Man, all my new followers hoping for more pretty pictures of food are about to be waaaay disappointed.
I read a ton of feminist political bits online. I don’t agree with every single one (I am one of THOSE feminists who thinks the sex trade can be done well, which makes me unwelcome at most meetings) but they generally flip my switches in one good way or another. Recently at XOJane there was an amazing article on “Casual Racism”. Go read it here, I will wait.
Now, besides the fact the last time I heard the phrase “indian giver” I was five or so and hadn’t thought of it since AND besides the fact I did not see the media happening which spawned the article, I thought it a damn compelling read. The real jewel of it, as in most things over at Jane, is the comments section.
Comments exist so that there may be a conversation between the people. Sorry to break it to anyone who thinks it is just a wank fest for everyone to tell you your shit is amazing…it is for talking. Also, you may just not be amazing. Or entertaining. Or…Gods Forbid! Relevant.
For some reason, this particular article got me thinking about the past blog of the anonymous Misanthropic Bitch and the Modest Proposal of Jonathan Swift. Both these things and the article and comments that led me to think of them contain Very Big Thoughts that once thought, cannot be un-thought. It all just lies there, in your brain, festering, while you wonder what type of person you ACTUALLY are compared to what kind of person you THOUGHT you were.
The article itself leads us to look at our language and how we use it. It looks at the parentage of words and surprises some of us with the fact that “Holy Shit, I have been saying WHAT??” for years. I am all for this. I am all for printing this off and stapling it to some peoples faces, especially the ones who are casually racist and know it and think it is soooo cool…as long as who they are saying it to is white as well, no one gives a rip right? Just “bleeding heart liberals” like me and…the rest of the civilized world? I staple because I have violent tendencies, some of you may want to try dialogue first.
The Misanthropic Bitch was probably only a teenager’s sounding board for all the shit she/he couldn’t get away with saying in public. It was controversial to the point of self mockery and held NOTHING sacred. It was a place where you agreed with some only to check the next day and be horrifically pissed off by the rest. From angel babies to child trafficking, forced euthanasia to 9/11…it was all up to be mocked, derided, and championed depending on subject. Perhaps it was all performance art. I like to think of it as a thought experiment.
What if blogs had comments way back in the 90s? What if it was not all just email communication and a very public discussion could occur? Would this have really been some 19 year old trying to yank the internet’s collective short and curlies? Or could this have been a diving board into an actual conversation?
A Modest Proposal was really just straight up satire when it was written. Now it is used in classrooms to…spark conversation! In it, Mr. Smith suggests the Irish eat their children to keep from dying from famine. As far out a suggestion as that is, it arguably would have solved one dilemma in the shortest of terms, but kind of brings up just a few more.
Full disclosure, I totally cheated on this assignment. While everyone was trying to think up really weird shit for this, I just went ahead and wrote about how prostitution should be legal. A stand that I still hold to this day, by the way. This was cheating due to the small fact it kind of already is in some states and countries. It still spun the preacher’s daughter right the fuck up, however, and sparked enough “conversation” from the two of us to last the entire class period. Her side was bible verses and “what about all the new baby” questions and my answers basically boiled down to “condoms” and “your imaginary friend has nothing to do with this.” Can you not see why I was soooooo POPULAR in school? /sarc
I love me some critical thinking. I love it when it is sparked by smart chicks and dudes in the comments section of an online magazine and I love it when it is just in my own head from reading some far out shit. I mean, the Misanthropic Bitch was for forced euthanasia of just about anyone who couldn’t run faster than she/he/it could. Do I hold those feelings? No. Did she write this right around the time Kevorkian landed in hot water…oh hell yes. Did it make me think about that for a few minutes? Yes, it bloody well did.
My thoughts today are these…read stuff. Read lots of things. Think about those things. Challenge your previously held ideas and see if they still hold water to you now. Thinking critically and having conversations with ourselves and others, ALL flavours of “others”, is what brings us the most knowledge about ourselves and our relationship with the world at large. My world is constantly evolving, I hope to have it perfect by the time I die, how is your’s doing? When was your last thoughtless action and what did you do to fix it?
*I* motorboated a girlfriend and had to buy her tickets to see Manos:The Hands of Fate. Happily, this works out well for both of us.