sunnuntai 23. marraskuuta 2014

John Lydon's teeth, and so on

If I should meet thee
After long years
How should I greet thee?
With silence and tears.

I have a whole new life.

I look like the saddest kind of youth criminal. Like those kids who kill other kids because the other kids are so much better-looking. I have to find pride in who I am. I will never look like a hero. That doesn't matter as long as I can find the guts to be a hero.

I used to spend time fantasizing about writing an autobiography. How I would tell this story, how I'd recreate my life and make myself seem heroic in it so that everybody would like me. (Why is this child talking about a life story that doesn't even exist yet?) But I'm starting to realize that the whole point of writing autobiographies is honesty.

Anyway, I watched a documentary where Stephen Fry waddles around the world to see how gay people are treated in different countries. I like Stephen Fry. He's so cute and British and sympathetic. Although I can imagine that trying to explain animal rights to Stephen Fry would probably be like him trying to explain gay rights to a priest in Uganda. I'm not sure why. I may be wrong, but I have a feeling that he might be someone who's spent decades fighting for his rights and isn't necessarily open to the idea of fighting for the rights of others after all this. You just want to breathe out. I can understand that. I may be wrong. If I'm wrong, correct me. Always correct me if I'm wrong.

20 minutes ago I stumbled upon this ridiculous thing written by Tim Booth: "I’ve been swimming with Dolphins in the wild many times. I will eat most things. It’s the paradox of life – we kill to live. But there are some creatures off the menu." Jesus fucking Christ! Here we go again. There's this disgusting idea that only dogs, cats and dolphins matter. Most other vertebrates exist only to be used for the convenience of humans. You see, if we don't produce, torture and kill thousands and thousands and thousands of billions of pigs, cows, birds and fish, Tim Booth will simply stop living. Tim Booth has this medical condition that requires systematic cruelty and violence towards the most vulnerable individuals in the world. Otherwise he just dies. Let us keep the wheels of the most violent industry in known history turning, so that Tim Booth can keep living.

Tim Booth

Btw, John Lydon, the existence of your teeth isn’t forcing you to support the meat industry any more than the existence of your hands is forcing you to strangle your neighbours.

People can sometimes force themselves to be somewhat rational when it comes to simple stuff like mathematics, but when it's about things like morality, people get hysterical and emotional and defensive and, quite simply, start yelling and stop thinking.

Most people can't work around taboos. The taboos are there and people can't see through them and look at the matter in hand. For a human being, it is more or less impossible to see reality as it is, but when you're letting even the most inane ideas of the surrounding culture restrict your own thinking, your own thinking stops happening. Don't be so afraid. Challenge yourself, every day.

Most people don't think, because they already have the prevailing culture telling them that left is right and that black is white and that people with dark skin are slaves and that women are reproduction machines and that what we do to animals is acceptable.

The ideas of the prevailing culture can be absurd and downright horrific, but humans adopt them because... well, it's the easier thing to do. It's so much easier than thinking.

I started thinking about this again recently when I visited Sweden to see Morrissey in Göteborg. I happened to read this article. It's about Swedish Morrissey fans sitting and discussing their Morrissey fandom. It's a sympathetic article, not very remarkable; I did however remark something jättekonstigt about the comments of one of the participants, script writer Peter Birro. (Apparently I can read Swedish to some extent.)

Anyway, Peter seems really nice. He seems like a person I'd sincerely like, and it would probably be really nice to spend time with him. But there's one strange recurring theme in his comments. He keeps returning to it, I don't know, maybe there's something going on in his heart.

Peter Birro (whose name is very beautiful, by the way; I am jealous, I admit it) refers to Morrissey's vegetarianism as "fundamentalistic". You know, Morrissey is the crazy fanatic here, blabbering crazy religious ideas like "We shouldn't torture individuals with human-like cognitive abilities".

Of course, Birro himself has no ideology at all, because he's just a normal person: "Vegetarianism is a side of Morrissey that says nothing to me about my life," he says, and then tells us that he respects Morrissey's vegetarianism anyway (hurting animals is okay as long as you remember to respect people who don't do it), but he "grew up with pappa's lamb stews". Well, that is great. In a society where everybody has slaves, the guy who refuses to have slaves is The Weird One With The Extreme Views.


Birro must naturally mention this comment that Morrissey made a few years ago right after a man named Breivik had murdered dozens of people in Norway:

"Despite the love, we do live on a murderous planet, as you will have seen in the last few days in Norway. Murder, murder, murder. Really, every single day worse things happen in Kentucky Fried Shit and McDonald's. Murder, murder, murder, murder, murder."

Birro thinks that these words are "distasteful".

I think that they are inconsiderate. The timing was awful. We should have empathy for the victims' families; it's not the time for agendas. Besides, suffering is suffering. It's not a race. (I've already written about the case here.) And hurting people's feelings is not effective activism.

Yet, what he said was true. Of course his words are distasteful, but what's a lot more distasteful than inconsiderate words is the fact that we're torturing hundreds of billions – hundreds of billions – of sentient animals every single year. Simply because we want to eat animal burgers instead of seitan burgers. It's happening every second of the day. It's happening while I'm typing this. It's happening while Peter and friends sit and discuss Morrissey. Hundeds of billions of individuals, suffering for nothing. Somebody must say something.

I may disagree with Morrissey's style when it comes to activism, but it's the distasteful morrisseys that are and have always been responsible for starting necessary revolutions. The nice people gasp. They want to be nice. And then, when the meaning of 'nice' slowly changes... the nice people follow. Thinking is painful, and saying the truth out loud takes a certain amount of insanity, and Morrissey certainly has a certain amount of that.

Anyway, this is pretty crazy in itself, letting details like these annoy me so much, writing such long blog posts about it. Based on 95% of the stuff that Peter Birro said in the article, I love him. I'm almost 100% certain that he's a wonderful person. It's just that too many individuals here have spent their whole lives in ruins because of people who are "nice".

2 kommenttia:

  1. Let me tell you what's wrong with this blog post.

    I realized that this is not the kind of activist I want to be. This is not the kind of person I want to be. If someone loses their grandmother, it IS distasteful to remind them that "Well, you know, worse things happen all the time, millions of people are currently dying in horrible conditions in Africa." It may be true, it may be rational, it may be factual, but Jesus, see the situation and have some empathy.

    By turning different acts of violence into a race of "who suffered the most" you're not achieving anything. You're not saving anybody, you're just being an over-rational jerk in a situation where it's simply hurting people's feelings.

    What is activism without compassion.

    1. "you're just being an over-rational jerk"

      Or simply just a jerk