marshtide: (Mårran)
[personal profile] marshtide
In the middle of march my older cousin got married in Edinburgh. I made it there on crutches and dosed up on the strongest medication that the healthcare system can provide outside of a hospital, and I was glad I did, because the ceremony was lovely and I got to see some of my favourite family members (I don't have a close relationship with very many people in my family at all).

Only one less than wonderful thing happened, and I have a feeling that I should just be letting it go, but you guys, it just keeps playing back in my head.

I'm not very good at not getting angry.

We were sat on a table with some distant relatives of the groom's, i.e. no-one I'd ever met before, and my brother. We made small talk fairly successfully. They weren't that far away from us in age and viewed themselves as liberal, open-minded people - we had been placed thoughtfully, basically, and well away from any stuffy uncles who might feel the need to make loud jokes about lesbians once they'd had a drink or two.

But then, like idiots, we got into a conversation about politics.

(Cue the threatening music.)

Gay marriage went ok, although there was a fair amount of "people like you" going on.
We could all agree that European immigration politics are fucked.
But then! Then!

Then we talked about spending cuts.

Well, said the guy who was most politically interested, I don't think they're very bad. It'll be fine.

They mostly affect people who're already worse off, though, I pointed out (possibly less coherently than this, I admit). Women, immigrants, single parents, the disabled, the unemployed, people from working class backgrounds.

Oh, he said, but you shouldn't listen to the statistics on that, he said. They're so politicised.

The thing is, he said, people get used to having things. They get used to being entitled to benefits. They get entitled. That doesn't mean they are entitled to everything they want.

BUT, I said, and probably fortunately for all, we got cut off at that point by someone standing up to give a speech. The conversation was not resumed and no fight broke out in the middle of what was otherwise a lovely wedding.

But I keep thinking BUT, damn it.


Let's translate this position of his into the reality that people are dealing with.

It goes something like, The thing is, people get used to being able to eat. They get used to being entitled to a home and to not starving because they can't work. They get all entitled about it not being legal to treat them as less human than anyone else. That doesn't mean they have the right to actually be treated like people...


One day I will learn to just not engage.


I am vaguely hoping that now I have written this out I'll be able to stop thinking about it! WE'LL SEE. ;;

Date: 2011-05-01 01:09 pm (UTC)
laughingrat: Spock's phaser is his boomstick. (Boomstick)
From: [personal profile] laughingrat
"BUT, you're forgetting that in humane, liberal politics, we're all supposed to be working from the radical notion that marginalized people are human."

Yeah, you know, they say you win more people over with sweetness, but when folks say crap like that, they forget that boors like the one you encountered aren't interested in being won over. And they forget what it's like to be told "You don't actually have a right to exist." The idea that we're supposed to--while under such dire attack, from someone both bigoted and (probably) defensive about their bigotry--eloquently defend ourselves or others, while the opponent fights us every step of the way, most likely interrupting, browbeating, or using semantic trickery to avoid acknowledging the legitimacy of what we're saying...well, what are we, superheroes?

I'm all for doing whatever feels best and safest and most satisfying in those cases. Withdraw, hit them on the head with a vase, whatever. ;) But seriously...what were you supposed to DO, when presented with that response? It's so difficult.

Date: 2011-05-01 05:10 pm (UTC)
laughingrat: A detail of leaping rats from an original movie poster for the first film of Nosferatu (Default)
From: [personal profile] laughingrat
*nods* Sometimes it's hard to know which person is which, too. Or which is which today, but maybe tomorrow someone will say the thing that makes them stop and think...you never know. What if it's us, today? Oy, so tiring though.

Date: 2011-05-01 03:23 pm (UTC)
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] branchandroot
*winces* Oh man. Having to deal with that kind just makes you see red all day. *makes tea for you*

Date: 2011-05-01 03:44 pm (UTC)
februaryfour: (Default)
From: [personal profile] februaryfour
Dear lord. I don't even want to be anywhere near that man.

Date: 2011-05-01 11:13 pm (UTC)
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
From: [personal profile] silveradept
The easiest way to fix that problem is to have that person be one of "those people" for long enough that they can start hearing other people saying that about them.

Date: 2011-05-03 06:21 pm (UTC)
silveradept: A kodama with a trombone. The trombone is playing music, even though it is held in a rest position (Default)
From: [personal profile] silveradept
One does wish that, indeed, but many (at least here in the US) believe that they pay exorbitant amounts in taxation just to prop up "those people" and that "those people" are really just lazy sponges who have no interest in working or being productive. There seems to be no way of penetrating that fog to point out how much "those people" are working just to stay afloat, even with assistance.

Date: 2011-05-02 04:30 am (UTC)
shadowings: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowings
nooooo, engage engage engage! if you are emotionally up for it, of course.

idek, he's saying that people start feeling entitled? sir of the entitled group? gosh, that is seriously wack.

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