring corporate manufacturing. Keeps us tied into the money game, which then keeps us supporting this global economic situation, whether we want to or not and likely to humanity’s detriment in the long-run. But it’s inescapable at this juncture.

In continuing our conversation on the matter, I told this buddy that if it came down to jumping on board with a top-down scheme that claims to be capable of handling administering such an undertaking as retooling our energy infrastructure, I’ll personally have to side with not. Not that I don’t care about the environment and not that I don’t think renewable energy is something worth striving toward (or getting back to), but the top-down scheme is yet another avenue toward totalitarianism. It helps pave that road to hell, all good intentions aside. This depresses him to think about, understandably so. But consider how China behaves as if its manufacturing base doesn’t care and how our nation cannot do much to change that. Even if we boycott their products, at this point they’re too powerful and it’s already too late (Thanks WALMART and other big-box stores). Probably shouldn’t have shipped so much of our manufacturing infrastructure to that country in the first place. But what’s done is done — our lack of foresight has screwed us once again.

This all ties in with conversations on how “Leftists” talk the talk when it comes to “green living,” but in reality they’re as tied in and dependent on the current status quo as the rest of us. Driving a Prius doesn’t really change a thing. Small drops in the bucket might make us feel better, like we’re at least doing our part to try to improve environmental conditions, but very often it’s just another illusion. Why? Because we live in a massive infrastructure, a concrete jungle, powered by heavy dependence on oil and coal, and even if we switched over to nuclear power that wouldn’t imply our biggest worries are behind us. Possibly Chernobyl-izing more arable land sounds every bit as folly as anything else humanity has managed to step in thus far.

Sound pessimistic? Yeah, I know. Yet another reason for why I’m not having kids.

Any and all attempts to reverse these trends or to take an alternative path is fraught with equally bad, if not much worse, consequences. We have a massive global population and must contend with the competition that arises over resources as a result. And the complexity of the technologies we in developed nations rely most on are fueled by the big money game. One way or another, major corporations are here to stay (unless we manage to across-the-board knock ourselves back into the Stone Age somehow). Government can either attempt to regulate them or become enmeshed and intertwined with them, the latter already being the case. So big government’s here and big business is here and neither are going anywhere. Any ideas we come up with to try to overhaul life as we know it will depend on these entities aiding us. Because asking them to stand aside and not obstruct us just isn’t realistic anymore. All possible solutions will be handled by some sort of centralized power, top-down system. These entities indeed intend to maintain the power they have already and to expand it where possible. That is their driving goal, for better or worse.

And this is where someone like me can’t sufficiently adapt. Have to so long as I’m here, but really resenting where it all appears to be heading. What other alternatives are feasible? Split this country into several sovereign communities (as it once was intended to be) where each does as it wishes and no centralized power can dictate, and we’ll probably wind up invaded by both Mexico and Canada by next week. Simply because then they could. We’d be rendered defenseless. So the “traditional” dream is dead, folks. I too like the idea of people living on the land and staying out of the muck so long as they’re able. Best of luck to them! I don’t begrudge people for doing what they think is best during what time remains that they can get away with it. But I see limits on the horizon. Eventually the old ways won’t be allowed to fly any longer, and they won’t prove sustainable or practical for most. Not in this setup.

Welcome to modern life.

I don’t know what to say to us right about now. Feels like nearly all advice is pointless. People are going to do what people are going to do. And I suspect some of those unable or unwilling to adjust will turn destructive as a result. That’s to be expected from obstructed people whose lives feel devoid of meaning, made to compete with machines that grow more sophisticated by the year, made to play a game that not everybody can win at (or even nominally succeed at). Such is modern life. Some will give up before even leaving the starting line. And I won’t be surprised if a growing number of people choose not to have children as well…kind of like caged animals in a zoo reacting to being kept in captivity. Won’t surprise me a bit. And there’s where we get into another arm of what will pave the way toward totalitarianism. The trend is already being labeled as “domestic terrorism,” though I prefer to simplify it by calling it what it is at root: insanity.

Insanity, as I prefer to refer to it as, can (and will) take many forms. People today sure do love to diagnose one another with various psychiatric labels, but in truth we’re all struggling to various degrees, pseudo-scientific explanations aside. Some cope better than others, but it’s mostly a matter of putting on an acceptable facade. We really have no idea what goes on behind the masks others show to the world, much as we love to speculate. Some insanity plays out in rather benign ways and is being catered to and exploited by Big Pharma. More severe cases warrant lock-up in mental institutions or prisons (which are fast becoming the same thing). All of that already plays into the power-structure-that-be. And when someone flips out and decides to go psycho on some random group of people, this reinforces the necessity of expanding domestic police forces and is then also used to justify them beefing up their security measures. Which corporations exploit by peddling wares to law enforcement agencies that allow for greater surveillance of the citizenry. This paranoid panic drummed up among the citizens through the popular media encourages us to turn on one another and to snitch to authorities, seeing as how we’re not all on the same team and regard one another more often than not as strangers worthy of suspicion. So we feed the beast, through our own actions or through alerting authorities to “questionable suspects,” and around and around it all spirals.

Where it ends, nobody knows…

Sound like a happy and productive future? Sound like something worth celebrating? Sound like a cause for optimism?

People say that we somehow need to regain the reins of this System, to figure out a way to subdue it and overhaul it, but time for that has passed. We’re now committed to it. We necessarily depend on it while simultaneously fearing its scope and power. The System is entrenched, and we’re entrenched within it, both as employees and citizens dependent on everything it offers in order to maintain our livelihoods. And what alternative is there?

Fight it how? Lobby to change a few laws? ha  Go for it, folks. Try that. As was brought up in a recent conversation, the moderate people do indeed wind up making concessions and compromises that inevitably just dig them deeper into this mess. The so-called “radicals” on the fringes, misguided as they may seem and indeed be, are the only ones willing to make a big stink, and how many do you imagine will wind up imprisoned for their troubles? But, then again, what alternative can the radicals bring to the table either? Thousands of communities going their own ways apparently won’t work anymore. A break in law and order would just result in opposing groups taking advantage of one another and seizing key resources for themselves. Because that’s where we stand today — saturated with several decades of easy living, forever seeking the easy way out, competing and pushing boundaries where we think we can get away with it — yet still up against other powers-that-be.

That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of good people in the world. But it only takes a calloused, self-serving, social-contract-dismissing minority interest to fuck it up for everybody else.

So there we have it. Where can we as individuals go from here when this is the outlook? Is this merely a problem in my own perception? What is still worth looking forward to and striving toward?

Anyway, my break is over and I need to head back to work.

[Lightly edited since for punctuation and greater clarification.]

Because somehow, some way, it’s always fundamentally the fault of womankind…

Slept for a few hours and am now back up again. Gonna record a few thoughts here to pass the time until I feel like lying down again.

One thought that perennially bugs me has to do with double standards between the sexes. In this instance, I’m thinking about the double standards a good many males harbor in relation to females and how contradictory they tend to be. An obvious one I’ve grown up hearing and still find floating around online is the notion that females should treat sexuality in a different manner than males commonly are expected to. Some back this with biological claims, others with moral arguments, but always the idea is that we females should rightfully check our own sexual impulses in a way that isn’t typically required among males. To not do so is to be viewed as low in the eyes of plenty.

Another common double standard relates with alcohol consumption and hitting the bar-scene. For some reason this has been viewed as the domain of males and not something females ought to engage in to the same extent, lest that say something horrendous about our moral character. Though this double standard holds less sway over parts of the population nowadays.

What I find interesting about all of this is how the idea seems to be that we females have an obligation to check ourselves so as to provide contrast against male tendencies. But, at the same time, there’s also the belief that we females should rightfully follow where mankind leads. This creates a double-bind where, on one hand, the idea seems to be that we females can and should be held to higher “moral” standards than our male counterparts, though, on the other, we’re denigrated for not possessing more individual initiative to navigate life for ourselves on our own individual terms (i.e., we’re chided for being too prone toward following rather than leading ourselves). But if one leads herself though is influenced by the examples set by males she’s known and grown up around, that’s somehow wrong too. Almost as if when it comes to certain matters there’s this crazy idea that women (generally speaking) should be completely separate and different than males, going so far as to deny our own complex biological, hedonistic, and moral tendencies, in some sort of effort to set ourselves apart from males — presumably for the best for all involved. But is this not asking women to be more human than human as compared to males?

I realize this isn’t coming out as clearly as hoped. It just seems to me sometimes that males can harbor views that almost seek to set females apart as though we were somehow belonging to a separate species. At least to the extent that one idealizes such contrast between the sexes. And what purpose does this serve? Is this linked in with the idea that female nature is somehow supposed to ground and rein in male nature? Is that intended to suggest that when it comes to morality and impulse control, females are meant to lead?

Well, if that was the dream, it couldn’t be maintained, for a variety of reasons. One being that females aren’t raised anymore to see life in such a way, which I see as part of the breakdown of the human domestication project that’s been underway the last few thousands of years. For whatever reasons, that didn’t work out as people once hoped it might, and I don’t think there’s a way to force it back to being any which way. Nature, through the biological differences bestowed upon the sexes, was the original gatekeeper. And now we all live in a complex world of our own (human) creation, attempting to cast off the shackles naturally tethered to us. One could argue that this has led to moral failings for all of us, depending on what moral codes one subscribes to.

But I look back and see where women have tried to act as moral leaders and gatekeepers in contrast to males—as with ushering in the Prohibition Era in the early 20th century—and such attempts have roundly been criticized as overly restrictive and domineering and controlling. Perhaps rightfully so. Females still remain more inclined to follow and become actively involved in religions, and this too is criticized as we head into a secular future. And now we see where “traditional”-minded females are lambasted for accepting stricter and more dichotomous gender roles and viewed as little more than “parasites” leeching off a male host in that regard, even if her sole intent is to help raise a family according to what was once an esteemed social script.

Then we have the so-called “trollops” and “whores” and “bad girls” who buck such conventions and decide to go another way. boo_whoreThere too we see these females given grief for being “loose” of morals, despite there being no shortage of males willing to participate (though some of these same males otherwise like to snidely deride such actions, at least in terms of the female end). I’ve always viewed this as a strange situation. Like people want two contradictory things simultaneously and can’t make up their minds, and so they berate others endlessly no matter which way they might turn or how they might try to navigate in this life.

If you’re a woman with a career of your own and the ability to afford your own lifestyle without outside help, you’re labeled a “feminist” and chided for being in competition with males in the workforce. If you instead decide to play the “traditional” game and become the primary caretaker of children and the home, as mentioned above, you’re viewed as little more than a manipulative snake trying to get some sort of “free ride.” If you revel in your sexuality and aren’t afraid to explore it with others, you’re a “slut” and considered a problem, no matter how you might go about your exploration. However, if you’re into upholding your chastity and choose to be very selective over whom you grant sexual access to, once again you’re given a hard time for being a “cold fish” and “frigid” and a “prude” and basically dismissed as a killjoy (if not also considered a manipulative type who’s derogatorily denounced for being a “sexual gatekeeper”).

Can’t win for losing, so far as I can tell.

I get to thinking that this isn’t so much about females as it is about males and their own views on life and their own internal struggles with moral concepts. The contrast they seek is already naturally occurring, and yet they seem hell-bent on adding an artificial layer on top of that via restrictive gender roles. And yet it’s these very gender roles that they themselves have come to despise as well. They say they don’t want to go back to some sort of traditional setup, and yet they seem extremely uncomfortable with how the future is unfolding. What they seem to want and what they are capable of respecting appear to be in conflict on a fundamental level. And what use are standards projected onto the female that aren’t also embraced by oneself? If she does appear morally righteous in comparison, then he might try to cut her down; and if she is already deemed lower than him according to some standard set, he’s liable to bemoan her failings and treat that as an excuse for his own.

Wherever males lead, there are females who will follow them, whether heading down or up. That’s an obvious given. Simply standing around and projecting standards outwardly onto others doesn’t really change a thing, other than driving females more neurotic over time. We seem to always lose sight of how no human is an island unto ourselves and how our (sub-)cultural setup plays a major role in how we’re each socialized and what roles we wind up having access to and might more easily adopt. Times have changed. Technologies have overhauled all of reality as we humans know it. And yet we still play these strange blame games when it comes to sexual differences and similarities and this notion that it somehow must be kept separated, even after the levee’s already broken.

I don’t have any answers for us on this. Just pondering. We appear to be caught in a mental trap here. Women do not belong to a separate species and will not no matter how much one might wish that could be the case in terms of certain aspects that people wish were strictly divided between the sexes. The only divisions that ever naturally arose did so due to biological limitations and/or advantages, plus psychologies molded by the interplay between body and environment (including one’s culture). All else has been the product of human beings — our social constructs. Yet now we like to rail against these social constructs and our biological heritages, to boot. Well folks, we can’t have it every which way all at once, and a lot of what came before lies behind doors that have since been closed as humans traverse forward into Modern Life.

Maybe it’s a case of the grass always appearing greener on the other side. And maybe when men feel lost they have a tendency to berate women for ultimately being the cause of it (as became popular at least since the rise of Abrahamic religions). People do like to take out what they can on those whom they think they can get away with it. Not that it does any of us much good to stay stuck in the muck, flinging poo at one another and casting blame for a Trajectory everybody alive today was simply born into the latest stages of.

Not sure what to tell people, other than that you’ll likely wind up blamed no matter what you do. So, we each have little choice or reason to act in any way other than how we individually feel driven. But that then leads us back to another paradox where it turns out that following one’s own individual interests doesn’t automatically wind up benefiting the whole group. Guess it depends on one’s priorities, and that unavoidably will divvy up in countless ways across the human spectrum. I don’t honestly know what one could say about any of this going on today that might make a lick of difference to the outcome we’re all “progressing” toward. I see where hostilities are mounting and how aggression plays out as a result, and I recognize that love is an integral part of the answer to what ails us. But I can’t claim to know much beyond that right now.

[Lightly edited on 3/2/2015 for greater clarity]

Zoning in on the least capable of being reasonable — where does it get you?

This song came across my headphones one day last week and really struck me, so I uploaded it with a fitting piece of artwork by glooh on DeviantArt:

That was Gary Moore singing “Oh, Pretty Woman.”

I dig it.

While re-listening to this again tonight, reflecting on a recent conversation with an MRA online, I want to elaborate on and adjust what I was trying to say in the end when talking about not focusing so much attention on feminism and feminists and instead speaking to us out here in the general audience and public. Already are invited into our homes via this screen, so say what you have to say. Bickering back and forth with feminists is a real turn-off for plenty of us out here.

Ok, well, expanding on that, what struck me today is that if you’re interested in debating feminists, why not address the presumably reasonable feminists instead of talking to and equating all feminists with the fringe extremists? Because MRAs seriously need to understand that they’re most often online interacting with young women and girls who call themselves feminists without realizing all the wrongs being done in feminism’s name. Many don’t know, despite their air of self-assurance.

Hell, back right after I made my first feminism video on my YT channel (in 2012, 3-4 years after denouncing the label of feminist and several years since really keeping up with much pertaining to the movement) people started piping up about VAWA and I had to go look it up. There’s feminism in the abstract and feminism as it plays out through the political manipulation of public policy. Not that feminism is alone in exploiting the system in this manner, but then again, who’s exploiting whom?

Anyway, I so often read or hear men talking online about the extreme views expressed by the likes of Valerie Solanas or Andrea Dworkin, when most feminists and women in general alive today aren’t up on all of that. Many, many women don’t explore the extreme end of feminism, because it’s not their thing and they consider much of it inconsequential. Not that mainstream feminism is much better, but even there, I don’t think most females out here keep up on a whole lot of what’s going on beyond social media outlets, if even that.

But let’s assume that, by-and-large, the most vocal self-described feminists online these days are typically young, naive and throwing themselves into a movement in search of a sense of identity (as people like to do) or expressing extreme viewpoints. Those don’t qualify as the most reasonable feminists in existence, obviously. Maybe, by addressing those feminists most likely to give a damn about MRM concerns and other reasonable women instead of zoning in on extremist examples few out here are knowledgeable about or in agreement with, those guys wouldn’t come across as so combative and therefore wouldn’t likely turn more people off than on. The men’s rights movement, or at least popular factions within it, are coming across as not too terribly different from those on the extreme end of feminism. That’s according to my and plenty of others’ observations. But people are going to do what people are going to do.

But whatever. How much can I care about a political movement?  *shrugs* Would be nice if people could help form and spread an ethic concerning boundaries, both personally and politically, that rises above the petty tit-for-tat demonization-fest so commonly found across the men’s rights movement (as well as the MGTOW deviation) and feminism currently.

Is it me, or do mass movements—whether aspiring or established—always turn idiocratic?

Swerving toward the 4th of July… (thoughts on the fate of American society)

Had to drag this one back to my blog cave, Justicar’s “Response to Success Council’s Response to Me”:

(Not addressing Justicar directly, just speaking publicly and sharing my thoughts and reactions.)

Pausing at 18:15 . . . We’re dealing with a utilitarian perspective right there. Let me see if I have this right: If the majority profess to liking something, or at least prove willing to tolerate it, then it can’t be considered immoral because it serves the greater good. Most especially if they receive anything that can be construed as a benefit in return for their tolerance. And if one wishes to say the action is indeed immoral, they’d have to appeal to an authority greater than humanity. Hmm… Basically humans will get the societies they are willing to put up with, even as these “social customs” of adding taxes to more and more transactions crept in insidiously.

And that is where I have a problem. People are speaking out because a line has been crossed to where the costs do outweigh the benefits, and plenty we’re accustomed to thinking of as benefits isn’t serving our best interests in the ways we like to imagine. His argument acts in defense of bolstering popular delusions — whether intended that way or not, that’s the outcome. Because many people content themselves with living as domesticated pets and/or wage slaves, that way of life should be defended? No. It’s not psychologically or socially healthy for us to continue living these ways, that is my position. We are losing out on exploring our higher potential by continuing in this direction and allowing ourselves to become little more than tax-paying, empire-supporting consumer drones.

To which I imagine Justicar would say something like “Great! Hit the streets! Push for the change you seek.” Knowing full-well that at this stage in economic development in the Western world that politics are off-the-hook and the legal channels are very costly to navigate and prove ineffective when you’re actively interested in radically overhauling the status quo. So taking it to the political sphere is a waste of time for someone with views and positions this far outfield on such matters. My power would be better spent addressing individual people and working together to strengthen and expand both our (and any onlookers’)  understandings, in what ways we’re able, on where we stand today, what sounds saner and sustainable by comparison, and why. Conversations need to be had on these topics, and the beauty of the internet is it allows us all to plug in and interact. (That being one fantastic payoff to come out of modern times. The potential on here is immense.)

But the human element so often seems left out of these types of discussions. All is treated in the abstract and worries over what is conducive for maintaining sane conditions tends to be dismissed as an overreaction. All anyone seems to want to talk about anymore is the economic and the political — the big scale. Nevermind all of us down here on the ground, muddling along, trying to keep up with and wrap our minds around living in rapidly changing times. Yet it’s precisely us down here who are participating in boosting the economic and political as if supreme concerns trumping all else.

Does the personal cease to matter now? SJW’s turned everything personal into something political, and it’s precisely that which justifies steam-rolling over individual concerns and experiences. It’s almost as if the personal sphere is vilified when it’s brought up in the public debate, and that’s fucking strange when you really stop and think about it. We only really know what we individually know. Subjectively, necessarily. And sometimes where we arrive at contradictions or conflicts with how the majority have been conditioned into accepting what amounts to a new type of chains on our honest productive capacities and the ability to work towards meeting our own ends instead of being herded into a dehumanizing labor force and made to finance political chicanery that has no business occurring.

Because people agree to reasonable taxation to cover societal goods does not further suggest we can rightly be taxed for anything and everything while refusing to succumb to oversight on what our tax dollars are being spent on (transparency).

But this is where we get into the complexities of laws on the books and how much money is brought in and the countless ways it’s redistributed and how our elected representatives are caught up in playing the political/economic game and rendered disconnected from their constituents. Not to mention how we folks down here on the ground introduce a hodge-podge of conflicting shit and plenty seem perfectly willing to exploit the political process in order to provide people like themselves perks and preferential treatment. Which gets me thinking about frivolous misuse of the courts and special interest lobbying. And the invasion of corporatism with their indecipherable language of Legalese. And the simultaneous rise of the surveillance society amid mounting secrecy within government. How exactly do we as voters hope to check all of that?

Radical fucking times we live in, no doubt. What realistically can be done to change the tide when so many stand on-board with it?

That’s where I remain stuck, so I turn to people and talk to and listen to them. Figure grassroots is the way to go at this point, because it’s the only place we really have a chance at influencing others. Changing hearts and minds, including our owns as we personally evolve and expand. I honestly don’t know what else can be done in the face of this mammoth and its legions of minions willing to accept having their lives reduced to revolving around money, both acquisition and spending of. Sounds like a shallow existence under these circumstances.

If this is truly the will of the people, then it’s what will continue unfolding. My interest isn’t in forcing anybody else’s hand, just trying to protect my own interests and those of my loved ones where able, feeling increasingly powerless to do so. Tell me that isn’t an unhealthy psychological and social state to wake up and find oneself in. But here we are. What might we do about it? How do we cope with this realization? What is honestly productive in the face of this dilemma?

Further thoughts on what’s logical vs. what’s life-affirming

I was worried writing the post directly before this one would be opening up a can of worms that requires a lot more time to explore and break it down. Just a pondering agnostic here, so don’t no one get it twisted. The metaphors that strike me as useful and descriptive I go ahead and borrow for my own purposes (or to expand on purposes introduced by others).

Let’s put it this way: The U.S., Great Britain, China, Russia, Israel, among other countries, all comprise the global System. This is the New Rome. Undoubtedly this isn’t a controversial claim. And most people alive today are rendered dependent on them in one way, shape, or form (especially us Americans since most of us barely know how to do anything to provide for our basic needs anymore aside from acquiring and waving around money).

How does the story end? Who knows? Don’t even know if it will end. What worries me isn’t an ending, it’s the trap humans find themselves in in recent times, particularly dating back over the last century. So much has changed so rapidly and on such a scale that the System created has overshadowed common people. Our power, both as individuals and as communities, has been trumped. We’re like birds in a cage with clipped wings. And what power people do possess is funneled by way of overhauled social customs and economic demands toward servicing the System somehow, some way. That is to say that people no longer work toward satisfying their own ends but rather service the ends of something bigger and stronger than ourselves and our communities. People have long been beasts of burden out of necessity, but the difference today is that much of the work undertaken isn’t honestly productive or fully within our own control. The slavemaster of old was Nature — the slavemasters of today are other people and the companies and institutions they are cloaked within. Our means of caring for ourselves is no longer a direct relationship with Nature or free exchange between people, but rather it’s filling positions like cogs within a wheel in order to earn enough money to pay companies to provide what we need and want. We can thank specialization for this radical overhaul in labor — a double-edged sword like most else.

What is “sin”? Besides being a word signifying a concept I’ve long shied away from—having so many quibbles over its interpretation that it would take a week to lay out my objections—I’ve come to understand it as representing that which winds up being life-negating and leads toward psychological chaos. So, in my view, it isn’t what a lot of people like to assume it is, or at least not for the reasons they claim. Very often parrot claims of what’s sin and what isn’t without considering the matter critically for themselves. And I do believe there are shades of grey there, most definitely — it’s rarely all or nothing when it comes to moral matters. Sin represents what does harm to us as individual persons and/or an honestly life-affirming way of life. What I mean by that isn’t simple to explain and I can see where different opinions on this matter can make sense despite conflicting, making it all the more clear that we’re not dealing with solid objective truths here. Different societies and communities operate in different ways, so naturally people can and will determine these things in ways that won’t prove compatible if all were suddenly jammed into one society (as we’re figuring out in our melting pot called the U.S.A.).

Does examining what’s logical always prove life-affirming? This I’ve been wondering a lot about in recent times, and I’m settling on the conclusion of “no.” Because an argument proves logical doesn’t imply it’s life-affirming or sane, as plenty of thought exercises bandied about out there suggest. Logic is another one of those amoral aspects of human thought. What is life-affirming very often is (or perhaps always is) logical (at least on one level or another), but all that is logically sound isn’t necessarily life-affirming nor is it guaranteed to be compatible with healthy human living.

For example, because the System does provide for many humans’ needs and has allowed for unprecedented population growth to the point where many (if not most) of us now depend on it in order to survive, it may be argued that maintaining this System is logical. However, if this way of life produced under this System is creating so much psychological distress to humans to where suicide rates and destructive impulses are on the rise and the vast majority experience feelings of depression and anxiety on a regular basis, not to mention the corruption inherent in such a System, can we reasonably consider it just and moral for humans to remain subjected to and dominated by it? And this is where people tend to say that it doesn’t matter either way since this is what we have and this is where we stand today, so get used to it.

If we’re unhappy enough that plenty of us complain daily, then that’s a sign that something has to give. And because the System itself won’t give, I expect more people will be the ones who wind up giving, in the form of suicide or mentally breaking down or growing extremely apathetic. And that leads to the psychological chaos I’m talking about. When power is obstructed from working toward honestly productive ends, it does not simply fade away — instead, it winds up diverted toward self-destructive and/or destructive ends. In short, power always seeks an outlet, and humans are creatures of power. This is a condition of our very nature at the core.

So, what do we do about it? I don’t know. But I suppose seeing it for what it is and examining what isn’t working is a step in the right direction of imagining what truly might work or at least allows us to consider our individual options in response.

Political activism burn-out

I’ll be honest (if only to move Gloria Steinem’s image farther down my blog page…*shudders*), I actually do continue to experience pangs of guilt for quitting political activism. Bugs me sometimes. BUT, I try to remind myself that the best thing I can do for this country is work on my damn self, and I’ve got some issues needing to be more thoroughly addressed and hopefully resolved. Still not entirely sure where I’m trying to go from here, just not too happy where I’m standing currently. Happy with my job, don’t intend to move, not interested in new romance, battling addictions like most Americans — but recognizing that all necessary changes can’t exist in myself alone. We do have to reach out to one another and express where we’re coming from and what life has taught us so far. Very important to take time to listen too.

I have truly learned a lot on youtube since late 2011 when I went exploring the social atmosphere there. Never had delved into that before, having stuck with music, documentaries, lectures, and tutorials mostly in the years prior. Then somehow I became tuned into this online interaction festival, which swiftly wound up ushering me in the direction of Karen Straughan to be educated on the men’s rights perspective (or at least the AVFM version) after I started poking back around again to check what feminists were up to (never did follow feminism on youtube much, just stuck to blogs, forums and other sites I was more used to). Took up a couple months spending time with Karen’s material. My former partner didn’t care for her message and sometimes complained for me to turn it to something else (him not being an internet user to start with). But I persisted in my alone time and wound up introduced to a wide variety of characters producing content and interacting on the so-called “manosphere.” Strange place. But then again, the youtube feminists I’ve observed are just as strange. So many narrow-minded antagonists on each side of the fence. Part of why I grew tired of gender politics years back and am once again right about now.

thudpile

After losing interest in feminism, I spent a few years volunteering for a Quaker peace organization and don’t regret it. Taught me a lot. Wish they hadn’t been such big Obama-supporters, and we didn’t seem to see a lot of issues eye to eye, Ah well. It is what it is. It wasn’t a terrible experience, and it brought me in contact with feminist organizations (namely WILPF) and veterans’ organizations (namely Veterans For Peace) who were at least interesting to observe. Learned a lot from all of that and enjoyed showing documentaries to anyone who cared to show up. Cost me some money, but it did feel worthwhile. They consider themselves social justice activists, but not in the way people commonly reference it on youtube. All peace organizations with liberal leanings are apparently all categorized and caricatured in this way, which I don’t think is fair.

Anyway, I’m done with organizations and big groups. And completely burnt out on the political bullshit. But I don’t feel driven to be completely inactive just because of that fact. I do wish to remain active in some respects, just not apparently how others wish I would be.  lol  But such is life. Sometimes we need to bop to the beat of our own drums. Sometimes we feel compelled to go in a direction we don’t entirely understand at the outset. Life’s about taking risks and following where we feel called, but right now I don’t feel a calling. Just taking in what’s going on out and around, pondering and trying to make sense of what I can while contemplating where to go from here as a little soloist who feels increasingly disconnected from so many of the “battles” being waged out there.

Though I do intend to break down a bit more of my thoughts after having observed the “manosphere” at a future date.