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11.5.16

Damn The Tolerance, Full Speed Ahead!

"Bello, bello!  Come on now, be honest! Which one of you wouldn't rather listen to his hairdresser than Hercules? Or Horatius, or Orpheus... people so lofty they sound as if they shit marble!" - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Amadeus (1984)

Diversity.
Tolerance.

Big, lofty words with lots of bombast and hyperbole behind them.

Yes, we should all learn to tolerate diversity and love our neighbor.  The last person who proposed this was nailed to a tree.

I know what you're thinking, "Oh lord, he's not going to attack tolerance and diversity is he?"

Yes, he is.

I'll tell you why.  Behind all the high-falutin' puffery is an evil and seditious push to conform.  You cannot say certain things.  You cannot think certain things.  You must behave in certain ways.  Now, just where exactly is the tolerance and diversity in that?  Where I come from, we call this sort of thing "herding sheep."

You see, tolerating diversity means that people are allowed to have their own cultures, opinions and prejudices.  It does not mean that you have to sacrifice your own to avoid - wait for it - offending someone.  I don't try to offend, but if you are, that is your problem, not mine.  Sorry to pop that bubble for you.

Let me tell you about diversity.  I have lived in five countries and traveled to over 50.  I have encountered all sorts of people with all sorts of habits, belief and idiosyncrasies.  When someone offers me boiled dog or roasted beetles because it is one of their favorite foods, I don't shriek and call PETA or Leo di Caprio.  I settle down to a big steaming bowl of it and enjoy with the rest of the folks.  That's how it supposed to work.  Now if the dog happens to be my pet, well then I think I have the right to complain.

The thing that all these do-goodie jerks have forgotten is that the rest of the world is not like them.  Their idea of tolerance and diversity is to ensure that they are never inconvenienced or offended, not to truly celebrate the incredible color wheel of humanity.

When Westerners come to Indonesia, their first impression is frequently that this is a homogeneous land of five-foot-tall brown folks with black hair and black eyes.  It takes quite a while to learn the 300+ different cultures and how to tell who is who.  In the process, one also learns that each group has affinities with certain other groups, while being ambivalent or hostile to others.

It was the same when I lived in Germany, Ireland and Spain.  It is the same at home.  We all have certain folks we like, some we could care less about, and a few that we despise.  It's called life, and I resent when someone tries to lecture me on being "diverse" and "tolerant."  I have come by my prejudices honestly, by experiencing folks.

I have always taken people at face value.  I don't really care about general physical or philosophical characteristics.  If someone lets me vent, I return the favor.  Over time, I have noticed that I find particular groups of people are very often obnoxious, offensive or plain obstinate.  As a rule, I avoid all people of those particular groups.  Am I prejudiced?  Yes.  When the vast majority of people I have met from certain groups are jerks, I avoid all of them unless someone proves to be worth my time.

I won't voluntarily go near places where these people hang out, eat their cuisine, nor waste my time trying to tolerate their diversity.  If every time I slam my head against the wall it hurts, then I think it is safe to assume that every other time will have the same result.  Sure, padded walls may have a different result, but I'm not going to look for one to test it.

Though I won't tell which cultures I am prejudiced against, I will say that anyone who comes to me lecturing about tolerance and diversity goes on my list of persona non grata.  They are more often than not the most undiverse and intolerant people I have met.

Conformity to someone else's idea of tolerance and diversity is neither tolerant nor diverse.  It is forcing the world to behave in a way that makes these people feel comfortable, so they never have to face the unpleasant fact that there are unpleasant people.

It doesn't matter how tolerant and diverse you are, Asian drivers still suck, Indians still smell like curry, Chinese are still crafty, Germans still have no sense of humor, and Texans are still full of themselves.  These are facts of life.  Tolerate the diversity or shove off.

One thing about humans will never change: as much as we tolerate our fellow human beings, we also want to spend time around people who look, smell, eat, and think like us.  This is not a sign of intolerance, it is a natural desire to recharge our cultural batteries.  I love to argue with people, but occasionally I enjoy having someone agree with me.  I love Indonesian food, but occasionally I want a Frito pie and a box of Oreos.  I tolerate the city, but every chance I get I go to the mountains and isolation.

In other words, Germany is for Germans.  Korea is for Koreans.  Senegal is for Senegalese.  Everyone gets their personal space to be around folks they know and understand, because we all find it refreshing and less stressful.  All the whining in the world won't change who we are.

If you truly want to be tolerant and diverse, then allow everyone to hold their prejudices, revel in their imperfections and celebrate the incredible spectrum that is humanity.

But occasionally allow me to take refuge in a group of my choosing.

=====================================
As if reading my mind, one of our long-term correspondents, Ms L.K., sent the following just before post time.  I have not had a chance to verify it, but the sentiment is well noted.

What is meant by the modern term referred to as 'POLITICAL CORRECTNESS'..  Although I consider myself fluent in English, that term was not in my vocabulary. Someone found this definition in 4 telegrams at the Truman Library and Museum in Independence Missouri. The following are copies of four telegrams between President Harry Truman and Gen Douglas MacArthur on the day before the actual signing of the WWII Surrender Agreement in September 1945..  The contents of those four telegrams below are exactly as received at the end of the war - not a word has been added or deleted!

 (1) Tokyo,Japan
0800-September 1,1945
 To: President Harry S Truman







From: General D A MacArthur
     Tomorrow we meet with those yellow-bellied bastards and sign the Surrender Documents, any last minute instructions?

 (2) Washington, D C
1300-September 1, 1945
 To: D A MacArthur
From: H S Truman
     Congratulations, job well done, but you must tone down your obvious dislike of the Japanese when discussing the terms of the surrender with the press, because some of your remarks are fundamentally not politically correct!
 
(3) Tokyo, Japan
1630-September 1, 1945
 To: H S Truman
From: D A MacArthur and C H Nimitz
     Wilco Sir, but both Chester and I are somewhat confused, exactly what does the term politically correct mean?
 
(4) Washington, D C
2120-September 1, 1945
 To: D A MacArthur/C H Nimitz
From: H S Truman
     Political Correctness is a doctrine, recently fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and promoted by a sick mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous30.5.16

    Well said, Sir! (Or Ma'am, or Miss, or Sra or Mrs or... {I do not "tolerate" the "Ms"}).

    ReplyDelete

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