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November 16, 2017

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In Which I am Pompous

July 17, 2017


The below, flawed as it is, is a prime example of  several important aspects of the craft of writing; 1) if you wait for the perfection you'll never get anything written 2) the basic idea is good but the execution is crap ( it's fine to be as pompous as you want, I am naturally a pompous sort of a gal, but if your goal is to have other people listen and understand the idea you are trying to express you want to be as clear as possible) 3) editing, editing is a vital skill and the hallmark of maturity in a writer, though how grown up I am may vary from day to day. 




I know it's a stretch but there you go. I vacillate between being pompous and fatuous and today the magic eight-ball said pompous and who am I to disagree? 


G.K. Chesterton famously wrote “‘My country, right or wrong,’ is a thing that no patriot would think of saying. It is like saying, ‘My mother, drunk or sober.'”


The thing is trying to pretend the parent in question is sober while they reek of liquor and their bra spins on the ceiling fan is neither productive, nor convincing not particularly noble.


However it is a problem of our age. Not the only problem by any stretch or even the biggest, but solving it would certainly make a dent in the others.


But first allow me to lay down my basic premise. 


Human Beings fall at various points across a broad spectrum.


Some will always strive to do their best and behave morally regardless of their situation.


Some were born without a conscience and will always be as selfish and cruel as they can get away with.


The vast majority however fall somewhere between the two extremes and their behavior rises and falls according to the social norms of their community. Whatever the community names as correct they will do. This vast middle is tied to the actions of their peers and ripples accordingly.


This is true of cops. This is true of teachers and of pastors. It holds for Republicans and Democrats and people without party affiliation.


And we all feed into the worst aspects of the phenomenon.

Because when a member of our own group is criticized we tend to lock shields to protect them with all the defensive discipline of a phalanx of Spartan soldiers, when what we should be doing is holding members of our group to the same standards we use for non-members...as a bare minimum.


When we are unwilling to allow any member of our group to be held up to scrutiny we allow our own defenses to rob us of our integrity both as individuals and as a community. It destroys the moral compass of the group, it's "soul" as it were. Our moral standard sinks to the level of whatever the worst of us is able to get away with.


Does this mean I'm advocating witch hunts?


Absolutely not.


Rather it's an argument against double standards. If you care about the integrity of your in-group you cannot hold them to a lower bar than you do the out-group. What we accept is what we find acceptable, regardless of the lip service devoted to codified virtues. If we accept bad actions by definition our group finds those things acceptable .


If people judge us for deeming exploitation, rape, murder, theft, or bigotry acceptable because we've accepted this behavior without comment it's our own damn fault.


If we don't get mom into rehab we can't get mad at the guy who says she's a lush.


This goes for feminists who want to ignore the movement's long history of racism and for Republicans who ignore...well...everything. This goes for all of us.


Stay Tuned for tomorrow's post where I will review eyeliners available at the Albuquerque Ulta



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