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Imagine if the future was human?

Tuesday 4/30/24

Yesterday I was discussing the hypocrisy of so many people in publishing, with their talk of gender and sexual orientation and the big soup of identity politics, which is really about helping themselves out and limiting the opportunities of others.

Everything is agenda-driven, and everyone is selfish and concerned only with themselves. What people try to do is cloak that agenda by wrapping it up in some social justice camouflage, so they can get away with what they're really up to. The person at the literary journal who has all of the pronouns in the bio, the rainbow-colored hair, is an amorphous blob with seven cats, "drafts" fiction about her MFA program, goes to AWP without fail every year, writes next to nothing, smashes the patriarchy, stays the fuck home, loves the Ukraine despite having no idea where it is, has the sixteen photos of herself in a mask in her profile picture history, is going to take one look at me and how I look and there's no way, if she has a choice, she's going to let me pass on her watch and be in her journal that does not pay and no one reads. (This person--with very slight variants--represents a massive percentage of publishing at present.)

Right? That's a given, is it not?

They'll likely know who I am, so there's that, too. It's the guy who looks like a hockey player who writes the stories about all kinds of people and many stories about women, girls, gays, whomever it may be, and does that better than anyone else, and has the work in all of the places and is an expert on everything and is also kind and lives a certain way and tries and produces constantly.

It will burn their ass that this is the world's leading expert on Billie Holiday who has the likes of "Fitty"--the title character being a lesbian--and is writing about the ballet in one paragraph and hockey in the next, knows all of these things that these people would like to say they know and will never know, and so forth. Why does he know all of these books I've never heard of? Why does he know everything about film? Why does he know all of that about the Beatles? How does he write all of those op-eds in all of the sections of those papers I could never be in? Etc. It will burn their ass that the guy writes 5000 words every day of his life, seemingly with ease, when they struggle to so much as crack open a new Word document, to be pondered but left blank.

All of this produces hate. (I've learned that the stair running is hated, the non-drinking is hated; everything good, honorable, and great is hated by such people. It's hated because of the contrast it produces. From that contrast comes self-doubt, self-hate, envy. It is I who am then made to pay the price for that. I even pay the price for how I look with such people.) When there's hate, people--especially people like this--want revenge. What form can revenge take here? Barring someone unjustly.

I see many of such people on Facebook with shirts--and their babies being made to wear these shirts, too--reading, "The future is female."

If someone can't insert another group in a thing like this, then it's really not a good thing to be saying. It's a "I hope our side wins," thing, which is, in this case, "I hope your side loses" thing as well--automatically, where someone undeserving can get something while someone who deserves it doesn't, if they're not the thing that other person is--and that means people who were not born as this other thing as a matter of course, and then we're getting into some really sick stuff.

There really should be one overarching side that is our concern, and that is the human side. I would not wish this to be a world where people wore shirts reading, "The future is male." Now, what one of these people like that described above would say is that it's such a male-dominated world that there's no need to say this, which is nonsense. People make entire careers out of trading on their skin color and gender. It is everywhere, but it's perhaps not concentrated more highly than anywhere else than it is in current day publishing.

But look at the world: there are many, many, many people who make millions of dollars off of those things. Such people don't make anything off of virtues, like ability, hard work, producing things of value for people. So many default to skin color and gender. That is the nature of identity politics. Identity politics are about getting things you don't deserve because of what you are, on the surface, not what you do. It's a racket. The racket functions as this witch hunt in reverse. Challenge the racket, and you're a transgressor.

Instead of the future being female, how about the future is this: People make sure to be kind, no matter what they're going through. They treat others the best that they can, always. And everyone works to create a meritocracy, where it's all about what you do and how well you do it, and things that come from within you, and things you've learned, things you've mastered, your dedication, and that's what gets rewarded, that's what it's all about. Not skin color, no gender, no holding someone back because they're better at something than us.

Shouldn't that be the future? Shouldn't it be the goal? Wouldn't that be actual equality?

That would leave a lot of people high and dry, though, wouldn't it? They'd be fucked, right? That's a terrifying proposition for them. It's going to come down to merit? My ability? My effort? How early I get up and start trying my hardest? My skills? And then I have to be nice to everyone? I have to have empathy and consider the feelings of others before I do anything?

But that should be the goal for the future. It's a side-less goal. It includes all, because it's a human goal.


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