So this year kinda sucks, huh?
November has been particularly rough, for the US and the rest of the world, and no denial of building permits in Dakota is going to make up for that. Granted, that’s still a really great thing, and the Army Corps and POTUS are on the right side of history if they keep this up, but it’s only a temporary fix now. We have ensured that the next four years are going to be rife with stress and moral deficiencies, and we have none but ourselves to blame. Still, that doesn’t mean we can’t look forward and attempt to stem the tide of bullshit we decided to dive in, so some advice might be in order.
Tell us, oh blog guru. What do we do now?
Facebook, you’re on my shit list. We were cool a few years ago, especially in high school when no one knew what the fuck was going on or how to use you properly. But we’re older now, and although you really help when it comes to making events with lots of people, you sort of suck beyond that.
You see, what began as a way to spy on old enemies in an attempt to see through their smiling vacation selfies into the stygian abyss that lay beneath, or a way to poke people or make sure grandma hadn’t succumb to dementia, has now become many people’s major news outlet. I get why it happened, people are on Facebook more and more, and so the way they consume their news moves to an accessible platform. Sure, that makes sense. But people aren’t news agencies (with integrity) and thus don’t tend to fact check what they read. If this idiotic “Pizzagate” thing has been any indication, some kind of change is in order.
For those who don’t know, “Pizzagate” is an online conspiracy theory where the Clinton’s were complicit in the operation of a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor. Hopefully to the people who read my blog, that shit sounds more stupid than eating cotton candy underwater. And it was stupid, until someone with a large caliber rifle didn’t find it stupid and unloaded shots into the pizza place, trying to flush out the fictitious culprits.
So that happened.
And this isn’t the only instance of fake news circulating around the internet. But people lack the patience, or in some cases the know-how, to vet these claims. So right now, we’re going to run a little tutorial of how to check if news is fake or not. It’s a very complicated, in depth process, but I believe that its important to check, literally, EVERY article you read on the internet to validate and ensure you’re educating yourself properly.
So here we go:
1. Open Google
2. Type in the claim that is being made by said article
3. Look through SEVERAL articles from DIFFERENT sources (not just Fox News, not just CNN) until a claim can be verified by more than one outlet of varying political persuasions
I know, its pretty intense, and there are some big words in there, but people’s lives are at stake, apparently. Facebook makes a lot of outlets rich allowing this shit to move around without checking it, so it’s up to us to police the things that we consume. Sometimes, that means looking outside of our bubble, or putting an ear outside the echo chamber. Its hard to hear what we don’t want to, but that discourse was once a way to help us grow and learn from one another, rather than just learn new ways to hate and new things to call one another. It’s a lot of responsibility, but its better than accidentally shooting up a Pizza place to further a political agenda. A few minutes on Google is much cheaper than ammunition and legal fees, just saying.
Hate the Hate
This has been a facet of the recent Nazi movement I’ve found especially compelling, at least for how ridiculous it is. For the purposes of “journalistic integrity” on this blog, we’re calling them Nazi’s. No alt-right beating around the bush over here, let’s call it is what is. Nazis. Just old fashioned Nazism.
A small tangent to any Nazi’s now reading this blog that have been called out, shame on you. Seriously, what would your parents think? If you’re old white people, that means your relatives would have flown over seas to eliminate this scourge of an idea from the Earth. They didn’t entirely succeed, ideas are hard to kill, but American culture was built almost entirely around that narrative after the 1940s, fighting evil abroad and protecting liberty and people’s rights. What would they say if they were alive, those who fought and died to stop German Nazism? I’m pretty sure they would be appalled to see their children and children’s children throwing up the “Heil” in their land of the free, home of the brave. After what our predecessors gave to stop this bullshit, you’re all a fucking disgrace.
But I digress.
Plenty of social media sites have been expanding this notion of “not hating the hate”. The post tends to look something like this.
“So, a lot of people have been talking about hating on Trump and his supporters. To this I say, for those of you who called us bigots, this is exactly the same thing. Dems will deny, but its true. Hating on Trump and the people who voted for him is its own discrimination, and it doesn’t help the future of our country. People aren’t even willing to give him a chance, he hasn’t even been sworn in yet. We need to stand together as a nation and welcome our new leader into the fold and allow him to grow and learn. You might be surprised but what you see. ;)” – Some dumb idiot
That was appallingly easy to write, and that sounds all great in principle, but it’s a red herring, meant to distract and deflect. It assumes that Republicans and right-wing officials were nothing but supportive and understanding when Obama won his race both times. For anyone paying attention, that wasn’t the case. Hell, they shut down the government because of the debt ceiling, but actually over Planned Parenthood because abortions still scare them. Remember when that was a thing? They have been nothing but obstacles along the path toward progress, so this is a new ball game. You’re not going to find any support from us, only scrutiny and skepticism, as it should be.
Being called a bigot is a buzzword right now, as is being called a racist. When Republicans turn your words around, don’t let is distract you from what’s happening. Trying to turn the vernacular around isn’t going to work this time, because in this instance, its okay to hate the hate. In this post, I’m going to reveal the secret weakness of the Nazi regime that no one really talks about, and it’s one of the keys to making sure that they don’t have a strong enough movement to make significant changes in this country.
You heard me. Nazi’s, almost above all else, can’t handle public shaming. The most evil and ill-intentioned movement, past and present, is laid low by a little public humiliation. Facts can be equivocated on, truths can be made manifest through public belief. But shaming is something much harder to shake. Don’t be shy, take a shot when you see it. Call-out culture has had some negatives, but it did teach people to have a backbone. So when you see racism or sexism or any of the other ‘isms’ we’re likely to face in the coming years, don’t be afraid to point it out. No need to make a scene, just a simple, “That’s racist” will do. Nothing sends a Nazi into a self-righteous frenzy than being called out for their bullshit.
“Well, its not racism because..”
“I’m not the problem here, it’s the Lib Media…”
“How dare you talk to your aunt that way!”
You might get all of these and more, but it shows that we’re awake and aware of what’s happening, and its no longer acceptable in social circles. Just because the President is the Supreme Tool Factory doesn’t give everyone else permission to be his little tools of evil. Unite, and don’t let your drunk uncle get away with it.
The hardest, but arguably the most important component of the next few years is to not become complacent. It seems like a herculean task, I’m aware, and honestly, I’m already starting to feel it in. Every time Trump taps another asshole to join his Axis of Evil, I die a little more inside. Its hard to keep looking at the news when more African Americans are being wrongfully gunned down, when rights are being threatened and taken away, and when we continue to dehumanize and humiliate are fellow humans, but we cannot look away.
Bryan Stevenson, perhaps one of the greatest orators of our time, said that in order for us to enjoy the wonderful and inspirational things, we must also be willing to admit the dark and difficult things about our society, and it stands now more than ever. If we want to congratulate ourselves for being innovative and creative, we must also be willing to admit our faults and shortcomings. Only through this process can we strive forward. Stevenson also said that our society will not be judged by our technology and entertainment, but by the way we treat the impoverished, the incarcerated, and the disenfranchised.
Resisting apathy isn’t just about being shrewd and scrutinizing everything(although that’s a big part of it). Part of our resistance comes from understanding the opposition on some fundamental level, in a way that perhaps they would not allow themselves to do for us.
Now I know what you’re thinking. “Greyson,” you type angrily in the comments, “you just said to hate the hate! How can we be expected to understand them while shaming them?!”
Perfectly valid question, but that’s exactly what I’m asking. Because you can do both, it’s a little complicated, but we’re not afraid of the complex here, we embrace the complexity of life. A wise friend of mine pointed out something to me some weeks ago that helped me see passed some of the red in my vision toward the rural, white, working class voters that put Trump in office.
John Stewart had made a comment about this notion a few weeks ago in an interview, where he said that many people who voted for Trump aren’t inherently racist (although could be considered as such by association), and that they aren’t afraid of immigrants, but are afraid of their insurance premiums. Stewart caught a lot of flack from Democrats, but it’s not completely untrue. By voting for Trump, its supporting a racist administration, their can be no denying that fact, but there are those who are more concerned with their budget than from refugees. Because, for many working class Americans, they view themselves as millionaires on a downturn. Upon hearing that, a lot more things made sense.
Being poor in America has never really been viewed as symptomatic of a faulty system, but tends to be blamed on the impoverished. Under capitalism, you’re poor because you’re a failure, because you don’t work hard enough or you’re not innovative enough. That’s all ludicrous, but its what the societal belief is. To many working class people, the yacht and the sports car and the multiple properties and the hover board are all just around the corner, if they could just get out of their downturn. People want to shift the blame from themselves for not being as rich as they imagine they should be, in order to avoid being thought of as a failure or lacking in some area, and so blaming immigrants and other unrelated things is a lot easier than admitting they’re poor and not quite sure how to stop being poor. A guys comes along who tells them that this thought is real and they should feel that way, and they’re you go, systematic racism lives through people that should be looking for ways to come together, rather than drive us apart.
So call people out, but also with the understanding that its symptomatic of larger problems. Individual people need to know its not okay, and the societal norms about having less money also need to shift. We need to push both notions forward, rather than just one without the other.
The Long Road
I’m not going to sugar coat, this is gonna suck. Under Trump, we’ve lost our global moral high ground. We don’t get to make fun of the UK for Brexit, we don’t get to call bullshit on Germany or France for the Burka Ban. Those are all issues, but its not some unconnected problem from us, something we can turn our nose up at and say, “wouldn’t be that way over here, we’re too smart for that”. Apparently, we’re not smarter than that, so we need to examine those issues while also learning from our own mistakes. Democrats aren’t less responsible than Republicans, we all voted, and its all of our faults this happened. #NotmyPresident isn’t going to change who the president is, and as long as you live in the US, Trump’s the guy representing you. If you don’t like that, than join the movement, no matter what side you’re on. The Dakota Access Pipeline got halted, so we had a little win there, but a Trump administration could do some political kung-foo to build it anyway, so we have to take it with a grain of salt.
-Fact check everything you read.
-Don’t be afraid to call people out for their BS.
-Resist the urge to look away.
-Remember, at the day, we’re in it together. We may not agree with the other side, and we should let them know, but we can’t jettison them into space either.
Check out the links below for everything we’ve talked about so far. Stick with Professional-Daydreaming, I’m not going anywhere (unless I move underground or something, but with all luck it doesn’t come to that). Hopefully, we’ll weather this Presidency together in arms.