Sunday, April 7, 2019

Stupid Hate Mail

I am confronted as to why I capitalize words like Black, Women, People, Persons, etc. The first answer is that I choose to do it.  Well, I try to but I haven't succeeded in doing it consistently, old habits are hard to change.  Though it's my intention to capitalize words that identify People individually and in naturally occurring groupings, especially those identities which are the object of discrimination and violence.  Though I do capitalize "White" and "Men" when I think to, unless I'm pissed off about privilege.  That is other than the one instance when the conventions of English writing mechanics do that with the pronoun "I".   It's a better question as to why that kind of egocentrism is encouraged in writing out personal pronouns.

I started it after reading some "brain-only" atheist crap that diminishes consciousness so as to try to squeeze humanity and human beings into the status of being a physical object, a mere and meaningless manifestation of material stuff that has no higher status than any other material object.  That is a logical conclusion of atheism and materialism that is the farthest thing from an inconsequential and ephemeral load of pseudo-scientific bollocks.  That idea has been, throughout history and now, one of the basic concepts on which mass murder into the tens and scores of millions and murder, individually depends.*  There is no accident in the fact that the ideologies of the 20th century which racked up the highest murder rates in history are materialistic ideologies claiming their bases had the status of science.  The current articulation of that basis in the pseudo-sciences, in some of the worst philosophizing to come out of the western tradition and as popularized on TV and other pop media, proves that we certainly didn't learn that lesson written in oceans of blood.

People who murder other people clearly do it because how they think about other People allows them to do it, their habitual ways of thinking about other People just as those who slaughter animals think of them as lesser beings, of objects. I don't see that as an insignificant matter.  I certainly don't think that capitalization will change the world or make that stop,  but it's something I choose to do.

I decided to start showing more respect for the status of, at least, human beings in their most natural of attributes and identities.  What they do in German with nouns but only acknowledging the status of living beings as opposed to non-living objects and concepts.  I figure giving that status to human beings and their identities is a good place to start. One of the bloggers I respect once pointed out and objected to the increasing use of the word "that" instead of "who," when referring to people, a similar diminution of significance of People into the status of objects,  I'm sure that point was part of my thinking, too.   I can't claim to consistently avoided lapsing into that usage but the point is one I agree with.

Considering the things we are to capitalize so as to be respectable and nice that are totally artificial and completely arbitrary (you are to capitalize the word after a colon IF there are two sentences or more following but not if there is only one) the rest of the rules that no one really remembers, it's silly to get huffed about people choosing to capitalize words as they choose to.  But, then, most of the formal rules of written English mechanics are pretty silly and most useful for letting People well off  enough to have a secretary or editor whose business it is to correct the text of their employers do it for them and for snobs to disdain other People for any asserted lapses.   What's moderately fun is when you can point out that what they make a show of disdaining is in line with the formal rules, so many language snobs are ignorant mid-brows who have nothing better to think about.

One word, "cooky".

Update:  *  It was on display in the Supreme Court this week where the Republican-facist "justices" said that even excruciating pain by the method of excecution was not a violation of the claimed ban on "cruel and unusual punishment" in the constitution.   I remember listening to William F. Buckley when he had on the putrid and demented Ernst Van den Haag, a kind of respectable Fred Leuchter, realizing that for the fascism that Buckley and his ilk craved, the threat of death was necessary.   For that it is necessary to have capital punishment as well as other forms of state murder. 

Someone snarked about the reputedly Catholic "justices" who voted for this demented thing, snarkily asking if Pope Francis was OK with it.  Well, he isn't because not only did he change the official Catechism of the Catholic Church to say that capital punishment is always "inadmissible" he has said that torture is a mortal sin.  NOT that I expect any of the Catholic "justices" to be turned away from receiving communion for their depravity.   I would rather think the Catholic prep school, so much in the news last fall, that produced both Gorsuch and Kavanaugh might be a better target for such snark.  Clearly the Catholic formation of both of those men is horrifically deficient, as those elite Catholic prep schools and many of their major, Ivy equivalent universities seem to turn out in such unacceptable numbers. 

Update 2:   Oh, yeah, I remember when the verdict came down against the guy who Buckley sued for calling him a fascist.  At the time I said,  "You can't say that William F. Buckley is a fascist because he successfully sued a guy who called him a fascist and Liberace successfully sued someone who said he was gay".   

Only, then, Buckley and Liberace died and you can tell the truth about both of them now.  William F. Buckley,  as most of those on the Republican right of his day, was a fascist and, though not exactly a Holocaust denier, I remember reading about a time he was a Holocaust diminisher.   The Republican party has always had a strong fascist element in it, certainly from the late 19th century, just as the Democratic Party once contained the post-Confederate racists.  Only they left and joined the Republicans starting when Truman integrated the military and, especially, when Johnson pushed through the Voting Rights and Civil Rights acts - two of the most most "conservative" of Democratic presidents, by the way.  Republicans, "moderate" and otherwise have always acted in concert with the fascists ever since. 

Update 3:  I should have also pointed out that Buckley was, beyond any dispute, a white supremacist and a flaming, Jim Crow promoting racist as can be read in what he wrote for his fascist rag of a magazine.  The current campaign among all Republicans, from Trump to the Congress to the Supreme Court to state legislatures and governors to prevent Black People, Latinos, poor People, Democrats and people who might vote Democratic, etc. from voting is exactly in line with the racism of the elegant, elite William F. Buckley in the 1950s. 

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