Handling insults gracefully builds bridges and self esteem.

Maybe not THIS funny….

I am 73, and walk funny, slapping rather than planting my left foot, due to a stroke over three years ago. I just read about a 65 year old man who was suing Staples for age discrimination. In his complaint, he said that numerous supervisors denigrated him specifically due to age, referring to him as, when talking to others, as the “old coot” or “codger”, and when he didn’t take the hint and retire or quit, they fired him for a trumped up theft of a co-worker’s lunch. He did and said nothing back while working, but sued when he was fired. A jury awarded him $15 million in punitive and compensatory damages.

When you are insulted, either to your face or within your hearing, how do you handle it? I am not talking about hypersensitive crap like “microaggressions”, “cultural appropriation” or “assumed racism”. I’m talking real insults! And not the dull, dumb, unimaginative stuff like “you suck” or “your mother is ugly” that spews from the mouths of genuine idiots. I mean the kind of insults that attack and target the things you are most defenseless, defensive, and offended by, like jokes about your weight, your disability, your intelligence, your sexual prowess…..you know, all the things that normal people realize are off limits….or should be. Many will take issue with my denigrating microaggressions, cultural appropriation or assumed racism. Before I comment, consider the popular definition of microaggression: “Everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership”. Whether intentional or unintentional???

Now I will offer a definition of the definition: “The propensity of overly sensitive or self-conscious people to find or take offense at every day comments or questions, by reading bad intentions into them; especially hurtful to those who feel left out of the privilege sweepstakes, or whose sense of privilege is less than that of the speaker. How exactly does a “nonverbal or environmental slight” ‘communicate’ anything, let alone “hostile or derogatory messages?” Can you read someone’s mind? Do you know their intentions, even when they don’t (the “unintentional” part)?

If my definition of the definition of micro aggression offended you, here is your first lesson in how to effectively put on your big boy, or girl, pants. Advice #1. Since a “microaggression” can be, by definition, “intentional or unintentional”, and since you don’t know whether it is, nor do you know what, if anything, the speaker meant, any reference to it, or your feelings about it, will probably make you look weak or foolish. That being said, there are ways to not only render the insulter foolish and embarrassed, but to cast you as the coolest head that was ever insulted, IF you are very certain an insult was intentional. Worst advice: “If you feel slighted, odds are you were. You’re not being too sensitive. That thing really did happen.” No, your feelings say more about you than the other person! That’s advice #2.

Advice #3. If the insults are name-calling accusations, like “racist” or “homophobe”, ask for a definition, pretending ignorance. “If I knew what a ‘homophobe’ was, I could own up to it, so would you grace me with a definition?” Note, you are not saying “I’m sorry, I don’t know what that is.” Don’t say “sorry” when you aren’t. Your statement implies you’re open minded enough to accept the insult, while challenging the insulter to define their terms—which will usually be embarrassing because they can rarely define them. In the unlikely event they can define the term, and you believe you really meet the definition, admit it. Be the big person….that’s power. Ask for forgiveness, rather than say you’re sorry. Sorry is about your feelings. Why should they care? But asking for forgiveness gives the other person an opportunity to be the big person also. You might even develop a friendship based on mutual respect. That’s the big prize!

Advice #4. Be creative by going their insult one further. One day I was walking in a park, my left foot doing its flapping routine. Then I sat down on a bench. There were three teenage boys observing me. They thought it might be amusing to mimic my walk a little, stealing sideways glances at me, as they took turns getting up from their bench. I wasn’t angry, I thought “here’s my chance for some fun.” I went over to them and said, “you guys are doing it all wrong, I flap every second step, you’re flapping every step. Watch me, here’s the right way to imitate.” They were totally embarrassed, hoping not to be noticed by families in the park. This advice is, turn the insult around by doing it better and treating it as something they should master.

Advice #5. Pretend you’re in the military, or on a team with a mission. There are no trigger words, microaggressions or excuses to sulk when your mission, or even your life, is at stake and depends on teamwork. Being focused on something bigger than your feelings—and what isn’t bigger—gives you the chance to put your momentary feelings and tendency to react on hold. Later, when your initial reaction has settled, you can talk it out, or more often, wonder what you were so upset about.

Subversive humor: A yearning for truth.

You too can own a Trabant!

Americans love political humor almost as much as “banana peel” pratfalls, cat antics and Russia’s drunk driver crash videos. We can make political jokes, and no matter how insulting they are, we don’t have to worry about going to jail. Just don’t wear a MAGA cap….unless you’re linebacker size, or armed in an open carry state. Not so in many other places and times. Arguably, the worst two places to make jokes denigrating political leaders or doctrine, during the post WWII era were East Germany and Russia, though China would be in the worst group in almost any modern era.

This joke about two East German communist leaders, Wilhelm Reinhold Pieck and Otto Grotewohl, for example, landed a man before a judge in 1956. Pieck and Grotewohl are visiting Stalin in Moscow. Stalin gives them a car. But when they want to leave, they realize the car doesn’t have a motor. Stalin says: “You don’t need a motor if you’re already going downhill.” Ha ha, I guess you had to be there. It must have seemed funnier while evading the Stasi. Here are 10 more jokes that were popular in East Germany, but were almost certainly too hot (or just too honest) for the Stasi, including several about the Trabant, the worst car in history (the Yugo and the Smart-for-two included).

  1. “Why do Stasi officers make such good taxi drivers? — You get in the car and they already know your name and where you live.” I am not sure that would get many laughs anywhere—it didn’t move my laugh meter.
  2. “What’s the best feature of a Trabant? — There’s a heater at the back to keep your hands warm when you’re pushing it.” Now that I find funny—involuntary laughs category.
  3. “Capitalism is the exploitation of man by man. Under socialism, it is exactly the other way around.” Clever, I think.
  4. “What would happen if the desert became a socialist country? — Nothing for a while… then the sand becomes scarce.” Funny, isn’t it you millennials?
  5. “Why do the Stasi work together in groups of three? — You need one who can read, one who can write, and a third to keep an eye on the two intellectuals.” Another one good for involuntary laughs.
  6. “The Stasi held a competition for the best political joke. First prize? Fifteen to twenty years.” They’re really cranking it up.
  7. “How can you use a banana as a compass? — Place a banana on the Berlin Wall. The bitten end would point east. (Bananas were scarce and deeply desired in East Germany, in contrast to West Germany, where they were ubiquitous.)” Picture it.
  8. A man-on-the-street poll was taken in three countries: “What is your opinion of the recently announced shortage of meat?” In the US, they asked, “What shortage?” In Poland, they asked, “What is meat?” And in East Germany, they asked, “What is an opinion?” Definitely an A.L. (involuntary laugher)
  9. “How do you catch a Trabi? — Just stick chewing gum on the highway. (An allusion to the Trabant’s weak motor.)”
  10. “Why did Erich Honecker get a divorce? — Because Brezhnev kisses better than his wife.” (Comrades always kiss each other on the cheek). If you don’t know who Brezhnev and Honecker were, you were either asleep in history class, or a generation or more after Baby Boomers.
  11. “Why do left-handed comrades always start the ‘comrade hug’ with their right hand? The left needs to be free to hold the knife.” Probably not very funny. I just made it up on the spot. If you aren’t laughing, then try this.

T(y)ranny Triumphant.

David Cole’s title, above, on Takimag.com is brilliant. What he writes about on November 5, 2019, I have pointed out months before (not to one-up him, it’s just a matter of what is uppermost on our minds when we write). On June 20, 2017, I posted “Compelled Speech Comes To Canada.” That was actually the title of Jordan Peterson’s objection to Canada’s Bill C-16.

OTTAWA, June 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Canada’s Senate passed the Justin Trudeau Liberals’ transgender rights bill unamended this afternoon by a vote of 67 to 11, with three abstentions. The bill adds “gender expression” and “gender identity” to Canada’s Human Rights Code and to the Criminal Code’s hate crime section. With the Senate clearing the bill with no amendments, it requires only royal assent in the House of Commons to become law. Critics warn that under Bill C-16, Canadians who deny gender theory could be charged with hate crimes, fined, jailed, and compelled to undergo anti-bias training.

Lawyer D. Jared Brown said, “Mandating use of pronouns requires one to use words that are not their own that imply a belief in or agreement with a certain theory on gender,” he added. “If you try to disavow that theory, you can be brought before the Human Rights Commission for misgendering (‘yet another new word for the postmodern lexicon of idiocy’) or potentially find yourself guilty of a hate crime. To sum up, on the subject of gender, we’re going to have government-mandated speech.”

Those who refuse to go along could be “brought before the federal tribunal,” Brown said. If the tribunal assesses a penalty such as a fine or “non-monetary remedy, such as a cease and desist order or an order to compel them to do something,” and the person refuses, “they will find themselves in contempt of court and prison is the likely outcome of that process until they purge the contempt,” he added. I HAVE TOTAL CONTEMPT OF COURT ABOUT THIS; I DARE THEM TO “PURGE” IT FROM ME. I’D BETTER NOT VISIT CANADA.

Inconceivable that “gender theory” can be compelled? Nope, not if you understand the lust for power, the t(y)ranny, that motivates such idiocy. David Cole sums it up: Why are trannies all of a sudden so damn important? Conservatives sometimes speak of trannyism as a cult, but they get it backwards. They write as if it’s the trannies who are in the cult. No, the trannies are a tool to put us in a cult, a process that starts by changing our names. Name changes “help effect a psychological ‘death’ to the old ego-persona.” A good cult leader always begins by assigning initiates a new name. So, now we’re all named “cis.” We’re no longer “normal,” we’re “cis.” We’ve been renamed. Why? Because to the left–THE SPIRIT OF TOTALITARIANISM– it’s all about seeing how much we’re willing to take. If they can make us accept a new name, they can pretty much make us do anything.

Feminism was supposed to be about making sure men don’t get to “control” women. Yet what greater control is there than the power to determine who is a woman? It’s no longer about “our bodies, our rights.” It’s about “if a man says he’s a woman, he’s a woman. Now shut up.” There is a prison cliché about how on your first day behind bars you’re supposed to beat up the biggest, toughest brute in the yard. Take out the most feared enforcer, and the joint is yours? It works, at least in identity politics. The feminists got knocked cold. This big, bossy demographic that has money and votes, and comprises the core of the Democrat base, has been laid flat. As men in lipstick dominate one female sport after another, women are sitting there and taking it like good little girls.

In February 2019, pro-tranny radical feminist Sophie Lewis explained in a New York Times op-ed why American feminists have properly caved to the trans agenda, while British feminists have proven resistant. American women, Lewis stated, have been “pummeled” into submission. Yes, she said “pummeled.” Beaten. And she wrote of the “pummeling” as a good and necessary thing that forced American feminists to see the light regarding trannies.

Lewis used the acronym TERF, which stands for Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist. That’s another example of the power of labeling. In reality, biological women who don’t hate being women are just….women! By coining the TERF acronym, or by the use of the prefix CIS, the trans ideologues try to make normality into a cult. She writes, “in Britain, TERFs are a powerful force. If, in the United States, the mainstream media has been alarmingly (really?) ready to hear ‘both sides’ on the question of trans people’s right to exist, in Britain, TERFs have effectively succeeded in framing the question of trans rights entirely around their own concerns: that is, how these rights for others could contribute to ‘female erasure.’ Many prominent figures in British journalism and politics have been TERFs; British TV has made a sport of endlessly hosting their lurid rudeness and styling it as courage; British newspapers seemingly never tire of broadsides against the menace of ‘gender ideology’.” At least the Brit media is good for something!

A feminist “intellectual” said women need to be beaten into accepting trannyism. And she said it in The New York Times. And nobody objected to terminology that, in any other context, would be seen as promoting violence against women. Hence the left’s use of trannies to destroy the feminist will. Feminism is a tactic, but in the end, even the harpies need to submit. The state needs to know that it can break the will of every identity group, even leftist-friendly ones. If the state can make us accept that a man is a woman, if they can make us redefine ourselves with a new name that means “not tranny,” then they can make us accept anything.

However, if that op-ed gives the impression that the tranny movement in Britain is weak, there are plenty of exceptions: the young student being browbeaten and then expelled from school because he dared insist that men and women are different (teacher pointing his finger, “this is an inclusive school!”), the whole girls class being locked out of their school because they wore skirts in defiance of the “unisex” dress code. THE SPIRIT OF TOTALITARIANISM SAYS, “YOU WILL COMPLY, OR YOU WILL BE ERASED.”