Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Day 7. 4 Turn-offs.

1. Selfishness: at the core of all of it, and it encompasses almost everything. Whether you climb the career ladder at the expense of others; don't consider others when you do things; don't make time for those who care about you but expect them to ; see your kids as an extension of yourself; make it all about you; feel entitled to have things done for you RIGHT NOW; think your view is the only view - and anything that proceeds from that, including watching people do things and not offering to help - I have absolutely no time for you whatsoever. And most of my schadenfreude arises when the selfish get exactly what they deserve.

2. Religious asshattery/rigidity/hypocrisy: I've experienced so much of this, beginning with my family, I don't even know where to start.

One of the best examples of this was an acquaintance who did a climb for charity, and the recipient organisation was something I supported wholeheartedly: one that would help kids, so I sponsored her - until she excitedly added on her sponsor sheet, 'I've spoken to someone high up in the charity, and he said we could channel the money to CATHOLIC KIDS!!!!!!' At this point, not only did my name come off her sponsor list, but I wrote in protest, only to get others saying that one should 'take care of one's own tribe first.'

I was so repelled by the transparent selfishness/tribalism of it that, on that day, I swore never to funnel my charitable giving through a religious organisation if I could help it.

Because for me, here's the deal: those in greatest need get first. There is NO order, NO preference, NO 'you're 'ours' and you get first'. The most vulnerable first, full stop. Because there IS no Catholic or Muslim; black or white. There is, as far as I am concerned, only humanity. My money will go where it most needed, regardless of race, creed, religion, tribal affiliation. Read my lips: all I care about is that those who need get. Religion has no place here, except as God's vehicle to provide material and spiritual comfort.

Rigidity: plenty of it in all sorts of circumstances. For that, let me refer you to this entry of mine with the passage from Silver on the Tree by Susan Cooper that sums it up. "Without colour..." Will said reflectively. "I don't know. Maybe because the Dark can only reach people at extremes - blinded by their own shining ideas or locked up in the darkness of their own heads." Sums up far too many religious folk of all stripes far too well.

Hypocrisy: if you're claiming to be the perfect specimen of X religion because you follow all the rules, get this: everyone has a right to be relentless in holding you to them, where we would be much more forgiving with those who are more moderate and admit struggling, doubt and their humanity. So, if you're virulently and vocally 'pro-life', you don't get to be pro-war and pro-death penalty. If you're virulently anti-gay marriage, your ass is ours when you're caught on Clapham Common. If you're a conservative poster boy priest for the Pope who judges his flock in every interaction, from in private to the pulpit, be prepared to be judged.

Why? See #1 and #3. Religion is not your stick to beat those not like you, or to puff yourself up because of some imagined status, and it certainly is not meant to be the LARP it so often becomes, with its own universe separate from G-d's reality. Religion is meant to be your door to let G-d in, to develop a relationship with Him, a way to love Him and His creation.

Religion is a means, not an end - not a way to separate yourself from G-d and others, but to find that you are, in fact, at one with them.

3. Lack of authenticity. I can smell fake from a mile away, and the spikes are out the second I do. My particular pet peeve is the 'sugar/sweetness/light' peddled by those who can be acerbic about most things/feel perfectly comfortable dumping all their anger/darkness on you, but suddenly, when you criticise one of their untouchables, they become completely incapable of understanding hyperbole, offering thoughtful contributions and go all breathy, wide-eyed and 'Oh, you CAN'T say that, maybe the robber with an AK47 didn't MEAN to kill anyone,' 'You know, you really can't say/think/do that,' (Yes, in point of fact, I CAN) or 'It's so UPSETTING when you get angry,' (but clearly, YOUR being angry/upset and dumping it on me is NOT), peddling lack of engagement and condescending moral superiority as charity. If you want me to deal with your shadow, you'd damned well better be prepared to deal with mine.

Oh, and yes, excessive and unnecessary PDAs count here. Because we all know they're bullshit and that it's the little touches that show crackling chemistry between a pair.

And I'll spare you my feelings on the people who lose the ability to think for themselves when they become half a couple or a BFF - suddenly, their SO's/BFF's political/social/style ideas are their own - even if they were diametrically opposed two days ago. But I'm sure you can guess what those thoughts are.

I suppose this turn-off is really about shallowness: not dealing with what you don't want to deal with; not fully engaging with, not struggling towards, who you really are. None of us are fully there - least of all me - but there's a world of difference between moving towards it and amputating/denying it - and it's the latter that I'm talking about here.

4. Drama llama: Arm-waving, dramatic hand against forehead, hyperventilating, fake extreme emotional affect, running around telling everyone what needs to be done when you can't be bothered to lift a finger will NOT make me feel sorry for you. It will make me want to slap the hysteria out of you, most commonly phrased as 'It's an inconvenience, not a catastrophe.'

Get OFF the drama llama yourself, or I will take you off and stand you where it will spit in your face.

Bet you're all glad tomorrow is 3 turn-ons then, aren't you? ;-)


Anonymous said...

OMG I can *so* associate with pretty much ALL of these.

CEAD said...

First of all, I did so much nodding while reading this that I probably resembled a bobble doll. YES to everything.

What strikes me about this list is that all of the items on it really reduce down to one; or, put another way, are all different aspects or symptoms of the same underlying source. I think it's a profound lack of a particular emotional awareness, manifesting as utter absence of any traces of true sympathy or empathy and a fundamental self-centredness. Which, very clearly, is going to push huge buttons for you.


Playful Grace said...

I so agree with the comments! Wow.