Examining ideas

Cee-lo has horrible ideas about rape.  He’s not alone in holding harmful, backward ideas regarding violence, sexuality, body autonomy, respect, or any other issue. Many of us hold beliefs that are unexamined, and would probably not withstand casual scrutiny. If our positions have never been exposed to critical fire, we do not know if they would hold up, or not sound psychotic coming out of someone else’s mouth (or typed as a comment on Youtube, where all evil festers).

Cee-lo’s comments were tweeted.  People carefully acculturate their online persona, and from a PR standpoint, this was an unfortunate misstep.  In the real world, however, this message is anti-woman, and attempts to excuse sexual assault.

Cee-lo (I’m not typing that again) probably didn’t have people in his corner to keep him grounded and talk this out. What other crappy ideas does he, or you, or I have? How would we refine and articulate them?

The internet has changed how we interact socially.  Much less courage is required to post something on social media than it would be to stand up in a bar or a library and proclaim the same thing, especially if the statement in meant to inflame or provoke. The internet serves as a proving ground where you can pick apart your ideas, and see which bounce back and which fall apart. The lack of accountability has fostered a large group of trashcanhanded tough guys. It would appear there are more living badasses now than since the age of the Vikings.

A friend asked my opinion of a facebook post. One of their friends posted something along the lines of “I gave a homeless person $20, and he said God bless you, and I wanted to take it back”.  In the comments below, he said “homeless people often have mental illness, so I guess it’s excusable”, then attributed belief to mental illness, and refused to apologize for offending people, because in his mind, they are stupid for having sentiments and emotions are not real.

And that’s legal.

 I’m glad the internet is still largely unregulated, and there’s room for wild ideas and outrageous free speech and unfettered free expression.

However, it’s dickish. Taking money from a homeless person because of what they believe happens after death is awful. Joking about is is no where near as awful as actually performing the same task, but still: dickish. What would it accomplish?  Teaching someone who has NOTHING that you will enforce class stratification if they make assumptions about a stranger’s cosmology?


Believe, unbelieve, or disbelieve however you want, but be civil. And if you ever try to take money from a homeless person, be prepared to defend yourself and your ideas and assert your right to free expression as you’re getting stomped out.

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