Do You Feel Lucky?

(and feel free to comment! My older posts are certainly no less relevant to the burning concerns of the day.)

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Our Ideas Are Not Mad At Each Other

Conflict between ideas is inherent in the ideas themselves. It's not a matter of belligerence, of attitude, of the personalities involved. There are points of conflict that are demonstrable, where each idea contradicts the other. If one is true, the other must be modified, possibly discarded.

When we become aware of a conflict between ideas we hold true, or a conflict between ours and those of another, we have a choice.

We can address the conflict: emphasizing the point of contradiction, explore how each idea's validity can be supported with reference to either A) observable reality, or B) some acknowledged truth, fundamental to both parties' understanding. B is usually best and easiest, but if the parties can find no fundamental shared truths between them, relevant to the ideas in question, they can still fall back upon A. If neither idea can be supported from there, any conflict between the ideas is probably imaginary.

Or, we can elect to leave it unaddressed. Whenever we become aware of a conflict between ideas and we fail to address that conflict, this is either cowardice or apathy. Cowardice, when we doubt our ideas can stand up to the examination, and we fear the consequences if they are undermined. Apathy, when we don't believe the attempt is worth the effort.

Don't worry. In either case, the attitude is probably entirely justified.

In neither case is anything of one's self at risk. When an idea of ours is undermined, the worst that can happen is that we become motivated to explore it more deeply, eventually to reach a better grasp of it. The better to hold it, if the idea is fundamentally sound.

Sometimes, the only better grasp we can get of an idea is to let it go. No harm done to anyone. If we ever want another look at it, or if we're feeling nostalgic, we can always wander back to the idea later and pick it up, kick it around!

"White Privilege" Doesn't Work.

"White Privilege" doesn't work. And I've tried. For about the past fifteen months or so, any time I'm in a social setting and things go awkward, I'll take a step back, put my hands up and say "Whoa! Whoa whoa, whoa. White Privilege!" I'll accompany that with a light brush of my cheek with the fingers of the left hand, turning the palm outward after. As if to demonstrate and invoke skin tone as a confrontation-stopper.

It doesn't work, folks. It has no effect. Sometimes, it will result in an engaged and passionate discussion of white privilege, and of how people have misunderstood its nature or pervasiveness, but the point is it doesn't work for what it's supposed to allegedly do: exempt us (or if you the reader are not white-identified, "we people") from the harmful consequences of racism and in particular, racial dysneogyny ("racial dysneogyny" is a term for people suddenly bitching about racism all of a sudden, especially unexpectedly). While it's true this can lead to an active, engaged exchange with the beneficial outcome of everybody on the same page, the fact remains: "White Privilege" doesn't work like we've been led to believe. It's basically a bill of goods.

Consider yourselves warned, everybody - white OR nonwhite. And try to tread lightly on other peoples' sensitive areas. Worst of all, in case it happens, remember: if somebody calls you out on racism - that person is an ally.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Subconscious: Or Is It?

Through most of my life I have been convinced either A) I do not have a subconscious ("subconscious mind" I suppose would be more correct. I will not be referring to it as a "subconscious mind" - I will be referring to it as a subconscious. DAMN though, I do dearly wish it could be correctly called "a subconscience")

I'll come in again.

Through most of my life I have been convinced either A) I do not have a subconscious, or B) if I do have one, it is almost completely vestigial, atrophied - inconsiderable, at any rate, in terms of whatever influence it has to exert. Because in general, as I act and occasionally, retroactively examine my actions for any discernible motive, I'm pretty sure there aren't any hidden or submerged influences rattling around down there. I mean, there really truly usually don't seem to be ANY. I'm kind of shallow and 'surface' - as far as I can perceive, anyhow. You know?

BUT SOMETIMES I'M AFRAID THAT MAYBE MY SUBCONSCIOUS IS ENORMOUS AND CONTROLS MY EVERY CONSCIOUS THOUGHT AND ACTION. WHAT IF IT IS? WHAT IF I WILL NEVER KNOW THE INSCRUTABLE PULSES AND IMPULSES THAT UNGOVERNABLY IMPEL ME TO THE ACTS I SO BLITHELY WING MYSELF THROUGH??

The point is, if that turns out to be the case, then...damn it!! I KNEW IT. Son of a bitch.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

I WON THE LOTTERY!!

So anyway - I won the lottery. And I thought, what about other people? What would YOU do if you won the lottery?

How many people would hire hookers to do fun, spontaneous, non-hooker activities?

How many people would hire out the ENTIRE SPACE NEEDLE restaurant in Seattle and recruit as many people as feasible to dress up as angels and see how many will fit?

How many people would

How many people would build a wrestling-nest of PURE POUTINE, and announce a 10,000 prize for anyone who can beat you in the championship of Poutine Wrestling, all while cannily not mentioning any particular currency so that you could technically make the prize be 10,000 of anything?

How many people would go back two paragraphs and complete the sentence?

How many people would do their own funky thing?

How many people would do, or essay to do somebody else's own funky thing?

Would anybody try to do MY funky thing?

How many people would take exception and make it a rule to make no allowances no matter WHERE the buck stops?

How many people would make an effort to compose sensible English sentences?

How many people would pee more often. If they won the lottery.

I know I would.