Generation of Hate Revisited

Years ago, in the early days of me dumping my thoughts on this site, I proposed that we’re living through the most hateful time in history. If you read that post, you’ll see that I don’t mean it in the way that’s most obvious, that people are more hateful than ever, but instead that people feel more hated than ever. I’ve been thinking more about this lately, largely inspired by a series of Facebook posts that have come and gone over the years, but seem to be coming back with a vengeance. Although my premise hasn’t changed, I’m starting to have a better, perhaps slightly more paranoid, perspective about it all.

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Delight in suffering

Trump supporters like to talk about Trump Derangement Syndrome, in spite of having no idea where that phrase originated and what its originator thinks about Trump. Although I think the phrase is a bit over- and mis-used, the visceral disgust that many of us feel about Trump is real. I wouldn’t call it derangement, but there’s a real difference between how I feel about Trump and how I feel and have felt about politicians and pundits who haven’t shared my views in the past. I don’t think that’s because I’ve changed. I think it’s because there’s something vastly different about Trump and his supporters: they seem to place a higher value on upsetting their opponents than on achieving some policy goal.

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The politics of demonization

Politics has always had an ugly side. Although we often feel like we are living through the worst of it, it has clearly been really awful at other times also. CNN had a great piece during the Trump-Clinton election showing some of the awful things candidates said about each other. The current climate includes some of this, and plenty of name calling (our President excels in this artform), but what bothers me the most isn’t the attacks between those individuals, but the blanket demonization of people who vote a certain way or another. Both sides get blame for this, but circumstances seem to be having an impact on republicans (at this moment) more than democrats. I’m not saying that things couldn’t be reversed, and democrats would be the ones to talk about here, but right now, in current politics, the republicans are worthy of some attention. Specifically, I’m talking about what’s happening in Alabama and the continued support of the GOP candidate for Senate. For the party leaders, and many of their voters, democrats are so awful, and so evil, and so wrong for the country, that they would prefer to side with Moore, in spite of all the dirt that’s been unearthed about him, than let a democrat win the seat.

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Sad days

[Edit: I’m sure this is rough. I didn’t proofread it before publishing. It’s not supposed to be for anybody else’s consumption anyway. Perhaps I’ll go back and fix it, but if this note is still here, that hasn’t happened yet. For now it’s just a first draft, and a hope at some relief that never seems to come.]

The last week has been full of sadness. We’ve had stories of people dying at the hands of what seem to be poorly trained police officers (although I’m the first to admit that I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a cop), and just last night, at an overwhelmingly peaceful protest about those deaths, madmen struck and shot and killed police officers. Officers who were not involved in any of these horrible stories (and even if they were, it wouldn’t justify killing them), officers who were clearly part of the community, and who were there to help the protesters exercise their first amendment right to assemble. There seemed to be no animosity between the protesters and the police. I’m not sure why that matters to me, but I think it makes it especially sad that the shooting happened there, in a place, Dallas, that has a reputation for making it work, and making it work well.

I try to keep emotion out of this blog, in fact, that’s kind of the rule here, but I’m not sure I can keep it out of this one, and it’s my blog…really my diary, so I can break the rules when I want.

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Rape Culture

The ways that people, particularly women, are mistreated has gotten a lot of attention in the wake of what many (including me) see as a horrible miscarriage of justice. A former member of the Stanford University swim team, Brock Turner, was found guilty on three felony charges: assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated or unconscious person, sexual penetration of an intoxicated person, and sexual penetration of an unconscious person. Late last week, he was sentenced to six months in a minimum security facility, called a “camp” on the facility’s website. No surprise, people were outraged. I was too. My FaceBook feed was (and is) covered with stories about the incident, statements by the victim, disgust over the statement by Turner’s father, who argued that 20 minutes of bad behavior shouldn’t negate a lifetime of him being a good boy (where’s the vomit bag?). On one of these posts, somebody I don’t know asked an important, but complicated question. Something that I wanted to explore, but didn’t feel like exploring so openly, making Hitting Bregma the perfect avenue.

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So there’s the question, summarized as follows: what do we do about this?

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Pursuit of Happiness

I’m a generally happy person in some ways, a bit melancholy and down in others. Some of it depends on the day, or maybe the way the planets are aligned for all I can figure out. I certainly let people bring me down, probably more than I should. I am deeply saddened by people being bigoted and drawing conclusions based on misinformation. People tell me that I have to let that go, and that I shouldn’t let it bother me, but that requires some control over what does and doesn’t make me sad. Control that I simply don’t possess. It makes me wonder if anybody has that kind of control. Can anybody really decide that something isn’t going to make the sad, and then, poof, it doesn’t make them sad anymore? That seems so foreign to me, but a superpower I would really like to have.

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A generation of hate (but not how you think).

I believe that we may be experiencing one of the most hateful times in our human history. Seems like a bold statement, right? The huns were pretty mean, and (again honoring Godwin) Hitler was pretty evil too. The Visigoths and the Romans probably hated each other more than the Jets and the Sharks ever could. So my thesis is pretty easy to reject, except that I’m not talking about people being more hateful than ever, I’m talking about people feeling like they are hated more than ever.
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