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Enuf wth the “PC” Shit: No Shame! (1 of 2)

December 5, 2015

for 1. And for 2, let’s, everybody, let go of the whole “shame” game. We have a lot of disagreements, but we don’t have to feel ashamed about it, or make other people feel ashamed about it. And for sure, shaming should not be used, by anybody, as a Political Weapon, a PW.

It’s irresponsible and damaging. We’re all being hurt by that shit, and it’s hurting our country.

I’ve thought about PC on an earlier page (especially as related to racism and sexism), but the situation has gotten worse. It reminds me of the cartoon in which the “master” is talking to his best friend, who is canine, or in another variation, feline. In the guy’s bubble we read what he is saying (what he is trying, very sincerely, to communicate), and in the friend’s bubble we hear what he is hearing being said to him.  Two very different messages.

Okay now, dear friends on the Right, I’m not calling you canine or feline, and if you are a dog or a cat, you don’t have to feel ashamed of that.

In fact, let’s suppose that I’m the doggish one, the one on the Left. The point is that in order to live together well, to be friends who love our house and want it to be a peaceful, healthy, productive place to live, we have to be able to communicate effectively, especially about what we have in common, such as a tendency to be a bit doggish/catish and a bit masterish.

Well enuf of the analogy, which I’ve risked pushing beyond communication.

As friends, neighbors, fellow citizens, we have to acknowledge our common, ongoing, shifting imperfections, and take responsibility for helping each other rather than hurting each other.

But what’s wrong with shame? A lot! I know, because I used to be loaded with it, as a result of being shamed so much as a kid, told (lovingly) by one parent that I had to be perfect, and by the other parent (sort of lovingly, maybe) that I was a perpetual screw-up. The result: as a super-conscientious adult and parent I thought that a sense of shame was a major trait of a highly developed moral conscience. Immoral people did not have a sense of shame, an awareness of how shameful their behavior was—and they should get one!

(Interesting word, “shameless,” since it can mean both “not having a sense of shame, and thus being shameful but not realizing it and doing something about it,” and “without shame, innocent`.” Confusing. Exactly, that’s the trap, the poison is in the meat.)

Ah, but I got help working my way out from under that oppression. My sense of it now is that, in the depths of its twisted heart, the “shame on you” (in one bubble) is heard (in the other bubble) as “you are without worth, you have no justification, you should not exist.” “Stifle yourself!” as Archie used to say to Edith, with that wonderful “Oh Edith, not again, what in the hell is the matter with you” look on his face, and righteous tone in his voice.   Oh, Edith, go away, why don’t you.

(And yes, in those childhood moments, the message I heard was, “you should not exist, or maybe you can impossibly justify your existence”—and btw both of my parents had been told that by one or both of their parents.)

So, for instance, some of our fellow citizens and neighbors feel that they are being told that they should not exist, they have no justification, that they should stifle themselves, because of a deep and indelible flaw of their being, at their roots, by dint of origin (indigenous, African, Jewish, Mexican), or by parenting and/or choice (Muslim, agnostic, liberal, or conservative).

I’m way out on the Left. If I suggest that we (all of us) not use such and such word, for instance, my friends on the Right hear me telling them to either perfect themselves or stifle themselves; they feel under attack from the Left, by holier-than-thou, naïve, power-hungry hypocrites like me; and politicians on the Right have counterattacked by claiming that my admonishments, my suggestions for better living, are actually a politically motivated shaming device.

This situation is poisonous, and on page 2 of this episode I’ll try to think about what we can do about it.

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