Monday, November 23, 2015

Mask Wearers

I read this today next to a desk as I sat in a classroom virtually ignored by the co teacher, whom irony would have have subbed for in the past. "We all wear masks, and the times comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin." I wear a mask every day and it is getting harder with each passing day when one walks into a school and  varying staff members that have shared the classroom with me, ate in the classroom and walked through it to gain access to an adjacent office and not one individual acknowledged me nor spoke to me.    These are professional adults and this is how they treat a "peer" by ignoring me.  And you wonder why people hate Teachers.

And then I read this blog entry from a young girl and I thought it summed up Seattle quite well.

The dominant negative vibration in Seattle is: Annoyed, a state of perpetual irritation.  Seattle is not a friendly city.  In fact, its inhabitants have a reputation for unfriendliness and I’ve yet to see this stereotype contradicted.  This would be a very, very hard place to live for anyone who was trying to stop caring what other people thought of them.  The social judgment in Seattle is palpable.  The vibe between people is “I don’t have any time for you so… what do you want from me? 
In general, people here are highly self-involved and not outgoing.  It would be very hard to make friends here.  It is an unwritten social standard to not look into other people’s eyes and to not smile.  If you do either, people are taken aback and the meaning they add to the experience, causes them to be “creeped out”.  It puts one on edge trying to figure out just how to behave so as to not be perceived in a negative light.  In my opinion, Seattle is the hipster capital of the world.  A subculture of people whom felt misunderstood growing up and who now value counter culture, progressive politics and independent thinking.  This is wonderful in theory, but ironically the hipster culture has become a highly judgmental group that demands conformity to its unique ideals and tastes for acceptance.  I had the opportunity to observe a street party on Capitol Hill yesterday, which brought the hipsters out into the streets in droves.  A part of me felt sad.  I saw a collection of people, who are desperate to be loved for who they are, but who must wear the identity of their urban radical façade just as thick as a southern bell in a cotillion to belong.

I have long said that the migrants who came in here in search of a life forgot to bring one with them. They expected it to be handed to them with the joint and $15/hr that we provide upon entering city lines.

I think this is a MEllinneal thing. Although the group in my room today were a little long in the tooth to fit that but Gen X they were and that is the Glenn Beckheads and others of that collective who seem jealous that they never got the respect they deserve. For what I am unclear? Anger? Income Inequity? Reagan?

But one thing is certain that Seattle is very reflective of that cohort. Angry, paranoid, superficial and aspirational.  And this week a Yoga class was cancelled for its appropriation of the word "yoga" and its cultural history; a Professor on leave for using a "slur" which I am guessing begins with "N" and ends in "er" in context of a larger discussion, not as a superlative directed towards a student; and of course the eradication of Woodrow Wilson from anything in Princeton.  Well University of Virginia be next with its glorification of slave owner and baby daddy of slaves, Thomas Jefferson? What about FDR and his womanizing? And the list can go on.

I am not sure what to make of this. The supposed "disrupters" seem to mimics or again almost all of their big schemes and plans are having private cars and drivers at your disposal - Uber; having a private home at your beck and call - AirBnB; private bus service, having food delivered, having it cooked for you, your house cleaned, a Butler service (I love that one); personal taxis for children; special shoppers and pet loaning, like tools only without the vet bills and actual responsiblilty.

And yes all of those are legitimate businesses and well all of them have long existed in one form or another.  It is lather rinse repeat and ride the unicorn to riches.  What.ever.

I think the last sentence in that young woman's blog post says it all:   people, who are desperate to be loved for who they are, but who must wear the identity of their urban radical façade just as thick as a southern bell in a cotillion to belong.

We are wearing many masks and this belief that you can erase, oppress, bully and intimidate people to conform to your world view is one small world.  When you remove your mask will we see how ugly you really are beneath it?   Perhaps that is the problem, no one wants to be ugly and everyone wants to be liked.  This is what is now diversity - not disagreeing with the status quo.

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