Anymore I find myself and more of an existentialist and less Nietzschean. I’m not sure if that has something to do with aging, or if it’s just the natural progression of philosophy. I’m not sure it’s a change for the better, but I know that you can never get better without changing, because changing is directly implied by the word improve. Maybe the world has changed and I’ve just been unconsciously adapting to it.
I’ve been nursing an existential crisis for three weeks now; after finding myself in a new job, in new surroundings, with a new lifestyle, as part of a different social class. I found that I was a man without a without a mission, a man without goals, a man without convictions.
Recently, a new movement was proposed, which was given the title of Atheist+ (A+) which combines atheist with social justice advocacy, on a mission to fight “racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, classism, ageism, neurotypicalism, animal welfare, environmental issues, and various political issues (health care, crime, drug laws)”. It would be easier than it sounds, since I already align myself with most of these causes, clearly I must join this sub-movement, as I must do what is right. Such a campaign would validate me and give me meaning again, but… I don’t know…
Still, I immediately wanted to sign on to this. It just made sense, unlike Christian social justice, which was always a joke. Social justice exists to protect people from the Christians. The thought of combining atheism with social justice was a quick and easy answer to my existential woes, and my daydreams were filled with the thoughts of traveling around California, writing wrongs with my new best friend, an adamantine Trans-Am. I could finally live life the way I was meant to…
I mentally made a list of the minor changes I would have to make to fit this mold. One of which, was that I would have to re-write a previous entry where I referred to Yoko Ono as a “vorpal cunt.” Suddenly, I was presented with a dilemma. I either play nice and take back some mean things I said (about Yoko, of all people), or to leave them dishonestly represent myself as the sort of person who would not say those things.
I can’t do it. I can’t bring myself to not-hate Yoko Ono. After some though, I saw the real problem at hand. It’s a pre-packaged ideology, and if I was in the market for one of those, I would’ve just stayed Catholic. Furthermore, the scope was so broad that only the most virtuous can be admitted, with no mention of those who are mostly good; who support some causes but not others. The mostly virtuous are left without a definite status, like those bastards locked up in Gitmo. I don’t advocate all of the causes of the A+ agenda. I am not omni-virtuous, because I am not like the Christ — I am a mortal, fallible man, long doomed by fate to death. I can not live up to the A+ ideals because I am not ideal. I’m not completely good, but I am mostly good, will I be mostly praised for that, or will I be damned by the godless damned?
Of course, when you read farther, we see that once again any good that can ever exist in the world has been squashed at the hands of the crazy:
“There is a new atheism brewing, and it’s the rift we need, to cut free the dead weight so we can kick the C.H.U.D.’s back into the sewers and finally disown them, once and for all. I was already mulling a way to do this back in June when discussion in the comments on my post On Sexual Harassment generated an idea to start a blog series building a system of shared values that separates the light side of the force from the dark side within the atheism movement, so we could start marginalizing the evil in our midst, and grooming the next generation more consistently and clearly into a system of more enlightened humanist values.
Apparently the looks-good-on-paper A+ agenda is just an everything-or-nothing, ball-or-sword situation dipped in a hard candy shell of feel-good nonsense with the intention to create more safe spaces… but in the end, safety is always an illusion.
I don’t worry though, because I embrace the grim nature of human condition. One of things I hate most about human interaction is the lie that we tell out confused adolescents: “It gets better.” The high school clique is the fundamental basis for all human interaction. It doesn’t get better, but we can grow stronger.
Six years ago, I washed up on shores of the Island of Misfit Toys which is atheism after weeks, months, and years of frantic flailing in the vast Ocean of Derp, which encompasses the entirely of the post-apocalyptic Waterworld of religious thought. Now, a clique of all the popular kids are wanting to vote people off the island, acting as though there were no island left for islanders like me.
This is the same mistake that the RINO hunting Republicans; the leaner-meaner-more devout Catholic church; and the rich, and the clique pretty people sitting at the same lunch table make. Practicing exclusion won’t actually get rid of anyone. It never has. Even if Jambi granted Richard Carrier his wish and all the dead-weight C.H.U.D.s like myself were banished to the Phantom Zone, we still wouldn’t be gone from the atheist movement; no more so that filling all the chairs at the popular kid’s table removes everyone else from the cafeteria. Excluding people doesn’t make them go away; it just makes you not see them. In the time that the excluded are “gone”, they continue to work and grow without your notice. Left unchecked for long enough, the excluded kid will become amazingly competent, and those who continue to write them off do so at their own peril. For example, the marginalized metalhead I hung out with in high school went on to form Sarsen, which makes Dethklok look like the fuckin’ Archies. Holy shit dude, Sarsen makes the claims of Satanic ritual abuse look like your heartwarming memories of Don Bluth films. They’re playing a couple of shows soon, which is what the Maya were trying to warn us about.
I never understood why the term “popular” was used to describe the popular kids in my high school. They’re only well-recognized; the majority of people didn’t like them, since they went out of their way to exclude everyone. Meanwhile, the legion of C.H.U.D.s learned, loved, lived, and grew together, until in the end, we were all one big happy family, who wound up terrorizing the popular kids at lunch, in between our dramatic bouts of The Penis Game. Then there was a slow pan out, and the Outer Limits voiceover guy expressed the irony of the situation, before showing us scenes from the next episode of our lives.
From my observations of my 31 years trapped upon this earth, I’ve managed to discern that literally everyone who tells me to play nice is just trying to manipulate me to some end. That’s all that going on here; but that ain’t happenin’. I, Ryan Coons, in accordance with the rubric for morality laid out by the A+ movement, would like to take this time to self-identify as a C.H.U.D.
Really, my blatant disregard for the general welfare and safety of children ought to get me permabanned from the A+ clique, but I don’t want to take any risks. I’m going balls firmly attached to the walls on this one.
Fully knowing that I will be called out as making a statement of general form “I have nothing against X, but uncomfortable statement about X,” I don’t think the term “transphobic” applies to me. When I was sauntering back from the bar last night, I wasn’t worried about being jumped by a gang of post-op transsexuals. In addition, I’m pretty sure I’m prepared to handle that situation; so I wouldn’t call it a phobia because I’m not living in fear. I just find transpersons to be Puck-like tricksters and I’ve just had it up to here with their kooky antics.
I suppose my relations with the trans community could best be expressed as a Dennis the Menace, comic written entirely by 4Chan.
“Yeah, I’ll open that thumbnail gallery,” I say to myself
“Surprise! PENIS!” the chimera-monster on the screen seems to voice.
Then I just sit there for a minute, shaking my fist at it.
“Oooo! You rapscallion, you!”
Surprise penis is the worst kind of penis, my friends. I can tell you this. It’s just slightly worse than oh-by-the-way penis. As in, I’m perusing OKC and I say
“Oh, she seems nice,” and I then I read on, and at the end mentions in passing, “Oh, by the way, penis.”
I’m not an evil man, I just hail from a simpler time, when only dudes had peeners. Now, I don’t know what to think. Up is down, and black is white. I don’t know any other way to react to these new situations other than some linear combination of aversion, screaming, unarmed combat, more screaming, crying, alcoholism, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
I’m sorry, but I see trans acceptance as a bullshit cause that’s not worth fighting for. South Park got it right; because South Park is smarter than all of us. Every dollar or minute of my time I devote to the trans cause is a dollar or minute I take away from some there charity that I deem worthy, like the ACLU, or the Sierra Club. I see no reason to support their cause.
At the end of the day, I didn’t join the atheist movement to help the trans community; I became an atheist because I hate YHVH. Also, as you read this, somewhere a child is being raped by a Catholic priest, most likely in one of their many tax-exempt magic castles — but that appears to be of secondary importance now. I don’t see how additional movements can be tacked together without it being creeping scope.
In addition, I can’t hop onto the whole animal welfare bandwagon either, because of my well-documented and completely irrational hatred of manatees. It’s a long story, but basically it’s the end result of a Manchurian Candidate-style brainwashing program based out of a Chuck E. Cheese. (Its Joe’s story really, if you want to hear it, you should hit him up.) Needless to say, when I travel I keep two outboard motors in my car, so in case if I run into a pack of manatees, I can just whip one of them out and go all Dead Alive on them:
The reason why I carry two is that one is steel, for general use, and the other one is a custom job a jeweler friend made out of silver, to protect myself from the dreaded were-manatees.
So why do I make these confessions? Why make a case against myself; why make the argument that I am a terrible person who deserves to be marginalized? It’s the same reason why I keep petitioning the local bishops to excommunicate me. It’s the same reason why I’ve looked into converting to both Mormonism and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, just so that I can perform excommunicatable acts the moment after they re-baptize me. If I utterly damn myself, apply the worst possible title that others can bestow on me, and wear it like a badge, those who judge lose their power over me. When you tell a priest that you want to go to hell, he can’t use the standard tricks anymore. He’s forced to let you live life on your own terms.
So if the A+ community is going to judge people based on their manifesto of values, then they need to pull the trigger now. I don’t belong; and I don’t want to belong to any group with the power to exclude. I’m not worried about losing my reputation, because I have no reputation to lose.
Given the choice to be hammer or anvil, I chose anvil.