How I keep from going under

(You’ll have to excuse me–I was listening to an NPR bit on Grandmaster Flash.)

I’m a little frustrated lately. And I don’t make a good emotional debater. I learned this most coherently during my freshman year of college, when I tried (pretty unsuccessfully) to explain to one of my roommates and a mutual friend how I could possibly defend being a pacifist when the terrorists were all trying to kill us. Things mostly went downhill once the roommate explained she had a relative fighting in Iraq–this was one woman you did not keep arguing with once she was in tears. Regardless, I’m still a staunch pacifist (or, more precisely, someone who has yet to support my country’s reasons for being in a combat theater, although I firmly support my country’s soldiers and want them all home in one piece–my cousin was a reservist in Iraq, but he was lucky enough to be filling sandbags and taking pictures the whole time) even if I couldn’t eloquently explain it then.

Likewise, I’m still a staunch homosexual advocate (read: believes homosexuals can be moral beings, approves of equal rights and protections for homosexuals) even though I have difficulty elaborating on that to people whose rhetoric enrages me.

Luckily so far these people have all been fellow travelers on the intertubes, not, say, employers or family members or people on the street getting all up in my grill. I have a feeling I’d be even more incoherent and emotional in any of those instances, while there would simultaneously be much more at stake.

Regardless, here are a few of my least favorite arguments as of late (mostly summarized from Pandagon comments threads–I won’t link to them individually, but the site should be part of your daily reading, along with Feministe and Feministing):

1. It’s not homosexuals that are the problem–it’s homosexual acts. If the homos could just stop having sex, everything would be fine!

2. Homosexuality is immoral. I know this, because the Bible, compiled by a bunch of men during a historical period when the Jews were particularly persecuted and continuation of the race depended on procreation, says so. But don’t point out things like shellfish and shaving, because that’s just stupid.

3. I’m perfectly comfortable talking about how terrible homosexual sex in the military is, but for criminy’s sake, don’t mention military men raping women, because that’s totally not the issue. Oh, and it also doesn’t happen. But if the bitches can’t handle it, bitches shouldn’t be in the military.

I have to stop now. It’s just making me too mad.

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3 Responses to How I keep from going under

  1. alden says:

    why’re you even reading this crap? no, seriously- there will always be plenty of places to find anonymous wankers spouting off on teh intarweb. but what’s the point in reading it and getting annoyed? i speak as one who immersed oneself in plenty of stupidass forum debates back in the day, but there’s absolutely nothing to be gained from it. you’ve convinced me never to look at pandagon- who wants to read junk from a bunch of bigots?

    a question i find more interesting- what do you mean by ‘pacifist’? i only support two wars that the US has ever been involved in- had i been alive, i’d have enlisted to fight for independence from britain, or to smash the confederacy. i don’t think pacifism works beyond the real of abstract philosophy. violence is so pervasive in our society- i think that there are fights where there’s a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ side, and people have to line up with one or the other.

    but seriously. don’t let internet anonymous wankers get you down. it’s just noise and, in my experience, never actually terribly representative of opinion at large. the web really amplifies the dumbest and most obnoxious.

  2. pandanose says:

    Well, I was quoting a comments thread, so it’s really a handful of bigots rather than the bloggers themselves or even most of the Pandagon readers being wankers.

    I believe I defined ‘pacifist’ above- “more precisely, someone who has yet to support my country’s reasons for being in a combat theater.” I should’ve specified “while I’ve been alive,” I guess, since, yeah, not having a confederacy was a pretty good idea, and man I love me some untaxed tea. If you know a word that’s better shorthand for that, I’d love a suggestion.

    As for why it gets me upset- given that I read crap like this just about everywhere, including on the Crimson’s blog, where the people are just as anonymous but more likely to be people I could come into daily contact with, it’s still really really upsetting to have to confront the attitudes of people who think my very being is immoral and worthless.

  3. alden says:

    i don’t question why it upsets you. i mean- why waste your time on it? why spend time reading stuff from bigots? you know what they’re going to say, and you know that they aren’t going to respond to an argument, and you know it’ll be infuriating.

    i don’t know a better word that’s shorthand for your political description. but, i’d argue that ‘pacifist’ isn’t actually shorthand- it’s a specific set of ideas, which goes beyond opposition to US wars. so what i’m saying is, just go ahead and identify as ‘pinko freedom hater.’ that’s how i sign all my letters. and anonymous blog comments.

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