Tuesday, February 12, 2013

King of the Manure Pile

This is another one of those stream of conciousness rants.

I don’t know if I’ve really “given up” on Humanity, all I know is that just don’t have what it takes to have any all-encompassing faith in it.  I’ve been thinking lately about things like primal impulses (for a story I have in mind), our pride, ability to self-deception and in general, how it is impossible for us to truly accept each other as equals en masse, as strangers.  Family can love each other well enough (if you’re lucky enough to live in a functional family), and lovers and give and take equally and truly respect one another – and of course, no matter what one’s friends are into, one has a tendency to make excuses for one’s friends.  The rest of us? Yeah, we’re screwed because it is in our nature, whether knowingly or subconsciously to see each other as a little less. The sad part is, I think this is a fundamental part of human nature that none of us can completely get away from. 

It’s not always extreme enough for us to notice… I was half-watching (while doing another thing) a show on PBS about sex-trafficking and how girls in parts of Asia that are sold into the brothel system are pretty much literally seen there as sub-people.  Which is of course why they get beaten and their eyes stabbed out (in the case of one of the escapees shown).  This goes on *today.* 

Then, there is the less institutionalized version… the other day, I was at a mall and was carrying my Nintendo 3DS around because I like to keep the wireless on to capture random Miis from other people’s DS-es.  (For those who don’t know, they’re little cartoon avatars you can make of yourself on modern Nintendo systems that you can set loose online and if your little pocket game system is in the range of another, you can meet new cartoon versions of people).  The strap on my carrier came loose, I heard a “chink” as it hit the ground and a young man graciously picked it up for me and handed it to me.  After checking everything to make sure it was still there, my guy and I walked and talked and he said that the kid had this “snatch and grab, oh crap I’ve been caught!” look on his face when he turned around and my attention was to the ground – and that I had only experienced faux-gentlemanliness.  I think it’s true because the strap had come loose in such a way that it only would have if someone had come up from behind and actually tugged it…

Which brought me to some very un-Jesusly, un-neighborly thoughts of “If he had gone ahead and run with my DS, I would have leapt on him like a beast!”  I am… a bit of a berserker. People who know me in real life know this.  My primal urges came to the fore. I also knew, in that moment, just how much this random person devalued me – to think it was totally okay for him just to come up and try to swipe my stuff because I was “oblivious” or “stupid” in his eyes because I was in a crowded mall, looking ahead.  Maybe because I was visibly female, even.  I don’t know.  What I do know is that I had an unpleasant memory flash in my mind of being in high school and almost getting kicked out of the Art and Writing Club (with my artistic abilities being the only thing most people really liked me for in that hellhole) because when the club was selling candy for a trip, I had to resign from being on the candy crew because people in my classes found ways to distract me and swipe my candy.  I was losing more than profiting.  It wasn’t even a matter of me being unobservant – in high school I was the designated target, the Meg Griffin, if you will.  Everyone knew I was “kosher” to mess with when they wouldn’t mess with someone else.   I was devalued and theft was one of the manifestations of that.  So, yeah… I’m about ready to put myself in a mall jail if someone pulls crap like that on me again.  (Though I also know which specific mall is the skeevy-mall not to take anything fun to now).

Last night, browsing the Internet because I had insomnia, I found someone’s link to an interfaith / psychology of religion kind of blog/site.  Among other interesting things, it featured a section on how people *should* believe in the concepts they believe in by someone who doesn’t share that theology, and not just in a getting along in society way, but in an actual *theology* way.  I hate that.   I don’t care who is doing it to who, or if someone’s against my world view but thinks I’m one of the “good ones,” there is no way to tell someone “believe WRONG, right!” without looking down your snoot at them.  I think that is the way with everyone who thinks they are “right” – and since I think there are essentially as many “religions” as there are people, I think it’s all but guaranteed that a lot of people are going to be telling others to be “smart about their stupidity” and thus making people they don’t share something “important” with a little lesser in the subconscious mind.    

And as much of as doubtful and insecure person as I am, I do this kind of thing, too. I admire people who choose a vegetarian lifestyle for health or moral reasons, but there’s a part of me that regards vegans with an attitude of “You are denying your primal nature! Humans are predators!”  I definitely look down on people who nanny-goat about videogames and fantasy literature, because those are things that I enjoy and the people who whine about them have no idea what they’re about.  Yesterday, on a forum I go to, someone posted a topic about the Comic Sans typeface, wondering what people thought of it, if it was really as horrible as people make it out to be and I went on a little graphic designer’s rant about how both Comic Sans and Papyrus are so overused that they’re the very mark of the amateur and of design-ignorance.  Yes, a small part of me looks at the signs for Yoga studios and whole foods markets and pities the lack of artistic mindset and skills on the part of the people who designed or commissioned them. 

I do actually think the world is getting better… that as slow going as it’s being, we’re really *trying* to become more equal.  I think about this whenever I run into a forum game regarding time travel or hypothetically living in a past era. I think “Medieval Europe might be neat, or the Old West, or Ancient Rome…” and that’s when I think “Wait, I have boobs.  None of these eras would be good for me.”  Also, it was cool to grow up with mixed-race friends and it wasn’t even a thing… but you know, as much as we try, I really doubt Humanity will ever be capable of getting over its “king of the mountain” games.  This is probably the reason why I persist in holding onto a belief of something “other” than just Humanity, regardless of any logic. 

It’s kind of hard to realize, no matter how much I try to do something great in life, to someone, I’ll always be “inferior,” and, in turn, I’ll always have my own things to look down my nose at in regards to other people.  It’s all just a vicious, horrible cycle.   

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