Posts Tagged ‘hate’

The Porosity to Hate

15 November 2011

Dear J-

I think it must take a special kind of asshole to make a four year-old cry. And I spy him in the mirror. There are no doubt valid reasons to be angry with the kid as she keeps pushing boundaries and testing patience but once you’ve made the point you need to back off and calm down instead of continuing to wield the hammer of discipline. Last night I asked figgy to turn down the volume on the computer and she looked straight at me and turned it up. I turned it back down and she turned it up again so I turned the whole computer off in the middle of a YouTube video about cakes. Point made.

Then I continued to browbeat her (and in retrospect probably shouldn’t have turned it back on given that she’s learning that a few tears and a tantrum grease the skids to having her own way) to get the point across. Unnecessary. The kid I end up dealing with at the end of the night is cranky from being tired and cranky from some possible illness that she might still have and cranky from not having me around to plonk down on. And I hate that, I hate the situation that keeps me out of the house this much but lately it feels like I’ve been misdirecting that righteous anger against the wrong people.

In Internet parlance getting dooced is being fired for blogging about work (inappropriately should be the qualifier but with the way the economy has been and employment contracts written up as at-will, even that distinction seems to be going by the wayside). More than anything else lately it’s fear that drives me, fear that keeps me headed off to work and smiles and nods all around, yessir, what can I do for you today and I can, I will, I’ll get to it. But being trapped in the endless cycle of work and satisfaction and approval that we all crave from authority figures doesn’t mean that I have to let it seep through. The only thing Reagan’s trickle-down economy has given me is porosity to hate and discontent: I pass it down because there’s people smaller than me. And that’s not acceptable.

Mike

Advertisement

Hate for Hate

7 May 2011

Dear J-

Today we had the party so of course I get an opportunity to make it all about myself: for all the careful preparations and plans we put into place (not that lining up a fruit and veggie platter, some bags of chips, and pizza is that hard) we had our unexpected wrinkles. The cake was too big to fit comfortably into a conventional box so of course we had theVet hold it on her lap and steered carefully around the corners instead. The pizzas were ready for pickup but cash-only so I had the unsettling experience of questioning where the nearest ATM was until I realized they were charging me for five, not four. It was an opportunity for me.

Once you choose to respond in anger there’s only two two choices for the person you’ve exploded on: respond in-kind or shrug and wander away. You realize that the best you hope for is that no one punches you in the face? Returning hate for hate is (acknowledging the possibility that it makes me sound like some wide-eyed Pollyanna) just going to increase the negative energy quotient in the world. This very morning, in fact, with theVet and I sniping at each other over some minor annoyance — trading anger for anger, ratcheting up into heights unnecessary and overly complex — figgy jumped in and told us that we just needed to stop yelling and just get along. She is tzhe birthday girl, and we must accede.

Mike

Withdrawl County

27 December 2010

Dear J-

I know there’s roughly as much truth in the Letters to the Editor as what you’d typically find scratched into the side of a public bathroom wall, but there are some grains of reality sprinkled throughout the chaff. One caught my eye the other day, with the author vaguely fomenting secession over the repeal of Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell*, muttering about how history would tell of a turning point. I’m inclined to dismiss it but for another person — this time at work — talking about the imminent collapse of the federal government and that we should all be prepared.

Okay. I don’t seriously for a moment think that the feds are going anywhere and even if California thinks of withdrawing from the union it would be crushed without DC breaking a sweat. Yet it is true that the frustration level is high and conservatives, fresh from having to apologize and accept the neocon agenda of the past eight years, have picked up the limiting vocabulary of hyperbole and exaggeration. Now with a limited mandate imposed by voter frustration that seems to come in waves (this is no different than the term-limit mania of twenty years ago, and is likely to result in the same: ineffective elected officials) the rhetoric gets revved up.

I also recognize the same fear of the unknown that powers the hate groups of my youth (those being the now mercifully defunct Aryan Nations of Hatin’; er, Hayden Lake) at work here in San Diego. Even in the city there are pockets of idiots, but outside there’s a rugged survivalist mentality that would do any shack-dwelling hillbilly proud. Is it too late to dial back the hate?

Mike

* DADT seemed like a good compromise at the time but had the effect of muzzling an entire group in Big Brother-like repressed paranoia (anything could be construed as a Tell) just because folks might be uncomfortable with homosexuals in close quarters. Get over it: you should either be flattered or glad to be so delusional that someone finds you so attractive.

Echo Chamber

3 December 2010

Dear J-

There’s a guy in Hayden, Idaho — a self-described white separatists — who made a snowman complete with Klan hood and a noose dangling from an outstretched hand.  It also appears that he’s the same guy who flew various flags (Aryan Nations, Nazi SS) during the summer, so it’s nice to see that the weather hasn’t stopped his exercise of free speech.  At least that’s what the defenders are citing when they stand behind him (it’s really bringing out the folks in the woodwork; check out the comments if you have a chance).

One thing to note — Hayden and Hayden Lake are neighboring towns but not the same; Hayden Lake was the site of the Aryan Nations headquarters when I was growing up twenty-five some-odd miles from the Idaho border and it thus wasn’t coincidence that we kept referring to it as Hatin’ Lake.  The libertarian in me actually applauds the exercise of free speech; even as I recognize the frustration that drives his actions I can’t condone them as they carry the undercurrent of violence and threat that any bully likes to exude.  It’s one thing to fight for your beliefs and quite another to hide behind free speech as a means to intimidate.

There’s a bravado associated with bullies, a swagger being that you’re working from a position of power.  It’s telling that he’s chosen to fly his flags and build his snowmen proudly amongst his neighbors in 96% caucasian Hayden, Idaho and not, say, somewhere in Israel or more mixed community.  I understand — he does say, after all, that he wants to surround himself in his own culture, but we learn nothing in the echo chamber that brings back only what we want to hear.

Mike