misanthropy

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I think I’m becoming misanthropic, or much more so.  I don’t know why, but I tend to read some of the Yahoo fluff pieces that try to pass for “articles”, and then, though I really shouldn’t, I seem to not be able to keep myself from looking at the comments section.  I may even like said “article”, but inevitably the comments section riles me up.  Even if the article is on fuzzy puppies, it seems the comments section is a bastion for ignorant bigoted hateful people.  People spewing out the n- word and every kind of anti-gay and ethnic slur you can imagine.  They spell those words correctly (which, come to think of it, is weird that they’d have correct spellings…since when is there a prescriptivist dictionary for slang?), though they may misspell simple words and not be able to string a sentence together.  vicious rants about how undocumented workers (referred to in coarser terms) and gays and atheists etc. should all be taken out and shot. and so on…

Really, I don’t know why it riles me up, because I should know better than to even pay attention to ignorant statements.  But maybe I get so pissed off because I’m (hopefully mistakenly) thinking these comment sections are a reflection of the general public’s views.  And it gets me to thinking that not only are there many people out there who have these thoughts, but many more than you’d think, because these are the thoughts they can admit anonymously over the internet, while they may hide it in person.  So, for all I know, some stranger passing me on the street, even if they smile and say “hi”, may really be inwardly wishing gays would rot in a fiery torment.  (gays, blacks, hispanics, non-christians, etc.)

The latest is this Rick Perry ad, which calls itself “Strong”. gag me.  Since when did Obama have a war on religion or a war on Christianity?  How are having gays in the military in any way damaging to the military?  I was so glad the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell happened, by the way.  Technically speaking, if you’re a politician, wouldn’t you want to encourage as many people as possible to join the military, and shouldn’t you show the slightest respect for people sacrificing their lives for their nation?

Rick Perry’s going to restore faith in the White House.  When was the last time there was a non-Christian president?  Oh, that’s right, there wasn’t.  Kennedy had enough trouble as a Catholic, because he wasn’t a WASP.  And can somebody explain to me why (some) Christians believe they are being persecuted?  Of course, if the tables were turned, and non-Christian prayers were said publicly in schools, there’d be an outcry of discrimination.  Separation of church and state seems to be a joke in the U.S.  Some Christians don’t seem to realize the founding fathers were Deists, or that this country was built on freedom of religion, all religion.  and the right to not be religious as well.

And no one isn’t allowed to celebrate Christmas. (yes, I know, too many double negatives.)  Since xmas decorations, music, and shopping sprees happen in October, Christmas is the holiday that is celebrated for months on end.  These Christians out there who believe they are being swept under the rug should ask themselves when was the last time they saw Diwali decorations (or Yom Kippur or…).  I think it’s safe to say that no one is trying to make Christianity go away, but that Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, atheists etc. would like to make sure that America preserves freedom of religion and a respect for others.  Besides, just my opinion, but wouldn’t it be boring if everyone everywhere had the same thoughts, opinions, customs, and holidays?  I wouldn’t want to live in a world where every single person had to adhere to the same philosophy.  I believe this was called the Dark Ages.  And there were such things as Inquisitions and witch hunts…

I know I have to try and back up, calm down, and realize that I’m not actually completely surrounded by idiots, ignorant people, and bigoted hateful people.  I have to remind myself that these Christian extremists don’t represent the entire U.S. population, or maybe even the majority of the U.S. population.  and maybe, just maybe, there are a great deal of nice Christians out there, open-minded, intelligent people who aren’t bigoted and hateful and judgmental, people who are for freedom of religion and separation of church and state and, perish the thought, gay rights.  Maybe these Christians are even offended by these other Christians.

But for some reason, it seems the hateful intolerant people have the bullhorn. and a great deal, apparently, of political pull.

All in all though, it makes it very hard for me to not hate Christians myself…because then I’d be no better, stereotyping an entire faith based off of the words and actions of some.  It’s also hard to come to terms with all the hate out there.  I know this woman, who married another woman, and they have a little five year old girl.  It just sickens me to my core to think this family could just be walking down the street, some ordinary thing such as coming back from the grocery store, and some neighbor could throw stones at them.  If not literally, then in their mind, condemning these people to hell and comparing them to rapists and pedophiles (see study), when it’s just two moms and a little girl.  What’d they ever do to anybody?

What is wrong with people?  Why is it human nature to hate? to exclude? to condemn?

Maybe I just haven’t seen a whole lot of kindness out there.  (and I really need to stop reading these Yahoo! comment sections.)

…I had an afterthought about Perry.  That, secretly, he is for Obama winning a second term.  Perhaps him and Cain are in on it together.  And they’ve made it their goal to push legitimate Republican candidates to the background, and then fill the airwaves with all the nonsense they can muster.  It started to backfire on them and the public started taking them seriously as candidates and voting them to the top of the polls.  So then Perry and Cain really had to up the nonsense ante to guarantee the voting public would vote Obama, by proposing building an electrified wall between U.S. and Mexico, by forgetting what Libya was, bringing up sexual scandal after sexual scandal, proposing a flat tax, wanting to eliminate education and the brilliant “oops” moment, and then, as if all that wasn’t enough, claiming that Obama had a war on religion and lambasting gays.  It’s all a twisted plot to showcase and spoof the Republican party!  oh wait, it’s not satire? they’re serious?  everybody run to the hills.  If any of these people get in office, Roe v. Wade will be overturned, gays will be kicked out of the military, civil unions abolished, the 0.1% will have no taxes, Hispanic-looking people will have to carry around papers all the time legitimizing eligibility to work and live here…hell, maybe non-christians will have to wear badges to identify themselves and women will lose the right to vote and the country will officially become a theocracy.  (yeah, my political views aren’t transparent)

In all honesty, I think politicians should can the incendiary divisive rhetoric and focus seriously on finding practical feasible nonpartisan solutions towards repairing U.S.’s broken economy.  too much to ask?!  Ideas such as increasing capital gains tax, increasing regulations, increasing taxes especially for the wealthy, giving incentives to large banks to loan conservatively to businesses who could expand and create net employment, giving incentives to corporations to withdraw outsourcing and bring manufacturing jobs back to the states, subsidizing students rather than state universities, making preventative care affordable for the poorest of the poor so that costly surgeries and pills that could drive up health care costs can be avoided, creating an economy that is product-based rather than service-based and focusing on quality rather than a throw away culture, and creating something massive that would create jobs, such as overhauling and creating a massive public transportation system.  Is this too much to ask for?  Does it have to be?  It’d be refreshing if presidential candidates focused on solutions to problems, rather than pomp, division, and popularity.  It’d be a relief if Congress focused on improving the country and reaching solutions in a nonpartisan fashion, rather than a stalemated Democrats v. Republicans war, where the only agreements are that pizza is a vegetable and that Congressmen should get a raise.

Yep, it’s hard not to be cynical and misanthropic these days.

 

All is not necessarily doom and gloom.

On an optimistic, and diplomatic, note:

(or click here)

What is ultimately more powerful, love or hate?  I shouldn’t put it that way, because that it too simplistic.  Love (I would think in the Christian sense as well) can mean kindness towards fellow human beings in a nonjudgmental and unconditional way.  More apt in this context would be acceptance, tolerance, or at least respect.  You can recognize that someone is different from you, holds beliefs and customs that are incongruent with your own, while respecting that person as a human being, and affording them dignity of their existence.  Perhaps a good word is namaste, recognizing the existence of the person, or “the goodness/divinity in me recognizes the goodness/divinity in you”, or more literally, “I bow to you”.  (caveat, the actual meaning of namaste may be hard to ascertain with all the New Age Orientalism out there, it may simply colloquially mean “hello”, but it does seem to be infused with a sense of respect, and a potential connection of all things to the divine.) With racism, hopefully people can learn that arbitrary physical characteristics and the amount of melanin pigmenting your skin is, well, arbitrary, and not representative of, say, criminal behavior.  Regarding anti-gay rhetoric, hopefully, one day, people could come to see two consenting adults who love each other as nothing more or less than another couple.  Prone to divorce all the same, squabbles all the same.  Not related to criminal behavior, such as rape or pedophilia or bestiality, in any sense.  And that two people trying to love each other isn’t trying to destroy religions, tumble nations, abolish civilizations, or promote rampant hedonistic chaos.  Or people could be outright silly by inferring that two gay people marrying would be akin to a person trying to marry the Eiffel tower.  One would like to say that love, acceptance, and respect for universal human rights would win out over hatred, judgment, and exclusion.  But I don’t know if history has really borne this out.

What is stronger, love or hate?  Love is very hard to find and to truly give, whereas hate comes fairly easily.  Love is also fleeting, temporary, ephemeral, whereas hate has great staying power.  Couldn’t have the concept of feud without it.  But, as stated above, this isn’t about love, just respect and dignity, with a willingness to take each individual as an individual, to combat stereotyping and sweeping bigotry.

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