I only ask because I don’t care.
Bobo Brooks, The New York Times is a Meritocracy:
The Thought Leader
I sometimes have this little fantasy.
In this fantasy, I could have a choice between any magical superpower. I could fly or communicate with fish or lift a planet over my head. And in this fantasy, I don’t choose any of them. Instead, I choose the ability to punch through self-delusion and make people see themselves as they really are.
Like many powers, it has its nice uses (aiding those struggling with the confusion of who they are and making it harder to build destructive closets), but they’d be a side-venue to the real satisfying work of making self-delusional bigots have to face themselves as they really are and as their actions have made them.
No delusions of meritocracy, no pretenses at fair-minded ideals, no complex fantasies in order to justify petty bullying. Just a person having to accept themselves and their actions or be destroyed by the weight of it all. It’d be the end of all the rich white people trying to claim they are being oppressed by poor brown people existing. It’d be the end of fucks like my dad trying to argue that not being bigoted in one venue means they should get a free pass to recycle that bigotry against another group*. Hell, it might even end the Republican Party as we know it.
But there is no such power and the fantasy is just that, a comforting thought experiment to ease the stress of living under the bootheel of crazy people.
But if such a power did exist, I think someone might have used a beta version against poor little Bobo.
Shorter (or the last port before Jungle):
- God I suck… I mean, God does an imaginary liberal version of me suck… who totally exists, you guys. Sniff, stop staring at me.
Aww. I’d give him a hug if I wasn’t so busy having absolutely no respect for him.
So yeah, apparently little Bobo, insult to brown-nosing courtiers everywhere has hit that part of the mid-life crisis where you start taking long serious looks at your life and what you’ve become and has become horrified at the emptiness he has found.
And in true Bobo fashion, he hasn’t used this new-found awareness to use his considerable connections, wealth, and gravitas to create or fund genuinely interesting works or reinvent himself as so few people get the opportunity. Nope, he’s decided to create a shiny new IT’S ALWAYS PROJECTION couch to beat with a tennis racket as if it was filled with tiny gay demons. Because why bother using the wealths of opportunity to change when its so much easier to use self-delusion to remain aggressively mediocre?
Little boys and girls in ancient Athens grew up wanting to be philosophers.
And if they were girls, they were barred from participating except in a few specifically woman-friendly institutions such as the Academy founded by Pythagoras. And even then, they were risking being stoned to death like poor Hypatia.
Also, I know historical revisionism to support class hierarchies that existed when you went to University is kind of your entire shtick, but um… were philosophers really the “rock stars” of Ancient Greece, because honestly most accounts seemed to regard them as a bunch of unwashed layabouts who spent most of their time getting drunk and hanging out and pretending that it was all something deep (so, pretty much the same as modern Philosophy majors… ba dum tish).
In Renaissance Florence they dreamed of becoming Humanists.
Renaissance? Back in the Renaissance, Humanism basically meant “hey, let’s crack open all those old Greek books we’ve got locked away as heresy and see if they tell us anything on how to stop all these plagues and shit”. I mean, that simple step definitely paved the way for the massive scientific, artistic, and queer booms of that era and more formal philosophies of not being a dick to other people that ended up representing modern Humanism as we know it.
ALso, humanism was popular in Renaissance Florence because the civic leader was fond of it. And basically during those times, if your city leader had a fondness of piercing genitals with red hot pokers, you better get yourself a forge and a high threshold for pain right quick if you wanted to live. It’s not like people were going, “I was into Humanism before it was cool” or some such shit.
But now a new phrase and a new intellectual paragon has emerged to command our admiration: The Thought Leader.
Oh yeah, those guys. I mean, that’s all anyone in the Universities are talking about these days. All the kids are like “Thought Leader said X” or “I want to be a Thought Leader when I grow up” and all the schools are strongly pushing “Thought Leader” coursework…
Er… no wait, it turns out that that was complete and utter bollocks.
So, sorry, what the fuck is a “Thought Leader” capital letters dundundun?
The Thought Leader is sort of a highflying, good-doing yacht-to-yacht concept peddler.
Ohhhh. He’s you and the other lucky recipients of cradle-to-grave wingnut welfare. The mediocre minds and talents hired by nervous rich people to ease their minds and tell them that the world totally works the way they want it to and they can safely ignore their lying eyes. Happily hiding their lack of anything behind self-serving bullshit fantasies like “trickle-down economics” or the equally hack work of think-tanks with “counterintuitive new studies” (i.e. made-up bullshit).
Gosh, I’m so sorry that you hate yourself. Speaking as someone who has struggled with depression, it can be rough to be in that psychological state. But seeing as how you have the ample financial resources to get the help you need to aid in coping with this new found realization of what you’ve stood for, you’re in a really good position to-
Each year, he gets to speak at the Clinton Global Initiative, where successful people gather to express compassion for those not invited.
Or you can project all your failings on an imaginary liberal counterpart who possibly goes by the name Bavid Drooks.
That’s super healthy. So speaking as your fake internet therapist, what crimes has Bavid committed that so incensed you?
Month after month, he gets to be a discussion facilitator at think tank dinners where guests talk about what it’s like to live in poverty while the wait staff glides through the room thinking bitter thoughts.
Yesss, that is certainly an infuriating aspect of… Bavid and his friends. I can see, how his callous disregarding of the suffering of those unlucky enough to be poor in our society and the way he is happy to argue for their continued oppression with fantasies of young bucks buying t-bone steaks with their food stamp money.
In fact, how incensed this would make any feeling person is why your sympathies laid with the waiter who video taped Mitt Romney’s conference of ignorant billionaires rather than yelling at the uppity prole who dared report the serious discussions the adults were having amongst themselves.
He doesn’t have students, but he does have clients. He doesn’t have dark nights of the soul, but his eyes blaze at the echo of the words “breakout session.”
No, we’re going to talk about how “Bavid” is a think tank hack who wants the pretense of the gravitas of the academy, but lacks the skill to actually do anything other than make some “counter-intuitive” powerpoint presentations for rich assholes who think they must be smarter than everyone else and incapable of being fooled because “how else could they have
inherited earned all this money?”
Gosh, you’re absolutely right, Bobo, this “Bavid” sure does sound like an insufferable prick.
It must really suck to be- I mean, “have a friend”, who is that much of a do-nothing overpaid stuffed shirt asshole.
Many people wonder how they too can become Thought Leaders and what the life cycle of one looks like.
In fact, the calling usually starts young. As a college student, the future Thought Leader is bathed in attention. His college application essay, “I Went to Panama to Teach the Natives About Math but They Ended Up Teaching Me About Life,” is widely praised by guidance counselors.
Seriously though, it is kind of amazing how narrowly close the self-realization gets to actually sawing through Bobo’s self-delusional empire. Here we have a pretty accurate ripping apart of the idiotic child of privilege, who thinks that a paid-for summer vacation in “one of those poor countries” means they understand it better than the actual residents of the country. And a solid condemnation of the way that children of privilege get to have that self-delusion of competence nervously protected by schools so hamstrung by conservative wars on education to call them out on their ignorance because talking about the reality of world history and contemporary geopolitics is “presenting politics in the classroom” and a big no no.
Hell, I had the misfortune of having that exact bullshit he is talking about here happen at my college graduation. The student speech was about how deigning to look at the poor dusty natives of “The Dark Continent” was like a totally kick ass vacation but like, really deep. Shock of schocks, her big accomplishment making her deserving of delivering the speech was that she was accepted for a think tank position right out of college.
On campus he finds himself enmeshed in a new social contract: Young people provide their middle-aged professors with optimism and flattery, and the professors provide them with grade inflation.
Yeah, that’s usually the critique of particularly terrible teachers, usually in high school English rather than college courses though you occasionally get a conservative asshole in government or philosophy classes who grades you down if you don’t verbatim repeat their preferred interpretation of their preferred figure’s work.
Such mockeries of education is usually despised by students and teachers both because it reduces an otherwise important broadening of horizons into a form of base parroting.
I know a lot of people who are stuck doing the hard work of unteaching these bad habits in students because of one terrible teacher in the past and the impact passing that class had on them.
That all being said, fuck no is there “grade inflation”. I mean, the problem with said horrible teachers is that you are punished if you try and be an anti-authoritarian punk. That it harshly trains out thinking for one’s self rather than encourage people to form connections about the world and put together pieces, not that you are out-of-the-way rewarded for being a lickspittle.
But hey, I guess ripping apart think tank culture only goes so far and old habits with regards to tearing down actual education so that your bullshit seems more valid die hard.
He is widely recognized for his concern for humanity. (He spends spring break unicycling across Thailand while reading to lepers.)
Not armed with fascinating ideas but with the desire to have some, he launches off into the great struggle for attention. At first his prose is upbeat and smarmy, with a peppy faux sincerity associated with professional cheerleading.
Now, the problem with trying to desperately protect one’s mind from the crippling realization that you are a pet hack, a sad sack with all the funds to do something truly great, but bereft of talent and ambition to do anything other than wish really hard for that “great idea” that will be taught in the type of class one thought would be “good for your career” back in the day, is that there really isn’t a liberal analog to the think tank hack on the liberal side.
I mean, he does his best with little dog whistle digs at Clinton and the loathesome duty of pretending to care about poor people, but there’s just not the same need to pump out an endless roll of rich hacks to make up science in our favor on the left, because reality is already rather obliging in its bias for our positions.
So how to connect this dangerous self-awareness that could cripple him to the people he already hates for being uppity proles who dare think they can gain access to audiences by simply “doing a good job speaking about life experiences or politics”?
And especially against those uppity bloggers who mock him?
Within a few years, though, his mood has shifted from smarm to snark. There is no writer so obscure as a 26-year-old writer. So he is suddenly consumed by ambition anxiety — the desperate need to prove that he is superior in sensibility to people who are superior to him in status. Soon he will be writing blog posts marked by coruscating contempt for extremely anodyne people: “Kelly Clarkson: Satan or Merely His Spawn?”
Of course the writer in this unjustly obscure phase will develop the rabid art of being condescending from below. Of course he will confuse his verbal dexterity for moral superiority. Of course he will seek to establish his edgy in-group identity by trying to prove that he was never really that into Macklemore.
By just straight up jumping to some bizarre hybrid of Perez Hilton and a random Portland hipster as if he was talking about the same hate object.
Bah, who cares about logical consistency of thought! That isn’t what separates one from the evil “Bavid”s of the world!
And besides, those vile bloggers (and yeah, no bets on whether this bizarre amalgamation of snark merchant, TMZ-style gossip rag writer, and disaffected hipster is exactly who he thinks all bloggers are and is the real upsetting thing that got him ranting about “thought leaders” in the first place) are lowly wretches who are impugning the very honor of being a hack journalist for a prominent paper what with actually communicating like a human being and talking about issues that affect more than rich out-of-phase conservative think tank hacks and their employers.
AND THEY AREN’T EVEN OF THE RIGHT CLASS!
Yeah, you can tell the notion of actually having to compete on merit with citizen bloggers is one of those things that keeps him up at night shivering and clutching a giant plush Reagan.
Fortunately, this snarky phase doesn’t last. By his late 20s, he has taken a job he detests in a consulting firm, offering his colleagues strategy memos and sexual tension. By his early 30s, his soul has been so thoroughly crushed he’s incapable of thinking outside of consultantese. It’s not clear our Thought Leader started out believing he would write a book on the productivity gains made possible by improved electronic medical records, but having written such a book he can now travel from medical conference to medical conference making presentations and enjoying the rewards of being T.S.A. Pre.
By now the Thought Leader uses the word “space” a lot — as in, “Earlier in my career I spent a lot of time in the abject sycophancy space, but now I’m devoting more of my energies to the corporate responsibility space.”
And here is the fundamental problem of trying to IT’S ALWAYS PROJECTION think tank hack crimes on the snarky underemployed young blogger archetype. You have to somehow morph the disempowered writer stuck on the fringes into a well-connected hack who has been disconnected from anything approaching real work for his entire life.
And when you try and glue it together like this, it completely ruins the vitriol.
The “Bavid” in this example isn’t nearly as loathsome as his real-world right-wing contemporaries because unlike them, he has worked for a living. He has tried to participate as a full human being and has been bullied by capitalism into accepting a fate as a paid hack because being true to yourself doesn’t fill one’s refrigerator or pay one’s rent.
The “Bavid” Bobo presents as basest villain is a truly American tragedy. The story of how capitalism as it is practiced in America robs us of people who could actually provide something of use in order so a bunch of ludicrously wealthy people can buy a horde of writers and “thinkers” to make themselves feel better about hoarding all the wealth and breaking the economy in service to their needs, fantasies, and psychological issues.
“Bavid”‘s story is a condemnation of exactly the kind of world that Bobo spends his time supporting, revealing the rot at the heart of our capitalist machine.
And that’s hilarious, because it shows the tragedy of Bobo Brooks in starkest detail. He’s so incompetent at his chosen profession that he can’t even project successfully.
The middle-aged Thought Leader’s life has hit equilibrium, composed of work, children and Bikram yoga.
So why pretend to be anything other than what he is? Dog whistle about conservative notions about what race-traitor liberal middle class white people are like.
The desire to be snarky mysteriously vanishes with the birth of the first child.
You hear that, you fucking snarkers?!? You won’t be so uppity when you breed like the maggots you are! You’ll become soulless conservatives worried about your IRA too! You’ll see!
Which, yeah, maybe that would have a shot in hell of happening if you actually let our generation participate in this damn economy instead of using us as eternal punching bags for your mid-life crises.
His prose has never been so lacking in irony and affect, just the clean translucence of selling out.
I suppose an eternal hack would envy the hack who had, at one point, something to sell.
He’s succeeding. Unfortunately, the happy moment when you are getting just the right amount of attention passes, and you don’t realize you were in this moment until after it is gone.
The tragedy of middle-aged fame is that the fullest glare of attention comes just when a person is most acutely aware of his own mediocrity.
Oh hai, self awareness, didn’t think we’d see you today.
By his late 50s, the Thought Leader is a lion of his industry, but he is bruised by snarky comments from new versions of his formerly jerkish self. Of course, this is when he utters his cries for civility and good manners, which are really just pleas for mercy to spare his tender spots.
Well, shock of shocks. I never thought I’d see the day when a conservative moved on from denial to the bargaining phase. I just need a moment to appreciate this…
Okay, moment’s done. Ha! It’s hilarious to see a life-long hack beg for a soft treatment because “no, really, guys, I know I seem exactly as I am, a bitter old man who used money and connections to secure a life-long economically stable position assauging the consciences of wealthy assholes with poorly written prose about how the lower classes are filthy upstarts who dare think they can smear your boots with their filthy skulls, but I totally was a rabble-rousing anti-authoritarian snark master from the streets, honestly! Also, you shouldn’t be mean to me, because one day you’ll also be a mediocre hack churning out terrible garbage for egregiously high pay.”
Uh huh, yeah, mmhmm, pull the other one, grandpa, it’s got bells on.
In the end, though, a lifetime of bullet points are replaced by foreboding. Toward the end of his life the Thought Leader is regularly engaging in a phenomenon known as the powerless lunch. He and another formerly prominent person gather to have a portentous conversation of no importance whatsoever. In the fading of the light, he is gravely concerned about the way everything is going to hell.
Still, one rarely finds an octogenarian with status anxiety. He is beyond the battle for attention. Death approaches. Cruelly, it smells like reverence.
I do not envy him the cruel approach of death or the accurate fear that he has produced nothing of worth for no one of any value and has spent a life chasing “status” and is slowly coming to realize that those he has spent a lifetime in service to consider him little more than a dog or worse yet, an easily replaceable servant. Something to take care of the “upleasantness”, his only marker on the world might be if those he fought so hard to piss on spend a few months referring to his replacement as the new “(insert his name here)”.
I get that it’s a hard thing to face and an even harder thing to bear in oneself, especially when one once wanted to “matter”, to be a “big name” and be taught alongside Plato in the college lectures.
But see, I’m just having a hard time caring. Cause, see, a lot of us, stuck in this bitter broken system of capitalism have to abandon dreams. People with actual merit and talent. Brilliant kids who have to abandon college because there’s just no way they can afford it coming from a poor family. Passionate writers who can’t devote any time to the craft because making sure rent happens is the top priority.
And a lot of us have to accept jobs that suck or do things that are borderline illegal and certainly immoral because its the only way to get by. Forced to do things against our codes of ethics or bottle ourselves up into an imprisoning closet because we can’t afford to get discriminated against anymore. And we do so for a hell of a lot less blood money than the Bobo Brooks of the world get.
Bobo is not us. He has funds. He had connections. He had and still has resources all of us dream of. If he wanted to, he could take a year off and devote it to nothing but writing. He could found a program to help people. With his audience, connections, and money, he could make a difference with the slightest bit of effort. He has the safety and security to pursue a dream and really make something of himself.
But he won’t. And it’s not just because he’s a complete hack with no talent and not enough self-awareness and humility to create genuine art.
It’s also because he doesn’t want to better himself. He doesn’t want to do real work. He doesn’t want to risk rejection or criticism by mere proles. He doesn’t want to suffer the social consequences for standing up for someone other than the rich and powerful. He doesn’t want to change and live a life worthy of being remembered.
But he wants to be remembered anyways without doing any work, because he’s always been an entitled piece of shit without any redeeming quality.
Now, if you excuse me, I believe Bavid wanted to show me his collection of vintage records and I don’t want to be late.
‘Shorter’ concept created by Daniel Davies and perfected by Elton Beard. Either spare us your privileged midlife crisis, privilege boy, or spare us the broken economy you cheerlead so we can all become financially stable enough to have our own “woe is me, I’m so rich, but what have I accomplished” whines. We are aware of all Internet traditions.™
*On that note…
BONUS PERSONAL LIFE MANGOES
Father of the Year, Email:
My dad, while still disowning me, is trying to vaguely sort of create a reconnection… kinda. The results are kinda worth a post in and of itself and since you all got a shout-out, I figure I might as well let you in on the fun as we do a special holiday edition fisking of family value in action.
(Boy’s Name) and (Partner’s Name),
I appreciate your candid emails. Henceforth I shall attempt to keep my off-the-cuff comments to myself. Clearly you put a great deal of thought into your replies and have done your best to articulate your feelings.
Because apparently calling him on his shit the third time he tried to imply my partner is an evil sorceress who magically made me trans* against my will is a “candid email” that teaches him he should keep “off-the-cuff” comments like disowning me and ducking out of any real conversations to himself.
Now it’s my turn.
What? My dad wants to establish a post-hoc authority because the very existence of trans* people threatens his sense of manly pride? No, you don’t say.
I’ve always been puzzled when labels like “gay”, “straight” and “bi” are lumped together with “transsexual”. The first three seem to be different expressions of the same thing: being yourself, and loving who you will. The last (at least to me) seems to say “I am something not myself – and I will use chemicals and surgery to correct this”. And this I cannot get my head around.
Apparently my dad is channeling the ghost of Janice Raymond. Pretty impressive seeing as how she’s not even dead yet.
We are all born who we are, and the idea of using technology to “change” this – cut my legs to make me taller, darken my skin to make me cool – is, frankly, repulsive.
I’m terribly sorry but you seem to have gotten some ableism and racism in your transphobia there.
I’ve known many, many non-heterosexual persons
Huh, so that’s what the queer version of “but I have black friends” looks like.
and to the best of my knowledge not one of them has seriously thought about changing their sex because they don’t feel feminine or masculine.
Like with many of the things he “knows” about being trans*, this has about as much relation to reality as a pile of dog shit has to the Hubble space telescope.
The few I’ve discussed this with (very few – you can probably guess the names) have generally the same negative reaction as I do.
All my friends are as bigoted as I am! It’s not just me! Did I mention I have gay friends, because having gay friends means I totally don’t have to be accepting to the thing you actually are.
This includes (lesbian friend of his who was warm and supportive when I first came out to them) BTW, so I would be careful using her as a supporting example.
But I won’t belabor all this – I’m forced to concede that your choices are not mine to make, and besides it’s all been said before.
All I’m saying is that you are a self-mutilating monster whose very identity disgusts me. I mean, fuck, why do you have to be such a pansy about it. And that’s not homophobic to say, because I have gay friends.
There is a bigger problem here, something that bothers me more than your sexual orientation or lack thereof: and that is that your sexuality has become your defining characteristic. Your obsession, your gestalt.
Huh, wasn’t aware that trans* and queer activism was now literally the only thing I do. And here I was thinking that my days are mostly filled with working seven days a week as a teacher and tutor and being a snarky motherfucker.
That’s the wonderful thing about bigoted rants, you learn so much exciting information about yourself.
And yeah, sure, I’ve had a few tiny, small moments (being disowned and hated by parents, being discriminated out of a job) that kinda sorta make the whole “being trans*” thing stick out a little more than usual, but that’s kind of what happens when you get hit with massive traumas for being the way you is.
Oh, by the way, you’re all about to get a personal shoutout.
Now clearly I don’t know how you spend your every waking moment but what I do see – blogging
Give yourselves all a hearty congratulatory slap on the back everybody! Apparently you are also an evil force that is secretly destroying my life! Pretty damn good for a bunch of denizens of a snark blog!
researching transformative medical treatment,
This would be shipped directly to us c/o his ass. I’ve been out for years and poor. I figured out what I “want” to do years ago and did all the research on what I can afford to do now back in the days when I had a job that actually reliably paid the bills.
My time “researching” medical shit related to being trans* has been reliably zero for a loooooong time now, but hey, I guess assuming that your kid is exactly like the last media depiction you saw rather than asking them directly is one of the keys to edging out the competition to be dad of the year.
DUNDUNDUN! You now know my deep dark secret. Turns out I’m a (gasp) neeerrrrdddd.
And as part of my loser nerd ways (it’s worth noting as context that he’s previously latched on to the fact that I’ve played D&D as proof that I am unable to distinguish between fantasy and reality as proven by my making up the “transgender” self-descriptor and all the real world evidence about it, possibly with the same sorceress powers my partner apparently has), I do indeed occasionally roll the many sided dice.
About once a month, maybe twice a month if I’m lucky and one of my seven jobs doesn’t get in the way of the only available times for people, which isn’t all that often, unfortunately.
But apparently, this is an unacceptable theft of time from… myself. Or something.
not pursuing a career
Sure, I may be working seven jobs, building a strong background in teaching science K-12, and spending most of my free time sending in apps (not to mention getting to the final round of a few full time positions that would comfortably put me in the fabled “middle class” range), but meh. If you can’t magically make middle class jobs magically appear out of your asshole, apparently you’re just a lazy shiftless bum who might as well be picking your boogers as you strum the first four bars of “Stairway to Heaven” on your guitar over and over again.
– is worrisome. When you were in college this could all be chalked up to starry-eyed exploration. But you’ll be (age) soon and “starry-eyed” is starting to look a lot like “failure to launch”. Yes, the job market in (location) is tough – believe me, it was tough 20 years ago. That’s why I made the decision to leave, even though I had been working there full time, non-stop since I was 16.
Hilarious context time. When my dad was “my age”, he was a druggie burnout with little ambition other than getting drunk and high and hanging out with friends. He had also managed to knock up a casual acquaintance and was beginning what would be an 18 year long process of paying child support and occasional legal bills as the abandoned kid became a ward of the state. In addition he didn’t have even half the education I have and little more than a high school diploma to his name and even that was a close run thing. He wasn’t working “full time”. He was working about 8 hours a week tops at a place where they didn’t care if you showed up to work high and he did so on many an occasion.
His “leaving the area” decision wasn’t so much a decision as it pretty much landed in his lap. His industry was pretty much hiring people off the street to be paid middle class money to do his style of work and he had the aforementioned child support he needed to be paying into and besides his buddy in the area he was moving to said it was easy work.
I mention this not to shame him, because hey, it should be the case that living that kind of life isn’t a fucking death sentence. But rather to note the raw irony of this bit of transparent fantasy.
Maybe because I had a different obsession: eating, paying the rent, and standing on my own two feet.
Huh, and here I was thinking that I had abandoned most of my long term plans and dreams in service to the short-term panic of trying to collect enough underemployment to add up to the airy-fairy notion of one day my monthly bills being covered.
Guess, I just got distracted by all that “transformative medical treatment” I’ve apparently been researching instead.
Also, I’ve noted it a few times, but there is an acute irony to blaming (let’s be honest) white members of my generation for their failure to live up to the middle class suburban ideals of the previous generations. As if there are decent paying full-time jobs just lying on the street and we’re not competing against all the laid-off members of their generation.
So many of my generation have built up sets of skills that would be considered “genius” level a scant few generations ago, but now is almost enough to secure a part-time grocery clerk position (if you happen to be banging someone on the hiring committee).
I guess for previous generations, it’s necessary to ignore this and just pretend that our generation is a bunch of lazy bastards, lest they feel guilty about the role some of their actions have played in fucking up the economy or how easy it comparatively was to “start their careers” to use my Dad’s vernacular.
I don’t know, but I think I speak for many in my generation, when I say their psychological issues are starting to get a wee bit annoying to take. We’re already spending our every waking moment either searching for work or building new skillsets that will hopefully lead to a single job that can reliably pay the bills. We don’t exactly need more pressure and hatred than we already have to take.
On that note…
So maybe your transgender-ness and career-less-ness are unrelated but from where I sit it’s tough to separate.
Trans* people cause economic depressions. Look it up, sheeple!
Oh, and to my readers in the midwest, apparently my dad doesn’t much care for you.
Consider: if you really want to teach there are lots of openings – if you don’t mind living (in bigoted way to refer to Native reservations), or Madison, WI. For sure not as attractive as (where I live) but then again neither was (partner’s hometown) (no offence (partner name)) though at the time that’s where the job was. But how accepting would the good folks of Madison be toward your lifestyle?
Madison is a college town. One with a pretty decent rep. It’s not exactly Wasilla, Alaska.
Also, “lifestyle”, sweet, I’m only three more recycled talking points from homophobic rants before I win myself an honorary toaster oven.
Also, is it just me or is he actually blaming me for other people being transphobic bigots who would make me life harder just because of who I am and what that represents to them?
You write of facing bigotry – no doubt you have, and that’s in (your area). How many decisions do you make based on (perceived?) acceptance?
Oh phew, I’m glad it was just me.
Also seeking safety is apparently for fags and children. Good to know.
Are you willing to put some things in the closet (pun intended) to make a path for yourself that is more than the sum of your philosophy?
I actually am professionally in the closet right now. Not my first choice, but you know, you gotta make a choice sometimes to suffer in order to eat and getting discriminated out of a semi-decent job in a terrible economy definitely meant having to suffer in order to eat.
The thing though, that seems to escape a lot of people who don’t have to live in a closet is that closets suuuuuuuck. It hurts a lot to pretend to be something that you’re not and to have that feigned persona thrown in your face all time. And it adds a lot of psychological stress that, for instance, increases symptoms of depression, lowers ability to focus on tasks, increases alienation, and increases general anxiety and stress.
Not to mention that closeting has real world consequences. If people don’t think they are encountering queer people in day to day life, it becomes easier to hold bigoted beliefs, believe that media depictions accurately display real world people, and hold onto bizarre afactual notions like my dad and do real world damage to people because of it.
Being out means the myth of monstrosity is defanged and that means less discrimination, bigotry, and negative family reactions for the next generation.
Which is sort of the key problem of any social justice strugle. How to begin that social movement when the social consequences of doing that hard early work is so harsh.
So I ask only one thing: look beyond yourself. Who do you want to be?
Queen of Prussia!
Oh, was that not one of the options?
Also, am I supposed to “look beyond myself” and take professional risks that compromise my safety, but do important work to improve the lives of those like me (not to mention focus more on said aspects and how to perform activism for them) or am I supposed to be selfish and do only enough to make sure I am taken care of?
Because I’m a little confused on that part.
Is it only to come to terms with your sexuality, whatever form that takes? Or is there something more?
My sexuality is asexuality. I came to terms with it about 8 years ago.
Being trans* has fuck all to do with that.
Also, shit like this just makes me want to devote my entire life to pursuing a Trans Studies or Human Sexuality PhD just so I can shove it in his smug face (also because that would be really cool and I think I’d be pretty damn good at it).
I would really, truly like to understand you, and today I cannot.
That is why I have expended a sum total of 0 hours of effort into doing even a basic google search into the thing you are even though you came out to me 3 and a half years ago.
It’s also why I have at no point actually gone to you, the person who is the thing and might know of good resources for information. And why I have looked at exactly zero of the resources you’ve already gathered for me.
Because “really wanting to understand someone” shouldn’t have to mean you put forth the slightest bit of effort or at the very least stop recycling talking points from Renew America writers.
Giving me books and pointing me to web sites will not help. I am not interested in scientific research or soulful prose.
I want to believe hateful ignorant things and treat you poorer because of it and I don’t want to read no lying scienamatists who might change my mind or show you even the slightest bit of respect to even try and understand you.
But it’s not because I’m a bigot. I’ve got gay friends, donchaknow?
I am only interested to see what you become – the only thing any father wants really.
Am I a science experiment? Cause that would at least be a step up from what I’m regarded as now.
I just hope what you become is more than “girl”.
Can you hear what seems to be the sticking point for me? Cause I’m worried you might not be able to tell what is bothering me and preventing a real relationship or even a relationship wherein you are not disowned? Maybe if I crank up the scare quotes, you’ll catch it this time.
Be more, and I will try and do the same.
Offer doesn’t include actual effort, invitations to any holiday events, personal contact, human respect, or even reliable acknowledgement of being your parent.
Please redeem at the nearest ticket window.
But yeah, this is the “step-up” for him. This is how he is when he’s actually trying and he’s smarting from me calling him out on some of his more egregious bullshit. Yeah.
Happy fucking holidays everyone. May you all survive it.