Us Vs Them: The Human Condition

US VS THEM: THE HUMAN CONDITION

Racism. A rightfully hateful word. It’s full of rage and disgust and the judgement that whatever is different is bad. Or if it’s not bad, it at least is predisposed to certain proclivities that can’t be ignored. For most people, racism as a term implies the eternal struggle between black and white (any sort of prejudice towards foreign entities tends to be more in the “xenophobic” category in most minds. Unless you’re African). It is filled to the brim with assumptions of character, class, wealth, identity, and mannerisms. It doesn’t care if it’s accurate, only that the wielder is secure in their own mind about what’s right and what’s wrong.

     Unfortunately, we don’t get racism without stereotypes. And stereotypes exist because of certain truths we’re all familiar with. Yet those truths come from over generalization based on a limited interaction with select individuals. Which of course colorizes perspectives and leads to general prejudices for which we’re all guilty.

     Let’s look at a prime example that I think shines a bright light on my line of thought. This is an example that, regrettably, is all too prevalent in our society and serves as the driving force of confusion, fear, and ignorance.

     The example being, but of course, the perception of White Vs Black. These perceptions are a result of two different prognostications: All Black people are criminals. And all White people are racist.

     Out of these misunderstandings you get the Black Lives Matter movement and its counterpoint: All Lives Matter. Both are correct in their assertions but are driven by a disconcerting bias both wield like a lethal weapon, changing the type of discourse we as a nation need to be having.

     The Black Lives Matter movement was spearheaded as a response to police violence and brutality. It says that Black people shouldn’t be targeted for being Black and that officers need to be held to a higher level of accountability. A sentiment that is completely reasonable but that in and of itself has approached its methods like all police and White people are the enemy. At least, this is how the movement is perceived from those outside of it.

     With the All Lives Matter movement, we have a direct response to the Black Lives Matter movement (And from here we get campaigns like Blue Lives Matter and the ill-conceived suggestion of a White Lives Matter movement in the works. But we’ll focus on the umbrella thought of All Lives Matter). The line of reasoning here being that you can’t just focus on one set of people. Everyone is important and deserve the same rights and respect. Which, again, is a reasonable line of thought.

     The biggest problem with these movements is their unwillingness to see through each other’s eyes. There are officers out there who are racist and more accountability is never a bad thing (though for some reason some would argue against that notion and would rather assume that authority would never turn on them). Yet, those officers make up only a small percentage of the police force and the truth is just as many incidents of police shooting unarmed White people occurs yearly as well. Though the media doesn’t help here as sensationalism is the big draw and a certain narrative must be maintained.

     Just the same there are Black people out there who do commit crimes as well. It’s a reality but one based in selectivity. And certainly the police need to be able to respond to criminal behavior be it breaking and entering, theft, rioting, or murder. There is a truth to be found in the facts that there is a large portion of Black youth who are criminals and do threaten members of society.

     I can hear it now. “That was the most racist thing I’ve ever read!” And that’s part of the problem. If we, as a society, are unable to discuss race related incidents without shouting “that’s racist” there will never be a solution to our ails. You’ll note that I didn’t say all Black people are criminals. Didn’t even say all Black youth are criminals. And I didn’t even suggest that it was a majority of Black youth. And this is because I don’t believe it to be true.

     In fact based on the data I’ve seen crimes as a whole tend to gravitate towards certain pockets of society. And just because one pocket is of a certain color does not imply it’s indicative of an ethnicity as a whole.

     Statistics will show fairly accurately that most crime is committed in heavy population centers. And those statistics are pretty consistent percentage wise over the various ethnicities guilty of perpetrating said crimes. (I’m not going to bore you with those stats here but you can find them quite easily via government and FBI websites. This is more an opinion piece and my thoughts than a paper on these issues though I can provide those stats if it becomes necessary.)

     Regardless of ethnicity commented on: White, Black, Asian, Native, Latino, etc, the list goes on, the data pretty consistently points to poverty and convenience as the main motivations of crime and that is the same across the board. Afterall, law enforcement didn’t just spring up overnight because a certain ethnicity moved in. It’s been necessary since the dawn of civilization because wherever you find humans, you find crime.

     So if we all experience the same issues, and stereotypes are driven by interactions with individuals and small groups (gangs, rednecks, hate groups, rioters, or however else we perceive these outliers) then why do we, as a species, cling to this belief that certain other people are just no good? Why do we cling to the idea that all muslims are terrorists despite knowing those are isolated groups of militants who are often ostracized even in their own homelands? Why do we continue to  harbor the ill feeling that all Jews are covetous and greedy despite the knowledge not every Jewish person is an accountant or lawyer or even have an opinion in political affairs? Let alone know how to balance their own checkbooks? Why does the notion linger that all Black people love watermelon and fried chicken when we know for a fact that EVERYONE loves watermelon and fried chicken? Ok, that last one is not factual just a strong feeling because KFC is not kept open by just Black folk.

     But now that we’ve opened that can of worms, why is there a perception that KFC is for White folk while Church’s is a Black establishment? They are both popular. Both good. And both prove that Americans love chicken.

     The problem, unfortunately, is the most simple thing yet the most complex aspect of being human: Us Vs Them. Or, in the most simple term, tribalism. Our species has its origins in surviving the elements through family groupings. And anything that wasn’t our family was a threat. And this mentality still seems to hold sway over civilization to this day.

     “If it doesn’t look like me, it doesn’t sound like us, it’s a threat to our way of life.” And that’s the view the individual in society seems to adopt. Because it’s simple. It’s far simpler to hate someone for being different than it is to accept them for who they are.

     It’s far easier to come up with a muslim ban because the assumption is all muslims are going to kill us and enforce sharia law rather than look to the socio economic issues that have led to militancy worldwide and try to solve THAT problem.

     It’s easier to ignore the Black Lives Matter movement in favor of an All Lives Matter movement because there’s no way there could be endemic issues with American values that would lead to the impoverished and left behind getting into conflicts with law enforcement. Because clearly poor people are poor because they want to be, right? And their issues with the police are a result of their own impulsive behavior. And therefore they have no respect for law enforcement.

     It’s far simpler to build a wall dividing the US from Mexico over fears we’re being overrun by illegal immigrants, than to really look at the problem and figure out why so many are taking the life and death risks of crossing the Rio Grande looking for opportunities and safety that they can’t find back home.

     It’s easier to say that we’re a Christian nation that’s the best nation in the world and turn our backs on those who are suffering most and pretend we still have the moral highground when we’re sacrificing everything we hold most precious out of fear than it is to acknowledge that every religious perspective holds wisdom and gives people a sense of security.

     Because that’s how tribalism works.

     It cares about nobody else but our own. If you’re not with us, you’re against us. And if you want to be with us then that means you were never one of us to begin with. And we further isolate ourselves and put ourselves in even more vulnerable positions as a result.

     Until we can resolve this inner state of chaos, I worry that we’ll never be able to truly solve the issues of our time.

     Issues like terrorism. Issues like nationalism. Issues like global warming. Issues like illegal immigration. Issues like racism and all the other –isms we have to contend with. Issues like dwindling supplies of fresh water and adequate sources of food production. All of it.

     Because, sadly, time is running out. And these issues are not just going to go away. We have to be able to discuss these problems rationally or we truly will lose ourselves to “them”. Only that “them” we’ll discover too late was always “us”.

 

 

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To Hell With The PC “Master Race”!

I am so SICK and tired of hearing how AWESOME the PC players are with their nonsense gaming experiences! Playing games on the PC fucking sucks! I mean completely! I have had enough of the obstinance from the PC community thinking they’re superior to the rest of us. I’m a console player through and through and there’s a reason why.

With a console I don’t have to worry about tweaking my damned game to work right. I don’t have to fine tune the details until it is visually acceptable. It works right when I put it in. The controllers do EXACTLY what they’re supposed to do! I don’t have to download this driver or that update. On a console it just does it! This is the disconnect between PC gamers and console gamers. PC gamers don’t understand WHY console gamers like their consoles.

“Well it’s outdated as soon as it releases!” And I say True! But I don’t have to spend 20 hours trying to get my software to work in the vein hope that there won’t be any issues at the end of the process. With a freaking PC I have to be a fucking programmer with advanced knowledge in C++ to make the goddamned game play. This is true for Steam products and EA products and any games that you have to download! Sure, y0u get to customize your experience but keep in mind this you, “master PC gamers”, those of us who like consoles like them because we DON’T have to be fucking programmers to play one fucking game!

It’s fucking ridiculous! If I buy a controller for the PC and plug it in, the mother fucker should work the second I plug it in! I shouldn’t have to find some obsolete driver that may or may not still exist on the internet just to use it! I shouldn’t have to update my windows os to some newer version I just don’t fucking want just to sample the newest game released! Plug N Play is a term for a reason jackasses! And it’s not for me to sit there and pretend I’m something I’m not and to be berated for not being on board with your bullshit to begin with!

What’s great about the PS4 or XBOX One is that you can just put in a game, plug in a controller, and sit back and enjoy the fucking game you just spent 70 dollars on without having to jump through a million hoops! I HATE, HAAATTTTTEEEE PC gaming! It is soooooooooo inconvenient and frustrating! There is NO fun to be had in it unless you’re some psychopath who has hours a day to spend on specking your rig to the optimal settings and knowing what graphical cards you need, what audio drives you need, what cooling systems are required to make your fucking PC actually fucking work!!!!

To HELL with that shit! Sorry for my obscenities but I’ve had enough! Stop claiming to be the superior gaming society when you have to go through a military boot camp just to play the latest release! It’s annoying and inconvenient! You want to know why so many gamers like console releases!? It’s because they don’t have to spec their PS4 or XBOX One every time they buy a game! They can just plug it in and it works! Period! After a dozen hours of just TRYING to sample a new game, I’ve entirely given up! It’s not worth the stress and agitation! It’s not worth the grief! I’ll stick to my consoles thank you fucking much and don’t you come at me anymore with your bullshit PC master race crap! Because I’ll just call you a sadist and a masochist who’s only happy to suffer under the most unbearable of electronic circumstances!

I just wanna play!

Anyhow…that annoys me sometimes so I won’t be doing that anymore. Just wanted to vent my frustration because, damn, it’s ridiculous. But, you know, if that’s your thing, more power to you.

Viva La Console Race!

Pewdiepie Is NOT Anti Semitic

Ugh. What’s happening to this world? How is everything going to shit so fast? Everybody is at each other’s throats and nobody is stopping to listen to what the other is saying. Case in point, the recent Pewdiepie allegations.

Apparently, the Wall Street Journal felt compelled to write an article and post a video speaking to the instances of one Felix Kjellerg aka Pewdiepie posting about Nazi propaganda. The only problem? These videos they referenced weren’t propaganda but rather commentary on how insane the world is becoming. Now I’m not a fan of Pewdiepie, in fact, I find him rather obnoxious and annoying. But I’ve seen many videos of his, including those referenced in WSJ’s pieces. And those pieces were so taken out of context it’s disheartening. I’m shocked. Stunned. Appalled. In a state of disbelief. Not because I think Pewds said these things maliciously, but that these so called journalistic agencies failed so miserably to commit to journalistic integrity.

No, Pewdiepie is not antisemitic and though those videos were stupid and over the top, it’s no less than what you see on South Park or Family Guy. Yet, Disney dropped him and youtube is distancing itself from Felix’s channel. And the reasons for this are due entirely to bad reporting. And what pisses me off most is that I find myself SIDING with those idiots in the White House! They keep levelling the charge of a dishonest media with a penchant for delivering faux news and then THIS happens! Legitimizing too many thoughts coming from Agent Orange’s head.

This is unreal. It can’t be true. The entities that are supposed to adhere to truth are NOT into making false statements and misleading the public. YET here we are. And I wouldn’t have believed it if I weren’t so in the know with the source material. It is quite literally a hit job and every site I’ve seen is running with the WSJ’s assessment. How can this be reality? How can people be fine with ruining a man’s reputation? I mean, he’s an idiot, but he doesn’t deserve to be railroaded over something that isn’t true! And yes it’s true the content you’ll see in those posts by WSJ are from Felix’s videos but sans context, how will you know what it actually meant? The conclusion will be drawn by the average reader and viewer that Pewdiepie is this Nazi White Nationalist they’re painting him as when in fact he’s not. No where near it.

It’s getting out of hand! I fully believe in equal rights for all people: men, women, immigrants, races, etc. But I don’t believe in false narratives like you see with so many SJW posts around the web. I fully support freedom of speech and think it should be held in highest esteem regardless of what trite nonsense is falling forth from mouths the nation over. BUT I despise the art of putting words in people’s mouths that were never said! Or twisting the words that were! I might not like Pewdiepie, but I support his right to be considered innocent until proven guilty. And shamefully enough, we have a growing culture that likes to get its news through opinions rather than facts. Which is what we got from the WSJ. Shame on you, Wall Street Journal. You’re better than this.

Return Of The Centrist

Greetings and salutations all. Let me reintroduce myself. I am Timothy S Purvis and from now on I will be posting blogs the first Friday of every month. I’ve been making random posts on here since 2012 but nothing has been consistent. Well, I’ve decided to change that. 

What you will find here are my thoughts on current events, topics, concerns, ravings, etc etc. I’ve been busy writing ideas down about what I want to get into and I’m eager to get started. Well, I’ve already gotten started haven’t I!  But my first post in this new era will be March 3rd 2017 and it should be a good one! But be forewarned, these posts might get a little long from here on out. 

Every so often, not on those first Fridays, I may post video links here and there to my animations I post up on youtube just because. I do enjoy doing those videos when I have the chance. So if you happen to have been a reader before with my other posts (which dumbly enough I neglected to tag. Doh!) then there’s more coming! If you’re new, then sit back and get ready for some unfettered thought processes. 

Thanks for reading and I look forward to posting for you!

Sincerely, 

Timothy Scott Purvis aka iCentrist

Links to youtube

https://www.youtube.com/user/Caeliclord   Cosmic Fantasies Channel

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWdU67nDn_UplIZnCS41WRA   My Star Cloud Channel

Open Enrollment Needs To End

So I’ve been trying for the last two and a half months to get ahold of somebody through my company’s insurance provider. Nobody would answer the phone (their directory menu was utter crap allowing no way to talk to an actual person), I couldn’t enroll online through the system because it didn’t “recognize my information”, and when I finally did get ahold of an operator they treated me like some slithering beast because I’d missed the deadline. “Well you should have enrolled, sir. The deadline has already expired.”

Then I decide, fuck it, I’ll sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Health Care programs. Ha Ha. Nope. Nothing affordable about that. The cheapest I could get per month  was 138 bucks and let me tell you I can’t afford that. I don’t make the most money out there. I work for retail. And the whole process of trying to find insurance has left me sour and cynical. I remember years ago just calling a provider and getting hooked up. Now you have to jump through so many hoops it just leaves you feeling like a circus chimp ready to rip off someone’s face.

What really pisses me off, though, is the fact you have to wait an ENTIRE year just to enroll for health insurance. Why? You don’t have to wait a year for car insurance. You don’t have to wait a year for home insurance. Why do you have to wait a year for health insurance? Shouldn’t you be able to purchase it at any point when you’re ready?  It’s fucking ridiculous.

We should all demand of our representatives that they put in measures into the system, or something, that opens up the availability of insurance all throughout the year and not just at some designated point at the end of the year where maybe not everybody is in a position to sign up. It would certainly make life easier. Also, if I can’t afford health insurance, what on God’s green Earth makes these idiots think I can afford the penalty for not having it?

Open Enrollment and this overpriced system needs to end. Those of us on the bottom, us sorry little dregs of society, can’t take the crap anymore.

What Is the State of This Nation?

What the hell is wrong with this country? In the last few years, I’ve asked this question so many times I’ve lost count. It seems like, for me, that over the last decade and a half, our values of decency and commitment to justice have taken a plunge as our need to be right and to feel ideological fulfilled have taken over. In this last year alone, women’s rights are under assault, the voters rights act has had a significant marker in it ruled unconstitutional, a beautiful city has been bombed, gun ownership activism has exploded, and now one George Zimmerman has been ruled innocent of murdering a young man. I’m beginning to wonder if there is any compassion left in this nation.

You can’t even comment on comment boards without a steady stream of hate laced profanities (cursing or not, the things these people say are profane) labeling you an idiot for expressing your views. I remember how we were on the way to a global community back in the ’90’s and everyone seemed so accepting of everyone else. Then 2001 comes along where a group of right wing lunatics attacks us where we’re most vulnerable and suddenly we take on the attitude that everyone is horrible and we shouldn’t have anything more to do with them. Ideological divides worsen, we keep electing tyrants into office who have only their own interests, and those of their richest constituents, at heart.

What happened to scientific advancement? Apparently it’s dead because NASA keeps getting the most important scientific missions scrapped due to budget restrictions from Washington. Who needs science, right? It didn’t give us cell phones, or better battery lifespans for our vehicles or fun little gadgets. It didn’t provide us with ways to make our food safer to consume or give us better defenses from new and unusual diseases. When did space science ever enrich our nation? Certainly not with satellite technology or improved synthetic materials for clothing or enhance our communications networks. Nah, none of that. No, here’s what we really need to do: give more money to our armed forces because they obviously need more toys to play with. OH WAIT! The pentagon specifically said that they DON”T WANT more expensive ships and equipment because they already have a surplus! Ah, but what do they know. They’re just a bunch of grunts who don’t think.

And while we’re on defending our country, let’s make MORE guns MORE easily accessible to the public! Because THAT will solve our ongoing violence problem. Let’s make sure everyone and their nanny are packin’ heat as we never know when we’re going to have to make a last stand against a school shooter or a zombie horde. In case you haven’t realized yet, I’m being rather flippant about the whole state of our nation.

I do believe in a second amendment right to bear arms. But I also recognize that the amendment was drafted as a concession to states who were weary of being federalized under the umbrella of a strong central government. They keep their militias, and the government doesn’t form a standing army. But then they did and the amendment lost its necessity. Yet we kept it around so that people could defend themselves. But apparently that means the public has a right to military grade hardware as well. Sigh.  I’m rambling now. I’m just furious at how this nation is turning out. Furious at how states are fighting to prevent women from having access to proper medical care all because of some far right wing ideal that abortions are immoral. It’s none of their business! How about cramming your beliefs down my throat?! Isn’t that immoral? Or is it because it’s your morals and not mine that therefore you’re more correct because it’s YOU!?

Remember the whole ‘pursuit of happiness’ ideal that we used to expunge so much years ago? Well right now it seems like the only people allowed to pursue their happiness are those on the fringe elements of our society. And guess what? They’re winning. They’re winning because the vast majority of America is fed up with our political institutions. We have no more faith that congress can pass a law that isn’t asinine or even do something useful. We’re fed up with the presidency being the choice between two turds. We’re tired of the ideological arguments continually being waged and have taken a step back to let them fight it out. But whoever wins that war, we all lose. Because our voices are not being heard over the hyperbole and the hate speech. The same nonsense that is being spewed all across the web. The same nonsense we hear from our supposed leaders. The same nonsense we hear even when we go to the damned store!

There’s at least one good thing that came about this year: same sex marriage. For every two steps back, I guess we take one step forward. But even that good thing is being met by a wave of hate and prejudice. I hate to break it to the haters, no wait–I don’t hate to, so I will, same sex marriage will NOT void traditional marriage. It just opens the gates to more people having the option to be married. It’s not the end of the world. So haters, stop trying to disenfranchise voters, stop hatin on the gay community just because they want to love someone, stop trying to turn this nation back to the wild wild west (because that didn’t work out so well the first time), and for the love of GOD stop saying this is a CHRISTIAN country and THEN turning around and saying poor people are leeches that don’t need to be protected! Because, news flash, that’s what Christianity is all about: protecting the needy! Good Christians don’t give all their money to rich people who will turn around and screw the nation. 

Seriously, what is going on in this nation?