Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

 As a society we seem to locked in some eternal fight we might never escape due to HOW we argue. Images from a Star Trek episode.

 I am guessing in most of the places this is posted/published the talk is all about Ukraine. While it may seem alien to the times were are in right now, let’s get to the core of all issues and how we argue. Why? Because it might help us get deeper into divisive issues, and understand why we have so much division.

By Ken Carman

 In an old Star Trek episode two characters are the same character; just from different realities, different dimensions. One is framed as mad, one sane. In today’s common rhetoric they could just as well have called the other mad, stupid, snowflakes: whatever.
 Being from different realities, different dimensions may seem so familiar these days. But hate today is not driven by multi dimensional madness, but by many things. But especially talking head shows that teach us how to frame, why we need to hate each other.
 I love to discuss politics, with respect. It was sort of a family sport. Classes during Nam in my first school system were filled with discussions. We even had a few days dedicated to all classes, in class, discussions regarding Nam: despite it being a hot button issue
Inspection I can’t imagine that even being possible today.
 I can imagine parents raising hell about it.
 I can imagine few being able to hold back emotions.
 I CAN imagine it might bring on another school shooting.
 So much has changed about HOW we argue issues. We DON’T argue. We frame. Another word for insult.
 A recent meme by a supposed Facebook “friend” has underlined, and put in bold, why it’s no longer about just disagreeing. The meme, combined with her sweet smiling picture, had the caption, “I love the taste of liberal tears.” So here is this sweet smiling person who loves to make people cry? instead of disagreeing, her mission is to torment those she disagrees with?
 What’s the next extreme people will go to? Seems to be the rule these days: go even more overboard, get more radical. Beat them? Kick their cats in front of them? Murdering someone they know if they won’t cry? When did acting like a rhetorical bully become so popular?
 Methinks she’s not a fan of those who disagree with them doing the same. They should have the right if she does. I have had several attempts to do this to me. Not as easy as they think. Yeah, I do have a tendency to blow back at those who think I’m an easy mark.
 Let me give you an example…
 One of my favorite places: Pensacola, has a homebrew club I was a member of for a while. We used to love going down for their Christmas party. But several times now, former, friend would pick that party as the appropriate time to start as loud political fight with me as they could. I’m sure with the intent was to embarrass me in public. (EPIC failure. I am as proud of my beliefs as he is of his.) The last time he tried this I just blew back at him, louder, more firm. At the end I started talking to him and he was obviously upset. (No, my intent was NOT to make him cry. My intent was simple: NO FREE HITS.)

 ”I thought you didn’t like me anymore.”

 NO ONE gets to rhetorically water board me? What kind of “friend” would do this? However, over the years, the more I thought of it, the more I realized no friend at all. I’m sure no one there wanted to hear this rather loud cat fight.
 I have no problem with disagreeing. I do have a problem with being intentionally set up, sabotaged, attempts to humiliate in public or places like Facebook. I have lost both a friend and a brother over this, but I remain firm: there are just some things others don’t get to do without them finding out NO FREE HITS, no deliberate sabotage, no kicks without kicks back.
 We are moving north in a few months. I will miss Pensacola.
 I do believe a lot of these problems come from our preferred way of dealing with politics and social issues. And how we insist on those opinions are more important than friends and family. Even strangers deserve more respect than some of us give them, and I find people tend to offer more respect to them.
𔁊I am equally sure this has to do with framing. We pretty much never discuss issues anymore, and hardly ever with respect.
 Framing least mimics what do: insult their targets; and sometimes outright is bullying. Example: if I tell someone I agree with that Trump or Biden is a moron, perhaps that’s just commiserating. Tell someone you disagree with they’re a moron for what they believe, or you want to make them cry, or… you’re being a jerk. And worse: if Hannity, or Michael Moore, or Rachel Maddow tells us the same, why should anyone care? These people are PAID to divide us, PAID to beat up on one side while appealing to one side. PAID to create hate where there may be little to none.
 ”You know what ___________ REALLY think/want/are up to” sho0uld raise hackles on every thinking person, because you KNOW what follows will be anything but an unbiased, non-self serving.
 We should be able to disagree without hate. But greed is more important.
 Remember I mentioned there might be more school shootings? (Work place, etc.) Back then these were an anomaly. Now sometimes there’s several a week. We are taking out our issues on each other, rather than respectfully disagreeing. Rather than understanding we too could be wrong.
 And why does the way it is these days remind me of that Star Trek “What of Lazarus,” episode? In the end of The Alternative Factor the two sides of two people; who otherwise have so much in common, are trapped together in a small room for the rest of eternity. Two alternate visions behind two locked doors. At each other’s throats; and more personal regions, for the rest of eternity.
 That’s where we are as a society.
 And I really don’t see us escaping in my lifetime.

          ;                           -30-

 Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for almost 50 years, first published in fall of 1972. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
©Copyright 2022
Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
all rights reserved

By Ken Carman

Retired entertainer, provider of educational services, columnist, homebrewer, collie lover, writer of songs, poetry and prose... humorist, mediocre motorcyclist, very bad carpenter, horrid handyman and quirky eccentric deluxe.

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