(Wow…sorry about the formatting, you guys. I’ve tried to fix it and can’t. It’s almost 2 AM and I gotta go, or I’ll be another vegetable on the sofa tomorrow.)
This writing is serious, and quite dramatic. It’s also in two parts. The first part is sort of lingering anger at some of my experiences on public forum social media; the second part is just some thoughts I was having today about what the holy poop seems to be going on in the world. So many artists were taken from us this year, and it’s my firm belief that artists help us remember and learn about who we are and what matters. I have a sinking feeling we are all going to need to find some kind of art to cling to over the coming years, to survive the Tsunami that’s on its way. I also think that all great, good change is preceded by chaos, so there’s that to consider, too.
At any rate, here are my two thoughts for tonight:
I. The Internet’s Collection of Human Beings
Amy’s Rules for interacting with males on the Internet, but in particular Twitter males, learned the hard way:
1-No avi of your face, we don’t interact. Even if you provide an avi, it doesn’t mean we’ll interact. But definitely no avi, no interaction.
2-I see ANY amount of porn on your page we don’t interact. ON ANY LEVEL.
3-I get an “off” vibe about you we don’t interact and/or I cut off ALL contact if we have been interacting and I owe you ZERO explanations for how I came to the sudden decision to cut you off or why.
4-I get to break my own rules when I want to, and if you give an opinion about that or anything else I do we DEFINITELY don’t interact and/or all contact is swiftly cut off with no notice, explanation, or warning.
These are all rules I learned the hard way on Twitter. I’ve interacted with enough disgusting men, had a stalker, been trolled/harassed, met one confirmed sociopath. You have to learn to protect yourself on platforms like Twitter, especially if you’re a female. Which pisses me off; we (women) are constantly having to prove our worth. We are constantly having to worry about walking to our cars, alone, in the dark. We are constantly having to worry about if a man will change on us and turn into Mr. Hyde after X amount of time.
Women aren’t here to service you, Men of Earth. We are NOT here to make you feel sexy or good, and certainly not to fix your broken soul or life. Our name is NO, our sign is NO, our number is NO, you need to let it go. It’s not personal; you’re just not our cup of tea and/or we’ve had enough and NO.
II. The Internet’s Dark and Frightening Corners
The alt-right and those who love and use alt-right lingo on social media and/or the Internet:
For awhile I’ve been watching these individuals use terms like “snowflake” and “libtard” and “cuck” (short for cuckolded, and generally directed toward conservatives they find weak and pansy…you know, weak and pansy guys like John McCain who actually fought in a war and survived torture and imprisonment, which in my book makes him badass – while I deeply disagree with him on a lot of his politics, I admire his class and and thank him for his bravery and service in a war that was a bad, bad idea – but in some circles all of that totally makes him weak? I guess?).
I’ve watched these individuals and thought: this person is really an inside the box thinker; they have zero creativity, zero class, and they’re just…such lost souls. In writing classes and from listening to master storytellers, I know the best way to create a really amazing and believable villain is to create a character with some humanity, who doesn’t think they’re bad at all; the villain genuinely believes they’re on the right side of history and/or the law. And so these people…they’re villains, but they genuinely don’t believe they are; they believe there’s a certain way to rule, to make a country strong and they’ve become so brainwashed or bogged down in whatever they’re being fed they have no idea who they are anymore. They aren’t bad people, is what I’m saying…they’re tremendously flawed and their comeuppance is going to be so very painful.
The flat way to create a villain is to give the character no humanity, complete evil. They know they’re bad and they absolutely effing revel in it. They bathe in babies’ blood because they’re bored. And my (sad) suspicion about these people is that the alt-right and other extreme right wing conservative groups provide them an underground lair to thrive in, there’s a crap ton of sociopaths and other deranged derelicts floating around creating impish havoc, because tribes based on negativity and hatred would be where those kinds of humans would be drawn. Be careful the energy you create, that to which you’re drawn.
But you know, what? I think their insult “Snowflake” is kind of growing on me. I mean, snowflakes are cute and quite very unique. They’re basically Mother Nature’s winter fingerprints. And Nature is a female. And a Mother. I bet the Men’s Rights Movement hates that.
Also: snowflakes are so soft and peaceful and I love how they fall in silence, coming together to blanket the world in a white, quiet peace. The world is still and silent, and you can hear your own heartbeat and breathing when you walk out into it; you can see your breath steam in the air, evidence you are here in the world, and alive. Small in the stillness, but very real.
I also love being a “libtard” even though the term is just ridiculous. Clearly, someone with the mentality of an emotionally stunted 11 year old came up with it; no grown up with an iota of consideration would do it, even the most conservative grown ups I know.
Words are just words; they only have meaning and significance because humans give them that. If someone calls me a nasty name in Chinese, it won’t matter to me because it has no meaning or significance to me. However, there are certain terms, some words I just will never ever use because culturally I find them hurtful and disgusting and they feel horrific coming out of my mouth; these words are simply not in my psyche to say…but I know groups of people who’ve been hurt for generations and “kept in their place” for generations will often take back these words and use them, to take the power from them. Words like the N-word, the C-word, the bitch, and the like. Some take these back and make them part of their vernacular, to socially stigmatize their use by people not part of those groups.
But retard. Really. It’s a sad word, because calling someone a retard really only shows how limited your own intelligence is, how little you’ve learned of Life and humanity. I say that because all of the people with mental retardation I’ve ever met have possessed the sweetest, kindest souls. They take pride in every single thing they do, be it dressing themselves or mopping the floor at McDonald’s. These are the Universe’s reminder of what humanity in its purest, most innocent form can be like.
Because love & gentleness are strengths. These are soft power, and soft power wins hearts. I once met a man from Kenya who taught me that. Go ahead, angry Trump fans…make your Kenyan jokes. He was a college-educated, handsome man with a big laugh and a kind heart and not a malicious bone in his body. He’d go home and his friends and family would say bad things about Americans and America, and at some point he just recognized he was America’s soft power. He had the ability to hurt a country that was helping him and being good to him, or he could lift it up and recognize its weaknesses to his people, but also remind them of its goodness and its humanity. And so, there were that many less people in the world outside of America who hated us blindly. Because he taught them about our humanity.
People who use hard power don’t understand this at all. They think money is god-like. They think weapons will save them. Their skins are thin, and their egos control them. Bullying is an outlet for them. They admire aggression and muscles and violence. They view control as power, and they use fear to get it. They think belittling others through name calling and threats, through gaslighting and harassment and insults, that growing their number of nuclear weapons is what makes them strong. They slap each other on the back, feeling superior to special little snowflakes and libtards and the like, because those people are only worthy of disdain and not power.
But how powerful are they, really? Who will listen to them when their last nuclear weapon has detonated, they are out of bullets, and the harassment and insults have lost their effect? Where is their power then?
This is why Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. used words to create change and love to move hearts. It’s why Jesus of Nazareth said the meek will inherit the Earth. It’s how Ghandi defeated a world empire, without ever shooting a weapon or raising an army.
People who covet and worship hard power won’t inherit a thing, because hard power controls, not builds. It destroys, not creates. And while Love doesn’t fix anything or save anyone when it’s in battles against hard power, its gentle soft power always seems to work like soft rain, and running waters of rivers over time.
Hard power is fire and earth; soft power is wind and water, and here’s what wind and water do to fire and earth: they erode, over a long period of time. They blow and wash away filth quietly, and sometimes it happens very fast and magnificently like water stamping out a small fire, but usually it takes eons. Yet it all is carried away to archives of the Earth’s deepest memories, buried or worn away for thousands and millions of years. Or for eternity.
And that’s what I hear when I hear demagogues and despots and their followers and fans speak. They think they’re powerful, they think they’re brave. But they are fire and earth, stone and rock…and so ultimately powerless against gentle wind and water. Somewhere, very deep inside of them, they know this. And they are afraid.
Fear is a weak monster with a gigantic Achilles heel it’s hiding, and Love is the skinny little hero or the tiny little heroine with a small dagger that, when all seems almost lost, ultimately finds it.
That’s why Love has always won, and will always win, in the end, because it’s Who We Are, at our core, those of us who remember. We are soft, skinny, tiny little snowflakes that will all melt, seemingly forgotten. The earth and its rocks and mountains and stones will laugh at us. But we are legion, and relentless, and timeless. With each spring melt, there is less and less rock, the mountains grow smaller, and the stones begin to crumble. Eventually, Trump and the alt-right and everyone who admires hard power will be lost to Humanity’s archives of memory. And the earth will return to where it came from.