Sunday, July 6, 2008

Despise your neighbor

I just read about a group who get together to drink and make fun of their neighbors. They have some form of the word "liberal" in their title and their logo is the Angel Moroni taking a long draft of beer. So, let me see if I get this right. A group who call themselves liberal (generous, forgiving, live-and-let-live) gets together and chooses for a symbol something that is a conscious and studied insult. Hmmm. If asked about it, I imagine they would say something like, "It's all in good fun. Don't you have a sense of humor." Well, no I don't and no, it's not in good fun. It's vicious, condescending, and arrogant. But it's also depressingly universal.
What it does is demonstrate a tendency you will find in any minority group that considers itself superior. It's this: despise the majority.
Sailboat people despise motor boat people. Bus riders despise motorists. Bicyclists despise motorists (almost everyone despises motorists except when they are motorists themselves). Cross-country skiers despise downhill skiers.
It's a tendency well documented by sociolinguists, though they use it in a different context. But it's the same thing. Here's how it works: Let's say that you are in a foreign country. You are a member of a group who don't speak the language, don't understand the culture, don't know the history. So, you circle the wagons and talk only to each other. The British in India, the US in Japan after WWII. You don't realize you are in a rich culture, but instead speak of the locals as "wogs," or some other derogatory term.
Or, you drink and make fun of them and their symbols. If you reached out to them, of course, you'd be admitting that they are real people, and one can't have that, of course.
It's a pretty universal thing, alive and well in Utah.

3 comments:

bekkieann said...

Okay, I can't defend those louts, but I'll let George Will defend the alcohol consumption for medicinal and other purposes, as he does splendidly in today's column http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/09/AR2008070901934.html?hpid=opinionsbox1.

He concludes:

"Benjamin Franklin was, as usual, on to something when he said, "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." Or, less judgmentally, and for secular people who favor a wall of separation between church and tavern, beer is evidence that nature wants us to be."

On both your houses said...

I have no quarrel with drinking. As Houseman said, "Malt does more than Milton can to justify God's ways to man."

Jacqueline said...

Ah yes the wolfpack mentality.

Its easier to surmise, guess and judge our neighbors then to go knock on their door and say hello, come sit on my front porch...have a lemonade ...tell me about yourself.

Of course, if one doesnt want to get to know the neighbors, Im ok with that. But then, as you say, "live and let live". Don't create possibilities of what they "must" be like, because they keep to themselves.

Amazing how some just seem to never grow up.


Great post...