The Preface

I am working on a couple blog postings related to the general reaction to bigoted comments by celebrities and how these things are dealt with. I have conflicting feelings, and so I am breaking them down into (current plan) two posts. One focusing on my problems with “silencing” people we do not like. The second post will address why I do understand that very tendency.

I am opening with this preface partially to ask that if you take issue with the first post, to wait and see if I address the concern in my follow up.

Overall, December may be ending in a blogging explosion of thoughts from me.

Lack of Understanding Is Not Rightness

It seems fairly common for people that when they cannot understand how a person feels, they see the problem as being with the other person.

I am not speaking about differences of opinions on politics. I am talking about life choices. Big ones. For many of us, the decisions and feelings of a trans person are unrelateable. We do not get it. So some folks demonize the trans community as deviants.

I am being honest here. I do not understand what a trans person is going through. There is a simple reason. I have never been in question about my gender versus my body. These two aspects of my being are not in conflict. I can never truly grasp the struggle if they were to come to terms. How frustrating it must be to feel something is not… Exact…but not understand what as I am growing up.

The same is true of being gay. I have never been in question of the fact that I am drawn to women. I wonder at times how I would deal if society told me at every turn that being attracted to women was deviant and immoral.

Angelina Jolie took heat from “heartbroken” men about a double mastectomy. They could not fathom why she would removed a great pair of breasts. Sure, I suspect some men thought they were being funny…but it isn’t really funny.

Granted, I could probably identify with Jolie’s situation a bit more than the other two examples.

But the thing is, the real problem is not the situations above. The real problem is with the people who decide that their lack of understanding makes them right. That because they cannot understand or relate, there is something deviant or dangerous about the people they don’t understand.

I may not understand what a trans person is fully going through. But I am not “normal” because of it. I am simply a person. As are they. I am not helping a person in their struggles by telling them they are deviant simply for their realization that their identity and birth gender are in conflict. Making them the but of jokes, or embarrassing secrets is cruel. How is being cruel “normal”? How is being ruled by our inability to relate “wise”?

Instead, we see numerous people separating these groups out as if they are an evil attack group out to destroy “good, decent and moral” society. When compassion is treated as a weakness, one forfeits the ability to say they are on the side of good, decent or moral societies.

Culture Is Vacuous-And By Culture, I Mean…

Maybe it is just my age…but I am genuinely tierd of listening to people go on about how vacuous our culture is and how it ties to societal ills.  Not because our culture has no facets that are vacuous.  It certainly does.  But usually when people are making that criticism, they really are decrying that people might take the time to discuss stuff they find unimportant.

It is also a criticism I see friends and aquaintences making based on stuff they see on VH1 and E!  And that is kind of the problem.  If your criticisms are based on shows dedicated to light and fluffy material, it is going to heavily skew how you are perceiving the culture at large.

While it can be amusing to shine a light on a dumb tweet, Facebook post or news story, that makes for a terrible jumping off point for cultural commentary.  I mean, do people post dumb things on Facebook and Twitter?

But you know what?

People also post witty, thoughtful and good things on Twitter and Facebook.  I see thoughts and ideas that challenge the status quo, that make me think about how and why I believe what I believe.

And unsurprisingly, those people complaining about the vacuous nature of society never see themselves as part of the problem.  Instead, they are the ones “shining a light” on it.  They are not expressing an epiphany borne of introspection.  Rather it is merely a chance to lash out at “culture”.  The commentary is often vague complaints about Kardashians and the so on.  Maybe the fact that I read nuanced thoughts and discussions regarding problems within culture leave me simple wanting moer than complaints about how hollow culture is in general.

As frustrating as some of those vacuous regions of our culture can be…the critics can be equally frustrating.