Category Archives: Cheap shots – Méchanceté gratuite

No blanket blame for a blanket ban

As the two weeks have been passing, anger has been mounting to the rhythm of the unmitigated flow of Trump’s Staline-like presidency. I love how we say “draining the swamp” for what we happily call “political purges” in other countries such as China, Myanmar, Turkey or North Korea.

In the face of all, I think one of my biggest frustration is the impossibility to blame Americans for what’s happening. Akin to when they elected Bush for the first time, it was so easy and cathartic to turn to them, blame them, shame them, shove their nose into their shit for having elected such a blithering idiot and puppet of the rich and powerful.

They would be so relieving to be able to do it right now but we can’t because the fact of the matter is: they did not elect Trump. An outdated, dysfunctional system did.

The people itself voted for Clinton but, as the remains of a war fought back 150 years, an unequally put together electoral college has elected Trump. Therefore, as the blanket ban on all Muslims based on nothing tangible keeps rolling back and forth, the world can’t turn to Americans and gleefully point out that they are now the Bastards of the Decade. “Deal with it, you brainless, murderous and incestuous Yankees!”

They are not and we can’t be cheap. Like all of us, the majority of Americans has been victim of an extremely complicated political minefield that the forefathers of America thought would blow up in the face of anyone like Trump before they ever get a chance to become president. Instead, that leviathan handed him the keys of the kingdom.

So what now? Well, we can only wait and be better people. Remember Michelle Obama and try to resist our urges to blanket blame when a man the majority did not want blanket bans.

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So I went on the Internet today and I found this…Tomi Lahren.

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“We”…

It’s one thing to be a Trump supporter but this need to constantly try to dissociate himself (and yourself) from elitism, nepotism and cronyism would be laughable if it were not so dangerous and insulting to the people who are actually forsaken outsiders.

Nepotism in Hollywood is indeed rife, like in every place where rich parents want the best for their children and think they might have the possibility to create a dynasty…

*cough* Beckhams! *cough*.

However, unlike in finance and real estate, where Trump bloomed thanks to his father’s money and proud nepotism, one cannot buy talent on the screen or/and behind the camera.

No amount of his father’s money or influence will ever allow Jayden Smith to amount to what the greatest actors have achieved. And the greatest rarely come from rich, elitist backgrounds. As Streep said at the beginning of her speech, some of the actors your cheap round shot labels as the “Hollywood elite” are coming from poor backgrounds, struggling families and have known hardship. Their success is not the produce of having been loaned a million dollars by their parents when they wanted to start. Their career reaching high skies have nothing to do with them having the outsiders’ cake and eat it too. Unlike Trump.

People like Meryl Streep are where they are solely because of hard work. They can indeed voice an opinion for millions to hear not because they belong to some kind of down-looking caste with self-entitled privileges, rather because they embody the American Dream of someone who have been working tirelessly hard to make their dreams come true, despite the odds and the barks of your likes. That’s why people to want to listen to them for they admire and respect them and what they represent, which is in line with what America is supposed to represent. Resulting to yet another low blow when they dare disagree with your view only shows the pettiness of your mind.

A mind which doesn’t reach very far to begin with. I mean, let me asking you this: who are these “Hollywood elites” anyway?

Do they include actors, producers, screenplays…who are openly right-wing and who support Trump? You will see some of their faces in the audience as Streep speaks. Do they also qualify to sit under the umbrella of your unmitigated insults or are they also “everyday Americans” just because they share your opinion on Trump, regardless of their wealth and how they achieved it?

I know you have not thought it through. I know you think every single of your thought is worth a tweet, better if swear words are used. I know your tweet belongs to this constant attempt to present yourself and your like-minded peers as the “real Americans”, victims of yet another undefined groups of people pulling the strings in their golden tower.

But if you were to actually observe, listen, open your eyes and see beyond the length of your nose, and truly consider the woman on stage speaking in that video and the man she talks about, you’ll find that the one living in a golden tower that rose from outrageous nepotism on the broken back of everyday hard-working Americans is Trump, not Streep.

I think the worst is that your are indeed, yourself, a hard-working American who has achieved greatness, fame and fortune very quickly from not much except dedication and a will of steel. However, your USSR-like, blind support for a man who is anything but you is preventing you from seeing and acknowledging who are your actual peers.

You have come to define the every day, hard-working Americans by their political views and as people who have the same as you do so you automatically dismiss anyone who doesn’t share yours as a privileged, aloof, out-of-touch member of an elite.

Freedom of speech is not a jail-free card.

Let’s get straight to the point and let me say that not every opinion that pops into your head is worth being expressed as it popped and freedom of speech is never some kind of wildcard for these thoughts to be worth anything.

Sure, it’s easy to just splash out everything that comes to our mind willy-nilly under the umbrella that we live in democracies and it’s therefore our right to do so. We can all do it because we are all humans, we all have our moods and all feel strongly about this and that.

For argument’s sake, I can take to Twitter and troll every religious stranger I find and call them names until the letters disappear from my keyboard because I am gay and therefore unfairly oppressed by every single religious authority in the world. My freedom of speech entitles me to retaliate, no matter how violently I strike even people who are innocent, didn’t say anything and never asked for trouble. I can also use every opportunity to scream and shout that Trump is an old twat with the face and the hair of a kangaroo’s scrotum, with policies and moral standing to match because he represents everything I disagree with and, again, my country’s constitution entitles me to express my opinion, whichever.

On more trivial matters, it’s also my right to go on every Youtube channel I follow and spew brutal hatred everytime a Youtuber I watch makes a video that displeases me in any way – even small.

In other words, it’s my right to play by the alt-right rules of self-entitlement and encourage my peers to do what I do and harass everyone I feel to be inferior because different from me or in disagreement with me, to purposely look for things I know to hate and spam the dislike buttons before filling the comment sections with the cheapest, most homophobic, sexist, racist and xenophobic “opinions” – or insults as we commonly call them.

But I don’t, even when I experience red urge of hatred, like everyone does. I just don’t do it. And it’s not because I live in a yoghurt commercial where everything is bright and fabulous but because I have been taught, I have learnt and have understood where the line is between thinking something and expressing it and how to cross that line in an adult, respectable and respectful way. I have understood that when it’s perfectly okay to have these thought, when it’s your freedom to express your opinions, there is a way to do it that requires some extra work, yes.

Some will say I am censoring myself, that my leftist political correctness has left my dry and unable to have relevant opinions, that I am fake because I never really speak my mind but always coat it in sugar to offend anyone. No, I do speak my mind but I do reflect upon it and how to convey a useful message that keeps the essence of what I think without imposing myself on others through a series of word punches.

I could spam comment sections with anger, resentment, spite and petty hatred every time when aggravated but I have learnt to reflect and ask myself: What’s the point? What is violence in words going to bring to the debate expect even more anger and division? Are people really going to change their way because I have plainly attacked them? Have I ever changed my way under the weight of insults or have I instead become ever more determined to eventually be my true self because of these attacks?

I have learnt that nothing good ever comes out of speaking your mind as it is when it is solely negativity. I will go further and say that I have grown convinced that there is nothing in our society that actually justifies plainly cheap and purposely hurtful thoughts to be put into actual written or spoken words.

I know the answer to such remark: “Censorship! It’s my freedom of speech!” No, it is not. It’s just you trying to coat your complete lack of empathy and civility in yet another blanket of outrage and self-victimhood. How far will your anger lead you?

Vomiting everything your brain produces for everyone to see, read and hear is not freedom of speech. Doing so is called being childish and having missed the point of school as a place where you should have learnt there is a difference between personal life and social life. Your personal life is your family and friends where you are indeed not only entitled to an opinion but where you can decide the degree to which you want to express it. Your peers will then judge you for that in a way that will be on par with how you expressed yourself.

What is important to understand is that social life rhymes with social peace. It means that there are rules that need to be followed, while being positively challenged, all in a constructive way where you don’t deliberately antagonise everyone, rather work towards us evolving into even better beings as a whole. If you actually think we are better human beings without gay marriage and you want me to listen and respect your opinion, don’t bark it, don’t result to insulting me to justify my being treated like a second-class citizen. If you do, don’t blame me for not being heard.

Explain yourself, show your reasoning behind your opinion/passion and we’ll talk, we’ll debate in an attempt to build something. And quoting a book is not an explanation. It’s yet another blanket on top of freedom called religion. We are both sophisticated human beings that went to school, you should be able to express yourself in your own way without resulting to point blank out-of-context misquotes.

The need for a civilised conversation is not censorship or muzzling of anyone, it stems from the fact that unlike your family and friends who can cut you off and refuse to acknowledge you if they think you are toxic, society as a whole cannot ignore you. On the opposite, a democracy has the mission to include you so it teaches all of us that we have to live with you, interact with you, respect your despite our differences.

The social rules of speech are not here to censor you but to push you to evaluate and reformulate your raw thoughts in order to express it in a way that will bring something to the debate rather than a plain insult because you feel strongly about such and such topic.

It is true that in a world where freedom of speech justifies and forgives everything, even the most racist, homophobic, sexist, xenophobic insults thrown in air in a tantrum, that vision I just talked about is not the current trend, although it is important to point out that it is actually the most used. Not everyone spills hatred like an oil company spills oil. Companies, institutions that fire people for being openly, proudly, dangerously and threatenly racist are under attack for supposedly bridling freedom of speech with political correctness and I support them.

My way is depicted as “leftist”, “soft”, “ineffective”, “fake” and the reason why we it don’t and won’t win elections anymore, because it’s political correctness v freedom of speech. But I believe it goes together and if political correctness means acting like a grown-up and be articulate and mindful of one’s words for the sake of everyone, I am happy to be leftist, soft and political correct and so should everyone.

Just sayin’ Monday IV

*People always complain about the rain but if you look carefully the sunniest countries in the world are also the poorest.

*A woman who cooks, bakes cakes and fixes clothes is considered as a housewife. A man who cooks, bakes cakes and fixes clothes is considered as a chef, pastry chef and a fashion designer.

*A group of naked women is a “bunch of whores who should be ashamed of themselves” whereas a group of naked men are “such funny lads!”

*Parents will tell their daughters to not drink so not to get raped because they will not tell their sons that having sex with a semi-conscious, drunk girl is in fact rape.

*In a country with a weak state, the labour market is willingly at the mercy of greed of companies: zero-hour contracts, unpaid internships that “need” to last longer and longer, unpaid work experiences, unpaid overtime…The ideal labour for neo-capitalistic companies today is slavery: the work is done and costs nothing. That’s the aim to achieve.
But who will go for these jobs? The unemployed who are forced to take them under the threat of decadent poverty, yes but mostly foreigners. Natives have better expectations, they have been told and educated to aim higher and look at these jobs with disdain. And they should because no one deserves to give dedication and time for nothing. However, they also blame immigrants for taking these jobs and normalising them.
Immigrants are not employed to these jobs because they are “harder-working” like managers like to say, they are made to work these jobs because they are in need of a way to make it in a new society so they will do anything. A job is still the best way to assimilate in a new country and managers use and abuse this. They see immigrants as free-for-all, malleable, silent and docile labour that will not dare rebel.
Blaming migrants is to ignore that the companies were the ones to not only create and offer these jobs in the first place but also lobby the withering state for the normalisation and expansion of these types of modern slavery to the rest of the labour market. They are the ones who exploit human misery with the help of the state looking to apply them to the whole population by leveling down.
The more you deregulates labour, the easier you make it for private companies to worsen working conditions, the more low-skilled immigrants fleeing worst living conditions in their own country will come and the more people will think they are “stealing our jobs”.

*Unionists in the UK or Spain have forgotten that it’s the power of the state that keeps their country together. Reducing its grip and leaving it to the markets to do its job will only result in fragmentation. No private company in the world has the power to hold a whole country together, nor do they want to.
Different cultures stay together because they see a common purpose in the country lead by the state. They stay because the vision offered by the state is inspiring and when they look at their everyday life and future, they see in the state the certainty of their protection, security and well-being that depends on central government.
Today, as the state bows off to the markets, people are told that they can’t expect the state to be behind them at all time, to “nanny” them, to look after them, to tell them what to do and to care for them. That’s no surprise then that entire regions, cultures, people are taking matter into their own hands and marching towards the moment when they will indeed not need the British or Spanish centralised state anymore. That’s actually what capitalist orthodoxy is dictating.

*Facing with injustice, the English would say “It could be worse”, to which the French reply “Yes but it could also be better.”

*The French are chain-smoking, skinny, arrogant mean-girls whereas the English are drunken, promiscuous materialists. Women are not better.

*The neo-classical capitalism is looking to enforce his creation of the Homo Economicus where we are all characterised as consumers. “Tell me what you buy, I’ll tell you who you are.” We are expressing and defining our identities by what we buy. We are looking to make the world fit our own consumer interests and we interact with it as customers. “The customer is the king.”

*The US love to see themselves as the world police force and so do we. And yet everybody, including themselves, is resenting, using and abusing the situation. In 2010, the US said they would pull back from Europe a bit when it comes to foreign affairs effort and refocus on Asia after they realised China owned most of their economy. Oddly since 2010, the tensions between China, Japan, both Koreas, the Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia are all over the news. The situation in the South China Sea is such that we are closed to war, we often read. It’s like all these countries were waiting to become interesting again. Do we always have to wait for the US to look that way to do so ourselves? Also, interestingly, as the US pulled back from Europe, and looking the other way, Russia became aggressive again.