Self advertisement at the cost of reality

aspies

 

A question: would you rather have your child have polio or autism? Forget the whole vaccine issue. Would you rather your child have polio or autism. Did you pick autism?

 

 

Even back in 1955, your kid had approximately a 1 in 13 chance of dying if they contracted Polio. Don’t like those odds? Well, if your child has Autism, they have a 1 in 1 chance of always having autism.  You could throw back that polio is infectious and therefore you’d rather your child have autism than polio. I’d say that argument betrays much about the kind of person who would make it. We’re not talking about other people’s kids, or even other people in general. I’m not saying you should go around flipping people off as you let your kid pour acid on his classmates face, but isn’t the whole point of parenting to ensure your offspring have the best chance at survival and doing well in life? Or do we just have to guarantee that they survive? What would that say about you to yourself as a parent if you believed the latter?

Pro vaxxers don’t have to humor any argument anti-vaxxers make at all, current medical knowledge available clearly tells us vaccines don’t cause autism. So why do people still feel the need to post shit like this? Is it because there’s a lot of misinformation on the internet and you’re just trying to combat it? Well, certainly not the above post, whose goal is to shame others that don’t believe as she does. Not only that, but who would this even reach on the side of the trenches? No one who is an anti-vaxxer is going to read this post or anything like it and say, “You know what? I’m going to re evaluate my opinion.”

And you have to know that. Posts like these aren’t meant to contribute anything to any conversation except one thing, “Look at me! I’m on the right side of this conversation! I’m smart! No really, I really am!” These posts have nothing to do with combating misinformation of any form and everything to do with self-advertisement. You’re selling yourself by picking the side you think all of the smart/cool/whatever people are on, and joining in the condescension of the opposition, which is why that makes you a bigger asshole than an anti-vaxxer whose raising a little plague bearer. By the way, there’s that one question I asked a little ways back, so I’ll clarify and ask again:

Your child can have either polio or Autism. Your child may survive polio but they will always have autism. Which one would you rather your child have?

I have a friend that works as a stocker for a retail chain, let’s call him Joe. Joe has an autistic co-worker on his team who can barely keep up with the duties of stocking. A job most people would think is absolutely brain dead keeps his co-worker in circles the entire time. Tell me, where else could his co-worker flourish or function? He’s told me the kid tries his hardest and I take him at his word, and what this means is that even at his co-workers maximum capacity, it’s still not enough.

Thing is, what if that’s the standard of autism? What if that is the normative expression of the disorder? Not the quirky and lovable Sheldon Cooper style of autism, but the I can barely function doing basic tasks style of autism. What do we do then? I mean, as a society, how do we care for these people?

How do we care for those that cannot care for themselves?

How do we lift up those who can’t stay afloat?

These aren’t easy questions. In fact, they are insanely difficult questions to confront, and even more taxing to try and solve. This is why these conversations continue. No one wants to deal with this reality. It’s much easier to posture and feel good than it is to face problems like these.  Regardless, these are the questions that need to be dealt with. The only logical response to “Do you think vaccines cause autism?,” shouldn’t be to shame anyone or try to make yourself look cool, it’s this:

Who gives a shit about whether or not vaccines cause autism. The world gets more complex by the fucking day, and there is a whole segment of people that simply cannot keep up. Autism, Down syndrome, mental retardation. What are we going to do about it? We can’t do nothing, that’s leaving them to a fate no one deserves. We need to figure out a way to get these people to not only function in society, but function well in society. And they need to be able to function well, or at the very least we need to give it everything we got in the attempt. Otherwise, the only thing their existence proves is that we pity them too much to let them die but don’t give enough of a shit to help them, which is a disgusting thought we should not allow ourselves to feel comfortable with.

 

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Capitalism and why we suck at it

wage

(I.) This meme found it’s way to my facebook page, which isn’t surprising, because bullshit is everywhere on the internet. These kinds of posts specifically are almost formulaic in how they operate. It’s always someone in a respectable position, as long as that position isn’t a successful capitalist but something we would consider ‘heroic but underpaid’ like a soldier, teacher, or in this case, a paramedic. These posts then go on to shame anyone that disagrees with them (read: aspiring capitalists), extols the virtues of low wage work, and then slings shit at ‘the man’.  When I read this, I reflexively agreed with it, which told me it’s wrong. I sat down for a bit to think about it. I should’ve just taken a shot and moved on. Can’t change the past though, so let’s find out why I’m alone.

 

(II.) First off, It’s important to note what the poster ultimately wants to be true, namely that you should take him seriously, his job after all requires a ‘broad set of skills.’ If you took out the ‘medical’ and ‘health’ parts, he’s describing what goes on in your average understaffed, overworked retail environment (read: every retail environment). Understand that I am not in any way attempting to denigrate his chosen profession nor am I trivializing the necessity of his work. What I am saying is that the poster is in fact trivializing you. I know this because you’d most likely defend him by saying something like “but his skills are different/he does important work, etc, etc even though you have no idea who this person is.

Why is this opening statement even necessary? Everything he says has nothing to do with his job. He proves this by pointing out that electricians are pissed too. No, unfortunately, he’s trying to signal to you that he’s an unsung hero in a system that doesn’t give a shit about him, but he pushes on regardless. He wants you to believe him. Believe in him. Wanna know who else wants you to believe in them? People in unearned positions of authority, people with insecurity issues, and salesmen. What’s even more unfortunate is that he believes in upholding the status quo.

 

(III.) The critical error the poster makes is in equating ‘life’ with ‘time.’ No, my job does not take up my life, it takes up time in my life. “Yeah but (insert semantic/quote/metaphor about life and time here)” Yeah, lovely semantics/quote/metaphor/whatever, tell me more about why you can’t be that thing you want to be. This kind of thinking is endemic to people who have a taste of money, but no access to capital. He goes on to shame those who are upset that the time and energy they have put into themselves to make their lives better have been effectively overwritten by people whining that burger flippers should make more money. He’s right to shame them, but the reasons why are wrong.

 

Those who are pissed about the wage hike for burger flippers and those who want the wage hike are missing out on the long game. They can’t see it, which means they’re being duped in a long con.  What’s the long game? To be a capitalist. End of story, that’s how you win the game of America. What’s the long con? Duping yourself. End of story, that’s how you win the game of America.

The burger flipper is fucked, because she sure as shit ain’t gonna do anything to improve her life now (i.e. become a capitalist). “Fuck you, she can finally have a savings account, afford healthcare, she can finally save up money  for XYZ, which will help her better her life.” Sorry, but your idealism is trumped by reality. If she couldn’t do that before, she ain’t just gonna magically have those skills because you pay her more. Her problem isn’t with not enough money, her problem is with not enough sacrifice. You don’t have to agree with me, just keep paying your rent and driving that honda.

 

The electrician is wrong because he assumed that the amount of money he makes signals his importance and worth as a person. He doesn’t see that his trajectory positions him to be far more successful than a burger flipper as long as he makes the right moves, and it’s the amount of sacrifices he’s willing to make that does in fact signal his importance and worth as a person. Once again, the problem isn’t with not enough money, but not enough sacrifice.

 

(IV.) Now that the author has convinced you of his importance and that those around him can’t see the truth, he opens fire on his true target ‘the man.’ Apparently in the warped reality in his head, CEO’s want us lowly sheeple fighting each other so we don’t see reality and revolt against those who hold the means of production in a glorious proletariat revolution. The problem with Marxism is that it inherently appeals to the narcissist in us. I’ll risk the Blow back by saying this: Unfortunately, your CEO doesn’t give two shits about you. They don’t care as in, they don’t care enough to have the energy to orchestrate shit like this. People that high up believe in one thing only :Making more money. We can sit here and debate the ethics of such a driving force, but good luck explaining that to the shareholders. They (Capitalists) don’t want us fighting over crumbs while they make off with almost the whole damn cake, we want to fight each other so we can ignore the missing cake.

 

“What the fuck are you taking about?” What I’m talking about is this. Have you ever googled “duties of a CEO?” No? Do it. Once you read into it, you’ll know the price to be paid for having almost the whole damn cake. It means dancing on a knife edge all day, every day for the rest of your workable life. Thing is, you already knew this. You’ve always been aware that the more power one attains, the more stress one comes under. More power= more responsibilities= more consequences = no thanks. However, most people can’t be content to call themselves failures of their own accord, and we can’t fight the capitalists, not because they’re more powerful than us, but because they simply don’t give a shit. The people running the world have no interest in fighting with us, not because they’re better than us, but because they have better things to do. So what do we do instead? Fight and blame each other for our individual failures.

 

(V.) The end of this sordid story has the author claiming the burger flippers won and ‘made’ the capitalists pay them more. In the same way that a child believes that they ‘made’ their parents give them that thing, yeah, I totally agree. Just because you score a victory, it doesn’t mean you’ve won. Kid gets what he wants, and the parents get some peace and quiet for a bit with the added bonus that that’s the last ice cream bar in the freezer.

Let’s play a game called “sum the vectors.” It’s a fun game. Since it’s always disappointing, you can’t ever be wrong, so everyone wins. The burger flippers don’t want to work at their job, which is why they are asking for more money, which works out well since capitalists don’t want them working there either. The intersection of desire occurs when burger flippers get more money  which allows the board to convince the shareholders that automation will be a better investment. See, they don’t want to work there, the capitalists don’t either, and both will get what they want.

As the old saying goes “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.”