Pewdiepie Says Nigger, Women Most Affected

This will be a very short post just making fun of the generally idiocy of how modern “activism” works, namely how it seems far more interested in raking individual people over the coals for doing something “bad” than . . . actually helping anyone. This doesn’t just happen with celebrities either; how many New York Times articles have you read about a 42-year-old housewife in Minnesota saying a mean thing while in line at the grocery store, and someone was there to record it with their iPhone, so now we have to make a national story out of it and pile on top of this one random nobody and act like they’re the human personification of everything evil in the fucking world so we can feel good about being Good People (TM).

It’s fucking ridiculous. I’m sure everyone knows that it is. But the need to act like a stranger saying something you don’t like is in any way important or relevant to anything is apparently a very strong one indeed. That’s what happened with Pewdiepie recently. He said ‘nigger’ while livestreaming some shitty FPS game. This is not only news, apparently, but it’s news we have to beat into the fucking ground and harp on until the end of time.

The people getting mad about this have clearly never gotten onto X-Box Live for more than two seconds. Someone saying edgy curse words whilst simultaneously playing a multi-player FPS game is a trope older than fucking dirt. It doesn’t make those people waaaacist, it makes them edgelords who compulsively say the most offensive words they can think of as a means of expressing their frustration because gaming as a culture generally encourages hyperbole, the overlap with 12-year-olds being pretty damn high. You can say it’s stupid an immature and I’d likely agree with you, but to go even further by pinning a moral label to it is ridiculous. You’re like Christians clutching their pearls at the vulgar, sinful language in the hippity hop. Just stop it.

It’s just another sign that we’re in the midst of a moral panic no different than when Frank Zappa had to go up to the Supreme Court and talk about how he didn’t give a fuck about whether or not his music “corrupted the children.” It’s a bunch of people getting offended on behalf of the poor, oppressed blacks to feel good about how non-racist they are. The notion that a black person can exist and also not be overly offended has apparently escaped them. Once again, you get all the well-intentioned-idiot rhetoric about how the blacks are a strong independent race who don’t need no man, but don’t say a word they don’t like or they’ll fall to pieces on the spot.

And for some anecdotal evidence: I’m black, and I live with people who are black, and I’m friends with people who are black, and I watch YouTube videos made by people who are black, and I have yet to come across one black person who has given half a fuck about this. Even if they think white people shouldn’t be allowed to say nigger, they don’t care, because what some random jerk-off in Sweden does has no bearing on them in any way. But by all means, continue to be offended on our behalf random, white liberal journalists who should probably be laid off seeing as how there’s and utter lack of things to talk about. There has to be if this is what you’ve decided to harp on as “news.”

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Depression is Just a Lack of Bootstraps (TM)!

I was going to let this video slide under the radar. I was going to go on with my life, assuming everyone already knew how surface-level stupid this video and its attempts to elucidate the truth about depression was. But then Paul Joseph Watson decided that “depressed people are just a bunch of pussies” is the hill he’s going to die defending seeing as how he’s just released a new chat with a fellow mental health expert who also thinks depressed people are just a bunch of pussies.

So I guess I have to go back and address the original video in question. Fuck. It’s actually very frustrating because PJW very frequently scratches at the door of having an actual point to make about real problems concerning how we deal with mental health, but consistently ruins it by falling back to the tried-and-true “stop being a pussy” logic of someone who has no real idea what depression even is.
Let’s begin, I guess . . .


1 in 10 Americans are now on anti-depressants. 1 in 4 women in their 40s and 50s are on anti-depressants. The rate of anti-depressant use has increased 400% over the last two decades . . . Why has depression become so common place in modern society? I’ll tell you why: We’re bathed in a culture that glorifies and fetishizes depression. *insert whining GIF*

This is the part where he scratches at the door of relevancy. It all goes downhill from here. I agree that modern American culture doesn’t deal with mental health–depression in particular–very well. We have an issue with simultaneous “need unmet” and “met un-need,” i. e., people who need help don’t get it and people who don’t really need help use up those resources instead. There are very many factors going into that, but I’ll narrow it down to what I think is the major one: the popularization of mental health pharmaceuticals.

With readily available drugs to treat mental health, the topic of mental health became less of a stigmatized one. What once implied that you had an extended stay at a psychiatric ward and were an embarrassment to your family no longer had the same debilitating, shameful connotation; so people were more comfortable talking about their mental health and getting help for it. The dark side of this, though, is that opening the door to conversation also means opening the door to people thinking they have issues that they don’t have. I actually would blame a good deal of that cultural hypochondria on pharmaceutical companies and their very effective marketing strategy of telling people that normal things are signs of serious mental health problems. The problem is that a lot of those hypochondriacs are the relatively well-off individuals who can afford to blow time and money on mental health treatment they don’t need, while lower-class people often get shafted out of those resources because they don’t have the time and/or money, and don’t tend to live in environments that have latched onto “self-care” as an idea as much as the American middle and upper classes have.

I’ll even throw PJW a bone here and say that I do see a certain level of “glorification” of mental health issues like depression, especially in liberal circles. It’s like Buzzfeed’s weird tendency to treat therapy like this wonderful, amazing thing that everybody should try, like it’s the new pumpkin spice. Or Tumblr’s very well-documented history of having a user base that lavishes you with praise if you let slip you’re feeling a little blue. As I mentioned, the “self-care” thing going on right now does oftentimes seem very self-indulgent even though its base idea–make sure that you yourself are healthy–is a fine one. That’s where my bone-throwing stops, though, because this is by no means the overall “culture” glorifying depression. These are very niche, liberal sub-cultures with very little connection to mainstream cultural viewpoints. If anything, the mainstream culture thinks depression can be cured with a pill, not that it’s something cool and “edgy.”

It’s now a form of virtue signaling to constantly drone on about how depressed you are. You see it all over YouTube, these sniveling hug-and-confess videos made by privileged millennial brats who haven’t had a proper day of hardship in their entire life. They think they’re being edgy when in fact they’re engaging in yet another form of basic bitchery.

So much is wrong with this . . . Okay. Paul Joseph Watson does not know what depression is. He just doesn’t. Depression isn’t dependent upon how good you have it in life. You can be a “privileged millennial brat who hasn’t had a proper day of hardship” and still be clinically depressed. The entire point of classifying depression as a mental illness is that it is hindering and maladaptative: Having nothing to be sad about and yet still feeling miserable is what makes it clinical depression.

There’s actually a very huge and very relevant controversy in the world of clinical psychology as to what should qualify as clinical depression in a medical sense (read: something health insurance covers). As I said above, most people have classified depression as something maladaptive, but that definition oftentimes excludes people who would otherwise fit very firmly into the category of “clinically depressed.” Can someone whose life royally sucks be clinically depressed? That’s what the question boils down to. Because feeling sad and hopeless in a situation that actually warrants it is a healthy emotional reaction, isn’t it? If so, does that mean that people shouldn’t get any medical help, subsidized or otherwise, because it’s natural for someone in a worthless, dead-end job to feel empty and suicidal? Yeah, you can see why there’s a debate going on. That’s also another big contributor to “met un-need:” people wanting to be better safe than sorry when it comes to dealing with something that can potentially kill you.

Social media has created a generation of young people suffering from narcissistic personality disorder. They try to one-up each other with depression brownie points with endless blubber-fests about their poor privileged lives.

On the topic of social media: A lot of people use Facebook and YouTube as a means of venting. People pretty much treat those like diaries. You can talk all you want about how people shouldn’t treat publicly viewable social media posts like personal diary entries, but that’s essentially the purpose they serve. For many people, making a YouTube video about their depression is the only platform they have to comfortably talk about that kind of thing. It’s venting to a camera. I see no difference between this and writing emo poetry that you then send off to a literary magazine or listening to sad music that other people can hear. I’ll, once again, throw him a bone and say that yes, there are people who only make those kinds of posts and film those videos because they’re attention whores who just want to see a flood of praise come their way by implying they want to kill themselves or some shit. But it’s incredibly disingenuous to say that all the instances of this happening are just whining attention whores.

I would also advise against showing off how little you know about narcissistic personality disorder in a video where you already know fuck all about depression. Hint, hint: being a bit self-obsessed on the internet is by no means the only qualifying factor for NPD. That tangent about how narcissistic the Facebook generation is also makes no sense as part of the wider argument. The “bratty, narcissistic 20-somethings and teenagers” aren’t the generation that has contributed to the huge bump in depression diagnoses. The social media-free Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers are the ones being prescribed Prozac in record numbers. So much for the “growing up with Facebook makes you more prone to being a pussy” argument.

Meanwhile, people living in African mud huts literally give zero fucks.

According to this article that it took me literally five seconds to look up, the lesser developed parts of Africa (the “mud hut” parts) have some of the highest rates of clinical depression in the entire world at around 6% of the population; while the more developed countries in West and South Africa have comparatively lower rates. Fail.

Maladjustment is now “trendy,” and not in a kind of Morrissey, emo, grunge-esque kind of way. We’ve always had that.

If we’ve always had a thing for wallowing in our own sadness, why are you complaining about it like it’s some new occurrence?

I’m talking about this ridiculous idea that we’ve been forced to swallow that constantly admitting weakness is a strength. It isn’t. Strength of mind is a strength. They’ve transformed being anemic, weak-minded and easily upset into a positive personality trait.

No, we’ve turned being willing to admit that you have a problem/need help into a positive personality trait. I seriously doubt that even the most liberal-minded treehugger off of the Berkley campus thinks that being weepy and miserable is a good thing. Who is making this argument? Who?

Strength of character used to be about the ability to deal with negative stuff without just falling to pieces at the first sign of distress. Now look what they’ve turned us into: simpering pussies wallowing in our own misfortune whenever any tiny thing doesn’t go our way, overeager to share every minor anxiety in a giant self-pitying Facebook post.

I’m just going to repeat myself in all caps now, to really get it across. PAUL JOSEPH WATSON DOES NOT KNOW WHAT DEPRESSION IS. Depression isn’t “falling to pieces at the first sign of distress.” People with clinical depression, more often than not, try to hide and ignore the more debilitation elements of depression in school and the workplace because (especially in America) there’s a very prevalent notion that you just have to power through and make it to the other side and then things will be fine. You just gotta keep swimmin.’ This notion that people with depression are falling to pieces and weeping in the streets is not accurate. It’s not. People who are suffering from clinical depression so thoroughly that they can’t even put forth the effort to power on through tend to be borderline catatonic, not the weepy whining pussies that Paul is describing.

“Oh, but there shouldn’t be a stigma around depression anymore! That’s mean!” Yes, there should, just as their should be a stigma against smoking and obesity. Depression has become the new fat pride movement. Our culture is telling young people that depression is completely normal and should be embraced. Depression is not normal, but allowing yourself to be indoctrinated with this idea that it is is the primary reason that you can’t beat it.

Let’s go ahead and add “stigma” to the list of words and terms that PJW doesn’t have a complete grasp of. Also, on an off note, if 1 in 10 Americans is on anti-depressants, that is pretty fucking normal in a strictly statistical sense. People aren’t saying, “Depression should be embraced, don’t stigmatize it by saying it’s bad.” That is a strawman, and you know it.

People are saying, “Depression is a mental illness, and shouldn’t be stigmatized as people not having enough bootstraps to stop being so sad all the time.” That ‘why don’t you just man up?’ mentality doesn’t treat depression, it makes it worse. One of the most common traits of depression is feeling worthless and weak and ineffectual. Do you really think that going up to someone who is clinically depressed and telling them, “Get off your useless fat ass and make something of yourself, you worthless, self-pitying pussy!” is going to have a positive impact on that? I also need a citation on that last claim that thinking depression is normal is why it’s so hard to get over. No, I’m pretty sure depression being a physically impactful illness that requires active and direct measures to successfully address is why it’s so hard to get over.

This coerced mental fragility also renders you completely helpless when it comes to dealing with actual tragedy and hardships. They’ve turned us into complete pussies, because pussies are easier to push around and manipulate.

PAUL JOSEPH WATSON DOES NOT KNOW WHAT DEPRESSION IS. Being someone whose helicopter parents made them ill-equipped to deal with personal conflicts and hardships as an adult and being clinically depressed are not the same thing.

Logically, the depression epidemic makes no sense. By every single objective factor, there’s never been a better time to be a human being living in the West. Even amongst the poorest, our basic needs are met and exceeded. Depression was barely even a thing–it wasn’t even talked about 50 or 60 years ago. So why is everyone so depressed now when we’ve got it so much easier? It’s because you’ve been completely misled about what depression actually is.

PAUL JOSEPH WATSON DOES NOT KNOW WHAT DEPRESSION IS. I seriously just need to put that into my copy/paste clipboard at this point. Hey, Paul! There’s  reason that million dollar lottery winners oftentimes wind up offing themselves–having all of your physical needs met doesn’t make you happy or more mentally stable.

That second part is also so fucking ridiculous that I don’t feel the need to address it for very long. Yes, there was hardly any depression in the 50s and 60s, just like there were hardly any gay people before the 70s. Just like there were hardly any cases of Alzheimers before the 1900s or PTSD cases before the 40s. Pro tip: just because people didn’t talk about things with the same terminology in the past doesn’t mean those things didn’t exist. The fist Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) wasn’t made until 1952 and that manual wasn’t made into a reliable, standardized text until the late 1980s. Nah duh you didn’t see people walking around talking about depression back then.

But please, do enlightening me on what depression actually is. You’ve proven yourself very well-read and reliable on the topic of mental health.

Depression is nothing more than dissatisfaction with life. It’s temporary unhappiness. But the dominant culture and the pharmaceutical industry figured out that they could control people and make tons of money by treating depression as a pathological disease. So now depression is not unhappiness but a medical condition, which is the responsibility of the doctor to alleviate by medical means, under the insane justification that depression is a chemical imbalance. Which it isn’t.

https://i0.wp.com/www.reactiongifs.com/r/com.gif

I don’t always use Buzzfeed-style reaction GIFs, but when I do, it’s because there’s literally no other way to express my complete and utter shock at the stupidity of what has been spewed into my ears.

What. Okay, I’m just gonna . . .

PAUL JOSEPH WATSON DOES NOT KNOW WHAT DEPRESSION IS.

I have no love for pharmeceutical companies, Paul. I don’t. I think they’re evil. I think they’re peddling of anti-depressant drugs and supplements to people who do not need them is bad. I think them making pharmacological intervention the first option that many people think of, despite the risks involved that they don’t even tell people, is bad. I think them selling unsafe drugs to an eager-for-a-quick-fix public because they know that the patent on the drug, and therefore the blame for any wrong-doing, will be up before anyone can sue them is bad.

I will provide a link here for the diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder and depressive episodes. Hell, I’ll even throw in a link for dysthymia (chronic low-grade depression). So, go and read over those criteria and then get back to me and say that clinical depression is just temporary dissatisfaction with life that you can get over by reading a good book.

And, yes, depression is caused by chemical imbalances, you fucking moron. SSRIs work on people with depression because they help balance neruo-chemicals (in this case, serotonin). For people with particularly bad clinical depression, parts of their mid-brain can deteriorate because their neurophysiology’s so out of whack. Clinical depression can physically slow down your movements and reaction time to outside stimuli, to the point of near catatonia in the worst cases. But all that’s just a bunch of hogwash, guys! Paul Joseph Watson thinks it’s all liberal academia and Facebook’s fault, and he’s right on the money!

We’ve been indoctrinated that everybody has a right to happiness. No you don’t. Happiness is earned by the way you live your life. If you make bad life choices, you become dissatisfied with life. You become depressed, and it’s your fault.

I would be inclined to agree that we’re fed this line about how we’re entitled to happiness. But happiness and “not being clinically depressed” are two different things. Hey, Paul, did you know that major depressive disorder is one of the most heritable traits passed down from parents to children? If your mom was a depressed blonde lady, you’re more likely to inherent a predisposition towards depression than her hair color. But it’s your fault. Of course.

People make dreadful lifestyle decisions: they’re lazy, they self-sabotage. And then they wonder why they still get depressed.

What about all those rich, successful people who had great relationships with their families and strong work ethics and smart life choices, just had everything going for them, yet still committed suicide? Did they make dreadful lifestyle decisins?

You are not entitled to be happy. Your mood cannot be independent of the way you live your life.

What about all those Africans in mud huts who are happy despite their poor living conditions, Paul?

You can’t eliminate dissatisfaction with your life by taking pills.

I agree we currently rely far too much on intervention in the form of pills when things like cognitive therapy and life coaches also exist. But pills certainly help in many cases, and flat out saying that they don’t work is actually a harmful idea.

The only cure is to change the way you live your life to make better decisions–to create value, excitement, and authenticity in your life. Work on projects, start businesses, read, absorb worth-while information, create something.

Yeah, because smart, creative go-getters with a lust for achievement never wind up eating a gun.

I don’t have all the answers.

Obviously.

You need to reach for those higher levels on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, because society and the culture that we are subjected to does everything in its power to distract you from achieving self-actualization. That cannot be reached by taking pills or having endless talks with a therapist, most of whom don’t give a damn about you anyway.

The suicide rates for therapists dealing specifically with depressed patients are higher than any other field of clinical psychology. If you go into clinical psychology, there are warnings and screenings and caveat after caveat telling you “Hey, if you think you’re in any way prone to or predisposed toward depression or alcoholism or anything like that, specialize in something else because lots of people kill themselves in this particular job.” And yet people still do it. I guess it’s that sweet, sweet Prozac money that gets them out of bed every day. It can’t be actually caring.


This is one of the worst videos I have ever seen. No joke. No exaggeration. Depression is one of the most fatal mental illnesses in the world due to its tie to suicide, and Paul Joseph Watson has decided that it would be cool and edgy to go onto his show to proclaim that it doesn’t exist. It’s not a problem, it’s not an illness. It’s just the liberals turning people into pussies with all of their post-modernism and safe spaces. Ignore your rotting pineal gland, it’s just you being a pussy suffering the consequences of bad life choices that are all entirely your fault. And if you think Prozac or therapy will help get you back on track, nah those are for pussies too. Why can’t you just get over it by being useful for once?

Fuck him.


Brief personal story time: I’m predisposed toward depression. It runs in the family. There was a day when I cleaned my room and put on a nice outfit and held a steak knife to my wrists, and just barely managed to talk myself out of it, after which I went weeping to my parents asking if they hated me, because I legitimately thought they did. I thought everybody did. Very recently–just a few months ago–I had an episode that caused me to almost fail three of my classes during my senior year of college. These were classes I liked and looked forward to and found genuinely fascinating, but I was too tired to get out of bed to go to them, which made me feel like a useless human being who didn’t deserve to show my face there anyway. I came up with other excuses for why my grades were slipping and did extra credit work to bring them back up and acted normally around my friends and family and went on with my responsibilities until I accidentally let slip while wine-drunk with my friends, weeks into the episode, that I was probably medically depressed again, which they helped me through without pills or therapy visits.

Paul Joseph Watson does not know what depression is. Just thought I’d make that perfectly clear.

 

 

A Quick Note on the Irrelevancy of Political Disagreement

Hey, guys!

This post is going to be a bit of a downer, but I promise it has a reason. It’ll also beunder 2000 words. Yay, me! I have self-restraint. Here’s some statistics, firstly:

According to a 2014 Pew Poll: 27% of Democrats see the Republican Party as a threat to the nation’s well-being, while 36% of Republicans saw the Democratic Party as a threat to national well-being.

I can only imagine that Trump’s election has increased this antipathy a million fucking fold since then. You don’t have to take my word for it. How many of you have lost friends on Facebook or in real life just because your politics didn’t line up perfectly? For people who use dating apps, how many potential dates have put in their profile that they hate [insert political figure here] and you must to if you want a chance with them? Yes, it’s gotten to the point where people won’t even hook up with each other if they don’t like the other’s politics on the most surface level. It’s become such an us vs. them situation that not even drunken fucking can bridge that gap anymore.

That sentiment is pretty well reflected here, wherein a liberal son just can’t get over how his dad is an evil Republican and is rightly lambasted for it by an awesome 90s rock singer. Hell, have you read the comments on any articles about horrible things befalling people from the American Mid-West or South? Tolerant Liberals (TM) flood the place, claiming that those places must be full of Trump supporters, therefore fuck ’em. There are left wing people who don’t like or support antifa? Fuck them, they’re pretty much terrorists too, and there’s no reaching across the aisle anymore. They are the enemy. They don’t get human empathy anymore, because we have decided that they disagree with us politically (even if it’s not accurate, like the Charlie Hebdo cover controversy where incredibly liberal Houston, Texas was depicted as a bunch of drowning right-wing Nazis by another country that either doesn’t understand American politics at all or is just really good at trolling).

People have come to treat politics like a kind of moral litmus test. And to a certain degree, I get that. If your politics are “kick all the blacks out of the country and gas the Jews” or “take property and voting rights away from white people in order to make up for their privilege,” yeah, I can understand you being called a bad person. The problem is that people with reasonable, benign political beliefs are automatically being seen as just as bad as the above examples when, in reality, their “enemies” probably don’t even disagree with them too terribly much.


Here’s where the downer part comes in. It requires some background.

I had a friend–let’s call them Sarah. Sarah was my friend since high school, one of my closest friends. We both wanted to become writers. We both loved reading. We both liked science. We both wanted to leave small town rural America for bigger, brighter things. Sarah went to college a few years before me and quickly got involved with what’s stereotypical of the college scene now: post-modern, Marxism-inspired social justice activism. They didn’t want to talk about reading or writing or science anymore, just their social justice pet issue, and it got tiring.

I wasn’t the only one to notice that or feel that way. Our old classmates and teachers who we both still kept in touch with saw the change and thought it was for the worse. You see, Sarah was mentally ill–obsessive compulsive disorder, pretty severe obsessive compulsive disorder. The anxiety of college brought out the worst of it. I was one of the few people Sarah ever told about their mental health problems to begin with, and I was one of the people who they talked to when it was giving them a particularly difficult time. Having to juggle it and school work and job searching was taking its toll, and they clung onto activism even more–particularly the neuro-diversity activism that said therapists were bad because they treated mental illnesses like illnesses and not just quirky eccentricities.

From the outside it was easy to see why they was so invested in social justice–it was their way of dealing with her worsening mental health. Around the same time, Sarah, a pretty militant atheist, decided to become a Unitarian Universalist and go to “church” again. It was obvious that they wanted to be a part of something, to have a support group, and that’s why social justice was such a big deal to them. It seemed like everyone could see that but Sarah, and it made me angry. It made me angry that they seemed so un-self aware about their own issues; it made me angry that social justice was preying on my friend’s insecurities and need to belong somewhere.

Because all Sarah wanted to talk about was social justice after a while, it eventually became clear to that we didn’t see eye to eye on those topics. It’s not like we outright argued over it, but I think the subconscious death-glare I sent their way when they made some comment about how “black people just can’t ever succeed without help” let them know how I felt about their shiny new set of social beliefs. And because of that mutually felt strain on our relationship we drifted apart. Sarah didn’t feel comfortable going to me with their problems anymore.

The last real conversation I had with Sarah was me coming up with some believably benign lie so I wouldn’t have to hang out with her while I was back in our home town. Because talking to her online was less trying than doing it in person. After that, a few GIFs were sent, some funny nerd articles and emojis and all that, but no real conversation. And then Sarah committed suicide.

And I had no idea. I had no idea that they were clinically depressed. I had no idea that they had decided to go off her meds. I had no idea how they were feeling. The person who used to stay up until sunrise talking to me about things they weren’t comfortable telling anyone else–who shared with me and only me a non-fiction story they wrote about their torturous stay in a Christian psyche ward as a child and who trusted me to be the one to help them come out to their strict evangelical family as an atheist–didn’t even tell me that they were depressed.

And why? Because our politics were slightly different? One of my best friends, and I didn’t know they wanted to kill themself because we let our irrelevant opinions on something we don’t even have a fucking say in make us both believe that we didn’t support each other anymore. I might as well have stopped talking to them over them liking DC more than Marvel for all the relevancy those political opinions had to our actual lives and our actual relationship. But, for some stupid fucking reason, we both thought it was especially relevant.

So I was left sitting in the back row during their funeral, thinking to myself how much they would hate the entire ordeal–my atheist friend’s parents disrespecting their daughter’s beliefs and throwing a very, very Christian funeral with prayers to God and talks of an afterlife that my friend very patently did not believe in. And that was that. Nothing more to be done.

Moral of the story: Politics are stupid, and your opinion of them is in all likelihood more than worthless in the end of the day. When you’re feeling down in the dumps, your opinion on America’s immigration policy isn’t going to say something to make you laugh despite how bad you were feeling before. Your thoughts on Islam aren’t going to show up at your beside with enough soup and orange juice to last for days because they heard you were sick. Don’t let that one set of worthless opinions ruin things in your life that actually matter.

Nazi Weebs: Poking a Bit of Fun

Weeaboo /noun/

[wēʹəbo͞o]

1.) Slang. A person who idealizes Japan and what they perceive to be Japanese culture. Negative implication, often an accusation of warped perception and idealisation of “Japaneseness.”


Isn’t it funny how stereotypical internet alt-righters seem to detest “weeaboo trash” when they themselves are complete and utter weeaboos, more often than not? I just realized this, and I think it’s funny. Hilarious even.

More so than any otaku with a waifu pillow; more so than any katana collecting neet in a fedora, you have white nationalists who have such an unrealistically skewed and idealized notion of Japan and its culture that they might as well start calling Jared Taylor senpai unironically. I’ve already discussed this in a brief ranting paragraph about the alt-right’s idealized ethno-state in my What is the Alt-Right post, but I thought I’d elaborate on it more, because, boy oh boy, is it something that I’m seeing more and more of as of late.

This is a tendency that I’ve seen crop up in more general anti-SJW circles as well: a notion that Japan, because it’s rather immune to far left social justice antics, is some beacon of how to do things the right way. The idea has bled into the more specific alt-right/white nationalist groups as well, given even more traction by the popular race realist claims about East Asians having the highest average IQs. Since the alt-right is rather traditionalist, the IQ-argument combined with Japan’s lack of loud, angry leftists and more traditional culture was prime for the picking.


Firstly, I should address why this modern-day notion of hyper-offended and perpetually outraged social justice hasn’t really gained any traction in Japan. These are my theories as someone who has lived in both the US and Japan and is familiar with both of those cultural climates, by the way. I haven’t been able to find any official sources about this, which is rather a shame.

It is important to note that Japan does indeed have activism and left-wing figure heads. While I lived there, it was very common to see public protests of the TTP, for instance. There are also many artists and entertainers who have carved out a niche as a strong supporter of things like radical feminism or LGBT rights. The difference, though, is that these left-leaning identity politics rarely find their way into the actual political landscape. They are niche issues that aren’t overly present in the “professional” spheres like academia, business, or politics. They’re considered sub-cultures, essentially, and they’re nothing out of the ordinary from the other sub-cultures. You don’t see lolitas teaching university classes. You don’t see yankis and rockabillies making waves in the political arena.

For a bit of necessary background on the political landscape of the country (strap in): Socialism used to be very popular in Japan. The majority of elected officials post-WWII came from parties with overt socialist leanings. It was popular because socialism had managed to equate itself with pacifism and, to a certain degree, isolationism. After the war, the general consensus of the Japanese citizenry was that war was bad and they wanted nothing to do with any violent conflicts anymore. This was further cemented by the then-prime minister signing a peace agreement with America in addition to a treaty disbanding the Japanese armed forces, therefore relying on the agreement with the US for all military aid. Save for a very overt sentiment of emasculation that seemed to be felt after the loss of its military, Japan seemed largely fine with this arrangement because it helped it stick to its pacifistic ideals. So what happened?

The Gulf War happened. 1991–not that long ago, mind you. And Japan, for lack of a better way to put it, was humiliated on the international stage. In the years after WWII, Japan had established itself as an economic power house with the ability to bail entire countries out of economic recession if it wanted to, with socialism slowly becoming less and less popular over those forty or so years but never entirely losing focus. Japan also established itself, rather infamously, as a country that wouldn’t or couldn’t pull its own weight in international affairs, which the Japanese government and citizenry started to get more and more embarrassed about. The Gulf War and Japan’s inability to offer anything other than monetary aid to Kuwait was the nail in Japanese Socialism’s coffin. Socialism was pacifism, and pacifism screwed the country over. Kuwait didn’t even thank Japan after it was all said and done. So after that incident, a Socialist was lucky to get a legitimate platform at all, let alone a seat in any main government body. And it has stayed that way. If something other than the LDP is in power at any given time, it’s a fucking miracle.

Even more importantly than that is that Japan is no stranger to violent leftist student activism. I think that’s really the key factor to take into account here. The Gulf War incident may have been the death blow to socialism’s reputation in Japan, but the first strike happened much earlier in the 1960s. At this point, the rest of East Asia and ASEAN was getting kinda pissed off at Japan. Japanese cars were burned in the streets, etc, etc.. Because of this, Japanese nationalism was starting to see more of an uptick again. With WWII still very much in memory, people were not a fan. Treaties were up for renewal, and that had people worrying about more war-mongering in the country’s future. Then some people got stabbed to death by some very left-wing student protesters, and more people got trampled. It’s safe to say that Japan has been pretty hesitant to about large-scale student activism ever since.


With the history out of the way, it’s also important to note that modern social justice, for all it’s talk about how bad and racist it is to be so Western-centric, is incredibly Western-centric in of itself. The most popular, lasting ideas–race theory and feminism–are almost entirely focused on Western conceptions and societal structures. They’re so hyper-specific, that they have issues being transplanted to places like Canada and the UK that are relatively similar to the US. So they’re almost entirely inapplicable in a Japanese context.

Race theory is all about “whiteness,” and how whiteness creates an unequal power dynamic with the other races where whiteness is always on top and how everything is unfavorably compared to whiteness. You can see the problem here, right? If you’re blind and deaf and have no frontal lobe, I’ll spell it out for you: White people don’t even make up .001% of the population of Japan, so having an entire theory founded on the notion that white people are the ones in power is completely not applicable here. And we all already know how inflexible these beliefs tend to be. You don’t get people running around saying “a homeless white man has more privilege than a middle class black man because he’s white” when you’re operating under a system that allows for nuance. Of fucking course race theory isn’t going to catch on over there. The biggest issue with racism in Japan is towards other East Asians–Chinese and Koreans–something that “whiteness”-centric race theory isn’t even vaguely equipped to address.

Feminism is a different issue in that some of the tenants are at least able to be applied to a Japanese context. Yes, it has patriarchal family structures. Yes, it has very strong adherence to gender roles, to the point where conforming to pre-established gender roles is deemed a sign of maturity. But, as many a Japanese feminist has pointed out, Western feminism has no idea what it’s fucking talking about in regards to Japan. The ways systemic sexism is expressed are different. The way the culture in general tends to view gender roles and why one should or should not conform to them is very different. Due to cultural connections to shintoism and Buddhism, the relationship between men and women and the traits each is said to have are different. Hell, not even all of the big feminist talking points are applicable: “toxic masculinity” is kinda hard to talk about when the traits Japan associates with masculinity don’t directly overlap with Western conceptions of masculinity, to the point where a stereotypical Hyper-Masculine American Tough Guy would be considered a gay stereotype and our gay stereotype would be considered a Lady-Killing Playa. And, once again, Western feminism is not all that big on adjusting itself to actually be accurate to the given situation it’s addressing, so it again falls flat.

To top it all off, it’s not really the Japanese way to go around complaining about things, especially benign things. And complaining about benign things is like 80% of what social justice “activism” is nowadays, so that probably isn’t ever going to be all that popular. This isn’t even me saying that this is a good thing. There’s a reason Japan has a mental health and suicide epidemic, and it’s because it’s considered weak and/or rude to burden other people with your problems, even legit ones. Being a Westerner in Japan was kind of depressing a lot of the time, because Japanese people tended to see me as the only person who it was acceptable to talk about their problems around because the stereotype of Westerners is that they’re way more open to those kinds of things. All I’m saying is that a Japanese woman who isn’t even going to raise a fuss about being beaten by her husband and intentionally held back in the workplace certainly is not going to go on a tirade about “mansplaining,” which seems to be the niche American feminism has dug itself into.


That aforementioned suicide epidemic and lack of mental health resources is just one of many, many things that the alt-right likes to ignore when talking about Ethno-State Prime Example Numero Uno: Japan.

Now that I’ve talked about what makes Japan appealing from an anti-SJW standpoint, I’m just going to run through a list of all the things white nationalists love about the country of Japan that, in reality, are either totally false or just so skewed they might as well be false.

  • The Japanese have high IQs. Yeah. They also have one of the most notoriously rigorous primary schooling systems in the entire goddamn world. They have to take standardized tests to get into kindergarten in Japan. Those kids grow up knowing how to take tests, and they grow up in an environment that, more often than not, places a huge emphasis on education, to the point where the typical student spends around 10-12 hours of their day, six days a week, in school and/or cram school, not including the time it takes to do homework and other assignments. For example, my nine-year-old host brother would get back from school every day at 7pm. That probably goes quite a long way to explaining why they do so well on the standard IQ test.
  • The Japanese care about upholding their culture and heritage. Yes and no. Japanese culture is concerned with traditionalism in many facets, but it’s, in many ways, a rather shallow traditionalism. There is a very common trope in Japanese media that pokes fun at the fact that lots of Japanese people can’t even write in Japanese  (more specifically, that they don’t know a lot of kanji). Buddhist and shinto temples are getting to be trafficked so little that they’ve taken to coming up with kawaii anime versions of the gods of those temples to sell merch and remain relevant. The most tightly upheld part of Japanese culture is the “Cool Japan” stuff, i.e., the stuff Japan only does to make itself culturally distinct and “cool” on an international level, like giving literally everything a cute mascot. Actual cultural traditionalism that means anything is pretty much dead in Japan. People in Japan tend to put up shinto shrines the same way a millennial Christian puts up a Christmas tree–it’s just what you do, the actual religious traditionalism is gone.
  • Japan doesn’t like immigration. No it doesn’t. But if it doesn’t get over that really soon, it’s going to plummet into economic recession. In Japan, more adult diapers are sold than baby diapers. They’ve got an inverted triangle population where the old stay around way too long, and there aren’t enough younger adults to take care of them, and they aren’t replaced by a new baby when they die. So essentially, the economy is being drained because there are too many old people who a.) aren’t very big economic actors, and b.) are likely taking funds from the government whilst not being very big economic actors. The young people are not moving to the towns where these old people live and die, creating economically in-viable ghost towns. The young people who do exist are not going into the fields that are losing employees by the metric fuckton. The general lack of a large enough worker-base has led to Shinzo Abe actually promoting gender equality in the workplace . . . just because it wasn’t economically viable for most of the women to be housewives anymore. Schools and child care centers and pediatric wards are being shut down because there just aren’t enough kids to warrant having them around. This is not a situation you want to idolize.
  • It has a low crime rate. Yes and no. What crimes are you talking about? White collar crime is pretty popular over there–money laundering, extortion, etc. Other things like sexual harassment are so bad that women are given separate cars on the subway because public voyeurism is such a big issue. I guess you can say it has incredibly low rates of violent crime, but the statistic you usually see on that has been called into question multiple times as the result of a failure of police and/or victim reporting. Polls have shown that a very large percentage of people would opt to not get police involved in the cases of many crimes, either done to them or that they see done to someone else: domestic abuse being the huge one, but also including things like theft and mugging. That’s not to say that Japan’s crime rate would shoot up to Oakland levels if you found a way to mitigate that reporting issue. It’d probably remain comparatively low just because Japan has a lack of readily available weapons and a very strong (and very positive) police presence. But I don’t think the alt-right would like to come to the conclusion that Japan’s lack of violent crime probably has something to do with strict anti-gun laws and people being unwilling to call the cops on wife-beaters.
  • It’s nationalistic. Yes, it is. And that is one of the main reasons that its population depletion is such a big deal. You see, if Japan had a good relationship with China and/or South Korea, then people from China and/or South Korea could immigrate to Japan with minimal issues on the cultural assimilation front. Their societies and cultural values are similar enough that you wouldn’t see the huge amounts of strife and cultural clashing that you get when someone from an Islamic society moves to Sweden, for example. It’d probably be something more along the lines of me moving to the UK–there are gonna be differences, but not so insurmountable that I go to live in an isolated American ghetto. That’s not going to happen with Japan, China, and South Korea, though, because Japan–and Abe’s very aggressive brand of Japanese nationalism–have already screwed the pooch on that one. Abe has promoted revisionist history text books that outright deny things like “Japan tried to invade China” or “Japan made Korean women sex slaves during the war.” Abe refuses to speak to the leaders of China or South Korea. Overt racism against people of those particular ethnicities is encouraged by the rising tide of nationalistic rhetoric among younger generations (people my age and a bit older). The Chinese and the South Koreans do not want to move to Japan. That is the most realistic and accommodating potential immigrant population fucking gone because “being proud of being Japanese” apparently translates to telling their East Asian neighbors to go fuck themselves, to the point where both China and South Korea have made statements about how they’re not even going to help Japan if something bad happens to that country. That is the “good” that unwavering Japanese nationalism has done so far.

The Confederacy, Statues, and the Charlottesville Incident

I really don’t want to make this post. I haven’t logged on Facebook for a week because I’m sick of seeing what everybody has to say about the recent debacle in Virginia; and I’m a millennial, so you know that refraining from social media took a tremendous amount of willpower on my part. So this is going to be another list of random points that I think are relevant and/or pertinent, to be lost in the fray of other useless social commentary flooding the internet. In no particular order . . .


1.) White supremacy is bad. What a shock. White separatism is a slightly nicer idea but would pretty much entail the same tactics of white supremacy if the white separatists ever got their way and started segregating things. There’s no functional difference between the two even if the ideologies deviate ever so slightly.

2.) Tiki torches are not intimidating.

3.) If you’re going to judge the Unite the Right march for some of its participants carrying confederate and Nazi flags, I’d like to see some consistency here. Stalinist Russia was just as murderously awful as both of the aforementioned political regimes, so perhaps the hammer-and-sickle flag I’ve seen at many left leaning gatherings (both in person and in pictures) should be judged as a negative statement as well.

4.) Tearing down statues of people you don’t like is a stupid tactic. It just makes it seem like you’re in favor of revisionist history and, coming from someone who is actually interested in history, smacks of the genre-blind virtue signaling of people who have no idea what they’re talking about but are really sure that they’re angry about it.

A statue of Robert E. Lee being the focal point of the contention is a perfect example of this. Robert E. Lee didn’t want the South to secede, thought the war was a stupid idea, and saw slavery as a moral evil he’d rather see the end of. That’s not to say he was some forward thinking progressive, but he wasn’t the personification of Evil White Racism that people are making him out to be. Lincoln actually approached Lee to lead the Northern army first, but Lee took a good long time to get back to him before ultimately refusing the offer because, even though he correctly thought the North would win, he couldn’t bring himself to lead a war against his own home state of Virginia. He wasn’t just some evil racist who wanted to keep the institution of slavery going at all costs. All this does is encourage the typical American lack of interest in history.

5.) Where does this “get rid of the monuments of people who fail by our current moral judgement” notion end, exactly? The first president of our country, the dude who wrote the Constitution, and the dude who started the American financial system, all had a hand in slavery. Are we going to boycott the Hamilton play, tear down the Washington monument, and take Jefferson’s name off of courthouses because of that? This is easy to do for literally anyone. To all the feminists who want to take down statues of those evil men and replace them with female icons from history: Good luck finding a first-wave or second-wave feminist who wasn’t racist as hell. Gandhi was also really racist. Unrelated, but true. The founder’s of modern medicine were sexists and homophobes.  The first people to walk on the moon were also sexist. All those founding gay rights activists? Racist too. Where does your ideological purity test for who “deserves” to have a monument begin and end? You’re going to have one difficult fucking time finding someone who fits all your current year standards for moral conduct, is all I’m saying.

6.) The left has learned nothing and is doing nothing to help the situation. The rising tide of white nationalism in America is dangerous. You know what’s feeding into it, though? You know what’s making these white collectivism sentiments mainstream and popular? The rising tide of rhetoric about how white people are a collective that comes from liberal camps: When you have politicians building their entire platform on telling the whites the STFU, and you have controversy after controversy on college campuses where racism against white people is deemed acceptable, when you have multiple examples of left-wing crowds cheering when they hear that white people may one day be a minority in America, this is what you fucking get. You get white collectivists who are tired of being shit on and who act just as insane and idiotic and violent as the other racial collectivists we already have (unless you forgot the last race riot).

7.) Responding to the Unite the Right march by going on to do more of the thing that they were protesting (in this case, officially removing more statues) doesn’t seem like that great of an idea. Go do a social experiment: Walk around the streets of Charlottesville and ask people what statues are there. And if they don’t know, tell them, and then ask them what those people being enshrined in brass actually did. I would be shocked if people actually knew. This isn’t me calling anyone dumb: This is me pointing out the very real fact that these monuments are very much in the background. They are part of the backdrop. Charlottesville is not some white supremacist haven because it has statues of people who fought on the losing side of the Civil War.

For example, the elementary school I went to was named after Robert E. Lee. The elementary school on the other side of town was named after Abraham Lincoln. I did not know either of those things as a child. I legit thought my school was called Roberty Lee Elementary. I thought Lincoln Elementary was just named after the street it was on. The average person is not taking the names of things to heart. The average person isn’t looking at vague statues of military guys they don’t know the name of because they’ve never looked at the plaque underneath, feeling the warm glow of racial supremacy in their bosom. The average person doesn’t give two fucks about this either way, and it’s yet another fucking sign of how cut off from average society these people are that they think everyone is going around naval gazing about these things. They’re aren’t.


The end.

 

Playing Catch Up: the North Korean Google Apocalypse

Hey, guys! As the title suggests, I’m going to play some catch up and address the two and a half big stories happening right now. This’ll be a quick one.


North Korea: First Blood, Part I

This is another George W. Bush situation. I believe that poor Dubya would have been a passingly fine president had nothing happened while he was in charge of the country. Yeah, he passed No Child Left Behind, which is shit, but the American education system was shit before he touched it and it continued to be shit afterwards, so even that wasn’t as awful as it could have been. It was just his poor luck that a major natural disaster and a terrorist attack happened under his watch and forced him to have to do things. He wasn’t all that great at doing things.

It’s just America’s poor fortune that the Great Leader of True Korea decided to start making threats whilst the leader of our country is little more than a petulant child who’s version of international diplomacy with hostile forces is to tell them catch deez hands if dey step to us!!111!!!1! Cash me outside, beeotch!!!!11!1!

The North Korea problem is an extremely complicated one that I will not delve into here because that is literally a thesis topic that you can’t ramble on about forever. Essentially, North Korea itself is not as much of an international threat as the fallout of trying to fight North Korea would be. North Korea does not exist in a vacuum: It exists in a very tremulous East Asian political landscape where literally none of the countries involved like each other even a little bit except for North Korea’s weird buddy-buddy relationship with China. There are already shit tons of conflicts (both military and political) going on between Japan, China, Taiwan, South Korea, North Korea, and ASEAN–to the point where many scholars of that area think that the tension between China and Japan is enough to qualify as an actual cold war. There’s a reason South Koreans give no fucks about North Korea–they know they’re not going to be the ones getting bombed if their neighbors to the north get a wild hair up their collective ass and decide to do something–it’ll be Japan, who South Korea isn’t keen on aiding. Stirring that pot would be disastrous, and our president rifling through the kitchen drawers looking for a big enough spoon is very worrying.

That said, China has recently released a statement saying that it would not support North Korea if it ever attacked America or any of our territories, which is very heartening. How China would react to an American-instigated war with North Korea–either a Cold or Hot one–would be the true source of East Asia imploding, if and when that happened. My main fear was that China would use the conflict with North Korea as an excuse to a.) do some actual fighting over South China Sea maritime territory with Japan and, to a lesser extent, the Philippines; and/or b.) use the conflict as another means to propagandize anti-imperialism and pro-unification rhetoric to its populace that it oftentimes uses to justify its military threats to ASEAN, Japan, and Taiwan. But since China has overtly come out saying that it’s not going to support North Korea, I can sleep easier. Hopefully the petulant man-child in charge of North Korea will realize that his main bargaining chip–China’s support–being thrown out the window means that he should leave the unnecessary airstriking to ‘Murka and go back to starving his citizens in peace. And hopefully Trump will respond to that by not completely and utterly going against his election platform and starting yet another international conflict even though he said we were going to be more isolationist. I’m still fucking mad about that, Donny.


North Korea: First Blood, Part II–I For One Welcome Our New Google Overlords

Palling in comparison to the whole “Trump and Un are competing to see who the bigger idiot is” news coverage, however, is the controversy with Google and “diversity.” Does this mean that the American news media has really weird priorities? If the coverage was an astute and in-depth look at corporate culture and the political make-up of Silicon Valley and how that effects its products and employees, I’d say no. But that’s not the coverage topic: The topic is essentially all about how Google’s “anti-diversity” memo was bad and mean and sexist and how “tech has a problem because look at this mean sexist who said women are biologically inferior to men.” So yes, priorities are fucking skewed.

This is coming right on the heels of Google throwing itself face-first into political bipartisanship by announcing the news that videos that don’t violate the terms of service or break any rules can still be blacklisted from viewership or audience interaction if the content of the video is just something the Google AI . . . finds distasteful, I guess. It’s times like these that I get really scared and paranoid about the fact that Google pretty much owns the internet, especially considering how Facebook is all but overtly aligned with Google’s own hyper-specific politics as well, with Patreon’s founders being brought into the fold as well.

Hey, at least Amazon‘s still just good ole’ fashioned evil and not “we’re gonna throw all the things that commit thought crimes down the memory hole” evil. There’s still hope!

None of this surprises me. The big-name tech companies have made it pretty clear where they fall politically, and they’ve made it very clear that they’re more than willing to let their politics effect how their business is run. Google specifically is incredibly cultish and has been for as long as I can remember hearing about its internal antics. I have lots of friends who have worked for Google or, at the very least, interviewed with them. I say “have worked” because almost all of them quit, not because the work itself was too difficult but because the work environment was so stressful to be in.

One of my best friends (who is a woman, by the way) majored in computer science and computer engineering, and she avoids tech jobs like the fucking plague despite that being her area of interest and expertise. She avoids them because Silicon Valley tech companies–the big names and the start-ups that only exist to hopefully be bought up by the big names–are places where she felt like she was on trial all the time for every single benign thing she did. I’m not talking, “Oh, we have a smart casual dress code, and this is a nut-free environment so we can accommodate people with allergies.” According to her and multiple other people I’ve talked with, it’s more along the lines of, “I see you’re wearing a t-shirt under that blazer instead of Under Amour. Hmmm, interesting. Oh, and that snack food you brought to put in your desk drawer really isn’t what we eat here, if you know what I mean. It’s just not what we prefer, so maybe change it. Oh, you’re listening to that band while you work. That’s okay, I guess . . .”

Every single little thing you do has to be “how Google does things,” apparently. So was I surprised to hear that that extends to politics and opinions on topical subjects? Of course fucking not. I read the memo. I’m not going over it here because I don’t feel the need to. I don’t agree with every single point he makes and thinks he could have explained some things much better or left some things out. But overall, it was fine. It was well informed. It was the least offensive thing on the face of the fucking planet. The fact that it’s being called the “anti-diversity” memo by the mainstream press is rather telling seeing as how it is in no way against diversity, simply questioning the current means by which Google as a company was trying to achieve it and trying to offer some potential explainations as to why it wasn’t as diverse as they wanted it to be.

Although, I must say I find it rather hilarious that feminists are screeching about how he says women are inferior to men when, in reality, all he said was that women on average are biologically less inclined towards mathematical reasoning than men. That apparently means “inferior” now. Way to project your own insecurities onto benign statements. I wonder if they would freak out over the misandry of saying, “Men on average are less inclined toward verbal reasoning than women.” Probably not, but a girl can dream.


So the world’s gonna end, guys! North Korea is gonna blow us up right before the Google AI starts tracking all our movements and killing wrong-thinkers. The end is nigh! Buy gold!

 

Some Thoughts on Trump and the Transgender Military Ban

This will be a bullet point list, because I’m busy doing stuff I actually enjoy.

Anyway . . . !


1.) I don’t hate the idea of President Trump as much as most people. I still get annoyed when media outlets decide to trash him for innocuous bullshit and/or straight-up lie about what he thinks or does just because they’re all aboard the 24/7 Hate Train for the dude. Actually being fake news is not the best way to fight against the whole “fake news” thing, is all I’m saying. Looking at you, “memes incite violence against the press” CNN.

2.) Generally, I think most of the things he’s done probably looked fine of paper but were put into practice with the skill and subtle practice of a schizophrenic chimpanzee in the process of being immolated with a ‘Nam-style blowtorch. Temporary travel ban on countries connected to terrorist threats? Sure, not the worst idea. That list of countries making little sense in an American security context and being enacted by borderline-detaining people who legally arrived at the airport because they can’t be allowed to leave now? That’s pretty shitty. And that was something that could be partially blamed on ideas drafted up by the Obama administration. That’s not even including things that are totally the Trump admin’s doing like . . . touting isolationist policies that focus on domestic interests and then almost immediately sanctioning another bout of drone bombing, taking more funding away from our comparatively minuscule education and domestic enrichment programs to increase our already over-bloated and misused military budget, enforcing stricter immigration policies by encouraging broken window policing strategies, and getting rid of the current flawed health care system and replacing it with something that didn’t fix any of the bad parts and added more issues on top of them.

3.) And he’s done it again. Trump was the first real Republican candidate who showed open and explicit support of the LGBT community during his campaign run, which I gave him credit for, unlike many liberals who insisted he was homophobic . . . for reasons? I’m not sure, actually. He’s pretty much rolled back on that, though, with the statement he’s just issued:

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, the US government with not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgenders in the military would entail. Thank you.”

There are very, very many parts of this that genuinely confuse the ever loving fuck out of me. I’m not sure if I’m at the morally outraged levels that lots of people are, but I’m definitely bewildered.

Let’s talk about why.

4.) Why is this something he’s chosen to spend time on? Trump definitely knows what a giant can o’ worms the trans issue is. No one was asking for this. No one was complaining on the internet, prompting an official statement on the issue of trans people in the military to be made. He just came out with this one day. Why? With his controversy-laden presidency, keeping chicks with dicks out of the armed forces was really something he decided to make a priority?

5.) This is essentially just an even more regressive version of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. At least that mandate let them serve as long as they kept quiet about it. This one just flat out bans people entirely. I guess it’s good to know that I can go back to arguing against pseudo-evangelical pandering to right-wing demographics regarding LGBT issues again. I thought we were over that in *insert current year,* but okay.

6.) As has been readily pointed out, it’s rather hypocritical to act like the surely infinitesimal percentage of trans people in the military are going to cause some huge undue burden of medical costs for the military when one of the largest medical cost the military currently has is its Viagra budget. Yeah, that’s not an undue health cost at all.

7.) That being said, it’s not the American military’s job to pay for transition surgeries, hormones, or other medications. I wasn’t aware of the huge epidemic of transgender people joining the military for free sex-reassignment surgery, but if you want to cover all your bases and make sure medical exploitation doesn’t happen, fine. If the argument was “Trans people still currently transitioning and in need of consistent medical visits/evaluations/treatments will not be allowed into the military because that leads to superfluous health costs that we are not obligated to cover,” I’d actually understand.

That is not what is being said, though. It just bans trans people as a group, outright. What if they’re not physically transitioning and don’t plan to until after they get done serving? What if they’ve already physically transitioned before applying? What tremendous undue health cost are those trans people causing?

8.) You could say that trans people are more prone to things like anxiety and depression than cisgender people, therefore that is an undue medical risk the government would be taking on. But that law of averages isn’t applied to any other demographics. You don’t see Native Americans being denied entry into the military because they’re more prone to substance addictions, or white males being denied because they make up the largest percentage of sociopaths. The military has psychiatric and physical evaluations that must be passed before you can even hope to go to Boot Camp, let alone actually be deployed anywhere. If someone gets past those initial evaluations, I see no reason why there should be an issue. A trans person who suffers from depression and anxiety should not be allowed in the military, but acting like all trans people are going to come with that baggage by default and therefore should be overlooked as even potential applicants seems rather disingenuous.

9.) You could say that people with mental health issues should not be allowed in the military, which would conceivably exclude trans people. This is a slippery argument to make, though. Transgenderism is a sub-type of body dysmorphia, which is indeed a type of thought disorder, but I’m not sure how solid that argument is once you get past the surface level. Men in the military (as with the rest of very physical scenes like law enforcement or sports) are very prone to developing eating disorders and, yes, signs of body dysmorphia regarding their physiques. This is common amongst men in the military, who passed the psyche evaluation and are serving or about to serve. So . . . what? Samuel wanting to be called Samantha is enough of a disorder to disqualify her from military service entirely, but Calvin unhealthily obsessing over his body mass isn’t enough to disqualify him from military service?

10.) I’ve known people with schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, clinical depression, former drug addictions, and anxiety disorder who have all nevertheless been allowed to serve in the armed forces. Whatever you think about that topic, no one’s kicked up a fuss about it. No one’s making a political issue out of it. No one’s been overly bothered by the fact that my schizophrenic friend was allowed into the Army. Can we just talk about how little fucks the US Military usually gives about the mental health of its soldiers in general? How little support there is for people who have mental issues or develop them later on? Can we talk about how current military training is essentially designed to get people to circumvent human empathy and natural emotional reactions, and then discharged officers are given almost nothing to help them readjust to normal society afterward? Can we talk about how being discharged for having PTSD is seen as a black mark on someone’s military record? But nope! We don’t care about mental health and the military until someone with enough patriotism to want to go out and fight for their country turns out to be a tranny. Then mental health is a huge issue.

11.) And you’re not letting them into any military post? I have a friend who works for the armed forces and their job consist entirely of sitting behind a computer screen doing math all day. Can a transgender person not even do that job? They’d still just be far too disruptive for their own good?

12.) Then there’s the point about “disruption.” The same thing was said about letting gay people serve openly in the military, because the presence of fags would just be too distracting for our boys overseas. The same thing was said about letting women into the armed forces; they have periods you know, which means they’re just too emotional and effeminate to be trusted with any security measures. Hell, the same thing was said about post-WWII generals supporting the idea of racially integrated squadrons. I’d like to know what they think “disruptive” means in this context. I seriously doubt it’s the other normal troops getting the short end of the stick in “disruptive” situations that may arise. The point I’m trying to beat into your head is that someone’s presence being “too disruptive” has always been the go-to cop-out argument for this kind of thing.

13.) But you have to acknowledge the idea a bit more. Because it would be disruptive. A point that many people in support of this legislation have brought up is that the troops have to take the dreaded sensitivity class, and those classes are just way too expensive, and that’s the tremendous cost Trump is referring to. I have lots of problems with sensitivity training–namely that it doesn’t work at all, and usually makes the work environment more uncomfortable, not less–but that’s not an argument against letting transgender people into the military. That’s an argument against the current flawed methods we use to ease their transition into that environment. Pun totally intended. If you want to make an argument against the type of “diversity training” that is currently indulged in in that sphere, I will be right with you on that. But the answer to that problem isn’t “We wouldn’t need stupid, ineffective diversity training if there wasn’t any diversity . . .” *taps forehead and smiles*

14.) There are people saying that this is stupid because the military shouldn’t be involved in gender politics, and I actually disagree on that point. It’s not that I think the military should be involved in gender politics, but it is. It just is. The military is, in most respects, a very hyper-masculine social sphere. When divergent groups go into that sphere–like women, like gay men, like transgender people–it’s going to cause friction because the stereotypical idea of those groups (not necessarily the actual individuals involved, but just the particular demographic identity they belong to) doesn’t mesh well with the stereotypical hyper-masculine space they are in. Sexual harassment and sexual assault are legitimate issues, made worse by them happening in a place where reporting them or getting perpetrators in trouble for it actually is discouraged (because getting someone dishonorably discharged makes you the bad guy).

So this is not me saying that it’ll totally be smooth sailing and that transgender people being in the military will cause no issues whatsoever and that anyone who thinks it’ll cause issues is just being a bigot. But people who point out the problems it may cause as justification for them being banned from serving are doing their reasoning in reverse. They’re using the abuse that trans people very well may face in the military as an excuse for why trans people should just stay away, using the euphemism “disruptive,” instead of actually addressing the issue of mistreatment.

15.) And all that’s operating under the pretense that we don’t already have transgender people in the military, which we do. From the ones who have spoken out about their experience, they seem to have varying experiences with it ranging from totally positive to really negative, as is the case for anyone else who joins the military, I assume. Are those people going to be discharged now? How’s that going to work?

16.) What happened to supporting the troops and shit? The people I see who are waving the American flag talking about how much they respect the people going overseas to fight for ‘Murka seem to have a huge overlap with people who are glad to see this legislation get passed. So what, you respect the troops and have the highest opinion of anyone who goes out and protects American values . . . unless they’re trannies? Way to be consistent.


 

In summary:

Transgender people are not inherently unstable lunatics (at least no more than anyone else with some issues who still wants to join up) and should be be allowed to serve in the military as long as they meet the same mental and physical specifications set for everyone else. The military is not and should not be obligated to fund the medical bills associated with transitioning, and I’d suggest that anyone still in that process put off applying for the military for later. The fact that their presence would take some getting used to is not an excuse for why they shouldn’t be allowed in, and there are trans people serving in the military already, so I imagine some people are already well used to it.