The first thing that comes to mind when talking about feelings is, “bah, humbug!”
It’s not that I consider feelings to be a bad thing. In fact, quite often feelings can be really, really good.
Like on a chilly night… In front of a warm fire… With a hot mama… Now those are some good feelings, but that’s for another post.
No, my “bah humbug” attitude about feelings is not about feelings themselves (after all, having feelings as part of what makes us human), but about the way our over attention to feelings has screwed things up.
Let’s look at a few ways that over attention to feelings has caused problems:
• We pay way too much attention to “Little Johnny’s” feelings when he acts out in school. The teacher can’t snatch him up by the scruff of the neck, give him a good shake, ask him just what the hell he thinks he’s doing, and send him along to the principal’s office, where the board of education will be applied to his ass.
Oh my, no. That might hurt his feelings. That might damage poor little Johnny’s self esteem. We must stroke him, and coddle him, and tell him everything is going to be OK, that it was a misunderstanding, and probably all our fault.
He ought to be told what a little jackass he is, have his butt blistered, and be sent home, where daddy will blister his ass again tonight.
Ooopps… I forgot. Baby Daddy’s probably been gone since the kid was a year old.
• We pay way too much attention to Muslim’s feelings. Do you want to include profiling as part of Airport Security? Oh no, ain’t gonna happen. It might offend all the peace loving Muslims in the world… or at least those going through an airport screening. It doesn’t matter that over 3000 people dead on 9/11 were killed by Muslims, and that hurt this country bad… No, we can’t hurt the feelings of those Muslims. After all, we all know that Islam is a peaceful religion, and that the majority of Muslims are peace loving people who abbhor violence, death, and destruction as much as anybody.
Well, they probably are, and they probably do, but they don’t show it very well. There are a few things they could do that would help convince me though. They can start by condemning the actions of “radical Islamists” in a very public way, rather than keeping their condemnation to themselves. They can also reject organizations like CAIR when they plaster posters all over Islamic communities in the United States, telling residents not to cooperate with the FBI in matters concerning terrorism. If the Council on American Islamic relations is little more than an apologists group for radical Islam, and if American Muslims made it clear that they were aware of that, and rejected the organization, I would have a lot more empathy for their complaints that they are being discriminated against. I wouldn’t agree, but I would have more empathy.
After all, on 9/11 19 people hijacked four airplanes and killed over 3000 people. 19 Muslims. ‘Nuff said. Start the profiling.
• We pay what way too much attention to the feelings of fat people… And short people… And poor people… And, well, you get the idea.
I’m sorry, but if you are fat then that is what you are… Plain… Damn… Fat. You are not overweight, chubby, extra large, or (so we don’t leave out the women) a BBW (Big Beautiful Woman).
You are fat.
We pay way too much attention to the feelings of short people. If you aren’t as tall as the average person, then guess what? You are short. You are not vertically challenged, you are just plain ol’ short. Get over it.
One of my favorite songs is “Short People” by randy Newman, so there… PFFTTTH!
Note to midgets and dwarfs: you are beyond short, and cannot claim the “short people” or “little people”moniker. You are midgets and dwarfs, period.
As for poor people’s feelings, society coddles them way too much as well. If you’re poor, your poor, not socio – economically disadvantaged, not disenfranchised, and not less fortunate. You are poor…and except for in rare instances, it is by your own doing.
I once heard someone say, “rich people are rich because they do what rich people do, and poorpeople are poor because they do what poor people do”. If you are poor and think you are stuck there, that it’s the hand life dealt you and there is nothing you can do about it… bullshit. Go read the story of Colonel Harland Sanders and Kentucky Fried Chicken, then come back and tell me there’s nothing you can do about your situation.
• We pay way too much attention to our own feelings. We let everything in our past affect our future. How many times do we hear, “I would be so and so, if only so and so hadn’t happened.” Will guess what? It’s not the incident itself that holds you back, it’s your feelings about it. You get angry because you lost your job, or sad because you’re divorced, or in a funk because it’s winter and you live way too far north, or your melancholy because your lover decided your stomach was too big, your ass was too skinny, and your hair was too thin, so they found somebody else. Get over it.
The other way feelings let us screw ourselves up is when they make us act a certain way around other folks because we’re concerned about how they will think of us. That’s stinkin’ thinkin’, and and because of it we never act like ourselves, we just act like we think others want us to.
You can do that if you want, but I think I’ll follow an old AA adage:
“It’s none of my business what you think of me.”
Or, put in a slightly more abrasive (or cantankerous) manner:
“I can count on one hand the number of people in this world who I give a rats ass what they think of me. Your name is not on any of my fingers. It’s not on my thumb either.”
So there you have it… Bob’s feelings on feelings. What do y’all think about feelings (or about my opinions)? Leave a comment below…express your feelings on feelings. It would be in your best interest for two reasons:
• Having a chance to express your feelings in an open forum like this, without having to hold back out of fear of offending someone, would be a cathartic moment, and good for you.
• Comments are how you pay Justin, Ralph, and me. This blogging thing doesn’t pay very well, and our “pay ” is the enjoyment and entertainment we get from maintaining the blog, and mostly from reading your comments. No comments equals no pay…and that would be a bad, bad thing.
When thinking about whether you should comment or not, consider that we know who you are. You would not believe what we know about you. Just logging on to Cantankerous Old Coots, without leaving your name, e-mail, or URL when you comment, you have given us your IP address, and that opens a multitude of options for dealing with non-commenters.
Your IP address give us your location as well as any GPS System ever could. Not only do we know where you are, we know what color your house is, how many bedroom you have, and whether your yard needs cutting.
Hell, we even know what color underwear you’re wearing while you are reading this post.
Otherwise, Justin, Ralph, and I might have to pay you a visit and use a little coercion intimidation convincing on you to get you to comment next time.
What does our convincing look like? Well, let me just say I live in southern Appalachia, home to hillbillies, rednecks, and moonshine stills. When the revenuers come through blowin’ up stills, they leave a lot of dynamite layin’ around in the woods…jes’ sayin’…
- Has anti-Muslim bigotry become socially acceptable? (newhumanist.org.uk)
- Muslim Activists Find Its Easier to Slur Peter King than to Look in the Mirror (commentarymagazine.com)