It Takes A Village . . .

. . . to facilitate hate, marginalize, oppress, and in general, make other people’s lives difficult if not unbearable.

I don’t have to be a member of any one group to do most things. I mean, yes, unless I’m a female — or my name is Trump — I can’t waltz into a women’s dressing room whenever I feel like it.

But I don’t have to be a member of any particular group to steal, lie, cheat, mistreat others, and bully people. As an individual, I can be cruel, disrespectful, odious, dishonest, and a poor excuse for the arrangement of organic material we typically classify as “human.”

I need not profess allegiance and loyalty to certain groups as an excuse for doing any or all of those things; I just have to be an asshole.

But, imagine I am an asshole — not much of a stretch of the imagination, some would say — and need to cover up the fact. More than that; imagine I need to absolve me of my assholeness.

Well, then, I could become a Christian; specifically, a Republican Christian. Or, depending on the type of assholeness I wish to engage in, I might become a Progressive or Democrat or both. It just depends on who I target.

Were I a citizen in other parts of the world, I might become a Muslim. They allow the same level of assholishness and then some, but I live here, in the Greatest Country in The World: The United States of America, land of the free, home of the brave.

It pains me watching the ideals I embrace get trampled and cast aside.

It pains me watching — and listening to — people who don’t recognize the freedom afforded under the laws of this country apply to all, not just some.

It pains me watching — and listening to — people demand special treatment and in so doing ask that the rights of others be trampled.

It pains me watching — and listening to — people demand others conform to their views, their fears, their beliefs, and coddle their insecurities lest they would be forced into the acceptance of the diversity of thought, of belief, of choice that we so often laud as the virtues of this country.

It’s odious when rights are denied, but particularly so when rights are callously taken away from a marginalized group by individuals lacking ethics, morals, compassion, and honor.

Today’s targets are Transgender people, and the perpetrators are Christians/Republicans flying the Trump banner.

As I write this, it’s not clear what exactly will happen. It may be Trump is just Twitter-Farting as he’s wont to do. But even if nothing comes of it, place yourself in the shoes of people he targets.

Imagine you go to sleep with the full force of the laws of this country protecting your rights to equal treatment . . . and you wake up to a different world; a world where you are not guaranteed equal treatment. A world where lawmakers charged with protecting the rights of US Citizens decided you are not deserving of those rights.

How would you feel? Would you still feel secure? Would you trust your fellow Citizens to treat you the same as they would themselves be treated? Would you fear for your safety and that of your family?

Can’t imagine it?

Here’s the thing; few people can until it happens to them.

There’s a famous poem . . . paradoxically, there are different versions of the poem because while many recognized the importance and validity of the message, they still found it difficult have it be truly inclusive.

There is no universal generalization that would retain the power and significance of the message, but the message is clear and simple:

We either all stand in defense of each other’s rights, or separately we will all fall.

The Alternate View

I should mention something I recently heard.

Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert cartoons, was a guest on the Sam Harris Podcast. He is a Trump defender, if not an outright supporter (he claims — to my ears, most unconvincedly — that he’s not a supporter.) Like many supporters —I’m looking at you, Foxtards — he readily explains away what should have us all recoil horror. 

Adams explains Trump’s outlandishness and reckless disregard for the truth, integrity, honor, and basic human decency thus: Adams believes it’s all part of Trump’s master plan to move the Far Right back toward the Center. The theory goes like this . . . by voicing odious views, Trump highlights how criminally despicable they are, thus walking back the proponents of said ideas from the abyss.

Thus, the outlandish behavior is a cleverly concealed negotiating and persuading tactic.

Let’s say that it is — it’s not — or let’s say that even if it’s not, the end result is the same as if it was, namely, views are changed and extremists see the error of their ways — they won’t — there’s an analogous situation I can use to explain how the targeted individuals might feel.

Imagine you have a neighbor who doesn’t like you. You don’t know why; he just doesn’t. Now, imagine I walk into your house with your neighbor in tow. I then proceed to raise a baseball bat and announce you and your family need to be taught a lesson, and I begin to approach you menacingly.

In that instance, your neighbor yells out “Whoa, whoa! What are you doing? You can’t just beat people up! I’m outta here!” and then proceeds to run out of the house leaving me behind.

At that point, I smile and put down the bat as I say “See? He now hates you less. You are welcome.”

I’m betting you would not, in fact, feel thankful. You might, instead, be scared of me and wonder how far I’d be willing to go next time.

If you were really good at imagining that scenario, you now have a pretty good idea how the marginalized and maligned people of this country might feel. You are welcome.

Here endeth my rant.


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About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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23 Responses to It Takes A Village . . .

  1. renxkyoko says:

    Whoa ! ! I guess that guy’s pronouncement that from now on, trangenders are not allowed to serve in the military is what you’re talking about ? And Dilbert…… what can I say.


    • disperser says:

      Yes . . . I mention that halfway through the piece. It’s one of those things that many people won’t care about because it doesn’t affect them . . . just like in so many other instances you’re not affected if you are not a woman, not a journalist, not an elderly person, not an immigrant, not a poor person, don’t work in environmental fields, are not an American Indian, aren’t gay, aren’t an atheist, aren’t a Muslim, and so on and on and on . . .

      At some point, I hope it dawns on people that we are watching the sun setting on what had a chance to be a positive force in the world. Truthfully, the sun has been setting for a while now, but this guy is pushing it down something fierce.

      . . . yes, Dilbert . . . listening to Scott Adams was extremely disappointing and at the same time frustrating because I so wanted to reach through the earbuds and try to talk some sense into him. Even more frustrating was the fact that Harris did not press him on some obviously flawed points.

      Oh, well . . . I’ll be calmer tomorrow . . . until the next demented Tweet.


      • renxkyoko says:

        I guess that’s to divert the attention of Americans from this Russian investigation stuff. Expect more outrageous tweets from him. They won’t stop until he is able to extricate himself from the investigation.


  2. Well, that was an interesting podcast — but it lasted for more than two hours! zzzzzzzzz


    • disperser says:

      I should have warned people . . .

      . . . this is how I summed it up on the discussion board:
      Quoted – – –
      Adams exhibited all of the signs he accused others of, namely, cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias, and he should have been called on it (Adams had no qualms about making similar accusations of Harris and of Trump’s naysayers in general.)

      Adams made claims from authority (that he’s an expert in hypnotism and persuasion, and has a degree in economics) and looked at every instance mentioned by Mr. Harris through the lens of his initial assumption. Though not explicitly asserted but certainly implied, his assumption is that Trump is a capable and steady person and exactly who the country needs right now.

      It’s also rather obvious he is a climate change doubter if not an outright denier.

      Perhaps the most frustrating thing was that Mr. Harris approached this as a discussion but Adams obviously saw it as a debate. The rules are not the same, and his tactic to interrupt Harris were very much reminiscent of Trump’s performance in the debates as well as his propensity to steer interviewers away from troublesome questions.

      All in all, a very dishonest performance. I didn’t know much about Adams before, but I now classify him as dishonest or delusional and I think less of him for attributing to himself a mantle of great insight he has neither earned nor demonstrated in this episode.

      Perhaps it’s no wonder that he appears to admire Trump — and I firmly believe he does, despite his numerous denials; you see, I too hold some expertise: I can detect bullshit and dishonesty — for he is so much like Trump in many regards. Sad. Very sad. I am, that is, for having bought a few of his books way back when.
      End Quoted – – –

      Perhaps the claims to authority and “special knowledge” are what bothered me the most. I’m an engineer by trade and I have a narrow and specialized expertise in a couple of fields but there are many others I’m not qualified to comment on (other than in terms of basic principles).

      Repeatedly you could hear condescension drip from his words to the tune of “I know these things and you don’t and even your opinion is wrong and I can say so because I call myself an expert.”

      It’s very much akin to the argument “I’m right because I say so.”

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Eddy Winko says:

    The poem sums it up perfectly.


  4. sandra getgood says:

    Yes. If only.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. oneowner says:

    That’s a great moonrise photo!


  6. Margie says:

    Emilio…our small towns were America.we were self-sufficient. We didn’t rely on manipulation from the government as now. The schools weren’t in disrepair Like now. We didn’t have lottery thieves. We didn’t even have the lottery then.
    When the schools were being consolidated…we were. ..our country started going down the drain. The interstates had a lot to do with this too.


    • disperser says:

      People always remember stuff as they wish it were and not like it actually was.

      People have one other quality . . . they like to blame others for the problems they brought onto themselves. That’s right before they expect someone else — usually the government — to bail them out.

      And while it’s true the government often screws stuff up, it must be remembered the government is made up of people we put there. Again, no one to blame but ourselves. Of course, no one likes doing that.


  7. PiedType says:

    I’m just going to gaze at your moon for a while and try to forget the ugliness that has spewed from Washington this week.


  8. Just as a matter of interest how many countries have you lived in ej; after making such a bold statement I imagine dozens if not hundreds.
    I mean this does sound a bit trite

    “I live here, in the Greatest Country in The World: The United States of America, land of the free, home of the brave”

    I could say that about Australia, but it would be a bit presumptuous, self praise is no recommendation was drummed into me as a lad growing up in the greatest nation the world has ever known or is likely to know; England! :)


    • disperser says:

      Do I need to always hold up a sign spelling S-A-R-C-A-S-M?

      As for England . . . maybe a few centuries ago. Australia . . . maybe in a few more centuries (if we’re still here).

      Liked by 1 person

      • As long as the world keeps on speaking
        E-N-G-L-I-S-H, it will retain it’s position as numero uno; Think about it!
        The way we are going here I believe we’ll be speaking Mandarin, and starting to look non Caucasian
        By the bye are you taking Latin lessons just in case????


      • disperser says:

        Do you know how we say “tape” when in fact we actually no longer use a tape to record? Or we “hang up” the phone even though there is no cradle? Or people all over the world speak American and call it “English?”

        As for taking Latin lessons, I prefer making up my own variants. For example: Ergo leggo eggo.


  9. Great rant! Amazing photos! Powerful poem (I first read that poem college, eons ago, and it has always stayed in my mind and heart)!

    All that you listed, that pains you, pains me, too. And makes me emotionally tired. :-(

    We’ve had lots of clouds and rain…so I really enjoyed seeing your moon photo! The moon has been ‘hiding’ here. :-)



    • disperser says:

      The fear I have is that in a short while we’ll be so emotionally drained that we won;t have the grit to respond to all that’s happening. Heck, even what was egregious last week is largely forgotten as new stuff happens.

      . . . although, I do like saying “Tony the Mooch” in a gangster’s voice. It goes well with “Jonny Two-shoes” and “Bobby the Bean” and “Frankie One-shot” and “Slim the Shiv” . . . I could come up with a few more but don’t want to appear overly familiar with that particular culture.

      Liked by 1 person

      • True. :-(

        Ha. :-)

        Well, I know a man who worked for the “Mob” on the East coast (from a kid on up) and served many years in prison. He has been out for a few years and is making a good, legal life for himself. He’s an interesting and amazing person!


      • disperser says:

        . . . that reminds me of Carey’s Fine Day For A Reunion video.

        . . . hopefully, he fares better than Sonny.


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