drinks with rednecks

I think it’s good to share a drink with the enemy sometimes.

See, the thing is that in the media, and particularly in social media, it becomes very, very easy to paint everyone with a particular brush. If you believe the right wingers on social media, all lefties are part of a millions-strong conspiracy to use fake science to push an agenda of… ending pandemics and climate change (it is unclear how we profit from these deceits), while using immigrants as fake voters to protect our ability to do so. Of course, if you listen to most right wing bloggers (and their bots/commenters), lefties are all pedophiles, and somehow, vaccinations and green energy helps with that? I’ve never understood the logic of what they think our motivations are. I’ll guarantee it’s not pedophilia, and there are an awful lot more headlines of right wingers getting busted for that stuff than there are drag queens and other lefty icons (Bill Clinton aside – sorry, Bill, but that’s fucked up and you should go down for it).

On the left, however, we tend to think of right wingers as hateful, uneducated, mindless boors, Nazis slavering over their chance to cleanse the population of all but straight, white males and their subservient women, but the truth is more complicated than that. If all you ever read is left-wing bloggers and newspapers, I’ve got news for you. You’re only seeing the worst of the worst there. If you’ve ever actually spent time with a southerner, for example, you’d know that despite their political views, most of them are pretty genial. They don’t spit racial slurs in the faces of minorities (although they will probably say it behind their back, in couched terms), and the majority of them, split off from the rhetoric, are actually quite nice. Even kind of fun. There’s a good natured, joshing camaraderie that’s a breath of fresh air when compared to the pearl clutching culture of non-offense and victim identity often experienced in my usual left wing circles. Despite the fact that I completely disagree with Trumpism and the politics of bigotry, I do agree with one thing: we’re too fucking precious here on the left.

Being offended is good, if it’s something really, truly to be offended by. But tiptoeing around everyone because we’re afraid of the constant threat of labelling and outrage, of possible cancellation, for even a perceived (not actual) slip? It’s a poor way to live, if only for our own mental health.

I miss the Nineties, when we young, grungy punks opted out, opposing bigotry and authoritarianism while declaring no topics off-limits, no subject too dirty. We all got to be fucked up in our own ways, but if we were being whiny little bitches about it, we got called out. If we weren’t, we got hugs and sympathy.

It’s good to eat shit every once in a while. It’s good to poke a hole in the old ego, the identity, especially if it’s one that disempowers us and makes life miserable for those around us.

Fucking have a drink. Have a laugh. Get off the high horse, and don’t engage the bullshit. Find common ground. Forget the stereotypes and take them as they are – imperfect representations of things that may or may not resemble them.

Because that’s the problem with stereotypes: at some point, you have to do with the actuality of the person or people you’re trying to stereotype. If you can drop the stereotype and find that common ground, all the bullshit goes away, and you can have a pretty decent time. You may not agree on everything; you may vehemently disagree on some things, but if you set the preconceived notions aside…

Well, shit. It’s almost like we’re all human.

Target: 400 words
Written: 227 words, novella: The Mungk

Read: Aesop's Fables
Comics: Nailbiter 24-27
Music: Katy Perry Essentials, Katy Perry (don't judge me, I love the tongue-in-cheek aspect.  I appreciate someone who doesn't take herself too seriously.)

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