12 Sept 2000
Warning -- tirade coming on. Personal details aired, and stack blown.
I really wish I could dump my brain's core sometimes, but as it is, I will have to dig
the filth out of my brain by hand (ew).
So. Given my experience this past weekend in Minneapolis at the University of
Minnesota, at a workshop entitled "Connecting Women in Mathematical Sciences to
Industry", reading various things written by various people, and considering the
maturity and annoyance levels of various people I know... I'm just getting peeved.
One thing I find very annoying is the way some people have of taking everything
personally, or politically, or (most annoying of all) both. The ones who take
everything personally are, in a way, the most annoying, for solipsism has always been
considered unendearing in others. Clue to some: the world doesn't really give a shit
about you. That old lady who just cut in your lane very, very slowly wasn't giving a
thought to you. You have been visited by impersonal rudeness (and danger) not an
example of a conspiracy of the world against you.
The political can be annoying, for often such people seem to lack consistency between
their words and their actions, especially when their own convenience is concerned.
Let's see here -- one cannot claim the moral high ground against pornography on the
internet and then publish one of the most lewd stories, trying to make sure it gets the
widest possible circulation by putting it on the internet. One cannot claim to fight
against oppression of females, claim to be a high-powered feminist and then 1) dismiss
all statements by females that undermine your world view, 2) as a woman yourself act
helpless and weak. One cannot plead for tolerance as the highest virtue, esp. in
tolerating one's own views, and then denigrate the views of others. One cannot claim
to hold a general discussion where all people's views will be considered, and then bat
down the person from Berkeley because she's at "an elite institution" (sorry to get so
detailed, but I doubt the people involved will ever read this). One not claim to be a
religion of love and life and advocate the killing of abortion doctors. One cannot
claim to be an environmentalist and drive an SUV. I'm sorry, there's no way around
that one. One cannot claim one's business is being responsible by limiting the number
of napkins your customers use and installing hand dryers, while your coffee is ruining
rainforests, exploiting third world countries, and let's not even go into the
wastefulness of your paper cups...
Okay, in old world terms, people may call this hypocrisy. I'm feeling ornery today, so
I'm just going to call it stupidity. The reason I have for doing this is based on
personal experience. In a few cases, I have pointed out the apparent hypocrisy to
those involved; usually, I had not been the only person to do so. However, the target
of this enforcement of logic usually denied that there had been any contradiction
whatsoever. Sometimes, even more infuriatingly, such people try to take the moral high
ground, proclaiming they =must= publish Ken Starr's report to rid this country of such
filthy leadership, they =must= physically threaten and actually shoot abortion doctors
to prevent more killing, we =must= fight a war for peace.
The old-timers had a saying for this "you can't have your cake and eat it, too." You
can't try to impose your morality on others, if you don't yourself follow it when you
find it inconvenient. Parents who try the "Do as I say, not as I do" approach of child
rearing always seemed surprised that, after years of Marlboros pointing at
their children, hoarse voices saying, "Look what cigs did to me, they're coffin nails
kid, I don't want to ever catch you smoking", their offspring are sucking on Marlboros
of their own.
Well, I've decided to be intolerant. I'm not going to listen to other people's views
if they're just trying to make the world more convenient for them. Dammit, I'm going
to make the world more convenient for =me=. First, I'm going to abolish all cars.
I'll wait for that to be implemented before I tell y'all the rest of my manifesto.