Saturday, August 17, 2019

Wascally Wabbits

So I was having this discussion with a buddy of mine about this commercial which has populated the childhood of American children for the past 60 years:

The catch-line is always "Trix are for kids!"

So my friend and I were talking about the weirdness of this commercial, which relies on children frustrating the desires of another, and mocking and tormenting another, into order to fulfill their own desire -- and their own desires for something both unnecessary and unhealthy, let's not forget. An early commercial makes this even more explicit:

The discussion sparked a memory of how, when I was a young media-saturated toddler delagar, shopping with my parents on Sunday morning at Schwegmann's

I'd always pester my father for Trix, just as the TV had told me I should. "I want Trix!" I would say. "Can we get Trix?"

"Trix are for kids," he would say cheerily, walking on past.

Far from annoying me, this would puzzle me. "But I am a kid," I would say, as if this were some information he was lacking.

"Trix are for kids," he would repeat, continuing on down the aisle.

"But Daddy," I would say, running after him, "But Daddy, I am a kid! So can I have some?"

"Trix are for kids!"

I was just convinced, when I was five years old, he was simply missing the facts. Like if I could get him to understand the data -- that I was a kid -- he would smack himself in the head and say, Oh, right! do a 180 in the aisle and buy me the cereal.

It occurs to me now that this is the fundamental error we are making when we try to hold a reasoned debate with MAGA Americans. We think they are just missing the facts. We think if we just supply them with the data, they will say, oh, right! Now I see, do a 180, and begin acting like decent human beings.

But they aren't missing the data. Like my father, they are perfectly aware of the facts. They know that climate change is real. They know that the USA has kids in cages. They know that Trump is looting the country, and that he changed the tax laws to put more money in the pockets of the 1%. They know that Trump is gutting the EPA to allow corporations to make more money, while destroying our water, air, wetlands, and our national parks. They know socialized medicine is the only system that works. They know antifa is not a terrorist organization, and that Proud Boys is. They know that police violence is a problem.

They know all this. We can repeat this information all we like, we can present all the evidence we want, under the delusion they're just missing the facts, and that if we give it to them, they'll say, oh right, and do a 180.

But that's not going to happen, because they don't care about evidence. They care about power and about wealth. They care about hegemony.  They care about their privilege, and keeping that privilege. If they have to mock and torment people to keep it, well, they'll do that. If they have to exploit people to keep it, they'll do that too. If they have to destroy the planet, well, they're Good Christians, aren't they? They know this is not the only world.

In conclusion: Vote every single member of the GOP out in 2020.


Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life said...

Sadly, I think you're absolutely right and I can't reconcile that in the people I know to be political conservatives who aren't horrible evil people in their daily lives. I just cannot grok it.

delagar said...

They're not evil toward people they think of as people -- which is to say their friends, their family, people like them.

This is why they get so upset when something happens to one of the people in their family, or one of their friends. It's horrifying to them that a "real" person would be abused by the police, or that a "real" person might get shot.

That's also why it's okay when someone in their family or one of their friends needs an abortion. I've actually had them tell me that these abortions are "different."

But those other people? Those they have turned into un-People -- which is to say, immigrants, trans people, "bad" women, liberals, black people, people who worship Islam -- well, those aren't really people.

Who cares what happens to someone who isn't actually a person?

delagar said...

Oh -- and also, they can revoke your personhood at any moment, as many of my LGBTQ students have discovered.