Embarrassed

I was tempted to call this post “This Is How It Ends,” because I continue to wonder if I’m seeing the beginning of the decline of humanity. Oh, I’m sure it won’t decline and vanish; it’ll just sink back into the dark ages and start the cycle anew. This may be the human destiny: cycling back and forth between the poles of reason and monkey tribalism, ever rising and falling.

We’re so screwed up politically and socially that we’re not even sure whether Democrats won or lost the mid-terms. Here’s the answer: We lost. Decency lost. Sanity lost. Honesty lost. Kindness lost. Moral values lost. Given the extremes to which Trump has taken us, anything other than a sweeping repudiation of his evil is a loss!

America lost. Basic human decency lost. We lost.

If we are so out of touch with fundamental moral values that we cannot manage a full-throated repudiation of Trumpism, or if we are so ignorant that we truly don’t see the danger, how can we survive as a society? What possible future lies ahead for a culture so lost in selfishness and greed?

In Science Fiction, there are stories about alien cultures greatly fearing humans because we’re so… human, with all that brings to the table. We’re the most feared species in the galaxy!

Sometimes, in these stories, the entire galaxy has banded together to fend off the rapacious human race and — just barely — managed to beat them back to their home planet.

I’ve come to realize these stories are sheer fantasies (from a genre called humans über alles) and that the galaxy actually has nothing to fear from us. I have my doubts we’ll ever colonize Mars (which is a stupid idea, anyway), let alone leave this star system.

No. The monkeys will just sit in their shit, flinging it around at the merest provocation, until the Sun enters its red giant phase and turns us all into over-cooked monkey meat.

That will be the end of the human race, and good riddance.

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¶ I’m embarrassed to be a member of such a lame ass species. So few of us seem at all in touch with our better angels. Seems more are looking, instead, for a better angle.

¶ I’m embarrassed to be a man these days. Actually it isn’t “these days” so much as ever and always. Not that women don’t have their faults, too, but men have sure fucked things up more than their fair share.

¶ I’m embarrassed to be a white person, and that, too, has long been true. I’m appalled at how a mere paint job draws so much attention. It’s as if we treated cars or houses differently based on their paint jobs. Genuine human stupidity.

¶ I’m embarrassed to be an American (the USAnian kind), because the people in this country can be so blind and selfish and incredibly fucking stupid. I despise what most people have for “values.”

¶ I’m embarrassed to be a Democrat, because the Democrats have proven to be just as stupid and incompetent as anyone else. The only thing that makes them any better than the Republicans is noticeably less outright lying and considerably less hatred for others.

¶ I haven’t identified as a Christian in this century, but I was raised as one, and I’m embarrassed for true Christians everywhere. That the (so-called) Christians here can support a clearly evil man is hypocrisy of the highest order.

(The irony is that those folks tend to believe in the literal truth of Hell, and if being utterly hypocritical with regard to the most basic tenants of your own religion isn’t a ticket straight to The Bad Place, I don’t know what is.)

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That last one, especially, just floors me.

For so long those Christian motherfuckers have lorded their high values over the rest of us, but when those self-same motherfuckers got a chance to win, they abandoned those values instantly without qualms.

What we’ve seen very clearly is that, for most people, the only values that matter are selfish ones that involve gain. The current POTUS warps his entire life around those evil goals.

How can anyone who identifies as Christian support such evil?

(FTR: My father was a Lutheran minister and my uncle taught theology at Luther Seminary, so I do know what I’m talking about here.)

In the Venn diagram with Trump and Christians, there should be no one in the overlap!

Likewise the diagram with Trump and women. How can any woman stand by such a total piece of shit? Talk about compromising yourself.

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I experienced an interesting juxtaposition yesterday.

It started with a very good article in The Root about evil, both the intentional kind and the unintentional kind that comes from ignorance, carelessness, or thoughtlessness.

The next article I happened to read was in Gizmodo, and its author was gushing about how much he loved the most recent Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi.

Which is on most levels an objectively bad movie, but this author was cherry-picking and interpreting such that he saw the movie as quite wonderful.

It’s essentially blind mother-love that excuses all flaws — perhaps doesn’t even see those flaws.

Which is wonderful between people, but shouldn’t be the basis of our analysis of art and society.

Or politics. Especially politics, which needs us to be clear-minded.

As I wrote recently (see: Breaking Wrong), we can be downright schizophrenic in our willingness to eat shit-covered raisins because we love raisins so much.

Our willingness to eat shit for the sake of what comes along with it is the main reason there is so much shit in the world! The people who produce it know we’ll eat it and demand more.

(And I am so embarrassed to be a member of species this stupid.)

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To end this on a slightly better note, that article about Star Wars did mention a line from the movie that really struck the piece’s author as extremely useful in many contexts.

The line, by Kylo Ren, is: “Let the past die. Kill it if you have to.”

As I’ve said so often here, I’m not one for the rear view mirror. I prefer to see today and tomorrow, because those I can change. So many of our problems come from living in the past, from trying to keep a dead past alive.

Just one more human stupidity, I guess.

Seriously, it’s a great principle: Let the past die. Kill it if you have to.

§

An even better quote was in that article in The Root. The quote comes from, of all people, Lyndon Baines Johnson (POTUS #37), and it reminds us that it was the Republicans who brought civil rights to the south.

Consider these words in light of POTUS #45…

“I can think of nothing more dangerous, more divisive, or more self-destructive than the effort to prey on what is called ‘white backlash.’ I thought it was a mistake to pump this issue up in the 1964 campaign, and I do not think it served the purpose of those who did. I think it is dangerous because it threatens to vest power in the hands of second-rate men whose only qualification is their ability to pander to other men’s fears…

“I think that the so-called ‘white backlash’ is destructive, not only of the interests of Negro Americans… Nevertheless, there are those who try to stimulate suspicion into hatred, and to make fear and frustration their springboard into public office. Many of them do it openly. Some let their henchmen do it for them. Their responsibility is the same.

“Racism — whether it comes packaged in the Nazi’s brown shirt or a three-button suit — destroys the moral fiber of a nation. It poisons public life. So I would urge every American to ask himself before he goes to the polls on Tuesday: Do I want to cast my vote on the basis of fear? Do I want to follow the merchants of bigotry?”

Really makes you think about how things have changed.

And about how much things haven’t changed.

Stay thoughtful, my friends!

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

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