July 12, 2014

Sometimes Things Do Get To You

As atonement for the melancholia below the fold, I have provided a level 5 boss who will (sincerely) smile at you.





Well...there's been a trend. 

I've been getting "The Quiz" a bit lately and my IRL social circle has been shrinking. The quiz varies but here it is paraphrased: "What do you think about (insert social justice bugaboo here)."
If I answer honestly...." You disagree with me on something that is important to me so you are opposed to my existence and you are a hater to boot so I can no longer in good conscience be associated with you" 

And so I find myself cut off. 

Keep in mind that "disagree" often does not actually mean fundamental disagreement. It can mean a minor quibble with something one generally agrees with. It can mean a respect for things like due process and freedom of religion or the archaic notion that one can have strong disagreements with someone on various issues and still respect them or even be friends. Not visibly struggling against or tolerating those who have failed the quiz, is failing the quiz.

Now the obvious solution to this is to smile and nod  when people say things you disagree with strongly, and lie when they ask ones opinion directly. Sometimes that is necessary to survive, to get along , or (hopefully) avoid having an activist waiter spit in your food.  However, a person to whom one must lie to about ones beliefs to avoid serious retaliation is not a friend. It's a college professor....and unless I'm getting credits or learning something, then I don't want to deal with the stress of this.

Besides, we learn to despise those to whom we must lie. 

...and I don't want to go there. 








Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 04:28 AM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
Post contains 298 words, total size 2 kb.

1 I presume that these are your classmates at university that are "quizzing" you, and I can guess the nature of the "social justice bugaboos" they're quizzing you on.  In my opinion, if they're spurning you over disagreements like this, they weren't really your friends to being with, they're just recruitment officers for The Cause.  You're better off without them.

Besides, we learn to despise those to whom we must lie.

OTOH, some people automatically despise those who disagree with them--and the only lying necessary is when they pat themselves on the back for their tolerance and openmindedness.   (I think it was J Greely who wrote something like, "...and they'll never realize that they're the ugly bigots".) 

Posted by: Peter the Not-so-Great at Sat Jul 12 17:29:59 2014 (2eP1J)

2
 I presume that these are your classmates at university that are "quizzing" you,  [/quote]
Sadly no. Of course I get a little bit of that on occasion, but it would not merit comment. I any event, being so close to graduation, I keep the mask firmly fitted while on campus.
No, this warrented comment because these are people I've known for years.
6 months ago my twitter feed began filling up with bile. The culprit was a fellow I've known for 24 years, who is a bit of a hippy but has always been an interesting fellow and a very decent guy. He was someone that In a lot of ways I'd admired because he'd overcome some serious obstacles to raise a family and pursue an education. I hadn't heard from him except in short tweets and E-mail exchanges for about two years. 
The bile in question was rage aimed at MSNBC for firing Martin Bashir as my friend was of the opinion that what Bashir said was quite reasonable. Now I am not a fan of the school of thought that saying anything that offends someone is a hate crime...but there are points at which one is no longer engaged in reasoned discourse, and that seems to  not qualify as such.  My friend felt that and linked approvingly to a Dan Savage piece . I pointed out that my friend had a daughter, and surely he did not want her to grow up in a world where talking about a woman that way was acceptable. He responded that his daughter was a progressive and so this was not about her and I was a fool and a misogynist for suggesting that it was. I asked if he'd still love his daughter if she came home from college a Tea Partier. He said no he wouldn't...he'd disown her. I made some clumsy analogy to the tragedy of homophobic parents cutting off their gay children and the conversation deteriorated from there cumulating in a multi question quiz, which I failed.
A few weeks ago I was asked to sign a petition by someone I've been on friendly terms with for over 15 years, though like the other one I hadn't seen him IRL in a couple of years. I did not sign the petition which I considered well intentioned but flawed. The fellow was floored and hurt. When I explained my concern he expressed his deep and profound disappointment at discovering I had a diverging opinion....all messages from the mailing list we were both members of stopped shortly thereafter.
I could go on, but won't, the point is that over the last 6 months 3, possibly 4 people I've known for over a decade have decided to do an assessment of my views, found me wanting and cut me off lest they be associated with me. 


It used to be possible to have friends with wildly different worldviews, but we are becoming so polarized that society is breaking up in an almost tribal fashion. Said tribes don't associate and membership in the tribes is determined by questions that are graded digitally.
How I long for the days of analog.

Even more than the current fusillade of scandals and the stuff happening overseas, this dynamic worries and saddens me. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Sat Jul 12 21:13:39 2014 (DnAJl)

3 Hmmm...I have NO idea what happened with the formatting there...odd.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Sat Jul 12 21:15:06 2014 (DnAJl)

4 These individuals lack real compassion. The real thing has no political filters. Compassionate understanding does not require that you agree with a person's viewpoint, but it can be a starting point for honest dialog. 
I suspect these 'friends' found the self-examination and openness that real compassion requires too strenuous, and have found comfort in conforming to The Narrative. Now that they are well mired in it, for you to say anything that questions that comfort is something only The Enemy would do.
Progressive Fundamentalism. The penultimate comfort of those who have abandoned hope.

Posted by: thornharp at Sun Jul 13 10:44:54 2014 (yDzeG)

5 Sadly no...this warrented comment because these are people I've known for years.

I was mistaken about that; it must be upsetting to have long-time friends turn on you like that.  (I must admit that sort of thing hasn't happened to me yet, at least not to that level of viciousness.)  OTOH, my original opinion hasn't changed--at the end of the day, you're better off without these people in your life.  (Especially that first fellow you mentioned--what a nasty piece of work!  You showed him much more forbearance than I would have if I were in your shoes.)

It used to be possible to have friends with wildly different worldviews, but we are becoming so polarized that society is breaking up in an almost tribal fashion.

If I may express another opinion: that bodes very ill for the future.  I'd wager that, in history, this sort of "us vs. them" mentality has helped start civil wars, or has weakened countries to the point that they become easy prey for invaders.

Posted by: Peter the Not-so-Great at Sun Jul 13 18:25:22 2014 (2eP1J)

6
If I may express another opinion:
Wait. What? Express an OPINION?...in the USA? What disgracious heresy is this?
 I'd wager that, in history, this sort of "us vs. them" mentality has helped start civil wars, or has weakened countries to the point that they become easy prey for invaders.

You would win that wager I'm afraid. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Sun Jul 13 20:31:09 2014 (DnAJl)

7 As a secondary wager, how much would you like to bet that that is the goal?

Posted by: Mauser at Mon Jul 14 03:23:20 2014 (TJ7ih)

8 On the bright side, you have some truly persistent spambots.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Mon Jul 14 10:13:28 2014 (2yngH)

9 Indeed! If I can just harness their power then world domination will be in my grasp!

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Mon Jul 14 19:21:25 2014 (DnAJl)

10 As a secondary wager, how much would you like to bet that that is the goal?

That wouldn't surprise me...however, if that is the goal of certain people out there, they may want to think twice.  "Be careful what you wish for, you may get it."

Posted by: Peter the Not-so-Great at Mon Jul 14 19:47:44 2014 (2eP1J)

11

In the 50 + years I have been on this earth one word to the wise I recieved early on and stuck with me was that in this life one has in truth only a few "True" friends. Most can be counted on your fingers. All the others you cross paths with in live are really just acquaintances.

Posted by: JWR at Tue Jul 15 17:02:01 2014 (egLlQ)

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