I’ll See Your Campfield, and Raise You A Bennett

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No, kids we aren’t going to pile on.  Bob Krumm, Aunt B. and others are already covering that topic.  Instead I’m going to fall on my own sword with some other insensitive truths that will undoubtedly upset the kind of people who get upset about this sort of thing.

There are two phrases that I don’t want to hear anymore.  If you feel the need to say them within my earshot, I beg you to shut the fuck up.  Just don’t do it.

The first one is the insanely stupid phrase "Children Are Taught To Hate" or "Hate is Learned" or whatever it is.  Children are hateful little monsters.  Go to any playground in this country.  Some kid out of the group of kids there is being excluded, mocked and picked on.  Either because of his race, religion, height, weight, or how much money the parents make.  No one told these kids to do this, they did it all on their own.  How many of you out there picked on as a kid?  Did you think the parents of your tormentors asked them how was school today and how many freaks they had bullied?  How many of you picked on someone else as soon as you got the chance to point out that they were shorter, fatter, poorer, blacker, less Europeaner, dumber, whateverer than you?  Do you blame your folks for that?  Our fear and hatred of the "Other" is what kept us alive during our prehistory.  It is only with the advent of societies that we have had to learn to get along with others of the same race.  It is only since the rise and fall of great empires that we have had to learn to get along with those who come from different places and backgrounds.   This default setting of "Xenophobia" is encoded in our genes.  It is part of being civilized and enlightened rational beings that we turn that switch off and give strangers the benefit of the doubt.  So to say that children, or anyone for that matter, are full of innated goodness is crapola.  We not only are taught to tolerate others, it is something that we continually have to work on.

 Tolerance is certainly a necessity in a pluralistic society and a degree of open-mindedness toward other cultures and people is a good thing. On the other hand, when tolerance means that we are all required to accept any lifestyle and that all value systems are equal, that is not tolerance but either indifference or nihilism. This concept of Tolerance as an absolute “good” seems to be leading us into a kind of “value-free” society.

The second one came out of George W. Bush’s lips the other day.   He said that "…diversity is one of the strengths of this country."  No it isn’t.  It is one of our biggest weaknesses.  When has the divisions of race, class, religion and ethnicity been a big plus in this country?  During Katrina?  How ’bout the O.J. verdict?  Chris Rock said it best when he said "I haven’t seen white people this upset since MASH got canceled."  He also made the point that blacks were too happy and whites were too mad.  Is this a sign of how strong our diversity makes us?  The Japanese were a small island nation who created an empire.  How?  Well a homogeneous population helps.  So does a fanatical devotion to the Emperor, but that’s a story for another time.  In fact, can anyone come up with a country in the last couple of decades who’s strife and problems can’t be placed squarely on their heterogeneous population?  If Iraq were 100% Kurd or 100% Sunni, Cindy Sheehan’s son would still be alive and she wouldn’t have a phalanx of dupes hanging on her every word.

Don’t read anything more than constructive linguistic criticism into this.  Let’s call things as they are, not as we would like them to be.  By ignoring our problems and refusing to work towards an acceptable solution, we just make it worse and allow demagouges to run wild getting people fired up about bombed levees and rapes in the Superdome. 

Or to put it into a sports metaphor:  As much as I like Vandy’s chances this season, I know that stopping the run is one of their biggest weaknesses.  I still root for them, despite their weaknesses.  Except after Saturday’s loss to MTSU, what the fuck is that about?

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3 Responses to “I’ll See Your Campfield, and Raise You A Bennett”

  1. Katherine Coble Says:

    I don’t know whether to cry, laugh or drink. Ever. But a post a day? What’s the world coming to?How about we just friggin outlaw any “for the children” nonsense? As much as I want a child for the sole purpose of leading society by example, I would like to just plain admit that children are right wee bastards. The single most conniving person I have ever met–and I interned in Washington DC–is my three year old niece. I find children interesting only in the fact that they are necessary precursors to future adults. I am not moved by the sight of your baby in the way you would hope. I do not think you deserve to cut in line at the supermarket because you “really need to get the children home.” Did the children freakin’ work all day? Are the children ready to kill the next person who crosses their path? I do not think your child’s singing is so wonderful that I need to hear it five tables away at Carrabba’s. I do not want to buy a scented candle so your child for a school fundraiser. I don’t even care if the first prize for most candles sold is a day off school. That is, in fact, the damn dumbest prize I can possibly think of for a school fundraiser. “Please pay for the school I don’t want to go to so I can get out of going for a day.”Mostly, I don’t want your freakin’ toddler behind me in a vampire movie. As proud as I am to be witness to a foundational moment in a serial killer’s psyche, I’d really like it if you just left. So, you’ve inspired the childfree side of me to the surface. Hope you’re happy.

  2. Katherine Coble Says:

    and I obviously do not know how to type.

  3. smantix Says:

    Bill Bennett and Chris Rock in the same post. You’ve been reading my diary again.Skip over that part where I was in the bathroom with the scented candles and a racey edition of Interview Magazine.

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