how do i get past wall street journal's paywall?
I wanna read this and laugh at people but i can't :(
I am like Bob in being pretty much utterly unprepared to grow my own food.
I am unlike Bob in at least being well aware of this, and in the early stages of working out connections with mutual-aid microcivilization* projects that will at least have the knowledge of how to do it, on a very practical level.
...while also having to devote 95% of my time towards maintaining the increasingly empty shell of a "normal" middle-class existence. (Life in the 2020s)
*"civilization" as I define it, which has very little overlap with "New York, wars, and so on".
(Responding to @feonixrift 's previous toot, trying to keep this thread from branching too much)
So I wonder, what's the agenda behind the dissing?
I'd assume the agenda is to maintain the idea that systemic change is pointless, by associating its proponents (such as people who are making realistic plans to deal with collapse of the global food-distribution network) with failure and incompetence.
@woozle I mean, as we see in the other thread @feonixrift is commenting on, I am pretty much constantly fighting uphill against folks' prejudices, even as they acknowledge it. So yea, maintaining stereotypes is I think a big part of it. I think there's also the subtler maintenance of values: folk who get 3 tomatoes calling themselves failures helps entrench the value of tomatoes as a source of calories, and of gardening as a source of calories. Ew. @starkatt
@woozle I don't know if that makes it better? It feels like people who talk about Normal, even with mockery or loathing, often don't make consideration that folk in the conversation might have never been within the Norm.
@woozle People get really mad if I imply touching dirt is part of human life, because I shouldn't just assume that, what about people who dislike dirt, or have allergies, or can't bend down to it, or, or...
But there's no equivalent touchiness for implying things like earning an income or having identification paperwork.
When those things are way less a default part of Life than touching dirt!
You & I have a lot to talk about, and (if it wasn't already obvious) a lot of views in common.^.^
H&I haz privilege, and I won't deny it -- even though we're surrounded by people who are (to all indications) far more privileged. They can afford to maintain their houses, pay people to maintain their yards (while we're financial-metaphorically living in our parents' basements, which is a large chunk of the aforementioned privilege)...
...and I was mainly mocking the pretense of "normal", not trying to claim that ("normal") suburban life is inherently terrible because it's hollow or something. It has its issues, but everyone deserves that level of comfort regardless of how well they "perform". Which brings me to...
Strong agree about "earning an income" and "having identification paperwork". I could go on a rant. We have many friends (especially online) who feel even less adequate to those tasks than we do. I've actually earned a living (or better) income on several occasions, and am half-heartedly hoping to do it again -- but the process of getting a job now is... just so much more full of BS than it was even 10-20 years ago (I was last full-time employed in 2001) that I honestly don't know if I can execute the necessary performance art. It was bad enough 20 years ago.
@woozle I'll have to reply to this later because the ceiling is pouring water and I have to solve it with ingenuity and scrap but it still feels like you're going "Yes, we (normal folk) should make sure to acknowledge other ways of living."
But then you're still casting your way of living as the destination of other life ways, jumping from "we need to include not having an income" to "let's put not earning an income on the spectrum of earning an income," by comparing "not able to earn income" with "earning a low income".
There are people who don't earn income and would decline the opportunity: their way of life does not involve it. Same for identification papers.
It's myopic to cast those folk in the same lot as "privileged but low income"
@woozle Like our ways of talking should make it eminently clear there is a place in the conversation for people without any money, or /even the concept of money/.
Otherwise we're excluding so many ways of thinking, we can't even recognize it.
Even in this thread, let's examine the oddity: here I am, without ID and without money, saying "I think a better litmus test for proving a person's personness is probably their connection to dirt,"
and you /continue/ to center privilege and wealth as measures of normalcy! To criticise it, sure, but from my perspective that's a bit like coming play soccer with me and spending the whole time on your phone on the Star Trek forums. You're here, sure, but are you really... engaged in the same thing I am?
It's fine if not, but then: let's acknowledge that you're assuming I'll play along with what you're engaged in, and acknowledge there wasn't even a consideration for really engaging in what I'm doing, except to relate it back to Trek.
I may have some internalized stuff that still needs to be expunged.
Seems kind of inevitable, actually, that this would happen. I was raised very suburban, very career-oriented.
I suspect it's mostly me not communicating very well, tho.
You're busy, so I won't ramble on further; hopefully we can sort it all out on Saturday.
@woozle For what it's worth, I have conversations like this a lot, and probably 9 out of ten the person goes, early on, "I'm probably not communicating well," but the almost always end with an understanding that they were representing kyriarchal views acquired through cultural inundation which hadn't yet had their reckoning against other views.
Maybe this will clarify? -- When I say "deserves", I mean to imply "to whatever extent it's wanted"; when I say "level of comfort", I mean "a quality of life that is comparable, by the individual's own evaluation and without necessarily including any of the same details".
I've overcome a lot of bad ideas just in the past few months, and more than that in the past 5-10 years; looking forward to overcoming more.
@woozle Right: but then the conversation starts with and is centered around the acquisition of those things through participation in privilege.
How different would conversations, and thinking, be if mentions of such Collaboration were swept under the rug, the same way a person can have a thousand conversations about what to do for dinner without ever thinking about the people starving downtown?
It's great to make allowance for other folk to bring up other ways of doing things, but without the support of the miasma of the kyriarchy, that's asking such an investment: to bring the question "what should we do for dinner?" to an Indigenous perspective requires /hours/ of conversation, often quite painful for people in the conversation: the settler-folk because their basic values are being challenged, and the Indigenous folk because well, the exact same thing, lol.
Going back, phrases like, ""normal" middle-class existence. (Life in the 2020s)" only help entrench one way of asking about dinner, and erase the others entirely.
It doesn't matter how ironic or critical it is: it's still centering the kyriarchal way of being.
If I go around saying "no one should kick puppies!" it is a reasonable inference that folk are kicking puppies, and it begs the question why.
Now there's this question of "is it alright to kick puppies" that I've introduced by criticizing puppy-kicking - I mean, hell, I'm keeping the notion of puppy-kicking alive!
Better to just... not kick puppies and build a culture where it doesn't occur to folk to kick puppies.
Better, that is, to hold conversations where it doesn't occur to folk to view "use privilege" as a solution or response to... anything.
@feonixrift It's alright if not every word is well-chosen or meaningful, but it is inappopriate to accept poorly-chosen and meaningless words, as each time one does so, it increases the "fuzziness" of the communication occurring.
Stock phrases come from somewhere: if someone called me a "redskin" there would be no hesitation to stop the conversation and go "hey there are ideas you're representing there you might not be aware of."
People don't say "hey there might be ideas in that word, if you're aware of them"
The ideas are there, the speaker's ignorance doesn't remove it. Let us, please, view <implying a taxable cash income is a legitimate means of survival> with the same disdain as <implying another human being is an animal>. @woozle @starkatt
@feonixrift (Because, here's the thing: the only reason those are different is because, similar to the "natural" medicine, the work hasn't been done to reason out the synthesis of generally-agreed-upon-among-"leftists" facts.
And interestingly: people usually just object to me halting the conversation to stop and address these unspoken assumptions. I break the game of rhetoric, to make sure actual communication is happening, and immediately, every mechanism kicks in: it's impolite, it slows things down, it's arrogant, there are a thousand excuses to be given for why we can't stop talking long enough to agree "no, exploiting other people to survive isn't /really/ surviving."
But... sorry. In order to have any sort of meaningful conversation with folk, I gotta make sure we're in agreement about the basics like that. REALLY in agreement: the sort of agreement that wouldn't get corroded away by having to look past "stock phrases".
@feonixrift I know this seems pedantic or petulant or whatever else; I know. I think that is the "cop in your head" trying to make sure you don't take what I'm saying seriously. Stripped of context, the idea should seem self-evidently sound:
"If two people expect to cooperate, they must communicate. For two people to communicate, they must understand each other. For two people to understand each other, they must agree upon the basic premises of the world around them, and the things they'll be interacting with. (i.e. I'll have a hard time teaching you the word/concept "air" if you don't believe anything exists in the space between solids., i.e. I'll have a hard time signing a lease with you if you don't believe in the power of signatures.)"
So: If we're going to communicate about the world, we've gotta agree on some basics.
I would say "It isn't chill to coerce other people into performing for you" is pretty basic, it's not like "gravity" basic but it's honestly a lot more relevant to my day-to-day conversations.
That means, in order to preserve my ability to communicate with others, I have to make sure that we agree on that. When I suspect we don't, I have to clarify.
That's literally all I'm doing. That it causes so much tension is only because /so much/ of life is built upon exactly that coercion of performance.
But the existence of complication and its resultant tension isn't a cause to abandon communicating with other people; I'm not a hermit and I have no desire to be one!
Yet that's just what folk choose, time after time, because it's... polite... non-judgemental... professional...
I'm making a different choice. Think what you want of it, but that thinking is probably more influenced by your own allegiance to the kyriarchy than you'd please: I know mine is.
@emsenn @woozle @starkatt I think you're entirely correct about where these phrases come from, and the effect they have on our thought, and that they represent to some extent underlying ideas... But I make a distinction between an examined idea vs. an unexamined but exactly held idea vs. an idea inadvertently expressed that one may unknowingly come closer to (and cause harm by) than they would have ever meant to if they stopped to consider it, and I think very often it's the latter. Which, is not less harmful, but at least can be corrected by people learning to reflect on their meaning and choose better words.
@feonixrift I used to feel similarly but
1) That's a lot more work to every of these interactions.
2) Depending on who you are, the amount of these interactions you would need to have each day can be wildly impossible to actually do. Making them more time consuming just means I'll do it less often.
3) This is a logical test you've set up to determine a thing. If there's one thing folk love to do, it's bandy about meaningless rhetoric to pass logical tests. Considering that is part of the problem being attacked, allowing more space for it seemed counterproductive.
4) You fall into my tomatoes accidentally, or kick them intentionally: I'm not sure. If it was intentional, what is the point of me explaining to you how to avoid doing it accidentally? If it's accidental, because you tripped on a stone, it really doesn't matter... whether you tripped on the stone because you were bringing me mail, or just walking by, or whatever. the stone is what matters.
So, summing back up in reverse order: what led you to express kyriarchism doesn't matter nearly as much as the kyriarchism, putting the conversation about what led to it first means it's unlikely there will be time or energy for the conversation about the held kyriarchism, and it means that instead of explaining akyriarchistic lifeways I'm pointing out rhetorical faux pas.
All for the benefit of "politeness," and... helping kyriarchists refine their thinking, which clearly allows them to get away with some awful shit already?? I really don't see why I'd do that! Not when saying "no don't do that or I won't talk to you" is an option.
I think you confused two things: I'm not having this conversation primarily to educate y'all.
I'm having it so I can maintain my boundaries without having to simply... stop talking to y'all. I have to do this so we can talk about delicious meals and stuff. That it educates y'all is just a side-effect, and one I'm not that interested in: to date, I have only seen that hurt me @woozle @starkatt
re: Long post
Possibly what's happening here is that I'm using kyriarchy-based terminology without explicitly rejecting it?
Am I on track at all? I've been composing this through several further toots which I haven't had time to read and digest.
(I tend to frequently refer to ideas that I consider dubious at best solely for the purpose of acknowledging that "these ideas exist", and "we are surrounded by a social environment that not only respects them, but assumes that everyone else does too", which are facts that often suck and represent a need for change.)
re: Long post
@woozle On track, but: even an explicit rejection still centers the kyriarchal way of living.
yea, we do gotta acknowledge it in some ways but, let it be in the ways it intersects with us: not assume it holds primacy over everything and everyone.
Rather than explicitly reject it to orient around it, try (it's hard but easier with practice) to orient around whatever is actually the thing being discussed. If we're talking about things we "have to" do, don't say you "have to devote your time toward maintaining a shell of normalcy."
You don't, right? You /have/ to eat, drink water, have shelter, and medicine. You have been coerced and trapped into only being able to get those things through the maintenance of that shell. That's life for you, but not life in the 2020s: other people have been trapped and coerced into very different ways of survival! It's important, I think (or I wouldn't keep making this conversation go on lol), to recognize that:
"having to devote 95% of my time toward maintaining an empty shell of 'normalcy' so the kyriarchy will allocate enough of its resources to me to continue buying survival from it"
Make the part where it's just a means to an end clear - and it's unfortunately clear that both the means AND the end are shitty...
Why's that matter?
"I spend 20% of my time devoted toward maintining a shell of normalcy and 75% of my time devoted toward basic survival so the kyriarchy doesn't kill me"
Is the exact same result: a not-dead person.
But the means and the ends are very different. And now we see things to really talk about: where's the differences in our life ways, our cultures, our philosophies, that lead to these different responses and capabilities to the same environment.
Actually, I think I wrote this all backward:
I'm not saying all this for your education but because my beliefs require I maintain these lines.
Seeing this maintenance work and viewing an act of education is something you're doing as a listener, not something I am doing as a communicator.
Thus, advocating I change how I communicate based on that perception of this as primarily education, not an attempt at just basic communication, is way off base. You wouldn't write to the editors of Twilight to complain it did a bad job explaining the watersheds of the pacific northwest, right?
@emsenn @woozle @starkatt I had been under the impression you were persisting in it beyond the minimum primarily to educate, yes. I was attempting to compliment you on your method in this being more successful than most precisely because it doesn't cede ground so those who are willing to reconsider their positions (accidental or intentional) are pressed to do so. Not saying you should take another tack, or that you're in any way obligated to put more (or any!) work into it. There had seemed to be a question upthread as to why people say they're nervous to speak, that they may phrase things badly, and then proceed to spectacularly put their foots in their mouths; as someone who has done this or been inclined to a number of times I was hoping to provide some context to that.
On the internet, everyone knows you're a cat — and that's totally okay.