Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Not A Snowflake

A high-school friend posted this on FB today.  I am resisting unfollowing her, even though there have been a few of these. She really does see herself as a kindly person, standing up for what is right and shielding the downtrodden. She is pals with a local gubernatorial and congressional candidate from the 90's turned radio commentator, with a show called "The Attitude," similarly mean and hectoring.  The most famous picture of her was refusing to listen to Judd Gregg with a "talk to the hand" gesture.
I am not a liberal snowflake. My feelings aren't fragile, my heart isn't bleeding.
My STRENGTH is in the SERVICE of others. There is nothing more FIERCE than formidable, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.
There is nothing more COURAGEOUS than COMPASSION.
But if my belief in EQUITY, EMPATHY, GOODNESS, and LOVE indeed makes me or people like me snowflakes, then you should know... WINTER IS COMING!!!

Sounds sorta mean for a compassionate person, with the all-caps and the threat of winter and how many there will be. I'm always surprised to see that from Nice People. She means me, without realising that, and I'm offended.

She's a little defensive, too, I would say.  Maybe someone's fragile feelings were hurt. Seems like you could break an arm patting yourself on the back like that.  I'm wondering what the "unconditional" aprt of this love is, except as cliched synonym for really intense and a whole lot.

I'n not sure what HUMAN RIGHTS she thinks her opponents don't support.  I think she means legal rights that she believes are so obvious they don't need a defense. Last year that was trans bathrooms. I don't know what service she is talking about either. 

She would be utterly contemptuous of a conservative person who claimed such personal goodness with the implied insult to those who are in political disagreement.  There are such conservatives, of course.  Lots of them. People who say they've worked hard and never asked for a thing, putting a spotlight on their generosity, and respectability, complaining that others in this society don't do that. You can find them in comments sections all over the internet. Sometimes in live space, too, though I don't know many.  You don't expect to find college professors, counselors, and others who have had the advantages of gentle upbringing with this need for cartoons, however. There is a need to see oneself as righteous. A love for hating others.


james said...


Alternatively, when was the last time you heard someone say "I am wise" and you believed him? It pretty much contradicts itself, doesn't it?

Donna B. said...

I know her. Her stereotype, anyway. She's actually quite nice compared to some I've unfollowed. Most of those were relatives, not high school friends. I've actually had to block a few relatives.

Most of my Facebook activity is within private groups. I don't post anything political... unless it's just downright funny. Sometimes... when I've had a drink or two, I'll comment on someone's political post. I'm trying to break myself from this habit because it's always the same person and it's always because she's bouncing all over the spectrum of irrationality... oh well, you'd have to know her to understand. Just know that she considers the Onion a valid news source. I should unfollow her to help me resist the temptation.

Sam L. said...

This is as good a reason as any to turn off Facebook. I'm with the "Just Don't Do It" crowd. If it is a crowd. Surely I'm not alone.

RichardJohnson said...

I am reminded of the Kindness is Everything sign, which has been popping up in neighborhoods across the country.
“In This House, We Believe: Black Lives Matter, Women’s Rights are Human Rights, No Human is Illegal, Science is Real, Love is Love And Kindness is Everything.”

Let me correct one of your friend's postings. There is nothing more FIERCE than formidable, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE,with the exception of the unmitigated contempt I have for the racist, bigoted deplorables.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I know I'm unfair, and there are conservatives worthy of criticism as well. But people make themselves targets. They really rub everyone's face in it.

Korora said...

"There is nothing more FIERCE than formidable, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE."
And it sounds like she therefore rejects it as a WMD.

RichardJohnson said...

But people make themselves targets. They really rub everyone's face in it.

As people don't like having their faces rubbed in it, they strike back.
Your friend reminds me of a song we know very well: The Folk Song Army. The first versus says it all.
We are the folk song army
Every one of us cares
We all hate poverty, war, and injustice
Unlike the rest of you squares.

"We're the good guys- and you aren't" may work for a 30 minute cartoon show, but life can't be summed up by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. (Actually, TMNT has a lot more self-mockery than a SJW could ever envisage, so maybe it isn't the best example.)

Assistant Village Idiot said...

The wonderful irony of that is that she is the person who I sang in a folk duo with for 2+ years. If I were to tweak her - which I won't, because she is a nice person who just has this same meanness that liberals are blind to - I would likely do it by linking to this song.

And yes, it would hurt her feelings, and I'd rather not.

RichardJohnson said...

The wonderful irony of that is that she is the person who I sang in a folk duo with for 2+ years.
As she apparently still sees herself as a member of the FSA- without being aware of the irony in the song- she hasn't come a long way in a half century.

And yes, it would hurt her feelings, and I'd rather not.
AVI, that's your call. It would hurt someone, who believes she is full of the milk of human kindness, to have it pointed out that there is a mean streak in her. And someone our age isn't likely to change, anyway, were she to have that pointed out to her. People our age are in the "that's the way they are" category.

Is she aware of Tom Lehrer? Was she ever aware of the song? My bet is not. I know that I didn't like the song when I was a member of the Folk Song Army. Coincidentally I requested a Leadbelly album for a birthday present the year Folk Song Army came out.

She strikes me as an earnest, humorless sort who wouldn't like any Tom Lehrer song at all. Yup, better to not go that route. Not even Christmas Carol.

You don't expect to find college professors, counselors, and others who have had the advantages of gentle upbringing with this need for cartoons, however. There is a need to see oneself as righteous. A love for hating others.

I don't believe it is an issue of educational level. In fact, it may increase with educational level, as many believe that they are more enlightened as a result of the degrees they have or as a result of the progressive catechism they absorbed at university.

The need to feel righteous, to be one of the elect, is often with us even if we never attend church. I refer you to Joseph Bottum's An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America. Bottum points out that while many latter day secular people appear to have abandoned the churchgoing habits of their grandparents, they have retained the same desire to belong to the elect.

Adherence to the social gospel of the day- and it does seem to change day to day- assures latter day secular people that they are among the elect. There is, however, a striking difference between the religious person who strives to be one of the elect, and the latter day secular person striving to also be among the elect. The religious person is generally aware of his limitations. He sees himself as a sinner before the Almighty, shall we say. The latter day secular person often lacks any self-awareness of his own limitations. Thus the latter day secular person may believe that having checked off the appropriate social gospel positions of the day (against homophobia, against Islamophobia...) that he is therefore without evil, without sin. As opposed to the deplorables, of course.

While I am not a churchgoer, I am aware of my limitations.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

If you decide to become a churchgoer again, Richard, decide up front whether you want to go to one of those ones where they let you sit off to the side and contemplate what you are hearing without much bothering you, or one of those friendly shops where they want to chat you up immediately. That difference in style may be more important to folks than music or the finer points of doctrine.

Texan99 said...

"Unconditional love" in that context means "approving of people who violate the incomprehensible moral objections you weird people have to things like divorce and libertinism," but it certainly doesn't mean tolerating people like you. I mean, there's a limit.

I always want to ask such people whether they can feel unconditional love for a guy who goes home at night and burns kittens alive for entertainment. Arguably, that's as much a part of our duty as loving anyone else, but I know I'm no better at it than the average Joe. The best I can attain is a hope that the guy can be dispatched as quickly and painlessly as possible, so that I don't have to revel in vengefulness and enjoy his agony. I suspect, of course, that your posting friend also has no special talent for unconditionally loving anyone she genuinely disapproves of, as opposed to the people she supposes a lot of narrow-minded killjoys are hoping to get her to disapprove of. Does she unconditionally love Donald Trump? The Koch brothers?

Texan99 said...

Also, apparently the whole "snowflake" thing stings more than I realized.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

The friend does pretty will with those up close who disagree, including her sisters and her mother (and maybe her father, though I;m not so sure about the end). It does seem to be those general people "out there" on whom she focuses her anger. Lewis could have done well with her in The Great Divorce, as someone who cannot give up the One Thing.