Archives for posts with tag: anger

So, here’s an email I just wrote. When I started it, I actually did intend to send it. About halfway through, I realised that if I want anybody in the administration to actually listen to any of it, I’m going to have to reword it to be less hostile. Not because I think they don’t deserve to be treated with hostility, but because I know that hostility in an approach generally gets your approach immediately discounted.

(I know, I know, not everyone believes this. If they did, then people wouldn’t whinge about Dan Fincke’s civility pledge. But most of the complaints I’ve actually read in person are from people who I automatically discount because, well, they’re huge jackasses. (Also note that I haven’t read a lot of the blogger responses to it; mostly just comments on Dan’s blog and Facebook page.))

Anyway, here’s the email:

Governor Corbett,

I just learned about your suit against county clerk Hanes in Montgomery County (a man who, I may say, makes me proud to have spent much of my life there). You need to stop pursuing this immediately. Republicans love to make much about how the government should just butt out, minimize involvement. So BUTT OUT. Get your petty prejudices out of the lives of decent people.

I visited your website to find your email address, and it makes me despair for this state and the people who voted for you. Nothing that I can see on the front page of your site bears any resemblance to the truth. Creating jobs for people? By doing what, increasing tax breaks for your rich friends, so that there’s no money to support the programs that would help people get back to work, like, say, unemployment and education?

Every headline I saw click by made me angrier and angrier. “A Bright Future For Our Students.” A bright future for our students?? Really??? When you’re determined to eliminate funding any education at all and have cheerfully jumped on the bandwagon of those who want to demonize and vilify teachers?? Let me tell you, my mom IS a teacher, and in a “rich” school district at that, and the more I hear from her about state-mandated changes in their school the more I despair that my toddler will ever grow up to have a decent education.

“Helping Pennsylvanians most in need?” By destroying our natural resources, destroying the farmland that this state still relies on so that companies can drain money out of the state while pretending that offering temporary (yes, temporary – you think the gas companies are going to do anything to find new employment for those workers after they’ve extracted every last ounce of blood they can from our state? If you do, well, you’re lying) employment makes up for that.

It disgusts me that you can sit out there in the governor’s mansion and pretend that you’re doing anything, ANYTHING other than lining the pockets of your cronies. I am literally shaking with anger, right here, because you are a disgusting, miserly, selfish bastard of a human being and you’re just sooooo proud of yourself. How do you convince yourself these lies are true? Do you really believe they are? Or do you go to bed at night laughing at all the suckers convinced that you’re going to help them just because you’re running under the party on their voter registration card?

I imagine that’s more likely than you doing what you should be doing, which is going to bed at night and laying awake staring at the ceiling, nauseous over the fact that you are part of the Republican Party of Hate, the party of the rich, the party of the 1%, and so *by definition* you’re in the running to belong to the category of “worst people in America” and your policies aren’t designed to do anything but crush the people who are counting on you because hey – that’s how you get rich in this country.

If you really had any trace of decency in you, you wouldn’t be able to sleep for the nightmares.

That’s something I’d really like to be able to do, actually. Provide dreams for people. Specifically, nightmares for politicians and people who profit from politics. Every night, Rush Limbaugh would spend the entire night dreaming that he’s an unemployed Hispanic woman in rural Alabama, with three children to care for and a husband who’s been arrested for being the wrong color. And a white next door neighbor who waves the Confederate flag above the American flag on his flagpole.

I also would like to be able to re-write this email so that it’s a little more productive, but that’s not going to happen at 11:30 at night when I’m still enraged.

P.S. You can go to that snake Corbett’s website if you want, but I’m not going to link it, because even thinking about it right now makes me wish that I could punch his smug, smarmy smile on my computer screen and have it break his actual teeth.

P.P.S. See? I did good! I actually thought about what I was saying while I was writing it instead of after clicking “send”!

I read this post on Love, Joy, Feminism earlier, and went away thinking,

See, THIS is why I like Libby Anne’s blog. [I’ve been saying that to myself a lot lately!] What she said about religion at the end there is pretty much what I think about it. And that’s why I don’t like atheists like, oh, JT Eberhard [remembering a post of his I read recently about Chris Stedman’s ‘Faitheist’ book].

And then I stopped, and blinked, and thought about what I’d just thought. I flash-remembered some words from Dan Fincke around the time of his shift from Freethoughtblogs to Patheos, about disagreeing with a whole laundry list of his fellow FtBloggers on some things, but still liking and respecting them and working with them.

Wait, wait, wait. Why – wait. I DISAGREE with JT on the value (or lack of value) of religion. That… doesn’t mean… I have to say I don’t LIKE him…. I don’t even KNOW him. I might like him if I did. Even if we disagreed! That’s a thing… that you can do? Whoa. You CAN.

So I came back out here and started to write a comment on Libby Anne’s blog, then quickly realised it was going to get wordy so I changed it to a post here. This paragraph only has one sentence in it that bears on the topic. Somewhere, all my English teachers are crying.

This seems like it shouldn’t be a revolutionary concept, I know. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t for me, at least a few years ago. I distinctly remember reading this and finding it very powerful. I even started feeling more charitable towards my political opposites, more willing to look at where they were coming from. I remember liking it, that feeling of being willing to get along with everyone (or at least everyone who was willing to get along back).

And then, the 2008 election happened. And all the conservatives, at least all the ones whose voices I heard, went completely batshit. And suddenly I was no longer willing to hear where they were coming from. First just the hardliners, then quickly the moderates as well, and those who looked like they were thinking about being moderates, etc., etc. My facebook block list has grown amazingly fast over the past year. And probably the depression was also feeding into this (irritability is also one of the symptoms, kids). Patience basically went out the window. And it wasn’t particularly pleasant, no; it’s tiring to maintain that level of irritation all the time. But I didn’t seem to have a lot of control over it. I’m out of practice at the whole “agreeing to disagree” thing. So yes, this really does feel like a new concept.

It’s also not one that I’m willing to necessarily extend across the board. Unless it’s somebody I already have reason to be invested in, I will probably continue to block friends of facebook friends based on frequent sexist, racist, classist, or homophobic statements (frequency requirement to be determined by me and my hormones). I don’t see any value in agreeing to disagree on “should my friend’s mom and her wife be treated as less-human-than-thou”. They should not be. While there may be hurt occurring on both sides of that argument, real, actual people are hurt through no fault of their own when discrimination is practiced. When discrimination is prohibited, the only hurt that occurs is self-inflicted hurt, by people who are affronted by the very existence of homosexuals on themselves. Ok, I’m going to end this paragraph before I start writing another, completely different blog post.

Back to JT. Right now, I honestly can’t put my finger on what it is about his writing that occasionally makes me go “graah, forget you and all of your works!!” and click away. It’s not the anger at religion, because a lot of other people I read (Libby Anne, Dan Fincke, PZ Myers, Greta Christina) have the same anger and I don’t feel the same irritation with them. I think maybe it’s because JT’s take, to me, comes across as “There is no value in religion, and no value in religious people until they stop being religious because until they do that, they are deliberately contributing to all that is wrong with humanity.” OK, I guess I can put my finger on it.

Thing is, I don’t believe that he means to harm anybody with this. It is, in fact, because he wants to prevent harm to people that he broadcasts this message as stridently as he does. Now, one could argue that someone who truly believes that being gay is harmful is acting in the same way, but I don’t think it’s quite true. For one thing, I admit that it’s hard to find somebody who could be actually harmed by what JT says except in the sense of feeling offended, which in large part is something you are doing to yourself. For another, I think if he did encounter, say, a recovering addict holding onto their Higher Power as the main anchor keeping them sober, I don’t think JT would get in their face about how they need to drop that. On the other hand, many Christians have no problem telling gays to their faces, “God loves you, but he also commands you to be somebody else.”

Besides, I’m still working on this concept. Cut me a little slack. Perhaps one day I’ll have figured out all the nuances and details of how we should decide who we accept and who we agree to disagree with and who we choose not to interact with. I doubt it though. I’m pretty sure that’s one of those lines that we all just have to learn to decide for ourselves. For now, I’m just trying to push it back so it doesn’t make a neat outline directly around my own feet.