Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters
socratic

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Despite all my liberalism and my demands for understanding I still have prejudices. One of the strongest ones I have and one which causes me no end of embrassement is an anti-Arab prejudice. I don't think it comes out very much but it's very strong internally. I think it might be because I am of Jewish descent or just because I HATE HATE HATE the concept of terrorism. I find it idiotic and offensive, and for good or ill terrorism and Arabs are always linked in the media. I can interact with individual Arab people without incedent and I can even be friends with them, but deep down I habor this prejudice and I wish I didn't. Sometimes I'm glad I don't have any superhuman powers simply because if I did I don't know if I could trust myself to use them wisely.

I think everyone has their prejudices and the thing is that I'm not sure how much of a bad thing this is. I'm not a very tolerant person. I am not the bleeding heart type liberal who says "I find it offensive but I don't mind that they do it in the name of cultural diversity."

I do think religeon is the opiate of the masses.

I do think that poverty is usually at least partially the fault of the poor. Now I don't mean that some rural farmer in El Salvadore is to blame for being poor. That's the only life he's had an opportunity to lead and the only life he can probably imagine. But when whole countries are both democratic and corrupt, when poor people join the army and in doing so obey the orders of a corrupt regime whose fault is that? No one man has any real power if other people simply refuse to listen to him unless he's got a nuclear device or some such thing in his hands. Authority is not compelling unless there are people who are willing to act as agents of that authority. I follow the laws of George Bush only because I would want the followers of George Bush to follow the laws of whatever presidential candidate I support if he won the election.

That wasn't a fully formed thought but it basically breaks down to me thinking that complacency is a sin and one that is frequently punished.

I overrate intelligence as a virtue. For example I believe that screenwriters and directors should be paid more than athletes. I used to tell myself that this was because anyone could be a good screenwriter but only certain people could be great athletes. I know this is false. Some people are born with amazing muscle structures and metabolisms. Some are born with quicker brains. It's true that genetics probably has more influence on athletics than it does on writing ability, but the thing is that nurture isn't up to a child anymore than nature is. Just because Clarence got his running ability from his father's genes and Billy got his writing talent because his dad spent a lot of time challanging him intellectually when he was a little kid, it doesn't mean one is more deserving of their talent then the other. (this is a vast oversimplification of things, but it serves the purpose no?). It just so happens that my genetics are not predesposed towards professional athletics while my mind MAY be predesposed towards writing or some other academic pursuit. Because of this I praise the one over the other without thinking through the consequences. Stupid people aren't neccesarily to blame for being stupid more than ugly people are for being ugly. Lazy is one thing but stupid is not always a person's fault. Despite the rather logical argument here I still FEEL (not NECCESARILY think) that smart is better than beautiful. Maybe I'm not much of either then....eh?

I worry constantly about losing my intelligence or abilities. It is an overiding fear in my life. I should admit that.

Today someone IMed me on AOL Imer and asked for a picture because "They wanted to see who they were talking to" I tore into them and when they didn't get my subtle insinuations that they should get lost I told them to go down to the nearest pre or special ed school and they could find someone on their level there. That was cruel. The person was stupid and rude but I shouldn't have pointed it out to them like that. I'm sorry whoever you are. Of course the big words in this journal will have prevented you from reading this far anyway so you'll never get the apology. Oh well

If you are a person of Arab descent and reading this then I'm not sorry. I am prejudice but at least I'm trying to get over it.
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