words about things

What follows is my subtle attempt at honesty.

fascism is the new androgyny

Some of you may know that over Christmas I hit a dog on my bicycle while not wearing a helmet. I bounced my head (both sides) off the road and had to get stitches and a CAT scan. Merry f&^cking Christmas. It was immediately after this that I was invited to a friend’s family Christmas celebration. I must have still been concussed because I said “yes”. I got to see all the old faces. I mothers, fathers, grandmothers, children, uncles, aunts, and dear, dear drunken friends. I regaled them with my stories of raising snakes, continuing at a job I detest and sliding down an asphalt cheese grater that acts as a metaphor for my catholic instilled self-loathing on the day baby Jesus was born. My ego enjoyed much sympathy and many female hugs. But eventually I found myself cornered on the porch by a man I had once highly regarded as a free thinking, hard working, American farmer. Only now he is burned in like a mid-90’s server monitor. No matter what he said the sickening logo of a buggy inflexible, un-intuitive OS was always there. In his case it was what’s wrong with the government, America in general and why immigrants are bad, bad, bad.

I let him say his piece, some of which I agreed with, but then I said “I think you are right about X, Y, & Z but I also think A, B & C should be considered.”

Wrong move, Norris.

I was quickly told that A, B & C don’t mean shit. It’s mother f&^king X, Y & Z! In this case he was saying that the problem was ethics and morality. If everyone shared the same ethics and morality it would certainly fix a lot of problems (assuming you invade Poland first and killed all the jews and gypsies second) but it also ignores what makes America great

{Note to self: do a post about "what makes America great"}

I listened again to this bigots tirade and then tried to address what he was saying. But if X = 1 and Y = 2 then X+Y=Stupid move, Norris.

Once again I was sat back down in my chair to be told NO! GODDAMITT! THE PROBLEM IS X, Y & Z!!!! NASCAR! LIGHT BEER! F&^K OBAMA!

Oh. I’m sorry. I thought this was a discussion.

I tried a new tact. “Yes sir. You are correct”

Obviously I am very bad at capitulating because now I was attacked for being a patronizing son of a bitch. (In his defense, I really am)

This went down-hill very quickly and I ended the discussion by explaining that I had hit my head on the road but he had no excuse for being so f&^king stupid.

Since then I have been debating how this whole exchange came to be. I appreciate the man’s point of view but in his mind there is only ONE answer and it’s HIS answer. Nothing I could say, even in agreement could satisfy his agitated nature. I have compared his attitude to dozens of other older people I once respected and found that what they all have in common is spending more time listening to right wing news than they used to spend reading whatever newspaper was available. I have a theory about this based on what a 20-year-old's news intake is vs what their news intake is at 50. My grandparent's, for example, read the morning newspaper and watched the evening news. My parents where adults when you could watch 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes at supper time and then catch the full news at 10 (assuming you stayed up that late). I came into adult hood with non-stop 24/7/365 news on every channel and online but we knew it was all shit so we ignored it. I fear for my child's adulthood. By my metric, she will need the news to be tattooed on her forehead for it to be real.

I could now go into the polarization of the baby boomers by news media. I could discuss the insecurities of the working classes (of which I am a card carrying member) which is constantly fed by click-bait news. I could discuss how rational, logical thought is categorized not based on what it results in, but what it opposes. So if the right wing hears your rational thought you’re a “moderate”. If the left hears it you’re a “progressive”. I could talk about how the “interests” in the US use money to control power which influences a clearly segregated society that is just a series of data points, interest rates, and risk groups.

But I could also point out that we are more informed and less deceived than ever. I could suggest that people who would have been drawn to a moderate position are now free to be the extremists that they always wanted to be. I don’t know the answer but I know I had a terrible Christmas and I won’t go back to visit my friend's family for at least a year.

Sometimes I’m glad I have no family and almost no friends.

Sometimes, I’m really lonely.

But most of the time I’m thinking about stuff and wishing I had written more.