Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Happiness Is a Warm Gun (Be Still and Know)

(I first wrote about 80% of this on 10-6-2018 but decided to revisit and finish it after the re-emergence of relevant concerns.) 

When I hold you in my arms (oh, yeah)
And I feel my finger on your trigger (oh, yeah)
I know nobody can do me no harm (oh, yeah)
Because, (happiness) is a warm gun, mama (bang bang shoot shoot)
Happiness is a warm gun, yes it is (bang bang shoot shoot)

~ John Lennon, Paul McCartney

This country does not have a "gun problem." It has a penis problem. We need to ask ourselves why so many men and boys have lost respect for themselves, girls, and life itself. While I am inherently skeptical about the validity of every claim of sexual harassment within the explosion we've seen in the last year or so, I recognize that there is something going on. Obviously, men like Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Bill Cosby, Bill Clinton, Jeffrey Epstein, and Andrew Cuomo are just a few of the horrible, nasty creeps who have been exploiting women and using their positions of power to get their jollies. But I suspect that plenty of the one-off accusations that the "me too" hashtag has incited could actually be explained as misunderstandings lacking any true malicious intent or just plain old bandwagoning. No, girls, a guy moving in for a kiss on the first date is not sexual assault. It moves into that dark territory when he won't take no for an answer. And it's not sexual harassment if a man notices and compliments a woman's appearance. We can't go around dressed for attention and then get angry when we get it. Men are confused. They see women who look like they want their bodies to be noticed and appreciated, but when they do notice they are scolded or worse. They want to flirt but if they do they risk being labelled as sexually aggressive. On the other hand, I have to wonder if there really is a growing number of men who just don't know how to behave. I tend to believe that yes, this is also an aspect of the problems we're having with sexual harassment and increased gun violence, especially in our young men, but I just don't know because what I see in my own life does not reflect any of that toxic masculinity that the media et al tell us is running rampant.  

The penis problem isn't just limited to the men. Apparently we women don't know much about them either. We don't seem to understand maleness at all. In this day of gender confusion we're moving into a dangerous mindset of emasculation - of believing that man-ness is bad, that maleness is inherently malevolent, that erasing masculinity will somehow erase all violence and sexual motivation. It's simply bullshit to try vilify the nature of one half of the human population. It's no wonder that boys prefer to immerse themselves into the virtual worlds of their hyper-realistic video games where they can interact with exaggerated, unrealistically idealized feminine characters without being rejected and labeled and where they can wield deadly weapons with no real consequences. We've forced their masculinity into the realms of fantasy and virtual reality. The penis envy of the early feminists has switched over to penis persecution. It's not that different from the way that men thousands of years ago took their envy of women's life-creating ability and switched it to be the source of all sin of the world. And now, the accused-and-therefore-guilty mindset of the anti-feminine witch hysteria days has swung into the accused-and-therefore-guilty mindset of the "me too" sexual assault hysteria where any man accused of sexual misconduct is automatically considered guilty and the only way he can prove his innocence is through a no-win "sink or swim" test (like the accused witches who were thrown into deep water and if they swam/floated they were guilty and executed but if they sank that proved their innocent but they are dead anyway). 

False accusations of sexual aggression/assault have become a weapon of the leftists who seem to hate white men more than any other group in the world. And it's not enough for the accusations to be recent and more easily investigated. They now are going back decades into a man's history to make accusations that even the accusers can't truly remember enough to be adequately supported. Not only are they looking back 35+ years but also back into the teenage years when people aren't even considered legal adults. They are abandoning all aspects of our justice system which was designed to protect the rights of the accused because, and this is the really important part, throughout human history FALSE ACCUSATIONS HAVE BEEN USED TO HURT OTHERS! Yes, I'm yelling that because people forget history and don't want to hear it. There's even a many thousands-of-years-old Commandment against "bearing false witness" against your neighbor. This is and has been a thing that humans have had to deal with from the very beginning of our existence. So, no, it is not rational, logical, ethical, or legal to "believe the women" above all else. I hate to say it but this whole thing makes a lot of women look too stupid to be equal. Equality does not expect special treatment and does not expect exceptions to the rules. This applies to all people regardless of whatever special identities they have given themselves.  

This insanity has to stop. It is not helping our society or species to move forward. There are many aspects to the solution that we must consider. Most of the big problems with our society at this time stem from the mindset of identity politics in which each group of people chooses some trait upon which to base their entire identity and value. For some it's skin color, for some it's their sexual preference, for some it's gender completely separated from biological sex, for some it's religion or political belief. They make that one part of themselves the most important and expect everyone to know how to treat them accordingly. There are a lot of assumptions being made and being expected, and that is ripe for all kinds of misunderstanding. Those of us who have for half a century lived by the idea of judging people not by their skin color (or some other random trait) but by their character (how they act) are now being told that is our "white privilege" to be "color blind" or whatever other blind. In truth, the actual color blindness originated from rejecting looking at everything from a black or whatever-colored lens. It was a black man who taught us to be color blind, so you'd think they would understand that. But this isn't really about race or skin color. We are talking about an even more basic division of human existence. The problem of identity politics is just one part of it.

It is a scary time for young men. But really, it's scary for all of us because the rift between common sense and emotion-driven reaction has become almost unbridgeable. The increasing use of mob protest, personal harassment/intimidation, and threats of violence against anyone who does not agree with the leftist malcontents is only increasing the possibility mass casualties. What can we do to address the problems our males seem to have with getting through life and navigating this messed-up society? Other than defeating the irrational forces that only want to punish males for being male, we must find ways to teach our boys (and girls) how to deal with the stresses of living in a world where conflict is the first response to everything. We need to try to get everyone to keep their fingers off of the metaphorical triggers.

Back when I was in middle school in the early 1980s everyone took hunters' safety classes in which we learned the proper handling of firearms and the rules for safe hunting and sport shooting. We all learned the biggest basics that 1) you never point a gun at a person, 2) you never store a gun loaded, 3) you should always assume a gun is loaded when you handle it (because some people don't follow rule #2). That isn't everything but they are the most basic rules. Nowadays people refuse to learn anything about guns and choose to pretend that ignorance is going to keep them safe. Even worse, they believe that it is possible to make enough laws to eliminate guns and/or gun violence. That will never work. Once people have a right it is immoral and actually impossible to take it away. Instead, we must be more proactive in educating and promoting safe and responsible gun ownership and handling. Instead of prohibitions, we could look at liability insurance much like with vehicles. Of course, people still drive without proper insurance but that is not an argument against insurance itself. This is just one idea.

We need to hold our entertainment industries more accountable for the influences they have on our children. The musicians glorifying violence and disrespect against women and law enforcement need to be held as accountable for their part of "me too" and other social unrest as much as the "young white men" who listen to it. The video game industry that creates hyper-realistic violent games needs to be held accountable for their influence on young people. Sure, free speech allows them to create whatever they want to create, but if we are going to start using decades ago high school antics for reasons to condemn people today, then it's only fair to look at current entertainment to blame for once and future violations of law. I'm not calling for any bans or censorship but for these industries to do a lot more to reinforce the differences between fantasy and reality and encourage/teach kids how to deal with the real world with technology instead of escaping it through technology. All of the Hollywood actors who bemoan the evils of gun violence and sexual aggression need to look at their own products and take responsibility for their own contributions to these problems. Free speech rights require just as much self-control and responsibility as gun rights do. Free speech does not mean that people can say anything without consequences. They love to tell that to conservatives who say "offensive" things but they sure don't want to apply that to themselves. They are the problem.

We need to return to the basic teachings of the original laws such as the Ten Commandments. Now, of course I'm not saying we have to force Christianity on everyone. Don't be stupid. I'm saying that these basic laws were established a very long time ago to address basic human problems. There is nothing particularly religious about laws against murder, stealing, and lying. It's just good interpersonal relations to avoid adultery and coveting of your neighbors' stuff. Those things often lead to the other, "bigger" crimes. The parts about honoring God and having a holy day can easily be thought of as the psychological need to have something to live for and to take time to rest and honor what we have. Whether it is some God or life itself, we humans function best when we hold something sacred and take time to appreciate it. In all of these thousands of years these laws have helped us establish a civilization. While no human endeavors have been free of conflict and problems having these basic rules have helped us advance as far was we have. You'd think that all those intellectuals who think they are so much smarter than the rest of us would actually recognize that this world and everything in it moves in accordance with a knowable set of natural laws. Is it really so hard to observe that emotional actions/reactions operate in the same ways as a ball being kicked or a gun being fired?

Beyond reinforcing the basic laws and the psychosocial issues they address, we need to look at new approaches to treating mental issues and increase mental health treatment options. As our society has technologically advanced it has lagged in its treatment of those who struggle with mental illness. The deinstitutionalization of the last half century has not well-served the needs of our communities. The reaction of closing all the mental hospitals because of the problems inside them only moved the problems. Now our communities are not equipped to handle the worst mental illness because there is nowhere for those who are just unable to function. Our prisons have become overcrowded with those whose mental illnesses have been untreated to the point of their becoming dangerous, but prison is not designed nor equipped for those whose minds don't grasp reality. And the other approach of normalizing mental illnesses, like gender dysphoria, is not going to end well either.

I am a full-fledged, real-life capitalist and believe the free market is truly the only fair and sustainable economy, but with all that freedom there is an equal need for responsibility. Ideally, industries would self-regulate and act fairly on their own but bad people, bad ideas, and bad actions will always exist in some portion. We need to hold the pharmaceutical industry more responsible for the drugs it pushes on kids and families and everyone else. The drug problems are no longer limited to illegal drugs. The opioid epidemic is directly related to the overprescribing of opioid painkillers. We must educate our physicians on alternative pain relief therapies. We must educate everyone that there is no magic pill that fixes everything. So much of the advertising on TV is pushing some pill or other that promises to cure all of our problems, but the reality is that most of these medications have fairly marginal efficacy and come at a huge cost. Our healthcare philosophy over the last half century has been focused on pharmaceutical treatments, but we have only become sicker and less healthy. We need to incorporate a more holistic approach to health and healing. This is not a woo-woo hoo-doo idea. Many regions of the world have developed quite advanced alternative health treatments that are just as, if not more, effective as Western pharmaceuticals. Of course, I'm not suggesting eliminating pharmaceuticals. Do not misunderstand what I'm saying.

We have these wonderful, complex brains that create emotions in response to experiences. Sometimes these emotions are the experience. We might not fully understand all the processes, physiology, blah, blah, blah, about emotions but that doesn't mean we can't figure out how to process and experience them without making ourselves and everyone else crazy or acting in harmful ways. We must teach self-responsibility instead of blaming everything on race, sex, etc., because as humans we all share certain commonalities regardless of those traits. We all have to eat, poop, sleep, and so on, and having emotions is one of those basic human things. It's not in our best interest to try to medicate away our emotions, and it's not adaptable to fight them so much either. We have to learn and teach our children how to identify, process, evaluate, and express emotions without becoming crippled or overwhelmed by them. Happiness is pretty easy, and we all like that one. Anger isn't so popular but it won't go away by ignoring it and it isn't well-served to be overly indulged either. Sadness is another hard one but sometimes it just wants to be felt for a short time and let go. Anger and sadness are closely related and sometimes confused. Anger needs recognition but careful expression. Go find a shooting range or some other safe place to fire a gun and see how powerful that release of energy can help with expelling anger. Happiness is a warm gun indeed.

This whole blathering post is basically about anger - misplaced anger against males and penises and the "patriarchy" that supposedly oppresses anyone who isn't a straight white male. But let's be real and honest. Anyone who's ever worked in an office full of women can tell you that a matriarchy is no less brutal, oppressive than a patriarchy. Desire to control, manipulate, exploit others is not testosterone dependent. I don't know where it comes from exactly, but I am certain that it is as prevalent in females as males or any of the other 37 or whatever number of genders they want to create. And I'm just saying be ready when the much maligned straight white males finally find their metaphorical happiness guns and start making a lot of noise. There is always backlash...

I'll wind this down here by offering some "spiritual" advice in addition to the warm gun therapy. Be still and know. What I mean by that is not "do nothing at all." I mean stop a moment to observe and evaluate all the moving parts (including emotions) and other conditions, consider how all of it might move in accordance with the basic laws of nature, and then know what action to take if any (and to find the most efficient path). This is also a somewhat zen-like advice. I might be perverting a lot of things here but it is what it is. If it causes anyone anger then that's their problem and not mine. I don't hate men, penises, women, vaginas, guns, emotions, laws of nature, fat people, or anything else (except cruelty/meanness). I might be just another ordinary complete fucking idiot but at least I have a warm gun. ;-)

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