Friday, March 14, 2003

Something I find interesting when I go to Hastings for my weekly buy some books and movies day is the amount of books in the current events section that are about why liberals are stupid, or why liberals hate America. These opinions are all well and good, and they are some people’s opinions, but I think the people who write these miss an important point. They may not agree with the people they call liberals, but it is the liberals among the society that prompt change.

Without a good amount of liberals, who I think of as people who think differently from the status quo, or the perceived status quo, there would be no America, because we would have stayed a colony of England. George Washington and the rest of the founding fathers were liberals and they were, dare I say it...terrorists. What was the celebrated Boston Tea Party but an act of terrorism?

But I’m not saying that all liberals are terrorists, or that all terrorists are liberals. Far from it. I think that very few terrorists are liberals. Most of the people with ideology’s that are willing to kill and die to prove a point are not that liberal. They come from B.S.’s that want to return the world to a previous state, or are just reactionary.

I’ve gotten away from my initial point though. I think it is interesting how many of the books promote the “look at them and their crazy ideas” mentality that has been the bane of civilization for so long. The problem is not that we have different ideas as people, but that we refuse to admit that other people have different ideas, and that they may be right, or at the very least as right as us.

I’m not suggesting that we all get out there and have a big group hug, but I think it would help things along quite a bit if we would at least start talking a bit, and I don’t mean the type of talking where we just wait to say our next point, but the type where we actually listen to the other person and try to understand where they are coming form. That doesn’t mean we have to try and change their minds either. Just listen.

Communication is only possible between equals. That doesn’t mean that you have to treat someone as an equal, or give them equal rights, you should do those things, but it means that you have to try to think as the other person and actually communicate.

More people should give How To Win Friends and Influence People a read and actually take the lessons to heart. How do you get people to like you? Genuinely care about them and what they are saying.

I’m not telling you to just take any old shit that someone wants to foist on you, but listen to them. Find out where they are coming from and try to learn about them. They may only want to talk about their cats or their kids, or their work but you can involve them just as much in what you want to talk about.

It’d probably help if everyone else weren’t such dumb assholes though. This is kinda contingent on everyone helping out and not being so stupid and seeing if the other people really aren’t interested in what’s being said.

Hmmmm. I do have a tendency to ramble and preach a bit, don’t I?

Grant Morrison calls communication the Holy Grail, pointing to the classic illusion of the two faces in silhouette that seem to form a goblet or vase. Communication and learning are the key, when you start talking about how someone hates something that they really feel that they love, like liberals and America, that is when you start making enemies and problems. Liberals don’t hate or blame America for the world’s problems anymore than conservatives do, and when one side starts badmouthing the other it only worsens the perceived divide between them.

When Dubbya goes on the television to the world and says that North Korea is part of an axis of evil, guess what happens? North Korea’s dictator wigs out and assumes we are going to attack him, because we have in effect said that they are on our hit list. Then he goes and starts making threats and the whole thing goes to hell in a handbasket like that. Saddam Hussein is probably not a very good guy to have in power in Iraq, but when Dubbya goes out and calls him a murderer and then gives that dumbass little laugh, you can bet it wigs him out a lot as well.
I think it’s time for the diplomats to actually start practicing diplomacy. We need to elect people to a position of authority that are intelligent enough to listen to other people and try to understand. All anyone really wants is for the world to behave a little more as they see it. The stupid people have run the world for thousands of years, and look where it’s got us. Maybe it’s time to let the smart ones try for awhile. I only ask for about two hundred years. I think that’d be enough to turn things around quite a bit.

Don’t let them immananetize the Eschaton.

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