Tag Archives: politics

the post online argument shameover

shameover (n):

1. a feeling of regret and self-shaming that remains even after the cause of the event is forgotten by everyone but you
2. a feeling of regret and self-shaming that continues after a particularly shameful action

I am in the throes of #2 of a shameover from arguing on the Internet.  It isn’t the argument itself I’m ashamed of, but the sheer waste of time it represents.  It’s time I could be spending with my family, or time I could be practicing the piano, or time I could be doing my writing class homework.  It’s time I could use to clear out my work inbox or finish up some Scouting responsibilities (as District Commissioner and acting GSM for one group, the Scouting never stops) or just return personal emails.  There’s a dozen ways I could productively use time.  Arguing on the Internet is not one of them.

Duty Calls

Therefore, after two hours of generally wasted time arguing over the child migrant separation crisis, I have a shameover.  And it feels awful.  I feel like I do when I over-indulge in other ways.  I feel like I do when I carb binge, when my blood sugar spikes and I know it will eventually crash as well.  I feel like I do when I watch waste of time TV.  I feel like I do when I spend too much money, on impulse, on an item I do not particularly need and cannot return.  I feel like I do when I drink two glasses of wine too fast and know it will mess up my sleep.  I feel like I did last week when I trolled Trump supporters on the street. I feel like have cost myself something I cannot get back: in this case, time, energy, and a whole lot of adrenaline.

I consider it a waste of time to argue online, because  no argument online can be won anymore.  No one’s mind can be changed anymore.  No one wants to acknowledge logical points or even facts in an age when everything can be dismissed as “fake news”.  There was once a day when people would engage in civil, well thought out discourse on bulletin boards; now we all wallow in fallacies of online arguing.  There is no winning an argument or changing anyone’s mind online anymore; there is only being better at arguing and feeling better about being right.

The only saving grace of arguing online is that there are some cases where I learn something new.   Which I did, actually, tonight, from the original post that sparked the entire argument, which was moderately educational!   This Medium post similarly argues that arguing is a positive in that it helps one “bulletproof” one’s arguments.  Unfortunately, it’s almost always at a disproportionate amount of time and energy investment to argue for that knowledge.  Often, the knowledge I get from arguing online is information could have acquired elsewhere without paying such a high price in time, energy and effort, without arguing, without getting my blood pressure and my adrenaline up.  If I go poke around outside my own liberal bubble, I am pretty sure I can hear others’ points of view without having to waste time being polite and logical to random people I don’t even know who jump in the middle of an argument and decide to engage via deflecting and whataboutism.


TRUE.  Because one person’s “FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE” is totally representative of thousands of other experiences and makes them an expert in the subject!

Why then, do I continue to waste time arguing online?  It inevitably results in me losing sleep, not over the argument itself, but over the guilt of the waste of time and energy from it (not to mention the adrenaline coursing through my veins from any argument).  I think it’s because there are two factors of appeal to online arguing for me: the need to hold people accountable for the social injustices they are supporting or failing to fight, and the need to be right.  On the one hand, I have always wanted to crusade for justice and against what I see as wrong, so having the entire Internet in which to do so is great for arguing for what I see as morally correct.  On the other hand, I just really like being smarter than everyone else and I will totally admit that.

Arguing online may hold a thin veneer of justification in that it allows one to try to use rhetoric to convince someone to do good.  Perhaps one will have the opportunity to impart knowledge and understanding to someone else.  Perhaps one will learn some critical piece of information or insight into the logic of the argument.  Perhaps one will learn a new way of looking at something, a new perspective that helps one understand the initial discussion topic better.  In some cases, when people share their perspectives with me, I’m actually grateful for the insight and knowledge.

However, ultimately, the knowledge that one cannot win an argument on the Internet means that if one is arguing, one is very likely arguing wholly due to ego.  It then requires a degree of mindfulness to recognize one’s ego as a primary motivator so one can pledge that one will not argue on the goddamn Internet and then have to write an entire blog post on why doing so is a bad idea before one can peacefully fall asleep.  Now, 900 words later, I feel like I’ve acquired some of that mindfulness – and I can go to bed.  Goodnight world!  Tomorrow is another day of being nicer on the Internet.


Confessions of an Angry Lefty with a Big Mouth

This morning, upon exiting the B/D station at 53rd and Broadway, I almost ran right into a high school tour group wearing MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN shirts.

I almost walked away but then turned and asked the chaperones, “Hey, how’s that swamp draining going? You guys having fun with Manafort and Pruitt?”

They gave me what I assume were rehearsed careful blank looks, no doubt practiced in anticipation of their trip to NYC in what I’m sure they think are their “brave” T-shirts (Note: Trump supporters are not brave, they are bullies).

I shook my head, turned and left, impressed at their careful restraint or deliberate ignorance, I’m not sure which. Clearly they were not going to engage, and in that moment, I wondered why I had said anything at all.

Image result for corrupt cabinet

And this is the justification for electing Trump and his pay-to-play cabinet

After all, what can possibly be gained by reminding Trump supporters they were hoodwinked and are, well, wrong? If given the opportunity to heckle, I enjoy reminding Republican voters of Trump’s corrupt Cabinet picks and associates, since many claim the corrupt Democrat party was why they voted for Trump (instead of, y’know, xenophobia, racism and a desire to Put White People First). I am especially fond of harping on Pruitt since his environmental policy is horrifying and he is happily destroying America’s parks and environmental legacy for the same generation of teenagers that were wearing MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN shirts this morning.

The problem is that, although these people were putting their beliefs out there by wearing Trump T-shirts and hats IN THE MIDDLE OF NYC (#irresponsibleparenting) it doesn’t justify trying to pick a fight with them just because I’m furious that they voted this wannabe dictator into office.  Reminding them they were wrong in that they voted in a completely corrupt slate of Cabinet members that each make Hillary Clinton look like a corruption amateur also isn’t going to appropriately convey the consequences of their actions.

Perhaps I should just be reminding these sort of people that they’re responsible for bringing their own poison to rivers, as well as the financially motived shrinking of parks, or the downfall of the NPS or the plight of the Department of the Interior.  All people from “real” America need constant reminders of the corruption that threatens the most beautiful and precious aspects of the country they claim to hold so dear. In that moment, though, I had just come off the train, where I was reading the NYTimes and I was reflecting on the sheer audacity of this administration in the selection of an almost completely pay-to-play Cabinet, and that’s what I chose to heckle on.

Still, I ask myself, why say anything at all? It isn’t standing up for my beliefs to heckle people wearing Trump shirts in the street. It won’t change their minds or get them to see reason. It will only reinforce their worldview that all lefties are determined to project fault onto the Trump administration instead of on Hillary where it belongs (even though she lost, which is something I enjoy reminding every Trump supporter who does that childish whinging about Hillary being corrupt: she’s not in charge! your guy is! grow up and take responsibility!). Heckling isn’t about the person being heckled; it’s about the ego and issues of the heckler.  This was about me and my emotions and rage at the state of the country.  (Also about my raging period related hormones and four hours of sleep and constant leg pain but that’s still basically me and my emotions)

I also then asked myself, would I have said anything if I’d been in any sort of B-PSA or WAGGGS associated uniform? And the obvious answer is no. I would not have sought to try to shame people who are visiting NYC by reminding them they voted for a corrupt, power mad, dynasty seeking despot against their better judgement, probably because they are racist themselves at heart.  After all, how does that make me any different from any other public verbal attacker (like Aaron Schlossberg)? Other the the fact that transgression is only yelling at someone without provocation, and not being racist on top of it, it’s still not acceptable behavior.  It’s definitely not following the Guide/Scout laws of being kind or a friend to all, even if anyone wearing a Trump shirt in New York Freaking City is deliberately trolling 90% of the population (and the other 10% are the Aaron Schlossberg’s of the world)

My list of reasons for not wanting Trump in office extensive and go far beyond the corrupt Cabinet, too.  Trump has normalized and encouraged racism and hatred for his own voter base gain.  He is trying to gaslight an entire country into thinking CNN and the New York Times are “fake news”.  He uses the power of his own platform as POTUS to attack anyone who tries to mock him, which is trending dangerously towards suppression of free speech.  He has inadequate grasp of foreign policy that is leading to trade wars with my homeland; he refuses to admit to basic science which is causing a catastrophic environmental policy, and did I mention that he is willing to cave like a bitch to any bigot that brings a substantial enough voter base with them, resulting in executive branch endorsed hate and prejudice on the increase against anyone who is not a white cisgender person?  However, the corruption and the plights of the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture are, I think, the areas that would most resonate with people from a state where it’s acceptable to wear MAGA hats in public.  I don’t and wouldn’t know, because I’m a lefty, raised on union marches (Dad) and civil liberties (Mom), on workers rights and equal rights, and I cannot, for the life of me, understand how people who voted for Trump are still supporting him despite nothing he does being in their best interests.

So.  Today, I’m not proud of my behavior.  I was an overly angry lefty.  I reinforced the cliche of being a dogma driven left wing attacker.  The only consolation I have is that I’m sure someone is going to call those poor brainwashed high school kids “baby racists” today, and that’s much worse than me asking their chaperones if they drained the swamp yet.


I just jumped in on the Canadian political situation, and SRSLY? WTF?

WTF is WRONG with Stephen Harper, people? I don’t get why everyone seems to be such a big fan of this coalition idea. I KNOW he’s a Conservative, but when you get down to it, he’s basically an American Democrat. He’s not wasting everyone’s time with social conservatism like the Republicans do, which is why I hated them so much. Harper is a fiscal conservative, which means he runs Canada like a business. What is so horrible about this leader that Canada needs a fucking coup?

Look, I KNOW Harper’s record isn’t that great. I know that he’s been against same sex marriage in the past, but he’s not bringing that into the federal courts, is he? I know he was for Iraq, but he rescinded that when he realized the Bush administration was totally wrong to go in there. He’s against legalization of marijuana, but that’s totally overrided by his pro-decentralization stance: decentralization of power will allow the provinces to make decisions anyways. But he’s not trying to ban abortion, or promote bringing more church into the state, or anything like that. So what did I miss here that makes him so evil?

In fact, according to my sister (I admit, she did the research for me), Harper has placated the Quebecois by recognizing them as a nation, saving us all the time, energy and money that was going into that black hole of a schism. He’s been trying to beef up trade between Western Canada and non-America countries, like China. He’s been REDUCING THE DEFICIT, which, in Canada, is a small miracle. Harper once said that Canada is a second tier Western European welfare state, and it looks like he’s actually working to make Canada a REAL WORLD FINANCIAL POWER. Hell, he even displayed a set of real balls and claimed the Arctic oil. Go to hell, Russia!

So now there’s this coalition, and there’s arguments that a coalition government would be OMG SO AWESOME, and that the Conservatives have lost the faith of the people, and etc., etc. Well, here’s my opinion, which no one asked for, but I will volunteer anyways.

1. WTF are you people THINKING getting sidetracked with this stupid coalition garbage right now??? SRSLY! To me, it’s a horrible display of irresponsibility to set up a coalition that includes a separatist party, and then threaten the ruling government with it, AT A TIME WHEN WE’RE FACING THE BIGGEST CRISIS SINCE THE FUCKING DEPRESSION. If the coalition leaders were responsible adults, they’d focus on getting work done, instead of trying to grab Cabinet seats. In the States, we call it “bipartisan efforts”, and we suck at it. Canada should know better.

2. THE COALITION IS DISINTEGRATING ALREADY!! It doesn’t have a leader – Stephane Dion is stepping down! CBC said today that it can’t even hold together until January Why the hell would we want this coalition to rule the country?

3. The big economic stimulus plan is to bolster forestry and auto industries? I’m sorry – is it still 1985? Because this is 2008, Coalition members! Now, if they said that they were going to focus on making the auto industry produce hybrid cars that would actually sell, and on improving tree farming and conservation of forests, I’d buy it. I want specifics, not this vague, “oh, well, we might pump money into this sector or that sector”.

4. STOP YELLING YES WE CAN, DAMMIT! Good LORD. The Conservative party ARE NOT THE REPUBLICANS. They’re just fiscally conservative! To quote the Daily Show, socially, they’re the Gay Nader Fans for Peace! KNOCK IT OFF!

5. I did not vote for the Coalition. I am one of the voters that voted Conservative. I also voted assuming that, should the Conservatives lose the faith of the country, then a new election would be called so the people could decide on a new government. Nowhere in there did I agree that it was OK for a party who did NOT have the most seats, to effectively rule Canada. It’s never happened before at a federal level, and it’s doubtful it would be a real coalition. More likely it would be the Liberals. Who were voted out. In 2006. Stephane Dion LOST the election. It seems wrong to me to put him in without one. It’s TECHNICALLY democratic under the law, but it seems more like a bloodless coup. All smotherings.

Can someone PLEASE explain to me why this is happening?

if i were not a girl guide :: more musings on female image in modern america

My perceived image is that of a girl who is “more bad” than I actually am. Like the city of Los Angeles itself, I have done entirely too good a job creating an externalized image that doesn’t exactly match what you see from the inside. Since about November – when I shattered myself and started to rebuild – the pieces of me have come together in patterns that are more like who I am, instead of who I thought I needed to present myself as.
i thought i was a bad girl – but i’m just a girl guide at heart