Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Racist things are not racist because I don't associate them with racism.

How would you like it if I changed this blog's format to all-people-who've-said-crazy-things-on-my-facebook-feed, all the time? Does that sound good? Actually, they don't usually do that. People criticize facebook on all kinds of bases, but honestly, I find it to be a generally pleasant place. I'm not friends with people who have awful politics (or if I am, they keep it to themselves), so basically, it's just people I like and posts from Disney-comics groups I follow. It's fine. The only potential problem is the occasional temptation to get into arguments with other people's awful friends who comment on their posts, but I know full well that this is the most stupid and futile thing I could possibly do on the internet, so I never do it.

Well, anyway, still. There's this dude I'm friends with. I don't know him particularly well; just someone I sometimes saw in the company of other friends when I was in my Doctoral program. He has a PhD in music theory and perfectly conventional liberal politics, as far as I've been able to tell. Certainly not a stupid person. Which is why it was so friggin' bizarre to see him having a truly spectacular meltdown on the subject of the Cleveland Indians deciding to de-emphasize their cringe-inducing logo. He started by writing--to paraphrase--"it's funny how all the people happy about this change have probably never even gone to an Indians game or can name any players." The relevance of this was...not clear, but as became apparent in the trainwreck of a comments thread, the real issue was that he had all kinds of nostalgic memories wrapped up in the team, racist mascot and all, he saw any criticism of it as some sort of personal attack, and he believed that because he personally did not associate the logo with actual Native Americans, it was not racist. Truly an impressively sub-rational display. Apparently he realized how awful the whole thing looked, because he ended up deleting the thread, but then he made ANOTHER post really emphasizing the whole nostalgia thing and how his dad used to take him to games and now his dad is dead [and has been for nineteen years, mind; this isn't a recent psychic wound that would make this sort of thing understandable] and SCREW YOU for calling him racist (which I don't think anyone had actually done, but WHATEVER) (he also deleted a comment on this post which--seemingly with no awareness of the, uh, issues here--characterized Native Americans objecting to Chief Wahoo as "uppity." With friends like these...).

Anyway, there's no real point to this beyond GOOD LORD people are crazy. Even people you have every reason to think AREN'T crazy.


Blogger Pan Miluś pontificated to the effect that...

We're all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad. You must be or you wouldn’t have come here.

2:18 PM  
Blogger Achille Talon pontificated to the effect that...

[and has been for nineteen years, mind; this isn't a recent psychic wound that would make this sort of thing understandable]

Well to be fair, the death of someone so close to you is arguably an indescribably horrible thing, and it may be seen as sort of shallow to assume that any amount of years put between you and the event can fully heal any ensuing "psychic wound". This is obviously the case for most people, and lucky them, but that doesn't make it "unrightful" to continue grieving basically forever.

(Mark that I was just objecting to that particular sentence. There is no argument that the rest of your post is blatantly right: the poor chap just had an inexplicable lapse of nostalgia-induced irrationality, and that's that.)

6:28 PM  

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