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02 May 2011 @ 07:26 pm
Jingoism vs. Sanctimony  
On the one hand there are the people out there cheering in the streets and shouting "USA!"  On the other hand there are the self-righteous hand-wringers making sure we know how morally superior they are, and how disgusting and awful the rest of their countrymen are.

Lay off, all of you.

It's not America being gross, it's people.  Everyone does it.  At the heart of a lot of people is a little caveman jumping up and down over protecting his territory from his enemies, real or imagined.  Why doesn't everyone do this?  I don't know.  But pretending it's just boorish uncultured Americans who do things as despicable as celebrating someone's death is stupid.  There, I said it.  Stupid.

I guess my gripe for today is how sick I am of the anti-Americanism coming from Americans themselves.  Yeah, I get it, we're all a bunch of hick assholes - which just makes the other extreme even more reactionary and jingoistic, and it just goes back and forth ad infinitum, everyone yelling louder and louder about how they're the best because someone else is the worst.   And I don't even give a shit about bin Laden being dead; whoopdie fuckin' do.  Just as there's always going to be some loudmouth yelling about how awesome he is because he happens to be [insert race/gender/nationality/political affiliation/favorite TV show] as though that confers any awesomeness to him, and just how there's always going to be some pretentious shit who is just oh so much better than all those scum she has to live with, there's always going to be evil assholes looking for reasons to kill other people.  The world will go on, much as it has for the entirety of human history.
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
Shannon: tng picard disappointkungfuwaynewho on May 3rd, 2011 12:40 am (UTC)
A little bit of perspective is a wonderful thing.

Precisely. I'm not saying that one can't look at what's happening today and wish it were different, but it's this attitude that the world is going to shit and we're surrounded by horrible people and on and on and I'm just like...yes. Everyone feels this way. Everyone has always felt this way. Because WE'RE ANIMALS WHO HAVE JUST ENOUGH COGNITIVE ABILITIES TO MAKE CITIES.

History = humans in their tribal groups, based on whatever unifying principle (religion, culture, language, ethnicity, region), doing their best to knock the shit out of some other tribal group. The end.

Edited at 2011-05-03 12:40 am (UTC)
enigmaticblues: allison seriousenigmaticblues on May 3rd, 2011 12:48 am (UTC)
So very true. I find that how well I keep this in perspective is directly related to how depressed I am at any given moment, but...

Dude. Read a bit of history, and then tell me that the world is a better/worse place now than it was 50, or 500, or 5000 years ago. People are people, and sometimes we are awesome, and sometimes we suck gravel through a bendy straw, and most of the time we're all somewhere in between.
Shannon: sttos number onekungfuwaynewho on May 3rd, 2011 01:06 am (UTC)
Dude. Read a bit of history, and then tell me that the world is a better/worse place now than it was 50, or 500, or 5000 years ago.

I know! I read an article once about how the invention that most changed human history wasn't fire or the wheel or the steam engine, but the washing machine. Seriously - less than 100 years ago most women would have spent most of their time rearing children, cooking food, and cleaning the house and everyone's clothes. Don't tell me we don't live in a better world today just looking at that and that alone.

...I really need to get some non-fandom, neutral icons for when I'm actually talking about something serious.
(Anonymous) on May 11th, 2011 06:13 am (UTC)
I remember my professor talking about the washing machine - that washing the clothes, more than any other chore, is what took up the most time out of a woman's day, like more than 3 hours for an average family. And that when that time finally became free, woman had a chance to actually think about *themselves* for a goddamned change. Not surprisingly, it was a woman who invented the washing machine, but couldn't get the funding from her HUSBAND to patent it. She had to wait until he died to be able to do it, and change history. No, men are usually not concerned about improving women's lives. On a flip note, the automatic transmission was invented for women, as it was considered "too difficult" for a woman to learn to drive a manual...
(Deleted comment)
Shannon: b5 commandkungfuwaynewho on May 3rd, 2011 01:12 am (UTC)
I think a lot of this problem comes down to a lack of proper history being taught in schools, really.

Lord, tell me about it. Everything I know about history I learned on my own, save for one single college class. (And reading a lot of SF.) I didn't learn jack shit in school, and I doubt I'm the only one.

I think there are two ways people look at the world, which are not in any way mutually exclusive. One is: we are the best and smartest humans who have ever lived. The people who came before us, because they didn't have cell phones/cars/white bread/fashionable clothes/the right kind of religion were dumb. The second is: every year the rest of the world gets worse and worse, and everything's headed for some kind of catastrophic disaster. I think it's the combination of those - I and those I affiliate myself with are the best, and the rest of the world is going to shit - that leads to the attitude that drives me absolutely up the wall with its moral superiority.
Holly: Six propoganda posterhollywobbles on May 3rd, 2011 02:55 am (UTC)
History = humans in their tribal groups, based on whatever unifying principle (religion, culture, language, ethnicity, region), doing their best to knock the shit out of some other tribal group. The end.

Also, yes. This, too. It's so incredibly true.
Holly: Stock - Peekaboohollywobbles on May 3rd, 2011 01:40 am (UTC)
Um, this. All of it. I know I already mentioned this in my response on pftt, but I basically spent the entire day being sick of everyone I came into contact with online. I feel like the entire purpose of facebook and twitter in particular has become a big one-upmanship game of trying to prove you've got the cooler perspective on every situation and a snarkier way of phrasing it, and I would be so tempted to throw in the towel on all of it if I had more than my boss and my cats to interact with in rl on a day to day basis.
Holly: TNG - Worf bitch step offhollywobbles on May 3rd, 2011 01:55 am (UTC)
Also: "And not a fuck was given that day" -- great tag??? Or greatest tag?
Shannon: tng merry menkungfuwaynewho on May 3rd, 2011 02:04 am (UTC)
I wish I could take credit for that. But, like most things I say these days, it came from tumblr.
Holly: Bill - keep your pants onhollywobbles on May 3rd, 2011 02:23 am (UTC)
Well, I heard it from you first. ;)
Shannon: jin ftwkungfuwaynewho on May 3rd, 2011 02:04 am (UTC)
I feel like the entire purpose of facebook and twitter in particular has become a big one-upmanship game of trying to prove you've got the cooler perspective on every situation and a snarkier way of phrasing it.

AH THAT'S EXACTLY IT. YOU ARE A GENIUS.

Holly: Ellen touchéhollywobbles on May 3rd, 2011 02:22 am (UTC)
It drives me absolutely, utterly insane. I've even sort of obliquely called a couple acquaintances on it, and I think I may have pissed them off (they didn't respond). But it's like GEEZ, WHEN DID WE BECOME SO FULL OF OURSELVES AAAARRRRRRRRG. I have such a love/hate relationship with social media.
mac_beth13: Ginnyiconmac_beth13 on May 3rd, 2011 04:08 am (UTC)
On the one hand there are the people out there cheering in the streets and shouting "USA!" On the other hand there are the self-righteous hand-wringers making sure we know how morally superior they are, and how disgusting and awful the rest of their countrymen are.
It's not America being gross, it's people. Everyone does it. At the heart of a lot of people is a little caveman jumping up and down over protecting his territory from his enemies, real or imagined. Why doesn't everyone do this? I don't know. But pretending it's just boorish uncultured Americans who do things as despicable as celebrating someone's death is stupid. There, I said it. Stupid.
I guess my gripe for today is how sick I am of the anti-Americanism coming from Americans themselves.


Right on! Thank you for saying what has been getting to me all day and phrasing it so well.

I've had a movie quote in my head all day from 'The American President' -Sydney Ellen Wade: "How do you have patience for people who claim they love America, but clearly can't stand Americans?" I'm with Miss Wade, I've lost my patience with all of them, being American means expressing one's opinions, not oppression and the forcing of one's opinions upon another. They beleive differently than you? BFD, get over yourself. Move on, STFU, today IDGARA. In a few days will it really matter who shouted their opinion the loudest?

And...sorry to rant on your LJ, but yeah...sorry. :P

Shannonkungfuwaynewho on May 4th, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC)
Hey, no apologies for ranting! That's what I was doing, LOL.
Anne Marieindigoviolet on May 4th, 2011 06:54 pm (UTC)
But pretending it's just boorish uncultured Americans who do

things as despicable as celebrating someone's death is stupid.

There, I said it. Stupid.


Well this is the stereotype of Americans over here (overly patriotic, right wing, gun toting redneck), and some people like to use it for an instant feeling of superiority. As if there's no such thing as racism/jingoism/xenophobia in this country. WTF? (Okay, maybe it's less overt and melodramatic, at least right now. But it festers under the surface and that can be even worse. We've got absolutely no excuse to feel superior.)

The thing is, some people will bitch about the UK in one breath, but as soon as the conversation turns to bashing America they'll get all patriotic and start acting as if we're some kind of sparkling utopian fairyland. (There was a LOT of this over the healthcare debate.)

Sorry for being a bit O/T, but obviously I can't completely understand how this feels from your perspective xx

Edited at 2011-05-04 06:58 pm (UTC)
Shannonkungfuwaynewho on May 4th, 2011 07:15 pm (UTC)
Well this is the stereotype of Americans over here (overly patriotic, right wing, gun toting redneck), and some people like to use it for an instant feeling of superiority. As if there's no such thing as racism/jingoism/xenophobia in this country. WTF? (Okay, maybe it's less overt and melodramatic, at least right now. But it festers under the surface and that can be even worse. We've got absolutely no excuse to feel superior.)

That's the thing - I think a lot of this attitude, both overseas and here, is all based on a stereotype. Yes, there are overly patriotic right wing gun toting rednecks out there; I live in Kansas. I know a lot. And even out of that group of people most of them are decent, hard-working, and aren't racist assholes. And I think that's part of the reason why I'm oversensitive to this kind of thing, because I live in a part of the country that is so stereotyped, in such a mean way, and that's not what people are like here at all. Are there racists? Of course - probably just as many as there are anywhere else.

Absolutely not OT - I always love hearing someone else's perspective!