Thursday, December 29, 2016

Why I felt like I knew Carrie Fisher

I started off to make a video of personal reflections triggered by Carrie Fisher's death. Ended up making two. Neither one of them really said it, so I am probably going to post both of them eventually. I don't script these things at all, so sometimes I leave out the most important thing. But I don't treat Carrie Fisher's idea as a joke. 

People tend to cringe when they think of "crazy" people, casually writing them off as whack jobs, nutbars, etc. (Sorry, but this is what I hear every day of my life.) This conveniently makes them less than human, which reminds me of another human practice that used to be OK and even "good business": back when one human being could own another, and force their will upon their property.

A great many people were incredulous that anything could be wrong with that. It was simply an aspect of mainstream society. If you were kind to your slaves, after all. . . But even after their chattel were set free, they were vilified by nasty, denigrating names and physical segregation.

That doesn't happen any more. Does it? Can you think of another (large) group of people being referred to as things, such as "jobs", with no one objecting because the injustice is so invisible?

What? You mean there's a problem? Aren't those people sort of oblivious to what goes on anyway, so does it really matter what we say?

We all need a good cleansing, perhaps an enema, and then we need to begin again. The thought of "pride" in a crazy person seems pretty much unthinkable, but pride in a gay person used to be an aberration, and perhaps a sign of mental illness. We have come a long way, and yet, not far enough.

P. S. I use some language here, one word in particular, that might shock people. It's not used lightly. In fact, it is meant to demonstrate just how devastating it is for a human being to be casually vilified, verbally punished and denigrated. It's not meant to hurt anyone, that's not why I'm doing it. It's a parallel, an example. This is what it feels like. I want to shake people up with it. Wake them up. Because as it stands, it's not OK to call gay people by nasty names - it never should have been - but "whack job" slips casually out of people's mouths, and no one turns a hair.

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