A Sense of History

I considered naming this post Moar Roar, because it continues the last post’s rage rant against Republican Politicians, the increasingly ironically named “Right” (ha! as if!), and — in general — anyone who still supports that foul toad illegally squatting in the oblong office.

The problem with the last post is that it started off kinda tongue-in-cheek. I’m not really mad at my local grocery store or my streaming video apps or even AARP, for that matter. A bit frustrated at times — even irritated at times — but most of them don’t come close to boiling my blood.

The current political scene, however, absolutely does.

Looking back, I should have done two posts: the previous one minus the political rants, and then another one. This one. Which I warn you now fully expresses my rage and disbelief.

Because, by now, I am so fucking angry at certain segment of our society that it’s hard for me to offer them any quarter or compassion anymore.

Back in November I posted A Side of Feelings, which tried to offer some understanding and compassion to Trumpers, and I stand by what I wrote, but it’s increasingly hard — given the year of DTs — to feel much of that anymore.

Last week I watched Woke-ish, a Marlon Wayans Netflix standup comedy special. And it was fucking hilarious! I laughed my ass off![1]

One of the bits Wayans does has to do with why black people love Obama so much. It’s not just that Obama is black — it’s because he represents a win for a class of people not granted full parity in our society, for a class of people who don’t get anywhere near their fair share of wins.

Likewise, I think, O.J. and Michael Jackson. (I think Wayans mentioned O.J. in passing, but I might have extended the idea on my own. Aging brain here, you know.)

There is, at least to my eye, a sometimes slightly inexplicable support among black people for O.J. and Jackson. Inexplicable because that support exists despite also seeing them clearly. (And in Jackson’s defense, I’m not sure it was ever clear what really happened. Some believe he was just trying to live the childhood he never really had.)

But both O.J. and Michael Jackson represent wins for a group of people in our society who all too often get the short end of the stick.

The thing about O.J. and Jackson is that this ‘they won’ support exists in parallel with a negative view of the person they’re supporting.

And that lit a lightbulb for me.

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This is exactly why there is still so much support even among those who view Spray-Tan Sally’s behavior and character with a jaundiced eye.

That combined with our growing sense of tribalism and polarization. (Which is a big problem on both sides, sad to say.)

But this shit has gone on too long and gone too far.

It’s insane, truly insane.

Long-time readers know I define sanity as the degree to which your internal representation of reality matches the real thing. The goal of any sane, intelligent mind is to bring their internal map of reality into the best possible correspondence with the real thing.

Fundamentally, it boils down to: When you’re wrong, change your fucking mind!

And these motherfuckers are so wrong, so hypocritical, so off-the-chain, that it makes my head explode.

How can these people live with themselves? Have they no sense of history? Have they no sense of morality or ethics? Have they no shame?

Do they really not get it — are they really that stupid, that disconnected, that immoral — or do they just not care?

Is all that matters winning right now, fuck the future, fuck our children, fuck our country, fuck ethics, fuck morality?

And the bitter, bitter irony that these right-wing shits have had the presumption to think they’re on some better moral high-ground. The utter hypocrisy is mind-blowing.

Just imagine how these assholes would completely lose their shit if a Democrat did one-tenth of the things Tangerine Tony does. They wouldn’t just be talking impeachment; they’d be talking lynch mob!

Joe McCarthy was infamously shamed when Joseph Welch asked, “Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

And now, at least in part due to our media appetite for voyeurism, we seem to live in a shameless era.[2]

We also seem to live in an era of moral relativism, and I am not a fan.

(I’m also not particularly a fan of deontology or consequentialism; I lean more towards virtue ethics, but this does require that people have intelligence, education, and a working moral sense — all things that seem in short supply these days.)

The thing about moral relativism, as often applied today, is that people (by which I mean “assholes”) often suggest there is no real standard of morality anymore. Many seem to think that anything effective or popular is “good.”

I think the last 4000 years of human culture, thought, literature, and art, offers a pretty good standard, and when we examine all that we do find a number of common threads.

Which essentially boil down to: Don’t Be An Asshole.

Really, it’s stuff we were all supposed to learn in kindergarten.

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I’m especially angry with the Evangelical Christian Right, who’ve been in society’s face for so long about our “immoral” behaviors.

What a bunch of fucking hypocrites.

So many of these assholes walk around with WWJD wristbands or — in the case of our Vice-President — believe Jesus speaks directly to them.

What Would Jesus Do when it comes to Cheeto Charlie? Does anyone actually think Jesus (or his Dad) would approve at all of the abject evil going on here?

(Least anyone challenge my opinion about Christianity, my dad was a Lutheran minister, so I was brought up in the church. I’ve read the Bible several times and studied religion, so I think I’m qualified to have an opinion here.)

And the bottom line is that no one who calls themselves Christian can possibly support this evil, disgusting, hateful piece of shit. He is about as close to the anti-Christ as we’re gonna see in modern society.

Keep in mind that I’m not opposed to religion and certainly not to ideas of spirituality. I have my own relationship with, and faith about, God.

But I am opposed to stone-age superstitious bullshit.

We need to do what we did with medicine, which was once upon a time also filled with stone-age superstitious bullshit. But we didn’t discard it; we updated it! We brought it into the modern world.

Again: My measure of sanity is the degree to which your worldview matches the real thing. Stone-age superstitious bullshit doesn’t match. Update your apps, assholes!

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Thing is: History does have a sense of history. It always eventually treats assholes as assholes. There is just no chance whatsoever that these fuckers will be treated kindly by history.

The will be reviled. Rightly so.

History will show them for what they are.

And we good people do outnumber them; we will win in the end.

History also shows that humankind, if somewhat tortuously and ever so slowly, does seem to advance in the direction of better morality. Good does seem to, eventually, prevail over Evil.

It may be, as with any addict, our society simply had to sink to rock bottom in order to get a wake-up call. And the idea of being “woke” is gaining currency. There is the Me Too movement and Black Lives Matter and a new wind blowing about gun control.

Maybe we’re also on the brink of a political awakening. Maybe we’ve finally had enough.[4]

One can only hope.


[1] If only that was a way of dieting that actually worked!

[2] There’s even a Showtime series named Shameless. I’ve never watched it; I have a low tolerance for that sort of thing. Seems part of Showtime’s general theme of shows involving morally questionable heroes[3], and I often have trouble fully enjoying these. It’s why I never watched Breaking Bad.

[3] Weeds, Shameless, Nurse Jackie, The Big C, Homeland,…

[4] Or maybe we’re just stuck waiting for these fuckers to grow old and die. There are signs the newer generations have a lot more sense.

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

2 responses to “A Sense of History

  • rung2diotimasladder

    I think what must be going on with some Christians, particularly politicians, is something like “the ends justify the means”—BS of course, but I imagine that’s how they justify Trump to themselves…that’s assuming these people actually believe in anything at all.

    Growing up in the Bible belt has perhaps made me less surprised about Christian politicians partnering with Trump. They’ve been hypocrites for a long time, it’s just that Trump makes their hypocrisy all too transparent. It must be awkward for them. I hope so.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Yeah, I know, of course “the ends justify the means” was a big part of the message of Jesus… (as if) And you’re absolutely right that a religious allegiance is kind of meaningless pro forma for many. As Gandhi supposedly said, “I like your Christ, but not your Christians. They seem so un-Christ-like to me.”

      Their alliance with Papaya Pete, as you say, starkly shows their utter hypocrisy. They’re lucky I’m not Tyrant Of The World… our fields need fertilizer… 😮

      What was it about the blood of “patriots” nurturing the tree of freedom? Here’s your chance motherfuckers…

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