I pride myself on being (or at least trying to be) a rational, thinking human being. If I have one weakness in this regard it is that I sometimes react to a given circumstance or a given piece of information without fully understanding why I am reacting the way I am. In these instances I seem to make decisions unconsciously and then have to spend valuable time sussing out exactly why I made that particular decision.
It is frequently both confusing and annoying.
It does not help matters that my thought process during these periods isn’t exactly quick. Quite the opposite, in fact. And if I try to rush the process I end up coming out the other side even more confused and annoyed than I was when I started.
Once upon a time I was the night manager for a local recreation center. I used to get in trouble during staff meetings because my immediate supervisors would ask me questions that I wasn’t expecting, and thus did not have a prepared answer. Both the fact that I did not have a prepared answer and the fact that I tend to take a moment to think before I speak caused my supervisors to think poorly of me, and frequently accuse me of having the look of a deer in headlights. Between more than twenty-five years (at the time) of depression and the weight of the constant negative feedback I ended up leaving the job because I decided they weren’t paying me enough for the nonsense I was enduring.
Apparently a manager should be able to speak fluent bullshit at the drop of a hat, and not being able to constitutes some kind of capital offense.
The same appears to be true of commentators such as myself. There are those who regard us as experts, and thus think we should be able to opine at the drop of a hat. Would that it actually worked out that way.
This is why I do not comment on breaking news, and why I refuse to comment on anything until I have had time to think about it.
I recently came across an interview with Stephen Fry that helped me articulate and settle in my conscious brain some things that I have been bandying about for some time.
I am no fan of social justice warriors. I think that, despite their good intentions, a great many of them have lost their way and have taken to applying their personal standard of socialist equality and fraternity in ways which cause people to forget that they do, in fact, have good intentions. They’re making so much noise that their message simply gets lost and they come across looking like raving lunatics.
The important aspect to this discussion is that I have long been fascinated with the tendency of many social justice advocates to go out of their way to silence any thought or opinion that does not fit neatly into their own little model of how the world should be. These individuals are quick to censor any sort of radical or disagreeable thought, and consider themselves enlightened for having done so. This phenomenon is especially prevalent on college campuses, where politically incorrect speakers are frequently either shouted down or driven off campus completely before they so much as have a chance to speak.
Mr. Fry’s comments during the interview caused me to realize something fundamental that I had been trying to articulate for some time: The social justice advocates who behave this way do so because they have stopped being adults (assuming that they ever were) and have instead regressed to the level of children in a school yard.
Their infantile need for someone else to protect them is so extreme that they look for “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” to protect them in the event that someone should have the temerity to challenge one of their deeply held beliefs.
Their need for the safety of ideological purity is so extreme that they will go out of their way to censor anything they find even remotely disagreeable, willfully and blissfully ignorant of the impact that restrictions on Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression have had on societies all over the world in the past. And yet these same individuals will rally endlessly for the right of specific individuals to exercise their rights to Freedom of Expression with regards to gender expression.
Apparently being able to express your gender as you see fit is a good thing, but being able to speak your mind is dangerous and offensive. Who knew?
It is obvious that the most rabid members of the community of social justice warriors are little more than frightened individuals who desperately want the world to be simple and flat out refuse to accept the idea that life is complicated, life is unfair, and sometimes bad things just happen.
We used to call this burying ones head in the sand.