Hello everyone. All you haters and misogynists, all you insightful cynics that see the dark, sinister monolithic forces that control our lives when the rest of us, frankly, just don’t get it, and the women who are so unenlightened that they have not yet gotten on the one true path of helplessness and self-absorbed neurosis.
And damn you, sick, depraved bastards that don’t hate, that naively think there’s enough equality to go around for everyone and are so deluded to think we’re all in this together.
But mostly remember the one truth that binds the Internet together: stupid people don’t get sarcasm.
So, I’ve been working on the next video following, This is Atheism Plus fully intending to beat the Atheism Plus as Oceania horse three feet into the ground. Which isn’t easy as I like to use found footage and have an aversion to just throwing up a still image and talking over it.
Uh, like I did in the video version of this.
But mostly, it’s hard to stay ahead of the curve of crazy that is Atheism Plus. Every day there’s something a little more demented, mean-spirited and just Orwellian coming out of that camp.
I follow Integralmath, who simply must be a glutton for punishment. Every time I think I have a clip that expresses shear lulzy craziness, he points us in the direction of something that makes me think that, eventually, Atheism Plus is going to go all Heaven’s Gate on us.
And there’s something to that.
You ever notice when cults absolutely jump the shark? They don’t just disappear in a puff of illogic. There’s any number of doomsday cults in the past century that have done their little calculation and then waited on a hilltop for the world to end, with or without humping like jackals first. I wouldn’t think that was optional.
Anyway, then the moment comes that the earth just refuses to end, Jesus doesn’t come back but the Mayans do appear to say, “Yeah, we stopped our calendar at 2012. You think we could carve that shit into stone forever? If we had dry erase boards, you wouldn’t even be here.” At that point some people in the cult do wander off in search of a fucking life. But not everyone does. They go back over the math, find out they didn’t carry a one or have some other rationalization for failure and so they are left with believers a little more hard-core than before. This process can actually repeat several times, each time leaving a smaller, harder nugget of pure crazy representing the cult.
So every day as Atheism Plus continues the cycle of purity tests and purging, ferreting out privilege and chastising backsliders they work towards collapsing into a singularity of pure smug butt hurt.
And it’s really hard to keep up with that.
So, I’ve been reading the comments on “This is Atheism Plus” regularly. I was reading them on my Droid during lunch and noticed a shift in the rote detractors. Now the accusation du jour is of “male privilege”, specifically that we all don’t understand male privilege.
You know something, they’re right. I don’t.
I am privileged. But not because I’m male, or even because I’m white — although i can buy into that a lot more even if actual white supremacists would lump me in with Romani, Spanish, Latinos and other “unassimilated ethnic groups” as they put it. I’m privileged because – like everyone else– I’m standing on the shoulders of my predecessors. And if you follow that back far enough you will reach a point where kings, compared to us, lived like shit.
And really, I suspect there’s a lot more “privilege” in the ancestry, male and female, of people named Meyers, Watson, McCreight (rhymes with wrong), Dillahunty, Benson and so on.
My father joined the Air Force at 17 to escape from Brooklyn. He had to have his parents sign, giving him permission. I was in his little tiny bedroom in Fort Hamilton Parkway years after, the apartment above a florist shop, and saw the model airplanes he built hanging from the ceiling. Not plastic models, mind you, but balsa wood and doped fabric. That’s why he joined the air force. Of course, they made him a radio operator and he spent his time in another tiny room in Okinawa transcribing Chinese and Russian coded messages. He’s the reason I know the arcane language of Morse Code. After he got out of the Air Force he got a job with Consolidated Edison as a C Mechanic and also worked his own electrical contracting jobs. He worked 30 years at two jobs, one of them was rotating shift work. As a kid I was often sent to wake him up in the afternoon so he could go work the 4 to 12. I thought it funny that I could wake him up from a dead sleep and ask him his Air Force serial number and he could rattle it off.
Where’s the privilege?
His father worked in Ace Masonry Supply spending over 40 years sweeping floors and loading bags of cement. When I was in high school and college I worked in lumber yards doing pretty much the same thing. Maybe, looking back on it, so I could understand, just a little, of my grandfather’s life. He died two years after he retired, when I was fourteen. He was in the garden of a house he bought, the house my dad owned first, and dropped dead of a heart attack after spending a day pushing around a wheelbarrow. He couldn’t not work. In fact, at his funeral a bunch of greasy guys from the old neighborhood came to pay their respects. I remember one pinkie-ringed wise guy saying to me “your grandfather was a good man, he always worked.”
Yeah, he worked.
Essentially he got 40 years of hard labor for not committing a crime.
Where’s the privilege there?
And his father? My great grandfather uprooted his entire life and got dumped out of Ellis Island in 1895 with his name Anglicized by some petty official, which stuck for a couple generations until I insisted on the correct way of saying it, and after a while converted my family. He pushed a fucking fish cart in the immigrant slums.
I love old photographs and the first motion pictures ever shot; the too short, over-exposed ones by Edison and the Lumière Brothers. In one I came across a short loop of street vendors in his time and place. It was in Brooklyn [After checking the film at memory.loc.gov, it was actually shot in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, across the Brooklyn Bridge -M] Now, it’s hard to tell what was real and what was staged. Even Alexander Gardner staged his most famous Gettysburg photos. But I realize I could be looking at my own great grandfather as some Irish cop twirled his baton, gave him the stink-eye and told him to move along.
And there I missed the privilege.
You know, the elephant in the room of Atheism Plus and fashionable radical feminism isn’t gender, or race, or sexual orientation. It’s class. It’s hierarchy.
They can talk about male privilege because, quite frankly, blue collar, working class men are largely invisible to them. They see privilege because when they look at men, they are always looking up. Men like my father, my grandfather and my great-grandfather don’t count. And when, for whatever reason, they become so much as translucent, they are seen as “creepy guys” and potential rapists.
So, I’m leaving work today. I’m a commuter cyclist getting back into that routine after being laid out, yet again, by a car and receiving internal injuries and a fractured heel that wasn’t heeling properly because it took two months and an MRI to figure out it was fractured. And I walked on it those two months because, well, the first radiologist said it was just a strained Plantar Fascia tendon and who wants to be a whiner?
I’m leaving and a work crew is trying to guide an 18-wheeler into the loading dock. To do this he’s got to do a sort of K-turn across traffic and then back it in.
Now, with the construction the loading dock is framed by chain link fencing so what would normally be a tight squeeze is pretty damn impossible. The driver of the truck ends up with the body of the truck perpendicular to traffic; all four lanes of this city street are blocked. I stop and wait, watching this. Now, working in a lumberyard I drove lumber delivery trucks and drove a boom truck when I worked for billboard companies, and what he is doing is not easy at all. You can’t drive a truck like a car not just because of the size, but with the load everything is amplified. I’ve never forgotten how tenuous brakes are on a fully loaded truck. This guy has got to make small, precise movements, but he can’t. With that load he’s got to stomp the accelerator to get things going and brakes might as well be marshmallows. And momentum and inertia will fuck up the best of intentions.
I’m watching this guy doing this difficult maneuver and not doing it very badly at all. I’m on my bike standing on one foot next to one of the armed guards who, incidentally, is a woman. Say what you will about relative physical prowess of men and women, they don’t make a lick of difference when you have a gun. So I’m talking to her, a conversation of the “I’m glad I don’t have his job” variety when the honking starts. I turn and the southbound cars, which are the ones on my side of the truck that I can see, start honking at the guy.
I went from zero to really annoyed in a fraction of a second. Now, with my mountain bike and yellow and black gear, I’m often mistaken for a bike cop. That is fine with me if it gives someone pause before they run me over again. After the last plowing by a distracted driver I bought an air horn that has a small plastic bottle that attaches to the frame that you pump up to 80 PSI and runs a tube to the horn itself, which is mounted on the handlebars. I turn and coast up to the center divider, because there’s no northbound traffic, and give them a 120 decibel blast. You could hear the half-honks as people jerked their hands off the horn. And, just to be diplomatic, I followed up with a hearty “Ah, shut up!”
I mean, Jesus Christ, what’s the point? Where is the guy and his truck going to go? His fucking up means, at best, taking out a chain link fence or, at worst, making a divot in some Second Renaissance Revival stonework.
The way I was raised the most unforgivable sin was whiny impatience. Luckily, the cure for impatience is simple: All you have to do is recognize that you are not the warm center of the fucking universe and the only list that your convenience appears on is your own. And if there aren’t a shit-load of things above it on your list, that’s because you’re an asshole.
Anyway, the driver completes the maneuver and really, not a bad job.
Thing is, when I coasted up to the line of honk happy bastards I got a look at one of the first-line honkers, a well-dressed woman in business attire, late 20s, maybe early thirties, sandy blond hair. I couldn’t tell if she was particularly attractive or not, because the face she was making was reminiscent of Emperor Palpatine trying to kill Luke Skywalker with force lightning; contorted, hateful – for no other reason than this guy, trying to do his job, inconvenienced her for a minute.
“Who are you, little working man, to get in my way?”
When the truck began clearing from the road, another driver, a business man, made a point of doing this condescending clap in the drivers face.
That may be the only male she sees; the face of privilege.
And I wonder if later this woman would log in to complain about that male privilege and tell us just how rough she has it.