Things I hate

I hate litterbugs. I think they should be shot on sight, and I would include cigarette butt litterbugs. I can sympathize with an occasional murderer but there’s no excuse for littering.

I hate people who talk loudly and/or in public places on their cellphones. In fact, I hate cellphones. I just want to take them out of people’s hands and stomp on them.

I hate people who smoke in public, especially if they’re walking in front of me on the sidewalk. They’re killing themselves anyway, so why not euthanize them now—with a flamethrower?

I hate my country because we’re forever bombing the hell out of other countries and then pretending that we did it for their own good.

I hate it when people are so fat they waddle. It’s one thing to be a little overweight; it’s another to have a feedbag full of doughnuts hanging around your neck all day. I think we should send 300-pounders to Third World countries so that starving people will have something to eat.

I hate political correctness, which I define as legal or occupational coercion on the part of some people to force other people to conform to their definition of niceness.

I hate predictable—and often silly and redundant—phrases such as “at this point in time,” “he broke down in tears,” and “the merciless flood waters.”

I hate stores that don’t carry bulbs and batteries for the products they sell. I also hate stores that play loud music or try to sell me stuff over their PA.

I hate it that every fitted sheet now comes in a range of sizes—say 12” to 18”—because the only people whose beds look properly made up are people who have the largest size mattresses that the sheets will fit.

I hate it that every weakness has become a psychiatric disorder. No one is shy anymore; he has a social anxiety disorder. No one is a glutton; she has an eating disorder. No one is sexually impotent; he has an erectile dysfunction disorder. Clearly, the whole damn society is in immediate and desperate need of pharmaceuticals. I think we should follow the money if we want to understand such things.

I hate it when desperate people believe silly things in order to feel comforted, but instead of admitting to their desperation, they say they have “faith.”

I hate it that I can’t trust corporations, ever, about anything. For example, when Dawn Dishwashing Detergent made its bottles smaller, they wrote on the side that it was a “NEW AND IMPROVED SIZE,” so consumers would be fooled into thinking they were getting more for their money.

I hate legalese that is written in small print so people won’t know what they’re signing even if they’re able to read it.

I hate the word folks. When I grew up, folks was used by hillbillies to refer to their relatives. Then, George W. Bush (no surprise there) referred to Al Qaeda as folks, and now everyone uses it all the time.

I hate upspeak (the practice of unintentionally making declarative statements into questions by finishing them several notes higher than they started). A woman (and it IS always a woman) might have eleven hundred doctorates, but when she uses upspeak, I know she doesn’t have confidence in what she’s saying, so I don’t either.

I hate the word “survivor,” as in, “I’m a sexual abuse survivor,” because it’s invariably an excuse for being a perpetually angry twit.

I hate it when people let some “holy” book or person do their thinking for them. If the next pope declares that it’s god’s will that Catholics support stem cell research, then that’s what they’ll do. Or if a long lost chapter of Genesis is found in which “God” says that life came about as the result of evolution, then fundamentalist Christians will jump on that bandwagon. In the final analysis, “people of faith” value compassion, justice, reason, and evidence less than they value having someone tell them what to think.

I hate the word like when it’s used as a substitute for uh. “Like, me and him, like, we, like, got wasted, like, you know?”

I hate style changes in clothing. Speaking for men, at least, tie widths and shirt collars don’t change constantly because guys can’t make up their minds, but because people who sell clothes make more money that way.

I hate Texas because we’ve had three presidents from Texas during my lifetime (Johnson, Bush, and Bush), and they were all warmongers. What’s wrong with those people down there in the most Christian state in the Union?

I hate commercial television. What kind of a dimwit do you have to be to sit through one minute of intelligence insulting commercials for every two minutes of intelligence insulting programming? Even on those rare occasions when it’s a good program, doesn’t it have a desensitizing effect on your psyche to be suddenly and repeatedly yanked from scenes of rapes, murders, and autopsies only to be thrust into deodorant commercials?

I hate rich people because they either: (a) inherited their money from people who cheated others; or (b) cut out the middleman and cheated others themselves.

I hate college athletics because they’ve become more important than education. For every one person who knows how a university ranks scholastically, ten thousand know how its football team did.

I hate it when people join the military during one or another of our many wars without giving a lot of study and thought to whether they believe in the war. I’m truly sorry when they get killed, but I’m not going to pretend that they died “fighting for freedom,” because the truth is that they probably died for no better reason than that they were young and stupid.

I hate it that our planet is doomed because my species is too asinine to plan for the long-term. We’re like three year olds in that we have enough brains to get ourselves into deep shit, but we don’t have enough brains to see it coming or get ourselves out of it.

50 comments:

Crazed Nitwit said...

Thanks for minimizing my son's loyalty and patriotism to stupidity. You have a whole lot of hatred. It's kinda sad.

Elisabeth said...

That's some rant, Snow. Is there an alternative to all the things you hate, like a list of things you love?

Funny but the list of hates probably makes for much meatier reading.

Snowbrush said...

Nitwit said: "Thanks for minimizing my son's loyalty and patriotism to stupidity."

I didn't. I criticized people who unthinkingly support war (which would include most people most of the time). However, even if I had done as you charge, please note that I combined the word young WITH the word stupid, the combination being indicative of naiveté. Unfortunately, naivete often allows a person's efforts to be used for a bad end.

I would like to point out that I don't see patriotism as a virtue when it's applied (as it nearly always is) to the many young men and the few young women who are willing--if not eager--to travel to faraway lands and kill people for no better reason than that their president wants them to. When you look back at the many wars we've fought, and the millions upon millions of people whom we've killed as well as the millions of our own people who have been killed, which of those wars would you consider worth dying for, and why do you see the current wars in such a way? I would suggest to you that it really doesn't take a lot of study to realize that we invariably choose war either for trivial reasons, or for greed, or because we put little effort into other possibilities. As to the current wars, I think of them as--like pretty much all the rest--a horrendous evil and an incalculable tragedy. I see literally NO good that has come from them. If anything, we are less safe--and a damn sight more broke--because of them, and then there are the hundreds of thousands of human beings and the millions of other creatures who have been killed or maimed.

Elisabeth said: "Is there an alternative to all the things you hate, like a list of things you love?"

Are you asking if I hate everything? Ha. When I publish a downer post, I'm often criticized (at least by implication) because I didn't publish an upper post instead, or at least give equal time to the other side, and I'm always puzzled by that.

Elisabeth said...

I wasn't having a go at you, Snow.

I found this post intriguing, and not because it's a downer. I appreciate your honesty.

I suppose I was trying to say when I used the word 'meatier' that such a rant to me is in many ways a better and preferable piece of writing than a song of praise.

I am after all the one who studies life writing and the desire for revenge.

How better than to express our distress and rage than through writing. It's the best and safest way to do it as a rule. Words do not break bones, though they might hurt some people's feelings as your other commenter implies.

I also recognise having read more of your posts that this one only presents part of the picture.

You do not come across to me as an unbalanced hater. If you were I doubt I'd be reading your blog.

All the things you hate here make a great deal of sense to me, though I don't feel as antagonistic to all of them a you. And I cringed a tad at the litter comment when I remember in the past I might have contributed to the world's litter problem, in the form of dropped lolly wrappers and the like, though these days I try hard not to litter.

How easy it is to lose the nuances of meaning in our exchanges. Thanks, Snow.

Natalie said...

Well, at least you are finicky. I just hate everybody today.

Snowbrush said...

Elisabeth said: "How easy it is to lose the nuances of meaning in our exchanges."

I wasn't thinking about you necessarily since I didn't even know how you felt, but about my growing experience with people who don't respond to the issues I raise but to their perception that I shouldn't raise them. Ironically, perhaps, I'm far from being a person who doesn't care what others think, and I even worry about various people's reactions (such as Nitwit whom I knew to have a son in the army). Yet, I simply can't keep my mouth shut when I believe I have something that needs to be said, and I'm convinced that if I should start doing such a thing that I'll almost certainly give up writing altogether.

I often have no idea how other people will take what I write. I knew that a lot of the above could be taken hurtfully, yet I overstated much of it in a way that I found funny, and that I hoped other people--some other people, at least--would too.

You are right in all you said about what writing represents to people such as I--and you, I assume.

Natalie, I look to you for my role model in loving others, and now you say you hate everybody. Oh, well, another idol shot all to hell.

Zuzana said...

Wow, now I have to close my eyes, extend my hands in front of me, assume in a meditative position and perform a bit of chanting to get my positive karma back, hehe.;)
I have to admit this being such a refreshing post though. I do not hate everything that you, even though I can relate to lot of it - some of the things you mention do cause my irritation level to rise. I usually just let it pass me by without involving too much of my energy in it.
So do we get to read a post listing things you love as well? Just to balance it out a bit.;)
Have a great day, hopefully not filled with too much of the things you hate.;)
xoxo

The Tusk said...

First, I would like to state a pondering conjecture.

If one is known to be growing old. Why is that up to that point we are not simply known to be growing. Can we not refer to this act of Younger Growing as a referral to this act of growing up, as maturing. While growing older are we not still growing up and maturing, are we not still getting wiser. I think the term growing old should be banned similar to calling someone fat is frowned upon instead of reffering to them as obese. Which to me sounds more offensive then fat and as offensive as old.

Now if I were to say "Just Sayin", I think you might be offended at the cliche use of said term as you have pointed out some other cliche lines as you have termed predictable.

James Cannon. a great sports writer from the 1960's did a column called , "No one asked me but". I loved the column and his style of writing. Many times Snow I see a shimmer of his genius in your writing.

I must ask, did you admire George Plimpton and or William Safire for what they believed in and or wrote about.

General Shot overhead the camp, not a flare, warning blast.

Myrna R. said...

I think I "get you", and I hope you never stop writing your truths. Your perpective on joining the military actually made me think about my own opinions and modify them. That's your point right...to make us think?

Skepticat said...

So, like, at this point in time, I was walking down the street in Texas with my friend Michelle. And we were, like, chain smoking and talking on our cell phones and going to the recruiter's office and I dropped my big box of Krispy Kremes so I just left them there all over the sidewalk. Michelle broke down in tears so we popped into McDonald's (she has an eating disorder, like ok?). We ordered the NEW AND IMPROVED Happy Meal but we had to sign like a 3 page disclaimer to get it. Michelle paid for it because her dad is like super rich. He made his millions winning the Super Bowl or something. So anyway, like, I was going to do my Sunday School reading from my iPod while we were in line but then I came up on this blog instead. When I read about how much you hate folks, I just, like, cried for hours right there in McD's, right in front of the customer care specialists.

So I guess now I'm, like, a Snowbrush survivor or something. Great job making me feel like crap!

Hehe, love the blog :)

ellen abbott said...

I'm so with you on the litterbugs. When I am with a group of people and I see one of them throw down a cigarette butt I always all them down on it.

And the cell phones but for me, it's when I see people driving and talking. Or the ones who are engaged in a conversation face to face and break it off for the more important cell phone call. Or when I'm talking to someone on the phone and they get another call beeping in and dismiss me for the new call. If another call beeps in on my phone I just let it go to voice mail and when I am through talking to the person I am talking to, then I check to other call. It's only the polite thing to do.

With you on this country's warmongering (and my son served too).

Political correctness is the death of humor.

Oh, and the whole psychiatric disorder thing. Yes! The range of what is considered 'normal' behavior has been narrowing for years. I blame it on teachers who don't want to deal with behavior in their classrooms. Medicate the kids instead and call it a disorder. Pretty soon we will all have to be stepford people to be normal. And why is shy a disorder and gregariousness not? At least not yet, I'm sure they'll get around to it.

Oh well. I'm a Texan. All I can say is we have always been bad asses. Back in the wild west, nobody wanted to mess with Texans, didn't want them in their towns. that's where all the bad boys and girls went to escape the law. Why it's the most christian state though is a mystery to me.

And I don't think our planet is doomed. the planet will survive. We, however, will not. We will make the planet uninhabitable for ourselves and then die off. that is if we don't kill everybody first.

and last, I came across this the other day and thought of you Snow. I don't know how to make it a link in my comment so here's the address. Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers with 'Atheists Don't Have No songs'. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADNesm6F27U

ellen abbott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
OneOldGoat said...

I read your posts quite often. I like the fact that you have the balls to post what you hate.

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Well said. I've been on the new & improved packaging bandwagon for years. I was shocked the other day when I went to buy sugar and could only find 4# bags!

Natalie said...

It's okay, Snow. I love everybody again today. Yesterday, somebody must have let all the assholes out of hell, and they came to hang out with me for the day.
Never was i in a fouler mood than yesterday, and that is saying something.
Pain and hopelessness can easily turn itself into hatred. It has to go somewhere right? I am not nullifying what you feel, (I agree with almost all of it AT TIMES, but certainly not everyday. It is most likely that I lash out when I am in pain.
I am still a good guy, just human.

Mad Mind said...

Because I MUST throw sarcasm in.....Does someone need a "happy pill"?

Ok enough of that. I think I understand each and every one of these. Because at one time or another, I have had the exact same feelings. For me it comes down to one phrase..."No excuses". We are constantly bombarded with reasons why we feel the way we do or act the way we act. Quite frankly, I'm tired of it.

Common sense should be what we all strive to use in our every day lives. Think of how many of your "hates" that would cure. Two simple words.

tattytiara said...

Do we get to hear about the things you love next?

The Depressed Reader said...

@The Tusk

I think banning "growing old" would be political correctness gone mad. When you euphemize, I think you euthanize language. We get old and we die, and we need to deal with that. George Carlin used to do a great job of mocking this trend in language, before he got old and died.

Sorry, I mean before he matured to became 71 years young and then became living impaired.

Crazed Nitwit said...

Politically we're in agreement when it come to war. However I beg to differ on your views of patriotism. I have major issues with my son choosing the army, especially as he will be sent to a battlefield somewhere. I cannot find fault with his reasons (which may be naive but he is a compassionate young man and believes he'll be helping to fight evil) for joining the military and I know he will be forever changed when/if he's forced to take another's life.

I think you simplify the motives of military personnel. Hey some of them do just want to go and fight, I do believe the majority of our soldiers are people of honor, loyalty, and believe they are fighting for our freedoms.

I guess we'll disagree on this issue.

River said...

You've hit several nails smack on the head in this one. I agree with quite a few. Litterbugs in general annoy me, chewing gum litterbugs really piss me off. Drop it in a bin for heaven's sake! Or for my sake.

yoborobo said...

I like that you are not afraid to say exactly how you feel. You always make me think, Snow. :) (Do you hate smiley faces at the end of sentences? I do, and yet, here I am using one.)

dana said...

I hate non-smokers who will SEARCH ME OUT: walk up to me as I'm smoking in the alley, behind the dumpster and make a big deal out of the fact I'm smoking in THEIR airspace. So I have to answer: "So..go away or stop breathing."

I hate people who TURN AROUND IN THEIR CHAIRS to look at "that woman! She's giving herself a SHOT!"

I'm diabetic: I'm sitting out of their line of sight, and THEY tell ME to "go to the bathroom to do that". Yeah. It happens.

I think there should be a special check out in grocery stores designated for COUPON customers.

I hate 300 pound people with six kids and all the Aunts from their family, who pull up in a parking spot, two inches from my car, and climb out while swinging their doors into my car. There's ALWAYS other spaces, wide open.

I hate going to a restaurant for a restful meal, and the waitress heads for my table, the size of a peanut, next to a huge table full of six little ones, because it's KIDS EAT FREE NIGHT. I raised mine. I want peace. I don't want to be entertained by kids who are FREE RANGERS. I always request another table.

Regarding "upspeak". A woman (and it IS always a woman) might have eleven hundred doctorates...

It reminds me of my favorite quote:

"I can build a thousand bridges and be called a bridge builder...but suck ONE COC*... and I'm forever known as a ...."

Hey, I run on SOLAR POWER and - so far, this dark winter is getting to me. I assume you noticed. LOL

rhymeswithplague said...

I've been too busy on my own blog to read yours lately? So I'm, like, late to the party? But I'm back now? And I like what you say? Well, some of it?

I think the basic theory of war from the typical aggressor's point of view is to (a) wipe out the opposition and (b) accrue even more power, subjects, territory than it already had? Or from the other side's point of view, that it's better that SOME die than that ALL die if you and your country/family/grandmaw/grandpaw are the target of the other guy's hatred, not to mention guided missiles and ammunition? Kind of like how things are now? With the ones we aren't supposed to call terrorists or they might be offended even though they fit the profile to a T, even though there isn't supposed to be a profile?

Like, this style of thinking and writing is difficult to maintain for very long. I really feel sorry now for all the Valley Girls extant.

Things I love: Somewhere near the top of the list, right after my wife, my family, and a truckload of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, would be Snowbrush.

Lisa said...

Wow, I had forgotten how good it is to read a Snowbrush post.
I am back !

Lorraina said...

I can relate to all your hates Snow, i try to use the word dislike but hate is really what i feel sometimes too.

Other times i just get angry at silly things like when Nancy Grace asks a person a good question (rarely happens but when she does)the person could recite Mary had a little lamb and she'd accept that answer.
Also she and other newscasters who use the word "molested" when they know dam well the kid was raped.

And Jane Vallez Mitchell for asking good questions that the person dosn't have time to answer because it's commercial break in about 3 seconds.


And Americans who think they're free but they forget they can't go to Cuba to enjoy some of the nicest beaches in the world and they react as if those who do go are going illegally or something.

And i dislike Elizabeth for her littering and for what she admits littering with "lolly wrappers" I can't stand a person who minimizes littering by thinking it's only lolly wrappers and dosn't count.
WTF's a lolly anyway!? Learn the lingo of the land please.

And i think i'll make a post on my blog one of these days on the things i like.

Elisabeth said...

Suddenly I feel defensive and apologetic in response to Lorraina's comment, Snow.

In the relevant section I wrote: 'And I cringed a tad at the litter comment when I remember in the past I might have contributed to the world's litter problem, in the form of dropped lolly wrappers and the like, though these days I try hard not to litter.'

I was referring to days past in childhood, though that is a long time ago and I certainly did not intend to imply that such littering does not matter. Of course it matters, though little people as myself in the 1950-1960s might mess up sometimes.

As for the word 'lolly' it is typical in the Australian vernacular and refers to 'sweets' the word that the English in Britain use.

I'm not sure what the word fr 'lolly' is in America but I imagne it's also 'sweets'.

Funny isn't it? In a blog about the things you hate, Snow, I find myself having to defend my use of language.

No English speaking nation has a monopoly on terminology. That's one of the joys of the blogosphere - we encounter new ways of expressing ourselves all the time.

Sorry to cut across your blog, Snow but I felt the need to explain.

Robert the Skeptic said...

You left out people who throw cigarettes out the window because, I guess, the batteries are low on their ash tray? Worse yet, the ones who use their few seconds at the stop light to open their door and EMPTY their ash tray on the street! If there ever was an endorsement of what morons smokers are, THAT would be it.

Laura said...

I "hate" a lot of things too. Not sure if the list has gotten longer or shorter since I've gotten older. :)
I loved this one...
"I hate it when desperate people believe silly things in order to feel comforted, but instead of admitting to their desperation, they say they have “faith.”"

Mmmm Hmmmm...
((Hugs))
Laura

Snowbrush said...

Robert said: "You left out people who throw cigarettes out the window..."

I didn't want to sound negative. It might have interfered with my Panglossian image.

The Depressed Reader said...

To add a pet hate of my own:
People who don't realize that the internet extends outside of North America, and that people outside of that area sometimes use words that North Americans are not familiar with.

Actually, lets make it two pet hates:
People who don't seem to realize that the internet has things commonly referred to as "search engines" which allow one to easily learn the meaning of words one did not already know. There is one called "google" which is just a little bit well known these days.

And while I'm on a roll I suppose I better make it three:
People who don't appreciate sarcasm.

Vigilante said...

I don't hate any human being. Just Republicans.

Natalie said...

Lollies, sweets and candy. How can three little words cause such division? You say tomayto, I say tomarto....It is still a bloody tomato.

Snowbrush said...

But, Natalie, as everyone here knows, English started in America and was later taken to England by the colonists when the Massachusetts' potato crop failed, only there was a storm on the way, and a great many words were either lost altogether or mixed up with other words. Many years after that, what was left of English in England was taken from there to Australia, only, alas, there was another storm at sea, and a great many more words were lost or confused. So, if you want to hear proper English in its philistine usage and spelling, you've got to check with I.

rhymeswithplague said...

Snow, I wonder how many people got your reference to Dr. Pangloss. I just want to say two things:

1. I did.
2. It's a good thing we live in the best of all possible worlds, because it's the only world we have and we're stuck with it.

Your friend,
Rhymes

kj said...

whoa! i'm almost afraid to comment, after my last protective reaction to your poor and loved cat.

i hate this and that too, snow, but i think your list is too damn long. and in some cases uses too broad a brush, in a baby and bathwater sort of way. i cannot explain myself further. :) i am too busy smoking and measuring my dishwasher liquid.

i kind of admire your honesty and directness here, but for some reason only kind of. i might be too much of an optimist tonight.


kj

Just_because_today said...

Oh Snow! "at this point in time..." I cannot argue with the things you hate...in fact, I hate them too.

Snowbrush said...

Rhymes said: "Things I love: Somewhere near the top of the list, right after my wife, my family, and a truckload of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, would be Snowbrush."

Why Rhymes, how sweet. You just don't know how much I appreciate that.

Lisa, I'm so glad you're back.

Lorraina said: "she and other newscasters who use the word "molested"

You know, you've got a good point there, but I never thought it. Yes, "molested" IS a euphemism! Wow!

Elisabeth said: "No English speaking nation has a monopoly on terminology."

Elisabeth! America has the most bombs. Having the most bombs means that our country is just the best country in the whole, whole world. Ergo, Americans have a monopoly on terminology.

Robert said: "Worse yet, the ones who use their few seconds at the stop light to open their door and EMPTY their ash tray on the street!"

Kinda makes you hope they lose their balance, fall out, and get hit by a passing truck.

Vigilante said: "I don't hate any human being. Just Republicans."

They make nice pets, though.KJ said: "i think your list is too damn long..."

Oh, KJ, I'm so sorry. I took the last five off for you. I hope that helps. JUST KIDDING.

Just_because said: ""at this point in time..." I cannot argue with the things you hate.."

Oh, you're a scream!

Rhymes, except for his support of dueling (which led to the practice continuing past the time it would have otherwise ended), I like Voltaire very well. Ah, but Montaigne--I just love that man.

Vigilante said: "I don't hate any human being. Just Republicans."

They make nice pets, though.

Snowbrush said...

Depressed said: "Sorry, I mean before he matured to became 71 years young and then became living impaired."

An alternately abled" cartoonist named John Callaway drew cartoons about disabled people, and like you, Carlin, and me despised euphemisms and political correctness. An important difference between the politically correct and Nazis is that the politically correct lack death camps, else a lot of us would be breaking rocks with sledge hammers about now.

Nitwit said: "I do believe the majority of our soldiers are people of honor, loyalty, and believe they are fighting for our freedoms."

I like to think you're right, but I also think that it's easier when you're young to trust that your leaders are doing the right thing, and this makes it possible for your idealism to be used for bad ends by people who have their own agendas and care little about what happens to you. Our brains don't even finish growing until we're in our twenties, which means that the bulk of our fighting forces are stuck between childhood and adulthood. It also bothers me greatly that most people who join the military come from relatively poor families. You'll never see Bush's girls or Obama's daughters sign-up.




Mad Mind said: "Does someone need a "happy pill"?"

YES! I'm fresh out, and I'm just sitting her waiting for the Percocet to kick in so I can go back to bed.

Yoborobo said: "Do you hate smiley faces at the end of sentences?"

No. I don't like them just one hell of a lot, now that you mention it, but I'm okay with them because if someone says, "Die in agony and rot in hell, atheist bastard," its sorta nice to see a smiley face at the end.

River, thank you.

Snowbrush said...

Gee, what's that big gap about in my last response? I guess the Percocet that I took to get back to sleep is starting to work.

Nitwit, I can't tell you how glad I am that you will still talk to me. I thought about your Army son when I posted this piece, and how you might react. As as result of our conversation, I went back and revised that part of the post a little. I've gotten to where I post a lot of pieces fairly soon after I write them, and this means that I'm correcting screw-ups for days. I probably should go back to waiting a week or two between writing and posting.

Dana and Skepticat, you guys need to talk about this giving yourself shots in a restaurant thing. Dana, I think I wrote to you that Skepticat had posted about that recently, and as a result of the ensuing conversation, I changed my mind on the subject.


Old Goat, thank you.

Yes, Hiker, funny how bags of everything keep getting smaller, yet the population keeps getting fatter!

Natalie said: "Yesterday, somebody must have let all the assholes out of hell, and they came to hang out with me for the day."

So, THAT'S why my day was so good yesterday! By the way, Natalie, I was kidding about idolizing you. I'm way past idolizing anybody. It's really a rotten thing to do to a person when you think about it.

Tatty said: "Do we get to hear about the things you love next?"

Of course, right now in fact. I love whiskers on kittens, warm woolen mittens, and brown paper packages tied up with strings. Let's see, what else...guess that about does it. Oh, I truly do love a great many of my readers, especially the ones who have hung in there despite their very great disagreements with much of what I write. You might say that they've come through the fire, yet they still care about me.

Snowbrush said...

Myrna said: "That's your point right...to make us think?"

Yes, but that goes both ways. I just know that I entertain viewpoints that are alien to many people, at least in any depth, and I do enjoy presenting them.

Ellen said: "I don't think our planet is doomed. the planet will survive."

But of course. We could never destroy all the life on earth, and it's comforting, to me anyway, to know that periods of great extinction are invariably followed by periods of amazing growth during which many new lifeforms evolve.

Zuzana said: "So do we get to read a post listing things you love as well?"

To repeat what I wrote to Tatty: I love whiskers on kittens, warm woolen mittens, and brown paper packages tied up with strings. Let's see, what else...guess that about does it. Oh, I truly do love a great many of my readers, especially the ones who have hung in there despite their very great disagreements with much of what I write. You might say that they've come through the fire, yet they still care about me.

Tusk said: "I must ask, did you admire George Plimpton and or William Safire for what they believed in and or wrote about."

I haven't read them. I've never subscribed to a newspaper, so I have little knowledge of columnists.

Tusk said: "While growing older are we not still growing up and maturing..."

One would hope. Of course, all those decades can also mean that we've also gotten stuck in grooves. And then there's the thing about losing brain cells. It's really true. I see myself and everyone I know who is my age being forgetful, saying the wrong word for what they're trying to communicate, etc.

Becky said...

Enjoyed your post today...
I totally agree with all but one of your 'hates!'

Stafford Ray said...

Shit man! This is the only blog I know where the comments are as informative and entertaining as the post! The trap in denouncing wars like Iraq is that so many of us have children there. We feel we must believe it is a just war or we might just go and shoot a President!

It makes me sick to watch the Generals/Presidents/Chaplains/ Priests mouthng platitudes at a flag draped coffin and then the parents are presented with a flag! A flag?
That is supposed to replace the child given birth to, loved and nurtured to almost adulthood? No, our leaders, yours and mine rush to try out new instruments of 'shock and awe' far too readily.
"Forward Defence" is an evil concept, well past its use by date.

Phoenix said...

Heh. Just read this post after stealing the idea and thought I'd take a peek after your "I love" post.

FYI - as a sexual abuse survivor, (which is how I refer to myself), I didn't use the word survivor until I stopped being angry. And I think "survivor" is a hell of a lot more empowered than "victim", and when people take back their power, it enables them to be less perpetually angry twits.

Just putting that out there...

Snowbrush said...

Stafford Ray said: "It makes me sick to watch the Generals/Presidents/Chaplains/ Priests mouthng platitudes at a flag draped coffin and then the parents are presented with a flag!"

Both of the presidents named Bush had children who declined (respectfully, I'm sure) to go to war, and who in their right mind has any thought that Obama's girls will serve? Rich men profit from war, but poor men die. Nowadays, a few poor women die too.

Phoenix, I've never known anyone to speak of themselves as sexual abuse victims, although I concluded that people who used the term survivor considered themselves victims. As you pointed out, you gave up the word after you gave up your anger. As long as you used the word, the experience(s) still maintained a hold over you. In a sense, you hadn't survived because your own memories perpetuated your victimization.

I was once heavily involved in peer counseling, and most of the sexual abuse "survivors I counseled with were women who had considerable anger and mistrust toward men which they explained in terms of having been raped or molested, usually by one man, and often decades ago. Clearly, for them at least, the word survivor was simply a code word for victim.

I will also mention that we have all survived many kinds of traumas, yet most of us don't identify ourselves on the basis of them. So, when someone regularly uses the word survivor, I take it to imply that they believe that their own traumas were so horrific that they deserve special recognition as well as an extra measure of tolerance and compassion.

Please understand that I don't mean to dismiss anyone's trauma. It's simply that I see such terminology as a way of holding onto pain rather than moving beyond it.

Phoenix said...

Thanks for explaining, Snowbrush. I majored in theater and I was in counseling for a while, so there was plenty of victimization to go around, and I too got sad at seeing how many people used the word "survivor" as a placeholder for "victim," and used both words as a way to justify their behavior in the present based on what had happened in the past, as if they were entitled.

The problem is there's no other empowering word that really sums up overcoming a past experience and no longer letting it have influence over us, so we default to "survivor" - unless you can suggest a really cool word to use instead, in which case I will totally steal it. :)

Snowbrush said...

As you said, once you got over your anger, you didn't need such a word. Like many words, it doesn't communicate anything meaningful in and of itself. For example, one person who, years ago, had a single skin cancer removed might truthfully call himself a cancer survivor. Yet, that person's experience of cancer is hardly in the same league as that of someone who has fought multiple life-threatening cancers for years. Being a sexual abuse survivor is the same way in that it can mean anything from being groped briefly one day by another child hardly older than oneself, or it can mean being brutally assaulted and beaten by multiple assailants, over a period of years as in the sex trade. Many terms are that way. For example, a "war veteran" can be someone who briefly transported supplies behind the lines, or it can be someone who fought his way through four years of WWII and was repeatedly wounded. What I'm getting at is that if a person needs a nonspecific word to privately connect herself or himself to a past experience, then it is hardly my place to object, but if the person is using a nonspecific word with the intention that others will, or at least should, think or act differently around him or her, he's being unrealistic.

Phoenix said...

"What I'm getting at is that if a person needs a nonspecific word to privately connect herself or himself to a past experience, then it is hardly my place to object, but if the person is using a nonspecific word with the intention that others will, or at least should, think or act differently around him or her, he's being unrealistic."

I think what I would say to address that specific part of your comment (since I generally agree with the rest) is that people who are "survivors", whether it's cancer, rape, sexual assault, war, or otherwise, usually refer to themselves as such because they have experienced trauma, and the fastest, easiest way to recover from trauma is to build a community with people who share similar experiences. Now, I'm not talking about what you experienced, which was a community where people just encouraged anger and victimization in each other.

I'm talking about people overcoming their past by connecting with others who have done so. So it's not private, per se, but it's also not publicized simply so that someone can be allotted special treatment by society or justify their bitterness. It's creating a community, and privately connecting oneself is all fine and good but does not accomplish the kind of healing that reaching out to others (again, in the spirit of gaining and giving support) does.

Elisabeth said...

I've been tuning into this conversation between you, Snow and Phoenix since it began and I've wanted to put in a bid in support of Phoenix's comment about herself as a survivor.

I see now I need not. In this latest comment, I think Phoenix explains the situation beautifully.

To call oneself a survivor is not simply to label oneself as a victim and to seek sympathy or a place in which to air ongoing bitterness, rather it's a way of acknowledging past trauma. It needs to be acknowledged, otherwise it goes underground with disastrous consequences.

Phoenix says it so well.

Snowbrush said...

I think it is nearly always true that fellow-sufferers receive better help from one another than from professionals, but then I should add that I'm not too keen on professionals. I also know from experience (my own and that of others) that, instead of being a remedy for maladaptive thoughts and behaviors, groups can sometimes make them worse and even increase their number. The trust that I once felt for professionals and peer groups did me far more harm than good, and while I don't take this to mean that such things are inherently bad, I now see that I was naive about them. Ultimately, we all have to save ourselves.

Phoenix said...

@ Elisabeth - great points. (and thanks for the back-up!)

Snowbrush - I couldn't agree more with your point that quite a few support groups can make things worse instead of better. I'm reading this fascinating book right now called "The Happiness Hypothesis" by Johnathan Haidt and there's an entire chapter on adversity and how we overcome it. The chapter points out that for people who have experienced trauma, it is incredibly helpful to form a community with others who have experienced similar experiences in order to move forward in life - HOWEVER, as you wisely pointed out, communities and groups that encourage venting, "getting it off your chest," ranting, revenge, etc do not help the healing process and more than likely make it worse.

For healing to happen, people need to turn to others, tell their stories, and make sense of it in a way that provokes healing and growth. It sounds like a lot of the groups you've encountered (and I have as well) focus more on the venting and anger rather than taking steps forward, re-building life, and finding viable solutions. It's such a delicate balance, but as you pointed out in your original post - if people look for reasons to justify their anger and victimization they will always find them.