Letter to the Editor: It’s absurd

It’s absurd
I’ve been feeling low, rundown. Tired and, I’ll say it, hopeless. Maybe it’s SAD. “Let’s go Brandon?” Super. Might have something to do with all those go-nowhere conversations with folks on the Right, who are incapable of respecting anyone’s beliefs or opinion except their own. Their eternal condescension, if not contempt. The ever-present bad vibes and tension. The automatic and blanket dismissal of any fact, science, or reporting they don’t like. As they hold up as indisputable any information they do like, and claim the highest morals in everything they do or believe, regardless of their actions, no matter what low-morals position they support. As if their double standard is God-given. Signed, sealed, and delivered express-direct to Right-wing America. The rule, the polite agreement, to not talk politics in social situations which most people used to respect, the Right bypasses. Feeling free to insert their opinions into every other sentence, like it’s accepted undisputed fact. Then, as Don Imus, a genuine New York City cowboy, frequently said on air, they make a big “poopy-baby” stink if you so much as whisper a different point of view. Like you’ve been seduced by commies, Satan or Antifa, and that makes them “right, right, right” down to every last infinitesimal point.

 

It’s absurd.

It’s disturbing, a disappointment, and depressing to talk with the Right-wing these days. It feels less like ideas, issues, or a political position than combating unreasonable and ever-shifting aggression. Even with those in my own family who lean, or are solidly entrenched Right. By “talk with,” what I mean is: “Let’s find a way to respect, even appreciate, one another’s different views.” “Let’s strive to give and take a little.” Let’s acknowledge we are all influenced by partisan and false or biased media.” “Some facts can’t be disputed, though no one is correct all of the time. There’s not one exclusively valid viewpoint on every subject that excludes all other viewpoints.” “Not everything in life should be viewed from a politically partisan lens,” etcetera. You are always, however, up against that rigid double standard. That rule where Republicans get to be hyper-sensitive and reject everything you say, and you get to put up with insults, total dismissal and are expected to kindly accept disdain and animosity from them. Often delivered with phony cheerfulness or happy talk. Like it’s nice of them to put you down, but it’s they who are under attack.

Don Imus had grit and finesse, for a loud-mouth Right-wing shock jock. I was a fan. Before and after his fall from grace. There was a man who knew how to have his opinion, respect others and their’s, who was willing to learn something once and while, and admit, with style, when he was wrong.

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So far, the only method I’ve found to “work it out” is if I’m more agreeable than they are and willing to concede things while they concede nothing. Usually, they offer up some trash talk too, that they find amusing. Like that’s cute, or otherwise awesome of them. What I remember learning back in Sunday school is now “woke” and talking about it is “cancel culture,” which makes me a bad person. Nasty, exclusive, judgmental talk is the new Christian. Or the new “intellectual,” or “enlightened,” or whatever you want to call it, and nowadays, that’s what’s “fair.”.

It’s absurd.

The Covid mantra this year? “Everybody’s going to get it. Nobody’s getting sick anyway.” You can’t say the word “Covid” without somebody saying that. Like they’re the first person to come up with it. Well good. I know, I’m a jackass for wearing a mask instead of defiantly, smugly, going around everywhere maskless. Disregarding the WHO and CDC guidelines (and anyone’s request). I must be a Leftist extremist acting with political motives. It couldn’t be that I’m trying to avoid getting sick or spreading disease.

Let’s see, we’ve got “Let’s go Brandon,” talking points aplenty to make January 6th and white supremacy seem perfectly okay, the ongoing fiction that it was really Trump who won the election. We’ve got the notion that neither Trump nor his supporters had anything to do with the problems or deaths caused by the pandemic. That in fact, he and they handled it great. We’re told any botching is entirely Biden’s fault, which is a travesty that has far-reaching and disastrous consequences. Somehow, simultaneously, the pandemic is also no big deal. I can’t quite work that one out. As we know, the Right-wing gets to have everything all ways.

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Joe Rogan is a bit of a sacred cow, I know that, so I don’t think it matters, even to his mildest fan, when I say I like him if I criticize anything he ever says or does. You’ll decide I don’t get it. No, I haven’t listened to every podcast. I believe you, he’s not a Republican pundit. I’ve enjoyed Joe Rogan off and on for quite some time. Less, I admit, recently. You like his humor and clever discussions. That deems him never wrong? Is that it? You do know he’s been idiotic on Covid, right? This knee-jerk, white-boy defense of the soapbox he provided for white supremacists– it’s ugly, unhelpful, and wrong. “Just asking questions” is an illegitimate defense. Nobody’s bothering you and your freedom. It’s deliberate, entitled ignorance when white men can’t recognize and acknowledge that other people possess greater insight into their own lives and experience than they do. Joe Rogan, in his experience, thinks he understands “blackness” better than Eric Michael Dyson? Does he have deeper, blacker, tanner thoughts, or something?

It’s absurd.

Everyone’s gaga over Yellowstone on Netflix. Celebrating “real cowboys” and superior Right-wing rough and tumble values. Good thing they cue us with the music how we’re supposed to feel about obvious plot twists, lest we can’t figure it out for ourselves. Interesting how the characters are simple caricatures of good and evil with precisely metered-out and sparing doses of complexity sprinkled in, and how the show unabashedly panders to an amplified right-wing fantasy of simpler times where white folks have it all, every bell and whistle, and are the righteous bosses of everything. As they indulge themselves in copious weaponry, overkill, and vigilantism, and enforce their”justice” outside the bounds of the law. Neat trick, how when you’re “one of the good guys” you get to behave really badly and commit crimes. We enjoy it, admire them, and give them a pass.

Someone, no doubt, will point out that the premise of the show is that those nice/not nice white folks worry an awful lot about losing “their way of life.” Because they can’t afford to keep that ranch afloat another four years. Have you looked at the price of real estate in Montana? I reckon they’ll be just fine. Maybe they don’t all need a brand new truck to wreck every episode.

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I guess because the writers googled Bozeman and Missoula politics versus Great Falls and Billings politics and they figured out to blame everything bad that ever happened on California they’ve nailed the true spirit of Montana.

We love majestic scenery, ranches, and Native Americans living on the rez. We admire Native Americans and their understanding of the natural world, their skills we don’t possess, their spiritual traditions. Every white person secretly wishes they were Native American. Too bad we don’t appear to have a single clue. Heartwarming though, the bond of friendship forged on TV, between wealthy landowners who have it all and the wise and helpful native tribes of America.

While we pretend because the Sierra has had a really big, good snowstorm this winter, and we still do have some winter left to go, that going on about drought in California is a ridiculous waste of time and energy, something only obsessed and annoying Liberals do. Never mind Big Sur burning in January. Climate concerns are vastly exaggerated, says the all-knowing Right. The reality that every legitimate thinking person in the world agrees the Earth is in peril, aimed toward a certain and cataclysmic meltdown is obviously liberal claptrap and fake news.

It’s absurd and very, very sad.

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Helene Day

Graeagle