Thursday 13 May 2021

Contradictions 8

"There’s no room in the country for immigrants!" say people who live on Dartmoor out of sight of any other house.

As a highly social species, people around the world have evolved to put a premium on certain factors that elevate or diminish social status. Discussing social status or admitting that one cares about his or her social rank can seem tacky and uncouth. (Psychology Today)

The other person may have to ask a lot of questions and do more than his or her share of “the work” to keep the conversation going. [The person with difficulties] may give more information than the other person wants to hear. (Quoted by Dr Em.)

Psychologists and sociologists talk about social conventions, social validation and successful relationships (as a marker of normality), but lay people insist that there are no social conventions, you’ll never be happy if you look to other people to validate you, and you don’t need a relationship – in fact you’ll be stronger on your own.

The people who insist that there are no social rules also insist that the English language consists entirely of rules and get very upset when you tell them that there aren’t any.

Social conventions follow unwritten rules and can't be put into words, but Labour canvassers are given a script and instructed how to deflect difficult questions.

Never think about what other people are thinking about you, because they aren’t. Listeners never hear good of themselves.

Be spontaneous, but be prepared. Neurotypicals are very keen on the idea that behaviour is all instinctive. But they think a lack of executive function (planning ahead, following a sequence, remembering instructions) is a pathological symptom. They also claim that you learn behaviours, and then they become automatic – but they are very chary of talking about the learning stage, as if this was something embarrassing buried deep in the past.

Tell people not to copy others while conforming yourself, and knowing perfectly well that: “We observe people around us keenly, and when we don’t know what to do, we often decide by watching the actions of those we know well or respect… and pay close attention to the social nuances conveyed by body language.” New Statesman, 2012 ("Be yourself" means “don’t copy those common children down the road”, says a friend.)

You should never think about what other people are thinking about you, but unfortunately autistic people have no theory of mind. Honesty is the best policy, but it's a shame autistic people can’t lie.

You should meet people halfway, but you mustn’t try too hard to be liked or push yourself in where you’re not wanted.

Women must give the impression of being independent, while still appearing to need somebody.

You shouldn't look for someone to complete you, but "everybody needs somebody to love".

Humans like to moan about marriage and disparage their “exhausting” kids. While claiming that love is a bourgeois construct and romance a capitalist plot to force us to spend money on Valentine cards, they pair off, shack up, settle down and have children. And despise the single.

In the 1960s people didn’t talk about their feelings, but pop songs were all about “lurve”. In the 1950s sex was a taboo subject, but there was a subculture of dirty jokes, cartoons and songs.  

“It’ll happen when you’re NOT looking” co-exists happily with small ads, dating apps, Grindr and Tindr. We are supposed to fall in love with people’s souls, but Tindr/Grindr users detail precisely the physical attributes they are looking for.

As we insist that gender is a social construct, children’s clothes, shoes and toys become more and more gender-segregated. (Viewers complained that a small boy wore a raincoat printed with unicorns on The Great British Sewing Bee.)

It’s normal to pretend you want to be extraordinary, while being conformist.

Appearance doesn’t matter, but first impressions count and smartening yourself up will give you confidence.

We tell the young to be unique, when society wants them to be identikit.

Women are pressured to get breast implants, but women’s clothes are designed for the flat-chested.

Advice to the bullied: Violence never solved anything, but you should learn a martial art to give you confidence.

The French Revolution: Everyone has the right to life, but we're going to guillotine a lot of people.

"Calling someone a gammon is as bad as calling someone an N-word." "We don't need to protect women from insults because they are feminists and can protect themselves. In fact they would resent our interference.” (Ends up with men defending gammons, but not women.)

Post from a man who tweeted a constant stream of racist gibes on the level of “I hate n******s”: “I have now lost my job. Thanks to you guys. Thank you so much. I made a mistake and now I’m jobless. Please stop the hate. I’m sorry.”

“Nobody ever changes their mind” coexists with “I watched this youtube video and now I know the earth is flat”. And if you can’t change people’s minds, why are we so afraid of brainwashing? Or “radicalisation” as we call it now.

You use a smartphone and a tablet and rely on high-tech medicine, but whinge about Brian Cox and wonder why anybody needs to be interested in science.

You moan about commercialisation and overconsumption while complaining about the recession, the decline of manufacturing and the death of the high street. (If you can't do this with a straight face, you are not really British.)

Complain that children grow up too fast these days while forcing them to be mini-adults who understand money and remember to turn off lights.

White north Europeans spend hours/pounds acquiring the skin colour of people they despise - for their darker skin colour.

The people who “don’t want to bother the doctor” can’t work out that if nobody went to the doctor, the doctor wouldn’t have a job.

Theists: Richard Dawkins is a religious missionary for atheism. And atheism is just a faith.

You complain about blockbuster art shows being packed out – but if the crowds didn’t come the galleries couldn’t afford to put on the shows and you couldn’t see them.

Bar women from many professions and experiences, make it hard for them to do anything but stay at home and look after children and house, then denigrate them for having a “narrow view of the world”.

Destroy someone’s confidence then despise them for having no confidence.

The libertarians who want to stand alone and not pay tax happily benefit from libraries, hospitals, policemen, street lighting, sewers… They had no idea how much they depended on the council. I hate when rich people slag off people on benefits but use the NHS and state education but still claim to be taking nothing. (2013-04-19, Pip Borev ‏@pipogypopotamus) 

Bully says “Yes, but that was in the past”, while celebrating “our glorious past”.

I was put off Shakespeare by the incomprehensible language. I was put off Shakespeare by teachers explaining every last word.

How dare the Sussexes take so much taxpayers’ money! How dare the Sussexes earn their own money so they don’t have to live off the British taxpayer!

We’re all human – apart from those people.

We’re all equal, but we the middle classes are in control and have the best of everything because we are just so wonderful. (I think this may be "hegemony".)

People are drugged to make them more "normal", but only the exceptional become "great men" and change history. If I say “A six-foot woman is tall, but a five-foot woman is short”, it implies the existence of average height, and anyone will understand this. But at the same time they like to say “Everyone is exceptional”. (Or “We’re all on the autistic spectrum”.)

Conservatives like to conserve things, and they don’t believe in the “magic money tree”, but they are spending billions on digging a tunnel next to Stonehenge, and a dual carriage-way through three Sussex villages. What they really like are jobs for the boys, backhanders for their mates and the sheer joy of destruction.

“People just wear poppies because of peer pressure these days”, moan people who won’t wear poppies because they’re afraid of being taken for a warmongering jingoistic imperialist nationalist.

The American Dream says that you can be whatever you want, and do whatever you want, and nobody can stop you. America is one of the most unequal societies in the Western world, and many people will remain in poverty due to prejudice or lack of education, or in a job they hate but have to keep because medical insurance is so expensive.

Here in the UK we use a lot of soap and think we’re the most civilized people in the world but we pee in the street and don't wash the pavements – we wait for a rainstorm. Also we smack children and punish them without trial (ASBOs) and we were terribly upset when the UN pointed this out.

The only way to stop community transmission of COVID is to encourage community transmission of COVID.

Schrödinger’s old person is vulnerable to COVID aged 60, but fit enough to work to the age of 66.

Brits admire the Dunkirk spirit, but are incensed by people fleeing war crossing the Channel in small boats.

April 2020: The government wants to cut driving and build lots of roads.

A society that worships terrifyingly powerful goddesses keeps women in bondage.
A society that writes great poetry sacrifices a prisoner to the Sun every morning.
A society that’s known as the most liberal in Europe sterilises mental-hospital inmates until the 70s.

When people go silent they are Trying to Tell You Something.

More here, and links to the rest.

No comments:

Post a Comment