Thursday, November 15, 2007

Let's pile on Maureen Dowd!

Oh. My. God.

I post a link to a column by Maureen Dowd that I think is interesting and you people are so threatened by a silly little study that you rip into Ms. Dowd. She's a newspaper columnist, folks. Her job is to write columns that keep people coming back to a place where her employer sells ad space, she's not a religious leader.

Of course she has faults, of course she has biases, of course she gets things wrong, she's a human being. Just so we don't have to go to a lot of trouble establishing this, I'll confess, I have faults. I have biases. I get things wrong. Ok? You are officially excused from taking anything I say seriously. I've been wrong once, I can be wrong again. Ok, forget about anything I say.

Continue to believe we're "making progress" in Iraq, too, while you're at it,.

Don't you see what happened? Something about a STUPID study, about as substantial as discussing Britney's fitness for parenthood, something there set you off, just like people were set off by the row over what liking women who have curves means, exactly, in BMI. Then, the entire discussion becomes about the PEOPLE who are expressing the opinions rather than the opinions themselves.

This is why ad hominem attacks are de facto discounted in serious discussions. Not because they're mean, they're diversion tactics, strategies for managing emotions and ending serious discussions when you are losing them, or when you lack anything persuasive to say in support of what you want to believe is true. They're also mean, and you know, that really is enough of a reason to not make them, but go ahead, be vicious, you're still stupid.

But, since we tolerate this madness in public political discourse because we enjoy watching the powerful get humiliated, this type of immature and vicious word-play has become legitimized in all venues of public discourse. This is what reality TV has done to our public culture. Back-biting, passive aggression and character assassination are sanctioned in public discourse just like beating someone into unconsciousness for money is sanctioned in boxing, i.e, it's "sport."

I challenge any of you to stand naked before your God, or your own heart, and maintain that's ethical behavior.

So, yes, I like Maureen, and I'd date her, but I'm not looking to her to guide my life or set the optimum example of human existence for me. While we're on a rant, I like Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, too. None of them is a perfect human being, they have made mistakes, each failed at one time or another to live up to their own ideals, misrepresented themselves, waffled instead of admitting a mistake, etc, etc etc.

So. Have. I.

So. Have. You.

Maureen found something thought-provoking to write about one day, good for her. She writes things that I think, so I imagine we share some faults, some biases, and we've agreed about things that ended up being wrong. Guess what? That does not distinguish us in any way from you, or from the rest of humanity.

I am grateful that I don't have to denigrate someone else's character to avoid accepting the fact that I'm human.

Now, to the subject. Of course, we like visually appealing people. When we are operating according to our appetites and aversions we do not see things as they really are. No one does. Some people get married that way, some people have something happen that distances their facilities for reason from their appetites by varying degrees. They see things a bit more clearly and make a bit more reasonable decisions.

There's no there there. I've known some fantastically attractive people who were also very worthwhile people, right to the core, among the finest people I've known. I've also known some people who weren't very easy to look at who were also very fine people. Vice versa and backasswards too. We all have.

But to deny that any of us is or should be above these desires and biases is just more delusion and confusion. Your mind is what it is. It wants to believe it is special. it wants to believe it can end the persistent sense of dissatisfaction we all share by getting something from somewhere else. We all have it, we can't get rid of it, we just have to try to see it and work with the disability.

Untrain your parrot.

Take it from someone who knows. It hurts to be judged negatively on your appearance, even more to be ridiculed or ostracized. Being hurt makes me angry. Being angry makes me want to retaliate, *that's* the brain weevils. That's the cruel joke in all this, retaliation makes things worse. Denigrate men for liking a big rack or denigrate women for claiming to want to be valued for the quality of their hearts and minds while they squueze into thongs and miracle bras. There's enough delusion, confusion, longing and loathing to go around for everybody.

Or, stop for a moment, and see that we're more than this mental chatter. There's a place in all of us that loves without expectation of return, that will sacrifice our own welfare to care for another. We all share it and it's beautiful.

Nice, huh?

Ok, back to the T&A! Join in, it's life, it's being human.

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