“We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” – Thomas Jefferson (more…)
If you’ll indulge me, I’m going to tell you what scared me to the spine most about coming out as being a transgender individual, and it wasn’t the conservative, right wing of the Western world’s political spectrum.
Oh, to be fair, I certainly had fear in my heart about the Right. But you see, that to me was an obvious, blatant threat, akin to the Stormtroopers in Star Wars. Bear in mind I don’t see all right-wingers in that light, nor do I think of all GOP supporters as fascists like some of my contemporaries, however the simile of my detractors being as blatant and obvious as Imperial Stormtroopers holds true. I can see my conservative and religious opponents coming from a kilometer away, typically, and they are a clear cut obstacle.
But the far political Left, ah, that’s a whole other cookie to crumble, and that is what gave me the greatest pause in coming out, or exploring what I really am at all. Now, let me get one caveat out of the way: I do believe there are legitimate social justice issues in my country and the world at large, and I do believe there are legitimate, passionate crusaders in the world who want to affect positive changes and reforms regarding said issues. I do believe that protests are important and should be allowed. I believe that if someone wants to kneel during the Pledge of Allegiance, more power to them. But things quickly get muddy here. Social justice has been hijacked by and infected with radicalism. We have an entire generation now of internet warriors whose sole existence is to scour the ‘net for anything politically incorrect and offensive to their increasingly intolerant and narrow world view. The collective of individuals who are supposed to be the most progressive, tolerant, and open-minded, I have found instead to be the most rigid, destructive, intolerant, and hateful affiliation of people I have ever encountered.
Yes, social justice warriors, yes, cancel culture, I’m calling you out, and I call bullshit on you. Yes, I’m talking to the most extreme trans “activists” out there; you don’t speak for me, and both the LGBT community and civilization as a whole could do without your aggressive policing of thought and speech. In plainer language: you make us all look bad. The phobic and close-minded elements of the Right don’t even need to put any effort into finding ammo against gay, bi, queer, and trans folk, considering what the far Left hands them on a silver, polished platter.
To go back to the title of this post, and to make my point even simpler: I was terrified of being lumped in with you, SJWs, when coming out. I didn’t, and still don’t, want any part in the postmodern, deconstructionist agenda. At one time, when I was an angry person eager to rebel against any and everything (because I didn’t understand that the real war was inside me all along), I almost got lost in that movement of thought. I am glad I found a way to keep from falling all the way down that pit. There aren’t 69 or more genders, and the straight white man is not to blame for every problem you have. Sexism, racism, and homo/transphobia are real problems in the world, but you can’t blame every problem in our civilization on the obtuse patriarchy. The overwhelming majority of humanity is not obliged to bend over backwards for a tiny minority such as what I now belong to, and to expect culture, language, law, and economics to cater to your sensitivities is the pipe dream of someone living in a digital bubble, into which no disagreement or other way of thinking is allowed.
Gay people matter. Bisexual people matter. Trans lives matter. Black lives do matter, as point of fact. But radical, extreme activism and trying to tear down every pillar of human civilization is not going to accomplish any measure of social justice. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The last four years of the Twilight Zone that the United States just went through under the direction of a reality TV star is as much the fault of the Left as it is the Right. When you push the pendulum to an extreme in one direction, by nature it will swing to every bit the same extreme in the other. Those of us in the middle or out in the bleachers get run over in the process. If we don’t hold the current Left political swing in check, things will get worse.
Some of you will not want to hear any of this. Some of you won’t give my words any merit. Some of you who have been following me on various social media for whatever reason may hate me for saying all of this. My objective is not explicitly to anger or bring negativity into your life, but if you do respond with hostility, perhaps stop and think about why that is. And if I can prevent even one other person who is in the closet for whatever reason from experiencing the same fear and trepidation as me, then whatever scorn I just invited is worth it. Until next time.
I realize that this is a heck of a topic to jump into when I haven’t blogged in quite a while.
Part of what I’m about to say has been percolating for a while, I just hadn’t figured out the correct way to pull it from my brain and plaster it onto the page.
I think the 2020 United States Presidential Election has certainly cast a spotlight on the worst, most extreme elements on both sides of primary political division, and given my post’s title plenty of context. The far right in the U.S. makes us all look like heartless bastards who value money more than human life and decency, and that anyone who is not white, straight, and christian is invalid. While that is going on, the far left paints a picture of a world so enraptured with political correctness that no one dare breathe lest they offend someone.
Look. I came out this year as transgender. The left is clearly, generally speaking, more accommodating to me and others like me. Regardless of that, I recognize that the Dump/Sense administration is the most dangerous one that has ever been installed in the U.S., and if you can’t see jackboot authoritarianism for the threat to democracy that it is, I insist that you step outside your theocratic, nationalist, whitewashed bubble for a second and examine recent history from a more objective viewpoint.
But! Hold on second. I’m not gonna forget the far left. I was afraid to come out because of the hatred I was and am going to face from friends, family, and pretty much everybody I know who thumps a bible. However, I was just as afraid to come out because of how utterly ridiculous some of the most outspoken and extreme flagwavers of LGBT and minority movements make the rest of us look. We don’t need 69 or more gorram sets of genders or pronouns. If we keep making gender/sexuality flags we’re gonna run out of patterns for new countries to use in the future. Political correctness is bullshit. Respect people, use the name and basic pronouns that help them confirm their identity, treat others with decency, but for flarg’s sake don’t expect the whole world to conform to your safe space whims, and stop throwing a blanket over the mass of cisgendered folk, or as I prefer to say, those whose biological junk more or less matches what’s in their brainpan. The world needs masculine men and feminine women. Those who fall somewhere in between or fluctuate between the two are valid and we need those people too, but demonizing the many is not how to acknowledge and protect the few. Also, if you become as or almost as evil, vile, and destructive as what you oppose (referring to Antifa versus fascism), have you not defeated the purpose of your existence?
I think it’s safe to say that most of us Americans do fall in the middle of the two extremes we see in most media. Mainstream news flocks to whatever gets them the biggest story and the highest metrics. But regardless of if you’re right, left, or in my case, off in the woods, with your politics, I think it is for all of our good if we stop feeding attention and value to the extreme elements on all sides who have done nothing to deserve our time, money, or energy. We need fewer Trumps and fewer politically correct eggshells who think men are automatically evil and being a total snowflake is an actual point of pride and something to emulate.
So to the extremes, I say, shut the fuck up. You don’t speak for all of us.
What a year it has already been
It’s not necessarily that I believe I owe anyone here on the internet anything per se. However, those of you who have taken the time and/or money to follow what I do and read my books, I do believe you ought to have my thanks, and more of an incentive to visit this (admittedly still obscure) website of mine.
I have long since given up on trying to keep up with the endless trough that is social media. My life is so much better and richer for having dropped all but the bare minimum presence on Facebook, for example. I have started posting more often on the Instagrams (https://www.instagram.com/neo_ragnarok/) because I like that the presences there are more focused on art and less on politics, blathering, or generally useless and inane opinions on any and everything. Even there, though, I don’t have much time invested. I don’t care about trying to optimize my presence to get more likes and followers. You either like what I do or you don’t. This generation and society in general have become sickeningly addicted to social media, to instant gratification. It seems that so many go batshit crazy if they aren’t being constantly bombarded with information and content. Art gets buried in the feed. Meaningful wisdom is overshadowed. Success is less about quality and more about how much you can spam feeds.
I stand in a weird place here, as someone whose voice is currently being heard in large part only due to the modern artist’s conveniences of the internet, a website, and the relative ease of self-publishing. Yet I despise the mechanisms that have spawned around and between these things, so here I am using a modern boon to say that I think we lost something crucial by abandoning the days where quality won out over quantity. Would things have been different if we were slower and more responsible in our adopting the internet and the digital age? Certainly, though the same could also be said for most innovations or breakthroughs, such as, say, atomic power…
So, I appreciate all of you who have read my work or taken the time to comment on one of my blogs, or who likes the artwork I’m posting. That’s really cool, and I want to going forward make any investment in me on your part worth your time. But it’s not going to be from quantity. I’m not gonna be blowing up your inboxes or your feeds. Like any treasure, you’re gonna have to do some digging here and meet me halfway. In so doing, you’re going to get something better than the torrent of spam that is flooding most of the internet. If you don’t like that, and want to follow someone who is going to constantly bombard you with updates and content, you might as well exit stage left, because that’s not me, and trying to be that way was detrimental to my existence and happiness.
Here’s to art, to quality, to creating and sharing something meaningful.
Spoiler alert! It’s an article about spoilers and my stance on them.
To err is human. (more…)
Despite many attempts to extinguish it throughout recorded history, pagan cultures, such as that of the Norse in Old World Scandinavia, endure today. This post explores the old Norse culture and mythology at an introductory level, as well as compares them to depictions in American popular culture.
Also known as: fanatical devotion and greed, versus respect and storytelling (more…)