Thursday, 11 August 2016

I caught a glimpse of my life from the cor­ner of my eye the oth­er day & re­al­ized I ap­pear to have be­come a care­ful­ly dressed, quar­ter­ly mag­a­zine-read­ing, European wag­on-dri­ving, scotch-lov­ing, in­suf­fer­able, tweedy, beard­ed cliché.

I hate that. Problem is: I like all of those things. Even be­ing in­suf­fer­able. So yeah, I’ve got some cham­pagne tastes on a beer bud­get.

I’m try­ing to give my­self sparse so­lace be­cause while I ap­pear to be the cliché, my tem­pera­ment is dif­fer­ent. (I hope). I don’t like cool jazz, NPR, The New Yorker, or pret­ty much any oth­er safe, soft, ac­cept­ed, lib­er­al com­fort-blan­kets. After I stopped be­ing Actively Catholic®, I went to an Episcopal church for a bit, the mes­sage was good but the peo­ple were ag­gra­vat­ing­ly mil­que­toast about every­thing. To para­phrase some­thing some­one said some­time: The meek will in­her­it the earth be­cause no one else will take it. That’s those peo­ple. God bless ‘em. No one else will.

Anyway, but. If you catch me out of the oth­er eye-cor­ner, you’ll see a greasy-spoon eat­ing, dive bar plant­ed, un­leashed dog walk­ing, win­dows open hol­lerin’ at my kid, shirt­less on the porch, filthy-jeaned, south­ern-drawl­ing met­al­head.

I love that. Problem is: ain’t al­most no one else does.

I some­times won­der what con­clu­sions peo­ple reach about me at work, but I’m too busy work­ing to care about it.

I like high brow. I like low brow. I pre­tend mid­dle­brow doesn’t ex­ist.

I have no oth­er point.

If you need one then the point is that the world is messy & even when I re­ject stereo­types, I of­ten use them in the same breath. I’m un­re­pen­tant. I just try to im­prove.


Tuesday, 4 March 2003

dis­cussing stereo­types has re­sult­ed in the fol­low­ing con­clu­sions.

Critical Assumptions:

  1. Stereotypes are false.
  2. Stereotypes are neg­a­tive.
  3. Stereotypes are ex­ter­nal­ly im­posed.

Stereotypes are nei­ther false nor true, but are the re­sult of the os­si­fi­ca­tion of val­ue judg­ments in­to ap­par­ent facts. Quite of­ten the foun­da­tion of the stereo­type lies with­in fact (ex: a woman is usu­al­ly found in the home, cook­ing, rais­ing chil­dren, etc.) now, while this is not true for all women, it has in the past been true of most women, there­fore it is based in fact. However when the state­ment be­comes ‘A woman’s place is in the home’ a stereo­type has ap­peared. Why? A val­ue judg­ment has been made. ‘A woman’s place is in the home’ is ac­tu­al­ly say­ing that the prop­er place for a woman (al­so im­prop­er for a man) is in the home. It is a state­ment of what ought to be, not nec­es­sar­i­ly what is. This val­ue cod­i­fi­ca­tion in­to fact ig­nores the re­al­i­ty of change in roles and as­so­ci­a­tions. The val­ue judg­ment in­her­ent in a stereo­type is what makes it false, be­cause val­ues are sub­jec­tive.

Stereotypes are neg­a­tive. Well, most peo­ple agree with this, but there are ex­am­ples of stereo­types that are em­braced. The American cow­boy for ex­am­ple. Rugged in­di­vid­u­al­ism, on the fron­tier, Manifest Destiny, a chance to make good, and the au­ton­o­my pos­ses­sion of a gun and the knowl­edge of its use en­tails, all of­fer an ap­peal­ing ex­am­ple of the American ide­al. People latch on to this ro­man­ti­cized im­age, be­cause of the stereo­typ­ing, even though the ac­tu­al life of a cow­boy was very lit­tle like the west­ern por­trays it. per­haps the con­tem­po­rary ex­am­ple is how peo­ple adapt them­selves to fit a cer­tain im­age be it tech­no-geek, eu­ro-punk, scrawny-mod­e­lesque or what have you. Unfortunately an im­age is just that, not re­al­i­ty. so we live as stereo­types. People see them­selves with­in a type and em­brace that. I feel that the need to do so is fun­da­men­tal­ly neg­a­tive how­ev­er.

All that leads to the dis­cus­sion of ex­ter­nal im­po­si­tion. While the val­ue judg­ment of the stereo­type is cre­at­ed ex­ter­nal­ly (ex: Irish stereo­types of vi­o­lence, drunk­en­ness, etc. were cre­at­ed by the British dur­ing col­o­niza­tion) the peo­ple these judg­ments are ap­plied to must ei­ther ig­nore them and hope they go away (in­ef­fec­tive) or in­ter­nal­ize them and adapt. This in­ter­nal­iza­tion can have two ma­jor ef­fects. The stereo­typed group/​person can live with it. Or use the stereo­type as a weapon to fight it­self. (ex: some rap that us­es nig­ger in a way that throws its loaded sig­nif­i­cance right back in­to the faces of white su­prema­cist cap­i­tal­ist pa­tri­archy). It takes alot of courage to be able to do this, quite of­ten it can back­fire.

I’m sure i’ve just writ­ten that loaded with val­ue judg­ments, so i’m stereo­typ­ing stereo­types. hyp­ocrite!