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What’s in a name

12 Jan

Other than the ridiculously cliche and overused phrase I pasted onto the title (Hey kids, do you know who wrote it first?), sometimes people’s comments really do beg the question: what exactly is in a name?

It’s understandable that we try to generalize people as fast as we friggin can in order to save ourselves the effort of actually getting to know the person. I’m not judging, coming to know a person for who they really are is a ridiculously difficult and time intensive task, and requires us to pull our eyes off the computer screen and have a pleasant conversation about topics other than the weather. I mean, who does that anymore? What is this, 1920?

It’s almost like we’re finding new and profound ways of stereotyping people. What, your friend is a liberal? She’s probably a dirty tree humping vegan! You have a conservative cousin? He’s a bible thumping fanatic. Your professor is a Tea Party member? ……. how the hell did he get a PhD?

We (and I use the all encompassing human “we”) have a tendency to demonize and belittle our enemies. This is a given, since we seem to be biologically programmed to call out enemies, even if they don’t really exist. Us vs. Them, the Smart vs. the Uneducated, the Enlightened vs. the Blind, the Scientific vs. the Orthodox.

Apparently we’ve never heard of a Venn Diagram.

What is that bluish purple thing? ... middle ground? BLASPHEMY!

I admit to leaning a little left, but that doesn’t mean that I consider the people on the right to be racists or corporate pawns. There are intelligent people on both sides with strong arguments and moral grounding. It’s just a matter of principles, and that… really has nothing to do with intelligence. People can say they want, but principles are principles, and rarely do they stem from analytical logic or rationale. Principles come first, support comes later.

So, World, I ask nicely that you don’t equate my political leanings with being a bum living off welfare, or thinking that my believing in Christ automatically makes me a close-minded and irrational bigot. That really doesn’t describe me at all, I’m sure we could play nice if you gave it a chance.

We can point to numerous idiotic people on the “other side”, but really? It’s humanity. The vast majority of humans are idiots. Of course each side is going to be filled with them, it’s all probability.  (It’s also very probable that you yourself are an idiot. Be proud to represent the species). If 75% of the world is composed of stupid people (this is a conservative estimate) then roughly 75% of Democrats, 75% of Republicans, 75% of Prius drivers, and 75% of any other group is going to be idiotic. Argue all you want that “they” have more idiots than your group, but let’s face the facts, most people have no idea what they’re talking about.

And that’s what we love about people. It’s like watching a retarded puppy trying to chase its own tail and ending up rolling down the stairs. It’s meaningless, brain numbing, but damn if that stupid runt isn’t the cutest thing you’ve ever seen.

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Posted by on January 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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