What we are seeing this year, be it Trump or Brexit, is not only a rejection of the mainstream, it's a rejection of the climate of political correctness and risk averse mentality that makes every controversial topic out of bounds. God forbid a person should be critical of Islam, or aggressive feminism, or dare to make a joke of a sexist or racist nature. You might hurt someone's feelings! You might send them into spasm. Quick, get them to a safe space and get out the smelling salts.
Fuck you. Quite simply, fuck you. If you genuinely cannot tell the difference between bonafide racism or sexism then you are quite simply a colossal cunt. And a fairly dim one, too. And worse, you actually piss all over the graves of the enlightened campaigners of free speech that fought so hard, and whom often paid in blood, Just so vacuous little nothings like you can enjoy the freedoms you are now so intent on curtailing. People, we have existing laws on hate speech, and broadly speaking they work. We don't need some pre pubescent college graduate going ballistic every time someone makes a statement that might cause offence. On many US college campuses there is now such a culture of fear, and such enthusiasm for shutting down difficult debates that people are too afraid to have important discussions on issues that pose genuine societal challenges. It's obscene. It's cowardly. So don't be surprised when Bufoons like Trump rise to power. For all his inadequacies he dared to verbalize the concerns of a silent majority. He tapped into genuine threads of concern and successfully ripped the liberal elite a proverbial new one. If Clinton had been more courageous, and less risk adverse I do not think the world would have found itself in this ridiculous situation. We truly have created a monster, and we've only ourselves to blame. We need to have these difficult and awkward discussions about race and gender and religion. We need to push back against this climate of politically correct non thinking. We need to be confrontational. Confrontational in the right way. And if a few insensitive little flowers become perturbed during the process then I don't care. They can go do one. Perhaps they could spend a little time reflecting on their own fragility, their own glass egos. Or to put it plainly, they could simply grow a pair. If, upon reading this you are offended, then I'd like you to know that I'm entirely indifferent to your indignation. Your soft underbelly isn't my problem. I'm not here to appease you, or to give you a safe space.
The world isn't a safe space. And thank God it isn't. It's a seething swarm of risks and threats, and to lack the balls to confront this simply makes the problem worse. Grow up, look outward. Or just get out of my way.
Friday, 25 November 2016
Sunday, 6 November 2016
It is almost 10 years since I abandoned religious belief. The time since has been a story of intellectual recovery, of reviewing much of what I previously held to be true about reality. I can honestly say that despite the loss of several close friendships, I do not regret taking the hard road rather than the easy one. I have been on a journey, a voyage of the mind and I have visited realms previously alien to me. I consider myself a freethinker, an atheist, and remain critical of the value of religious belief. I genuinely hold that it hinders more than helps, stultifies more than it advances, and I worry that it continues to hold humanity captive to notions and modes of behaviour that we should have jettisoned a long time ago. Take morality for example. Morality isn’t complicated in its basic form. If you want to lead a moral life then you need do little more than seek to minimise harm. Seek not to harm others, and see how far that gets you. You’ll be surprised. Religion, I put to you, is good for absolutely nothing. The central claims of all religions are largely nonsensical and disproving the pitiful claims of Islam or Christianity is trivially easy. Better instead to stand with a free mind and appraise this remarkable vista we call existence. Taste it, reflect upon it, be open to the myriad experiences this life offers you. Don’t be held captive by turgid ancient ideology, but plough your own furrow and live a life of experiment and open mindedness. Belief in God is absurd. It is pure Monty Python. Other than making the concept of death more palatable I really cannot for the life of me see what it brings. The amount of time people commit to it continues to leave me open mouthed. And if you want to tell me that sans religion we would have no basis to be good, then I suggest that holding such view says something quite unpleasant about you. I don’t think for a second that the average believer would go on a rampage if they woke up tomorrow faithless. They would probably continue to live broadly similar lives, and if they did suddenly undertake a Viking style rampage of raping and pillaging then I’d have to suspect that they were only reigning it in to begin with. Oh to be sure I am more blunt these days. I don’t suffer fools. And nor do I extend one iota of respect to the kindly majority whom want to believe that Jesus or the Prophet are the only way to true goodness. Plain silliness, people. Use reason as your primary arbiter, as this will help you assess your impulses. I worry that we continue to give such respect to religious belief, and that we continue to give these binary and ancient ideas such credibility. We could jettison the whole religious shit show and we would still have every capacity to build upon the values that have evolved through the course of our ancestral journey. We are better than religion. Better than our tiny Gods. Better than the stupid rituals and dictates and bronze age infantilism. Humanity needs to grow up and grow out of such lowly, anti rational thinking. We can do better. We can be more. We owe it to ourselves to do so.