On ‘eliminating stigma’ and Social Justice Warriors

I’m in the motherland of SJW’s (Social Justice Warriors), in other words, an American Jesuit Institution. The tractable 18-year-olds are full of righteous indignation and idealistic self-importance of the messianic variety. (And of course, inevitably, the few contrarian ones now mutter about Ayn Rand and Breitbart).

Seriously though, the SJW-ness is thick enough in the air here I could probably bottle it up and sell it as a new breakfast spread for your toast.

I ran across this thought in an old Jesuits book of rambling essays:

We also hope its new-found “compassion” is not so self-righteous that it excludes the poor and weak from their own moral dignity on the grounds of some neo-Rousseauist theory about sinful structures or social sin, which insists on locating evil outside of most human hearts. We are very near to reducing most people to “objects” of “concern” — or to put it differently, we are very near to handing over the essential decisions about moral worth… [James V. Schall Idylls and Rambles, p. 205]

I think he is saying, that the more you champion “the oppressed” and insist they are not responsible for their actions, the more you objectify them into ‘things’. Sometimes, holding someone accountable for their actions is the first step in respecting them as a human being.

Dogs with rabies get my pity and a swift euthanization. If we treat people like “the poor things can’t help it”, then the logic follows there as well.

Let us not treat sinning humans as faultless critters. That is dehumanizing.

Bullies and Liars

It makes my heart sick. Bullies and Liars and people who make up history that isn’t true. Damn it, I wish all those Marxist sympathizers in the West (whose own self-conceited arrogance have made them the enablers of so much wrong) could have traded places (and would trade places) with all those who have suffered and still suffer under those godless regimes that promise paradise and eat your firstborn.

Instead, their suffering is forgotten, as the enablers turn deaf ears to them, and are too busy anyway giving their fellow enablers prizes for ‘open-mindedness’ and ‘courage’ from the comfort of their free world homes. And they continue to enable bullies and liars the world over.

But the dead will rise up one day, millions upon millions, and ask for their blood to be avenged. And it will.

I will also be dead

When I was 18 I thought “we” (my generation) could solve the majority of the world’s problems. I was the traditionalist Christian variety, which meant I didn’t completely write off the past, but I thought “we” could remodel what was wrong with the last few generations/centuries, pull out the ‘extract’ and start fresh. Previous Christians had gotten us into this mess because of hypocrisy, lackluster devotion to the cause, and either (1) harshness and knee-jerk reactionism or (2) ineffectual saccharine niceness that wimped out. They’d either overplayed their hand or rolled over like a scared puppy. We were going to fix all of this. We were going to end sex trafficking, prostitution, jilted heartbreak, abortion, father’s abandoning their children, third-world hunger, and tyrannical dictatorships around the world. We’d end infidelity, sexual violence, and brutality, and fill the world with democracies honoring human rights and patched-up happy families eating dinner together. We could fix it all. Sitting on the folding chairs in the church basement, I respectfully listened to the grownups while re-imagining how we’d “fine tune” their message and excise the offputting bits, as well as avoid the character mistakes they’d clearly made. We’d back them up while helping them out and improving on their struggle — our generation would be like the Riders of Rohan, who show up at Helm’s Deep when the sun rises.

I was so arrogant and stupid then.

I’ll be 30 in less than a year. I’m so damn tired of trying. What I thought were paper dragons are really live 3-dimensional dragons, solid things, with moss growing on them that is itself thousands of years old. Prostitution, slavery, rape, misogyny, paternal abandonment, bullies running governments, injust mass executions, pathological lying, the abuse of the defenseless …all those things will be around long after I am gone. We can make a little change here or there, but these dragons have bested our ancestors and they’ll best us. And our ancestors– probably tried just as hard as us. They were once that sanguine schemer sitting on the Grecian or Roman or Medieval equivalent of a folding chair, politely listening to their elders talk in the agora/colonnade/basement, planning to improve and win the struggle and save the world.

We are not the first and we are not the last. The dead are filled with do-gooders who tried.

And I’ll be dead one day. Maybe in three decades, maybe in five. But it is coming, and just like that, I’ll have joined the ranks of the dead, while the young smile quietly on the basement folding chairs, planning to fix it all.

I was staring at a large tree today, as its branches waved in the wind. It’s trunk was old, it’s roots curving around bits of stone/concrete covered in moss. The wind kept blowing the branches. They thrashed about, making the same sound as the sea.

 

Understanding the World I am in Now

I tend to get on my high horse alot.

Whether or not Trump is impeached, his presidency has illuminated a large swath of society that feels very put upon. I’m talking about working males, ages 18-45. They tend to be wage-earners (blue collar) or nerds and unemployed.

They feel that “feminists” are out to get them, and if chat forum comment threads are any indication, they hate preachy social conservatives girls like me just as much as the feminist crowd. In fact 1st/2nd wave feminists have quite a lot in common with traditional Christian mores (don’t sexualize the women! Public sexualization is degrading! not calling the morning after is evil! etc etc).

If you want to see them all pissed off read the comments to this video. Here is the perfect amalgamation of 2nd Wave Feminism + Social Conservative Mores that infuriate them all: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR9FHKKbMZo

It’s as clunky as it is old-fashioned. She’s a 2nd wave, and yes, she’ll be roasted by current 3rd wave feminists and insulted men alike.

While I wince at her blunt word choice…I confess she does speak out much of my own gut inclinations on many things. And I’m embarrassed to admit it, but it is true.

Now…. look at this odd opensource scifi film short: http://nofilmschool.com/2012/09/tears-of-steel-completely-open-source-film

It’s a very weird film. I also gather it is supposed to be funny, and is funny for many viewers.

“I was a dick, but that doesn’t mean you should destroy the world.”

And look at its youtube comment:

youtube-comment-tears-of-steel

I assume that is a male youtube poster. I am also assuming that most of those 33 likes are other males.

I think…this seems like a sublimated commentary on modern feminism from a male perspective. The empowered (robotic) woman is angry and revengeful. She’ll take down the old order even if it means leaving rubble behind. You could say the same thing about any revolutionary movement.

And it has been a revolution. However you feel about it, everyone agrees that the dynamic between the genders circa 1950 in the West is not even close to it in 2017.

I’m trying to get off my soapbox and see it from other perspectives. I know my attitude (hybrid 2nd wave feminist + social conservative Christian) is long passe and offensive to all.

Things that send me into a rage do not send other people into a rage. And other things do. I know everyone has been hurt, and maybe I should listen more when men say they are hurt. You always need a very good reason to blow off another’s pain.

 

Naked Blunt Truth Post #1: Changing my ways

I noticed something that irked me about Augustine of Hippo:

He’ll sometimes give random reasons for why something is bad–instead of the reason (I suspect) he actually thinks it is bad. You know, you give reasons that you think will convince your audience to side with you, instead of nakedly revealing the reason you really think it.

Sometimes I get frustrated. He’s uncloaking his epic vision of a Christian Neo-Platonic Universe in all its shining glory, and then he has to pause to pander to Late Antique Roman Sensibilities to explain why it’s a great idea. The worst is the mockery of one’s opponents. I don’t think he was a vicious man. But you do what works.

He was, I remind myself, a lawyer.

For example– “The hookup culture and strip-tease clubs are not intellectual! The value women’s sexual aspects and not her chemistry-acing, ninja-fighting, and chess-playing aspects!! Perpetuates stereotypical attitudes! Is inherently anti-feminist!”

I think I’ve said all those things. But I’ll be honest with you now. The real reason I hate the hookup culture is that it trivializes sex. And by trivializing it, it makes me want to jump off a bridge.

That is the honest-to-God truth.

I cannot see how sex without loyalty is not trivial. Without loyalty, sex means less than the ritualized smile of the bagger at the check-out grocery counter.

And when sex is trivialized, in Chubbic’s mental universe,  all sex’s accouterments and products become trivialized: babies and romantic promises and and human bodies and human passions and humans themselves. When sex is trivialized, it makes me doubt the importance (or permanence) of the human soul itself. When sex is trivialized, I feel like the materialists are right–we are just smart monkeys pretending that ‘love’ exists while we trick and rape each other to the genocidal progressive march of evolution, as it blots out one species for another, that will probably culminate with some super-genius talking octopii in a million years….. before our whole universe dies when everything cools off and the last star dies, leaving a gaseous cold empty universe devoid of life, like the remains of last New Year’s Eve’s ashes in the fireplace that everyone forgot to clean up.

And yes, that makes me want to jump off a bridge.

So, you wonder, why should I pick on everyone else about it?

Because, I’m guessing that some of the people jumping off bridges are doing it for the reasons that make me feel that way. And I don’t want them (or myself) to go through that.

OK? So yes, I sound like an idiot. But I’m turning 30 next year, and I figured the time for eloquence is over. I’m not a lawyer. I don’t want to be an academic. I just want to be a human. So I’m just going to tell you what I really think — and why.

A Very Sad News Story

Eight-year old kills himself after being assaulted as school: http://www.dailywire.com/news/16359/8-year-old-kills-himself-after-school-bullies-amanda-prestigiacomo

Some close friends/family have worked in rough inner-city schools, and sadly I am not surprised. The teachers are given no authority to discipline students, and the chaotic classroom quickly devolves in a Lord-of-the-Flies-type chaos, where the strong bully the weak, and the overwhelmed/harassed teachers, with their hands tied by the school, are able to do nothing except slide into clinical depression. Sexual harassment, etc all kinds of things happen right there in the school and the teachers can do nothing as they are rendered powerless by the higher-up authorities. We need to bring corporal punishment back into schools.

All this squishy feel-good childraising rhetoric, for all its Hippie/Rousseau/Romantic notions, just leads to Lord of the Flies.

In Dostoevsky’s words “Children! Children! Separately they are God’s angels, but together [in school] they are the devil.” That was from a subplot in The Brothers Karamazov, about a little boy who dies from school bullying.

The sad truth is that kids, like the rest of us, can be evil and need to be forcibly disciplined into decency. Without order, its just the Wild West all over again. And our supposedly enlightened schools became dog-eat-dog survival islands where kids learn to bully in order to survive — or don’t, and die.

 

Rest in peace, Gabriel. May God carry you in his arms to the place where he will wipe every tear from your eyes.untitled_17

Rest in peace, Gabriel. May God carry you in his arms to the place where he will wipe every tear from your eyes.

Dry academic tome’s shocking ending to preface

“Let this [book] be a tribute to those who have recognized the wrongs of this world, and to those who have wept.”

I nearly choked up. It reminds me of a line from Eugene Schwarz The Dragon, a snarky soviet-era play about a long succession of scaly dictators and craven townsfolk. A knight returns from the dead to say:

Lancelot. All right. Do you know what the Book of Sorrows is?
Elsa. No.
Lancelot. Now you will. Five years’ walk from here, in the Black Mountains, there’s an enormous cave. There’s a book lying in this cave, filled up to half. Nobody touches it, but page after page gets added to the ones written before, added every day. Who writes them, you ask? The world! The mountains, the grass, the stones, the trees, the rivers – they all see what people are doing. All the crimes are known to them, all the suffering of innocents. From branch to branch, from drop to drop, from cloud to cloud the human sorrows reach the cave in the Black mountains, and the book grows with them. If there weren’t this book in the world, all trees would die from longing, and water would become bitter. Who is this book being written for? For me.
Elsa. For you?
Lancelot. For us.
And last of all, in the Silmarillion, there is a goddess who dwells on the edge of the world:
Mightier than Estë is Nienna, sister of the Fëanturi; she dwells alone. She is acquainted with grief, and mourns for every wound that Arda has suffered in the marring of Melkor. So great was her sorrow, as the Music unfolded, that her song turned to lamentation long before its end, and the sound of mourning was woven into the themes of the World before it began. But she does not weep for herself; and those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope. Her halls are west of West, upon the borders of the world; and she comes seldom to the city of Valimar where all is glad. She goes rather to the halls of Mandos, which are near to her own; and all those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom. The windows of her house look outward from the walls of the world…