Consider how textbooks treat Native religions as a unitary whole. The American Way describes Native American religion in these words: “These Native Americans [in the Southeast] believed that nature was filled with spirits. Each form of life, such as plants and animals, had a spirit. Earth and air held spirits too. People were never alone. They shared their lives with the spirits of nature.” Way is trying to show respect for Native American religion, but it doesn’t work. Stated flatly like this, the beliefs seem like make-believe, not the sophisticated theology of a higher civilization. Let us try a similarly succinct summary of the beliefs of many Christians today: “These Americans believed that one great male god ruled the world. Sometimes they divided him into three parts, which they called father, son, and holy ghost. They ate crackers and wine or grape juice, believing that they were eating the son’s body and drinking his blood. If they believed strongly enough, they would live on forever after they died.” Textbooks never describe Christianity this way. It’s offensive. Believers would immediately argue that such a depiction fails to convey the symbolic meaning or the spiritual satisfaction of communion.
Lies My Teacher Told Me, James Loewen (via whoistorule)
As a “Militant Atheist”, I find the brief description of Christianity just fine. It is simply too succinct to delve into the history and nuances of Christianity, and not all Christians regularly take the sacrament, but it is accurate.
"But Peter, that makes Christianity sound silly!" You say. Did I mention I am a militant atheist? I get that the description of Native American religion isn’t accurate. The description doubtlessly glosses over the nuances of their beliefs.
However, if we can suppress the white guilt for two seconds here, let’s not put any belief on a pedestal. Too often, I see self-styled SJW’s rail against the social construct of gender, and the social construct of race, only to defend the social construct of culture (only the culture of those they deem oppressed though). Culture is virtually by definition a social construct. It is a set of beliefs, ideas, traditions, practices, etc a group of people hold in common and teach to their children. It might be better described as the meta-construct from which all other social constructs stem.
Never forget that beliefs and ideas can and should be questioned and possibly refuted. By way of religion and culture, many (if not most or all) of the world’s injustices are sanctioned and maintained. I can think of no idea more toxic to social justice than cultural relativism, and yet I see countless social justice advocates embrace it (at least in a superficial and hypocritical way). Most likely, it is because they are terrified of criticizing other people’s culture. But this fear leads them to make excuses for things they would find appalling if it happened in their own culture. Thus, they betray their own values.
And another thing: Stop using history as the basis of ethical arguments as if it is the be-all, end-all factor! “We can’t criticize the (injustice/oppression) in (insert country) because (insert historical injustice perpetrated by Europeans)!” says the SJW that has drunk deep of the cultural relativism kool-aid. No, forcing your values and principles on others is wrong, but that’s not the same as standing for and advocating your values and principles. Oppression does not become Ok because it is happening in a formerly colonialized country. Religions and beliefs don’t magically become valid because it might hurt the feelings of people that have been historically oppressed by the white man to say that they are superstations (just like the things white people believe). Hell, maybe we can all find our common humanity in the universal human predilection for superstation.
And if you are going to excuse things on the basis that it is wrong to criticize people’s culture, then try applying that logic to western culture as well and see if it is even possible to be both a social justice advocate and a non-hypocritical cultural relativist. Sexism a problem in the US? Well, that’s just American culture! We don’t want to criticize someone’s culture, do we? Stupid frat boy wearing a culturally insensitive Halloween costume? Well, cultural chauvinism is just another deeply rooted part of American culture. You see where this is going?
Doubtlessly, people can criticize other people’s cultures in a way that is ethnocentric and culturally chauvinistic. This sort of behavior usually comes from people being too in love with their own cultures. There is no right kind of food to eat, or right kind of clothing to wear. Superficial differences like that do not make one culture better than another. Every society and culture has its flaws, and its injustices, and its beliefs that are just flat out wrong. Do not try to overcompensate for the ethnocentric attitudes of others by trying to flatter other cultures and tell them their shit can’t possibly stink because of all the bad things the white man did.
i identify with fight club a lot because i also like to express my nonconformity through traditional masculine violence and misogyny. it really goes against what society wants me to do. no wait
HA HA, this goes to my theory that Anti-Feminism is like Fight Club, except instead of men taking their frustration out on faceless corporate entities, they blame feminism for their problems instead.
Last week, I was hanging out with a couple of friends and I mentioned an electronic music artist that I had heard about in the context of “shows I would actually go to.” I don’t like shows any more (not a position- just can’t help it…social anxiety / burnt on rock clubs, etc.) but I saw this…
I agree. Especially the part about Derrida. Fuck Derrida!
But in all seriousness, and speaking of Derrida, not only do people do this with music/art/movies, but also with things like philosophy. Yes, I majored in philosophy. No, I do not want to have a conversation about (insert philosopher here) regardless of whether I have read them or not. No, I am not impressed that you have, and I probably don’t care what you think on the subject. submit it in the form of an essay rather than your vague and rambling thoughts and I might be interested.
- Men: Not ALL men.
- Men to their daughters: Yes, all men. Every single one of them.
YES. I’m tired of all of you pretentious assholes saying that I’m not “really reading” because I use a kindle.
Yes, you are reading.You are just reading a “lesser” form of book. Reading isn’t just reading the words on a page/screen, it’s smelling the book, new or old, it’s wearing the books spine out after rereading it for the X’th time, it’s leaving crease marks on a page you flipped too fast because you were that eager to get to the next page, and most of all, it’s losing yourself in a book to the point where the world around you no longer exists. And I, for one, cannot lose myself in an electronic screen. The words of a real book take on a depth that cannot ever be recreated on anything electronic. So you may be reading a book, but you will never truly experience a book unless you read it in a printed medium.
lol this pretentious bullshit. “The words of a real book take on a depth that cannot ever be recreated on anything electronic.” i mean really. anyway, the words of your reblog have no depth or meaning to me since i’m reading them in electronic form, but u tried it
"it’s losing yourself in a book to the point where the world around you no longer exists" - Gee, you mean losing yourself to the point where facts like the smell of paper And a trivial concern for the format no longer matter? Seems like you just contradicted yourself there. "lesser form of a book"?! Seriously?! That’s basically saying that your aesthetic preferences form the metric by which things should be judged. I believe that is the very definition of pretension.
PS. I probably own more books than you, and I love my tablet.
June 13, 2014
by Paul Blest
One of my favorite things to read on the Internet on a daily basis is the Self Defense Family Tumblr.
Awhile back, I posted something about elitism in the underground music scene. Someone (they know who the fuck they are ;) Got rather defensive about my bringing up cassette tapes. But I get it, I really do. A cassette tape will sell, and bands need money on the road.
To be clear, I am on the side of musicians out there playing shows and making music. None the less, there are politics to “scenes” that I have grown more loathsome of year by year. This article about fans not wanting to pay fair price for music and being entitled is a good example of the sort of self sabotage I have always disliked. Success is the enemy.
When I was a teenager, most scene people acted like there was a clear battle line between underground and mainstream. Those jokes about people who name drop bands you have never heard of to sound cool exist for a reason. The reason is that such people actually exist. I have met more then I ever cared to. “If it is popular, then I am not special for liking it” seems to be the mentality. And you see the echos of this anti-mainstream mentality in branding people that want to make a modest profit of their merch so they can have gas money as “following the corporate model”. They are trying to use half baked notions of ideology to screw over bands so they save a few dollars on an LP. Self serving and hypocritical. SUPPORT MUSIC YOU ENTITLED FUCKS!
(Side note: this is part of the reason I am not an anarchism. Most self-styled anarchists I have encountered are the last sort of people I would want to be in an anarchic society with. People can be self serving to the point of sabotaging others. Case in Point: See Article above)
Returning to the issue of the self-sabotaging (or should I say fan sabotaging) of underground music, people who do not understand that recording music and touring cost money and therefor complain about the price of shows and merch are not living in reality. They are living in their own self-serving fantasy land.
"But Peter! I saw this documentary on the internet about a resource economy where everything is free, so I think everything should be free. Only evil corporate scum make money!"
I have a rope, and a beam in my basement you can swing from. Your ideological vision of a utopia is not the reality we live in. Deal with it. Or go torrent the new Katie Perry album if you want free music. Don’t want to support Punk music? Then don’t complain when it withers and dies.
(PS: Quick ideology lesson - putting your own interests above others = basis of capitalism. Mutual support and solidarity = leftist [allegedly the values of punk rock]. As the article points out, these entitled fans are clearly on the side of capitalism, no matter what ideological smoke screens about ‘true punk’ they put up.)