Monthly Archives: July 2014

Sexist, Imbecilic Opportunists And You

im•be•cil•ic (ˌɪm bəˈsɪl ɪk)
adj.
contemptibly stupid or silly.

con·tempt·i·ble (kn-tmpt-bl)
adj.
deserving of contempt; despicable.

So this just passed my facebook feed. You can read the article itself but you may have already heard about it since (as far as I can tell as someone who doesn’t really follow mass media) it’s a somewhat big news item.

Basically some worm piece of shit with money decided that his ability to extract money out of morons by appealing to their misguided sense of hate is more important than the thousands of people (including young girls) that will be affected by this garbage.

Lately I’ve been trying to remain calm in these situations but I was pushed over the edge by this marvel of modern intellect as seen by a comment from a friend of a friend of a friend. I won’t name and shame because, really, this is about more than just one person. I even used to be guilty of this kind of analysis myself. These kinds of comments can be found everywhere and this person is just one type of every man (obvious pun excluded). And I’m going to heap some (slightly) misdirected anger at this person.

“Sounds like a bit of an overreaction to me.
I think things like this mean princess in the character trait sense and not just ‘a female’
And yes, princesses are traditionally female. But nobody means that kind of princess when they say ‘toughen up princess’ to their mates. They’re using princess in the colloquial term as someone who is prissy, delicate and needs looking after.
I wonder what the reaction would have been if it said, “inside every tough guy is a twink who wants a bear try him out.””

No you fricken toadstool. By your own (albeit ironic) example this is, if anything, an underreaction. The problem isn’t less than we think, it’s exceedingly worse.

Lets put aside the rape culture, violence and pedophillic intentions put forth in these scum vehicles and have a bit of a look at what you just said.

“Sounds like a bit of an overraction to me.” EXACTLY! To YOU! I’m assuming from your picture you wouldn’t find it too offensive, being that you’re a westernised white adult male. What makes you think that YOU are in any way qualified to decide how people should react to this? Tell the little girl that cries herself to sleep at night, or the young woman who went out for a good time and came home with a lifetime of post traumatic stress disorder. “You’re upset that we are encouraging each other to rape?” said the barbarian to his daughter, “Overreacting a bit aren’t you young lass it’s just a bit of boyish fun. Go clean up the blood and get back into your school girl outfit for me.”

GOD. Why do we put up with this?

I think things like this mean princess in the character trait sense and not just ‘a female’ And yes, princesses are traditionally female. But nobody means that kind of princess when they say ‘toughen up princess’ to their mates.” WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN? For starters a pop quiz. Being a princess makes a person: a) less important than other people b) mentally ill c) acceptable to rape. If you answered a, b or c, congratulations, you’re an idiot.

The last part of your summation of your brilliant powers of deduction tells us more than you ever could: you completely miss the implication in every day common speech. You use the phrase “toughen up princess” as though the words have no meaning, when it’s plainly obvious what the implication is: princesses are girls, you’re weak, therefore you’re a girl, therefore you’re pathetic (as all girls are).

They’re using princess in the colloquial term as someone who is prissy, delicate and needs looking after.” When you use the word ‘colloquial’ do you mean:

characteristic of or appropriate to ordinary or familiar conversation rather than formal speech or writing; informal

or:

implied sexism?

God, do you even know what the internet IS? And how the f*** did you manage to find your way onto a facebook thread if you clearly struggle with the basic principles of google? This is gender debate 101. Is research something that only “faggots” do? Are you too busy spending your time “down in da hood”? FFS wake up.

I wonder what the reaction would have been if it said, “inside every tough guy is a twink who wants a bear try him out.”” ARGH! MY EYES! THE GOGGLES DO NOTHING! Is it not completely apparent that you’re (presumably) “opposite” is in actual fact, through the amazing powers of double speak, not opposite at all but in fact completely sameosite? (I just made up that word, by the way. You seem to be fond of using the English language for completely arbitrary purposes so I thought you’d like it) In a world where the opposite of raping women is being gay is it any wonder that people still write entire treatises to feminism? It’s almost like there is an unspoken truth here: it’s against the rules to make fun of straight white males. Such an ingrained truth that people seem to silently gloss over the obvious fact, almost like insulting straight men is only legal on platform 9 and a half.

What the hell people? How is this not a case of obvious and apparent casual rape culture, used with the express purpose of a greedy person trying to make money off the misery of the defenseless? Casual talk leads to gross outcomes. Just take the recent example of our illustrious leader making casual comments about hitting children. For the prior better part of a decade or two, hitting was considered the kind of thing that doing in public would get you arrested or at least enquiries made to child services. Just weeks after the comments by Tony Abbott I witnessed several cases of kids getting hit in public, sometimes multiple times, for trivial or non-existent offences. Think casual talk doesn’t encourage idiots to live out their sadistic fantasies? In just over six months the public conversation has moved from promoting the beating of children to promoting a grown man illegally beating up children. I wish I was exaggerating but this man is in charge of recommendations to the future of our schooling. He has already implied that using physical violence at school is not off the table.

Without the resources to put extensive research into the matter, I would all but assume with certainty that at least one woman will get abused because of the scrawlings on these vans. In fact I’m being generous, there will probably be many but even if just one isn’t that reason enough?

Cigarette manufacturers have to pay massive taxes to the government in count of the fact that smoking causes serious injury to health, the care of which must be footed by the government. Should John “shitstain” Webb have to pay the psycological bills of the people he is inadvertantly damaging?

Maybe you think I’m being emotional or hyperbolic. If so, a-fucking-men. Who wouldn’t get emotional when the safety of friends and family is at stake? You’d have to be a truly emotionless zombie to not get emotional about rape. It’s pretty much the only thing that virtually everyone agrees is a horrible thing.

What’s even worse is that these vans are RENTALS. “No muss, no fuss. You’re privacy is our priority.” You couldn’t get more dangerous if you gave a redneck a loaded M16, a youtube stream of fox news and let him loose in a room full of Greens. The company that rents these vans have come out and said it just wants ‘to have a good time’. “No shit sherlock,” said every rapist ever, “hey man, lighten up we’re just having a bit of rape over here, it’s all good”.

And people wonder why Queenslanders embarass us.

Sociopaths And The Collapse Of Conservatism Part 2

Sociopaths, Losers, and the Clueless

This is part of a series on politics and psychology. You can jump to other parts here:
Prologue: A Tale Of Two Blogs
Part 1: The Most Annoying Thing
Part 2: Sociopaths, Losers and the Clueless

Looking back over the approximately forty years that I’ve lived, it’s a strange observation that in spite of modern ideals, like socialism for example, it can appear at first glance that as a society we are devolving. Conservatism seems stronger than it ever was, at least in places like the U.S.A and Australia. And what’s more it is gradually becoming more idealistic and extremist. While conservative governments have always had some bad ideas, when you compare the likes of Tony Abbott to John Howard, or George W. Bush to Ronald Reagan, it seems almost as though we’re living in some kind of dystopic world. Those politicians that many once saw as villainous seem almost leftist by comparison, which is a sad state of affairs indeed. So why is this happening? There are several possibilities that come to mind.

The first, and perhaps the most intuitive, especially to right leaning people, is that left policies are out of control. We’ve gone too soft and our society is headed for doom. Only flipping the switch the entire opposite direction can possibly save us now. There are two reasons for which I would discount this theory. Firstly, this idea comes out of a sort of collection of morals and ideals that were common to pre modern times. That is to say things like, every person should earn his own living, food is scarce and everyone needs to pull up their boot straps, or even to say that there is an abundance of employment and anyone who is not working is lazy. I’m not criticising this view point, per se, but rather pointing out that this viewpoint is the basic ideal of conservative parties. Surely if this was the reason driving a return to conservatism we must believe that a massive number of otherwise left thinking people suddenly changed their minds about everything and became conservatives. This is unlikely beyond belief. In fact studies have shown that many who vote conservative actually have ideals that support left policies, like fairness and equal access to jobs, health, education and so forth. The second reason I find this hard to believe is that the underlying basis of the position is absolute bollocks and I suspect that people are as a species more intelligent than we give them credit for.

Another leading argument is that the standing governments are on the take and through the power of financial investments have ceased to listen to the common person, who is too stupid to realise it. This does sound appealing to myself and I suspect many generation x’ers. We grew up amongst scandals like watergate, so we learnt to distrust the position of politician. There is also a lot of circumstantial evidence to suggest this, such as special meetings with tycoons such as Rupert Murdoch or Gina Rhinehart, or policies that go against all scientific evidence in favour of big business. I am tempted to believe this is the truth, but I fear I would be lacking objectivity. There may be more than a few grains of truth to this theory, but at the end of the day I must throw suspicion on this as a total explanation of current affairs. Firstly it breaks the adage “you can’t fool all the people all of the time”. There are cognitive biases such as illusory superiority, the tendency to believe we are above average, that allows us to be convinced that everyone else is stupid. It’s an easy leap to make, but difficult to prove, and I think there’s more to it. Something specific must have changed because it’s safe to assume people are not dumber now than they were in the eighties, and we didn’t have regressive policy then.

In order to understand the reasons for the resurgence of conservatism, there are a few ideas we need to understand: the psychology of politicians, the psychology of the voter, and, perhaps the most important part, the economics of political parties and affiliations. But first politicians.

I’d like to borrow an idea here from one of my favourite bloggers Venkatesh Rao (although this specific idea he borrows somewhat from an earlier source). If you’ve never read The Gervais Principle I highly recommend it. It is the kind of article that can change how you view all interactions. The idea we’ll be talking about is that the world is made up of three basic types: sociopaths, clueless and losers. It took Venkatesh six extremely long posts to cover so I won’t do it here, just explain the basic mechanism.

Sociopaths in this model are essentially detached realists. They see the world for what it is and will do anything that benefits themselves in some objective way (money, happiness, power etc). That’s not to say that they are all morally bankrupt, per se, just that they do not bind themselves by a traditional sense of what is wrong or right. Sociopaths set their own morals.

The clueless are the opposite. They are naive and driven by a repressed lack of basic childhood needs. For example, if a clueless grew up without family they may seek to have an unrealistic number of friends. The clueless ARE morally bankrupt, not necessarily because they’re not good people nor want to be, but rather they never learnt to understand moral reasoning to begin with. Their morals are held by society at large and they look to society to validate or disallow their behaviour.

The third group, the losers, are the every person. Not meant in a negative sense (and ignorant of the fact that most losers value more social things and are therefore much happier, at least in the sense that they believe they are happy) the term indicates those that give up the lion’s share of the economic pie in return for security (eg a wage job). To put it in a (possibly too) simplistic manner, if life were a game of monopoly the losers would be, well, the losers.

The hypothetical relationship between these three groups is as follows: the sociopaths promote the clueless to positions of power as a buffer to take all the anger and hate from the losers (apt readers from Australia may have some idea where this is heading).

Amongst the three, in a political sense, it is perhaps the clueless that are the most dangerous. Sociopaths may be immoral, but at least we can make predictions of their behaviour based on past actions. The clueless however are unpredictable. Their behaviour depends entirely on the zeitgeist of the moment. It wasn’t because Adolph Hitler was crazy with power that tragedy occurred (although he was crazy with power). One man alone can not execute so much destruction. It was the fact that THE CLUELESS FOLLOWED HIS LEAD that lead to actual atrocities being committed. In fact it has been commented by many that one of the leading reasons for complicity was the common following of the Lutheran church, that teaches people to obey their elected leaders, the religion of the clueless if there ever was one.

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Hanlon’s Razor

You don’t have to look very far to see this in action. For years we mocked one of the stupidest men in political history, by the name of George W. Bush. But apart from being clearly out of his depth, and somewhat naive, was he really an arch villain? Or was he just the pawn of more powerful men? Still today the mention of his name will cause flames to appear in eyes everywhere, but does the same visceral anger appear when we remember the investment bankers that almost brought the world economy to a stand still in 2008, or the oil companies that lobby for regressive laws that put our very climate at stake? Of course, we all have a feeling those things are bad, but we reserve the real anger for politicians. That’s fine. That’s exactly how the sociopaths with the real power want it. They don’t want to be your friend so they don’t care too much if you are a little upset at them. Anger, on the other hand can be a motivating factor for change. It needs to be funnelled away. And that’s where politicians come in.

There are two basic types of politicians in the modern world, and if you understand this simple point you will be better equipped to see that in fact the different factions of politics are in fact not similar at all, and in fact, DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSITE.

The first politician is the one that some would believe all politicians are (to their own detriment). The politicians that genuinely care about their country and their people. It’s fairly easy to spot these politicians. They don’t champion groups or specific people, they champion ideas. As they say, follow the money. If there’s no obvious direct beneficiary (eg oil cartels) then the only rational conclusion is that the politician, at least believes, they are doing the righteous thing.

The second type of politician is the polar opposite. The bottom feeders of the psychopolitical spectrum, they eat the scraps falling off the table of their masters, in return for policies that grossly increase the powers of said masters, and further the economic divide between those that have power and those that do not. If a politician talks about specific interests, for instance, specific industries, and specific fears, such as the DRASTIC personal effects you will suffer if you do not give way, then you can bet a pony you’re talking to the clueless.

The clueless don’t even UNDERSTAND that the rationale thy pedal is ignorant nonsense. They haven’t evolved past a three year old mentality. Everything boils down to, what do I PERSONALLY lose, what do I PERSONALLY gain, and IS ANYONE ANGRY AT ME? It often doesn’t have to be things of material value. To the clueless the prestige of being in a position that they clearly have no right to attain can be reward enough.

Take modern Australian politics. Just when we’d finished spending years laughing at America, and could only assume that a stupider leader would never be elected again, Australia, not one to be beaten at anything, topped the expectations of even the most pessimistic of observers. We elected Tony Abbott, such an imbecile that he SOLD OUT THE FUTURE OF THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS for a mere SIXTY THOUSAND DOLLARS. Let’s look at some facts: recent comments from the University Of Western Australia suggest that fees would increase by thirty percent under new legislation. Let’s take a conservative position and suggest that they have only one thousand students per year at the lowest expected cost of sixteen thousand dollars. This equates to a windfall of no less than THREE MILLION dollars a year. This is not the type of corruption we imagine in the movies, this is an imbecile trying to play with the big boys, and getting short changed in the process.

It’s no coincidence that Tony Abbott resembles, almost to a T, Hugo Weaving’s character, Agent Smith from The Matrix, in his most insane moments. Hugo once described his performance as trying to portray a robot, that has no concept of emotion, attempting to mimic the emotions of humans. Is it coincidence then, that many of the most iconic photos of Tony Abbott show approximate, yet at the same time, completely inappropriate expressions? Is it political opportunism or simply a child trying his best to be recognised as appropriate by his peers?

And finally, at the risk of giving away the villain before the end of the story, if you need more convincing take a look at the infamous Fox News. The comments that flood from the presenters are all the evidence you need to see that the clueless really are the center of attention. Is it any wonder? Remember that the clueless have some overpowering need, and the need for attention is one of the very earliest childhood needs that can be oppressed. When presenters on the likes of Fox take a dog eat dog attitude to the world, it’s not just because they are ignorant, it’s that by and large these people have never known real empathy. They are incapable of feeling ethics for themselves so they gather together, never even aware, that they truly are the blind leading the blind.

That’s it for the clueless for now. There are more parts to this puzzle as we will explore in coming parts. In the mean time, remember the old saying, “two dumbs don’t make a smart”.

slc

Not to belabour the point, but…