Before I dive into the mosh pit of American and worldwide events I feel it is important to state my starting position. This will provide context for my positions on topics like politics, religion, economics, environmentalism, and so on.
I am a straight Caucasian male. I was born in June of 1969, which makes me a member of Generation X. Politically, I am a hodge-podge of liberal, socialist, anarchist and Green. Religiously I am predominantly Buddhist, with a strong dash of Taoism and sprinklings of Eastern Orthodox mysticism. I have a college degree and a good job as a programmer. My life is stable enough for me to occasionally feel genuinely bored.
As a straight white dude I am overwhelmingly on the side of hegemony in the United States. Every benefit it is possible to accrue simply by being born white and straight and a dude, I have accrued. In the past twenty years and eight jobs I have only *really* had to fill out a resume once. The only way I could more closely hew to the current odious version of the American Dream would be for me to be conservative and Christian.
Those last two points? Never gonna happen.
I recognize how privileged my life is, and how little I have had to work, comparatively, to make it so. The system is set up specifically for people like me, and specifically against people who are not like me. And that fact nauseates me.
As a nerdy kid in a small farm town I was bullied regularly. Not badly, compared to the suicide-inducing standards of today, but consistently. That led directly to my lifelong practice of martial arts, and to my lifelong–and steadily increasing–hatred of bullies and bullying. For the purpose of any discussion along those lines, I will define bullying simply as punching down from a position of strength. And since this is my blog, I will be the sole determiner in these discussions as to what constitutes punching down.
To go along with that definition, I also have three general rules or guidelines or aphorisms that I try to keep front-and-center:
- There is no such thing as an over-reaction to being bullied.
- In any particular situation, if you take the side of hegemony, the only direction you can punch is down.
- When in doubt, err on the side of compassion.
I agree that the third point is incongruous with the first two. So be it. I contain multitudes. And sometimes pie.