Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Binary people

I've coined this phrase from my experiences of arguing with complete nitwits on Twitter. You say something bad about capitalism and you get an idiotic interjection to point out that communism was quite bad too. Sometimes they do this to make a point that capitalism shouldn't be criticised because the alternative is worse. THE alternative????!!! As if only two types of economic system are available off the shelf and that we as human beings, the most resourceful animal on earth could not possibly devise a third, or indeed many, alternatives if we put our minds to it, or that within the two kinds of systems that exist in the binary peoples' headspace there isn't actually an infinite number of different versions, or that it would be entirely impossible for us to discuss moving on to a post-economic era.

Usually the point they're making, I use the word "point" very loosely here, is just some illogical vague "point" that because communism is bad (with no evidence provided) then capitalism must be good, which amounts to if tea is bad then coffee is good, if salt is bad then pepper is good, of Oasis is bad then Blur are good (one for the teenagers there).

It's the same with anything though. These people see yes or no, black or white, good or bad. When I say Labour are shit I used to get accused of being a Tory. Now when I say Tories are shit I get a tirade of how terrible labour were in government. As if that was even relevant to my point!

The same people seem incapable of having an in depth argument about anything either. Try to analyse a film or a book that they enjoy, with a balanced critique, and they retort, 'why did you bloody watch it then?' Which is quite amusing cos if you criticise a film you haven't seen (I knew I didn't have to watch Pearl Harbor to know it was going to be shit. I was right.) they say you have no right to criticise it: catch 22.

Criticise this country and they will either say, well why don't you go and live in Russia/China/Cuba/Iran (all actual examples I've received). Criticise a city and they will either say, piss off then go live somewhere else, or fuck off, we don't want you here.

If I ever complained about the war in Iraq being illegal and unethical and, well, misguided in every possible way, I got told I was supporting Saddam Hussein and his massacre of the Kurds. WHAT? HOW??

In their world cyclists don't walk or drive, they just ride bikes (through red lights or on pavements), and motorists drive, do not ever walk or cycle and are firm upstanding good taxpaying people.

To men of this ilk women are all to be revered, placed on some sort of pedestal as if they're angels, but they must be pretty, available and be submissive, controlled and owned like cattle. The reverence of women is something you get throughout the male gender and it is so clearly the other side of the misogyny coin. A compliant female is to be revered and a "deviant" female is to be held against the perfect version and reviled! Most men move from the casual misogyny of youth to the teary eyed reverence of "good" women in their married years. Men who fall off the marriage wagon at any point often revert straight back to misogyny.

Anyone who challenges this binary gender position is to be sneered at or shunned. If a woman steps out of line she is a hairy feminist weirdo and if a man wants to be feminine in any way (wearing pink can be an issue for many men, let alone the wearing of skirts, soft fabrics, flower prints or slightly wide trousers, or "feminine" pursuits such as looking after children, creative crafts, having empathy, feeling emotion, personal grooming, etc. etc.) then he must be shunned and kept away from the god fearing folk.

For them, things are either 100% ticketty boo. Or 100% completely fucking shit. Presumably it's a waste of time saying good evening to them because to them it will either be day or night and nothing in between.

Intelligent people realise that nothing exists in this binary way. Everything - or at least near as dammit - exists in a spectrum. There are a multiplicity of ways to organise an economy, but all but two have been thoroughly stamped out and ignored. There are a multiplicity of gender positions one can take -from full on heterosexual to full on homosexuality. These two positions as well as male and female seem to be accepted these days. but not bisexuality, or any combination theirin, nor is transgendered very acceptable. though true to the binary view, men or women who are transgendered should always seek gender reassignment, then everyone will be (sort of) happy; don't try to mix things up though - trouble lies that way! If you don't fit into a box, and an offically sanctioned box at that, then FUCK OFF. Or go sit in the box marked "enemies of the Daily Mail".

Many cyclists drive. Many drivers cycle. We all fucking walk!! even motorists have to get out of their cars at some point.

No one is truly good and no one is evil. We are all just human beings trying to get on. some of us realise that hatred and exploitation of others should be challenged and others don't and completely embrace capitalism, vote Tory or LibDem (or Labour).

Increasingly I see things as those who support the status quo and those who don't. So maybe I'm guilty too. On the other hand - maybe it is that simple in this particular case? Or maybe I am a hypocrite? Well in my book that makes me human, but to the Binaries it probably makes me an evil dipshit.

Here's a perfect example of binary thinking in action as described by a Palestinian freedom fighter

I raise this point mainly as I don't seem to fit into many boxes - not happy about my gender, I recognise both feminine and masculine traits within me, and try to deny neither, I claim to be a male feminist, an anarchist, an atheist, I refuse to describe myself as either a pedestrian, cyclist or a motorist, I am both a tenant and a landlord, brought up working class and yet I feel more middle class, have in the past belonged to two political parties neither of which i vote for. I have been many things and many people through my short life so far, so I am particularly annoyed to have that experience denied by a bunch of nitwits!

1 comment:

Tom Pride said...

Excellent post. From now on I will be using the term 'binary people' too.