Ayarane Project

Tag: i am that asshole

I am that asshole: Don’t undermine your message with bad optics

by Yoshi on May.17, 2017 | ITP: ,

This video has been getting passed around and I’m of mixed opinions on it as a whole.

Well, the literal message in there I don’t disagree with (though as someone who was emotionally abused, I am wary of the use of “tough love” as the only way it works is if you aren’t lashing out from a place of anger or domination, and sadly a lot of people aren’t quite capable of that. Bonus points if the parent has a poor grasp of what depression and anxiety does to a child’s behavior, just like my mother!).

It’s just… the presentation and optics of it bother me. I get it, they want to be funny by portraying the “stressed mom drinking wine and eating ice cream” but once you get past that and start reading between the lines of this narrative (intentional or not) you see that, no, the mother is actually VERY bothered by her kids resenting her because she was strict. Her body language and constant reiteration of how she doesn’t care that her kids are mad gives away that she’s quite thin-skinned about it. The wine and ice cream part could be taken as her needing to self-soothe with food and alcohol (and that last comment about how ice cream is on sale suggests this is a thing that happens on a regular basis), and she’s being quite flippant about it, too. I’m not sure I could take seriously someone like that. I would probably recommend therapy.

Of course, if you are a derp and go into the comments section like I do (with full knowledge that it’s going to be a trainwreck), you’ll see that it’s mostly people siding with the OP, and shouting down anyone who points out the detail about the wine and ice cream. “It’s just a joke, it’s supposed to be funny” is a common response from people who are in denial about how problematic their message is.

Don’t undermine your message with bad optics. Especially if it’s in a parenting video.

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I Am That Asshole: Wallowing in Memes edition

by Yoshi on Apr.04, 2017 | ITP: , ,

Guess what, you guys? It’s time for another unpopular opinion! Hooray!

Once again this relates to memes on the Facebooks. There is a type of meme that aggravates me, even as someone who can relate, because it encourages a kind of behavior that is just… severely counterproductive. Allow me to present an example of what I speak of:

wat

Uhm… sure…

I’ll admit that, yes, I get it. I am very much the same way. BUT, I feel like these memes, and the accounts that pass them around, and the people who share them, are feeding into a mindset that “it’s okay to not do something to improve my situation, even a little, because other people understand me.” I know the intent behind the accounts is to give people a place to commiserate and share experiences, but there’s a point where it just enables wallowing.

And the people I often see sharing these memes are, sadly, the sort who could SERIOUSLY benefit from therapy and often have the means to actually get said therapy, if their friends didn’t simply coddle them rather than give them the needed kick in the butt to make an appointment. But, nope, they go on posting these “I am socially awkward, please don’t drag me out of my safe space and force me to grow as a person” memes or vague and self-pitying one-liners and… I’m sorry, but I just have to eyeroll. I’ve seen too much of this and have invested too much bandwidth into others who shitposted like this, and my heart has hardened as a result.

When you post these memes, I think “Congratulations! You’ve acknowledged you have a problem. Now do something about it!” Is it callous and mean-sounding? Yes. I know I would shrink away if someone said this to me. And I have, because I’ve had similar things said to me, and those people were right.

The thing is that depression and anxiety are lying bros, and humans are prone to taking the path of most comfort and least resistance. It’s easier to wallow and dwell on how bad things are, and to want people to cater to you, even if it hurts you in the long run. Depression and anxiety, those douchebros, want to sell you the lie that it’s pointless to do something to extricate yourself from the gloom and that people will judge you anyway, so… learned helplessness!

Wallowing in your feebleness is yucky and unattractive. People talk of the importance of “self-care.” Posting memes about how socially awkward you are, and suggesting that it’s a thing that should be left alone rather than improved upon is not self-care. Working to improve your confidence and self-respect to not be so beholden to intrusive thoughts, THAT is self-care.

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I Am That Asshole: The Solidarity Edition

by Yoshi on Nov.15, 2015 | ITP: , , ,

Not doing it.

Changing my profile and hashtags won’t help your cause. Sorry.

So, uhm, apparently on my way home from my most recent stay in the hospital, some awful stuff went down in Paris. And as usual for anything of this calibur, social media thinks it can make it all better if people would just change their icons and insert platitude hashtags.

No thank you.

Now, before I continue, I want to make it clear that terrorism in any form is horrible and I don’t condone it in ANY way. (Because you know someone is going to interpret this Post of Unpopular Opinion like that…)

It’s, just… changing my profile picture does what, exactly? “Support France and the people of Paris” is an awfully vague statement. Call me a party pooper, but overlaying the colors of the French flag over my fat face… doesn’t really do anything to, you know, locate the perpetrators, collect evidence that would lead to their conviction, provide monetary and logistical aid to the wounded and their families. Changing your icon does not do any of those things, ever. Only people on the scene can do that, and people on the scene have no time to be busting out their phones to fart around on Facebook.

This is just like that one time where there was a campaign encouraging people to change their Twitter/FB icons to, what was it, 80’s cartoons to raise awareness for child abuse. And I was all “what the crap, how vague and ineffective is that? Changing your icon will not end child abuse. Not by a longshot.” Classic feel-good slactivism is what that is, feeling like you’ve contributed to a cause by doing what is essentially nothing at all.

So, all you people swapping icons to support a cause or to “mourn” with a locale that has suffered a tragedy… Please, please think about what you are doing and whether or not it will influence the outcome in any way. (Spoiler: It won’t.) If you want to Do Something About It, put your feet on the ground and get to it by, you know, volunteering for the appropriate organizations. Or if you’re too far away or otherwise unable to act directly, go donate to said relevant organizations. Enough with this “I’m going to change my Facebook profile to support/protest X” bullshit, because you’re just diluting your own message.

Bonus rant: the #prayersforparis hashtag!

Um, okay. I know your hearts are in the right place (the above notwithstanding), but… you DO know that France is a very secular country that highly discourages public displays of religion, right? While it appears to be a Catholic country because of all the historic cathedrals and such, in practice it is very big on religion being a personal thing that the state should have no influence in, like imposing a religion on everyone. It’s even uncomfortable with religious displays/expression in public places because it could be interpreted as support for one religion over another. Surely you may recall controversy about Muslim students wearing their hijabs in public schools…?

So, yeah, about that #prayersforparis hashtag that I’ve seen floating around? It’s actually quite inappropriate and does not respect the French stance on public displays of religion. Put another way, it’s like telling an atheist person that you’ll pray for them despite KNOWING they are atheist and would therefore find such a thing at LEAST a little offputting. In this case, the secular “our thoughts are with you” alternative is actually the best one you could use, if you must make such a platitude.

I understand that prayer is a common, powerful coping mechanism for many religious people, but it’s essentially their version of the “changing my social media picture will solve everything” trick. You can pray until you’re blue in the face, but prayers will not catch the perpetrators, get them convicted or provide medical/practical/monetary aid to the victims and their families. Actual hard work and donations to the appropriate charities will!

(Want a good, helpful hashtag to cling to? #PorteOuverte (literally “open door”) among the locals who provide shelter to those either directly affected by the attack, or are stranded because of canceled flights. And it’s an example of “action, not platitude” at work!)

—-

In the absence of directly assisting in those things or putting your money where your mouth is, the best thing you can do is to go about your lives and aspire to do good. Don’t feed into mob mentalities, don’t give into revenge fantasies, because that stuff just brews racism and violent thoughts and hate and… it just feeds into the cycles that lead to these incidents happening. We as human beings have this really bad habit of using Bad Events like terrorism or shootings to “otherize” people and lump them together as the enemy, and that doesn’t really help anyone. It happened after Pearl Harbor, it happened after 9/11, it happens every goddamn time that a large amount of people die because of violence, as if we think we can justify hate and vengeance and we forget that whole “an eye for an eye makes the world blind” thing.

“But I’m just blowing hot air,” the person who gets called out on openly talking about his violent revenge fantasy says. “I’m just talking. I’m not actually going to do (super violent thing), I know it’s illegal. But I’m just so MAD.” Still not okay, because it inevitably influences you to form prejudices and biases that don’t need to be there. I’m not saying “don’t get mad about stuff ever” but rather, funnel that into something constructive or at the very least won’t make the situation worse.

This unpopular opinion was brought to you by the itch on my belly and my cat rubbing on my chair.

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I am That Asshole, the Childfree Edition

by Yoshi on Nov.06, 2015 | ITP: , ,

I, uh, apparently have a reputation for being really nice and sweet and not judgmental at all…

But let’s be real, EVERYONE has a bit of an asshole in them, and I’m not exempt from this.

There is of course the part of me that’s a Filthy Atheist(tm) but that’s already been touched on a bit before. No, today I want to talk about how I’m a jerk when it comes to having friends or acquaintances who are pregnant.

Growing up, I had a bunch of teachers who would be very visibly pregnant, and when they went on maternity leave, most of them did not come back. (West Heritage Elementary had an absurd amount of turnover, in hindsight.) Since my depression was already punching me in the face pretty hardcore, building up a relationship with these teachers, only to have them bail on me was not very helpful and just left me more lost in The Sads, and as you know I didn’t have much support at home, and now I have these long-term subs who would look at me like I was that sad sack of “I don’t know what to do with her” and were even more unhelpful. So there’s one strike in my psyche, childhood!me came to associate pregnant women with “you will be abandoned soon, don’t bother.”

And I would watch videos and TV documentaries about the “joys of childbirth” and such, thinking it would give me some sort of insight as to what the appeal is, and I was just not seeing it. Let’s repeat that, I’m a female and I don’t understand the appeal of having babies.

So, really, I guess this is a roundabout way of saying “shit happened in childhood, therefore I am one of those Childfree people.”

The frustration is that in recent years, as people I’ve met and went to school with/gamed with on the internets and such, they’re pairing off and having babies. And when I see the announcement a part of me winces a bit, because childhood!me is all “well shit, why did I bother if I’m going to be ditched after the baby’s here?” It’s not a narcissistic “you’re having a baby and not going to pay attention to meeeeee” envy thing, it’s just this thing that triggers bad memories of childhood and feeling like I’m going to be cast aside just like all the other times and I don’t want to deal with that if I can help it.

The next part DOES come with a bit of doucheyness on my part, it’s being rather annoyed with those who wear their pregnancy-addled heart on their sleeves. Actually it feeds more into my general irritation with emotional, dramatic people in general (thanks, mom!), but whenever someone starts getting weepy because of hormones or whatever, inside I’m all “calm your boobs, sheesh,” and gritting my teeth REALLY HARD because I gotta hold my tongue. I get gaslit all the time whenever I’m a bit down (again, feeding back to not-supportive family members) and in almost every other instance I’m able to not be a jerk that way… except for this. It just makes me think “stop, oh jeebus, you’re being ridiculous and aggravating. Just, don’t.” It’s super-mean and invalidating and I’m very sorry and I try to keep this part of me stuffed in a corner so as not to be a douche or repeat the cycle of people not giving a shit about other’s feelings.

Social media spam of babies and such, they surprisingly don’t bother me as much, though a part of me does wonder about this trend– what’s the kid going to think when they grow up and the first thing that happens when they google themselves and find the obligatory Drooly Baby/Naked Baby in Bathtub pictures. We don’t exactly give them a chance to give or deny consent, and most parents don’t really think about the future consequences of posting pictures of their then-infant children. But that’s a question to be debated elsewhere, I suppose.

BlingPad Pro next week, surely there will be pictures and gushing over my latest and greatest tool in the Instant Ramen Sketchbook scene.

(Yes, “BlingPad Pro” because I’m getting my iPad Pro in gooooooold. I may put a BlingTron as my wallpaper for the first week. :P)

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