Friday, November 30, 2007

Judge This

I am the kind of guy who gets mad at people who think girls should be altar boys (or altar servers). Shortly afterwards, I am the kind of guy who makes fun of the people (who think girls should be altar servers) for spelling it "chauvenist." I laugh and laugh, and don't make my point very well, and they get incensed (liturgical zing).

The point is, aloof as I sometimes pretend to be, I am a boringly rigid traditional conservative who liked Ronald Reagan, doesn't think affirmative action makes sense, submits to no "rape/incest exception" to the no-abortion tenet, thinks that reason works, and that George Bush, in addition to being a lovable clumsy bumbler, is not only a good man, but also a good president. So sue me.

Most of the time, I like to laugh and have fun, because let's face it, having fun is more fun than... I don't know, not having fun? I am sarcastic and ironic and especially love the phrase "double-in-your-endo."

But there are times, let me tell you, when normally funny, off-the-cuff satirists get too into the liberal mindset and John Stewart forgets that what makes him great (and made him rich and famous) was not that he was a liberal, but that he was funny. There are literally millions of liberals, John. Very few bordering on none are also hilarious like you. So be funny and concentrate on that; it's what you're good at.

Then there are folks who get so caught up with what seems like a good idea that they lose all perspective, and cling onto a pretty mundane idea as if it were all that mattered. What's getting my goat this time is the commandment "Don't judge." Two Arrested Development quotes spring immediately to mind: "I don't think that one made it down the mountain," and "new-age feel-goodery."

Don't judge? Are you kidding me? Is that a message for your kids? How about "judge everyone," is that more realistic? "Don't talk to strangers." Hello? Don't go get in the guy's car when he offers you candy. Don't go on that mean neighbor's lawn. Don't ride your bike on that side of the tracks in the bad neighborhood.

Another example: why do we say that a first impression so important? Because everyone is judging everyone around them ALL THE TIME. It's how people work, and there's nothing wrong with that.

A girl walking down an alley in a bad neighborhood at night will not recognize a five-year old girl as a potential threat. A six-four guy on the other hand... she'll get nervous.

Why? Is she accusing that guy of being a thief or a rapist? No, she's just recognizing that a much higher percentage of rapes are perpetrated by men than girls.

And again, did you know that a significantly higher proportion of black men are violent criminals than white men? So if you're a little more nervous passing a black guy in an alley than a white guy, what does that say? That you're racist? That you think all black men are criminals? No. It means you recognize that a higher percentage of blah blah blah whatever.

Same thing with Arabs being terrorists. I mean, I guess it sucks for all those groups, getting sketchy looks from everyone all the time, but you know what? I'm a guy. A big, 6'6" guy. And if people are nervous when they pass me in a dark alley, I'm not offended. They know very few things about me: I am much bigger than they are, I could probably overpower them physically, I am out late at night, and I am a man. Odds (as far as they can tell) that I'm a rapist? Still not very good, but a lot higher than average. So, please, judge me (not that you need my permission, or that my wanting you to or not will affect you at all).

And you know what else is true? You're judging me right now. You're taking what I'm saying, digesting it, and arriving at conclusions about what I am and who I am. That's what people do. It's OK. That's why we have interviews, and dates, and conversations.

I am one of the people (I don't know how many there are these days- and I don't mean that condescendingly, I mean honestly, it could be 60% or 5%, I really don't know) who believe in absolute truth- that there is only one truth, and it's the same for everyone. What's right for one person is right for every other person and what's wrong for one person is wrong for everyone else.

I am not a person that will say, "ok, you believe that, I believe this, that's ok, we can both do that and not contradict each other." No, they do contradict each other. Jews and Christians and Buddhists and Muslims cannot all be right, because they disagree. This seems very obvious to me. If one person says A is B, and another person says A is not B, then one of them is wrong. It doesn't mean they're going to hell, or that their mother doesn't love them, or that they're going to suffer from premature baldness. It just means that they're wrong.

To deny that, it would seem to me, would be to deny reason. And if reason goes, then I'm confused, and I think most other people would be too. Maybe that's why a lot of people already are confused.


Wendy said...

I actually agree with you and yes, I'm serious.

The whole "don't judge" thing, to me, is ricidulous. You're going to judge me, I'm going to judge you, it's just how it is. It doesn't mean that I'm going to care one bit about what anyone thinks but it's going to happen. And I also might care a lot, who knows - depends on who's doing the judging, I guess.

And if I was walking down an alley at night, I would recognize anyone as a potential threat. That five-year old? Could easily have a knife on her. Maybe it's very paranoid of me but it could happen. I do think that I would be even more wary if it was a black guy or you.

tiff said...

Wait I'm confused.

Re: the judging thing. Yes, we all judge and make perceptions and blah blah blah. To not do that is to not be human. But it only fits in certain situations (walking alone, in the dark, approaching large groups of people, et al). I think the "don't judge" comes with the don't allow your preconcieved notions to get in the way once you learn about that person as an individual. But if we disagree, does that make me wrong?

Re: Absolute truth. It does exist in some arenas, for sure. But when the situation allows for opinions, I'm all about you having your opinion and me having ours and the whole "agree to disagree" angle. Because variety is the spice of life and that.

I'm babbling? Yea probably. But am I wrong? I really must know.

A Lil' Irish Lass said...

It takes balls to be this honest. And I respect that infinitely.

Jacob said...

Gwen, dates are interviews.

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