Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Types of Apologies (Part 5)...and other Ramblings

This is probably the last post in my dorky little series.

I'm going to go over the apologies that are the most noble. No matter who we are, we all have a dark side and a light side. Or to put in another way, we all have both the angel and the devil on our shoulders. The apologies below are the ones that come from the angel.

I'm trying to decide if I should talk about the two apologies as one, because they are very similar.  But then I'd feel I was breaking a pattern. Or....I don't know.

I'm going to try talking about the apologies individually. We'll see how that goes.

12. SHAME-Too much shame and guilt can be paralyzing and unproductive. But without shame, we'd all probably be awful to each other.

Shame apologies come from when we realize we haven't lived up to our own moral code, and we feel the need to reach out and say sorry. Although I guess this point would be mute if our moral code doesn't include admitting mistakes and apologizing. But if YOUR moral code does include all this, you probably have issued a shame apology sometime in your life.

Shame apologies aren't the only ones that come from a place of shame. The manipulative apologies will sometimes come from there as well. The difference is the Shame Apologizer is mature enough to not try to hide behind their mistakes. They take on the blame rather than passing the blame.

From personal experience, I'll say it doesn't always come easy.  I've had times where I realized I owed someone an apology, but I hesitated with rationalizations. Well, this person has done rude things to me. Have THEY apologized?  Did I really do anything that wrong? Am I going to make things worse by bringing it up? Should the past stay in the past?

And there are apologies I still have not issued for various rationalizations. Some of these rationalizations might have validity, so the apologies might never happen....

BUT...I think I'm going on a tangent here.

Getting back on track....

I think in most cases, Shame apologies have these qualities:

A) No expectation or demand for forgiveness. We might wish for forgiveness, but there's an understanding that it might not happen.  I think this in theory. In reality, it's unfortunately a different story. My feelings are more along the lines of, Well, I don't need that person's friendship anyway. I don't need friends, period. And then I have brief fantasies of something tragic happening to me and the person feeling guilty for not forgiving me in a timely fashion.

I'm mature enough to issue shame apologies. I'm not emotionally mature enough to get past the mindset of, fuck it. I'll reject you before you can reject me.

B) No expectation of an apology from the person you're apologizing too. It's not like the Olive Branch Apology I wrote about in my last post, where you feel the other party behaved equally wrong. In the Shame Apology, you understand the focus is on YOUR mistake. Even if the other person has wronged you in the past, it's not time to deal with those issues. If you DO make it about those issues, then the apology is probably more of a Victimhood one.

C) The apology doesn't happen at the time of confrontation. If someone at the dinner table calls you out on something you said, and you say sorry, it's probably at best a damage control apology. At worst, it might turn into one of the more manipulative apologies.

With a Shame Apology, I think we need time to reflect. I don't think it can usually happen immediately—on the spot. We need time to think about what we've done and time to start feeling guilt about what we've done.

Now I'm wondering, though, if I need to add another apology.

What is it when you confront someone, and they respond in a non-manipulative way, and they actually seem to feel bad for what they have done? I guess it could be included in the Shame Apology. I hesitate, though, because I think people need time to reflect.

Then again if we confront someone via email, or other written communication, they might have time to reflect...if they allow themselves that.  So maybe I should include it in the Shame Apology.  Maybe I'll just think of it as a slightly lesser form.

There's just something about someone coming out from nowhere and owning up to their mistake.

There's a difference between writing someone and them responding with, I'm sorry I said that. It was rude. I feel ashamed for what I did, and someone writing without prompt, I've been thinking about how I treated you at Grandma's funeral, and I'm really ashamed. 

13. EMPATHY APOLOGIES-These apologies are very similar to Shame Apologies. The difference is that with Shame Apologies, our focus is more on ours selves. We want to be our best selves, and apologies help us do that. With Empathy Apologies, we feel the pain (real or imagined) of the person we hurt.

Empathy apologies don't feel good. They might make us feel sick inside. At least, they are that way for me.

I have given Empathy Apologies, but I think most of my more noble apologies are SHAME ones. I'm more focused on self-improvement than actually feeling the pain of the person I might have hurt.

I'm not sure why.

It could be a simply empathy issue.  In some ways, I think I'm over-empathetic. I feel like I might be an empath.  But in other ways, I feel I lack empathy. I feel cold-hearted to the point of psychopathy.  What's strange is, I think I feel the most empathy over other people's guilt. So I'll feel more bad for person who's done wrong to me, and I imagine they're feeling awful over it, than I do for someone who has been wronged by me.

I doubt that's normal.

But anyway...besides that, I think there are other things that lead me to be more me-focused than them-focused.

A) The person has done equally bad things, or even worse things. Then my mindset is more, I'm not pleased with myself that I sunk to this level. But I'm not particularly bothered that it happened to you. I'd probably be okay if Karma had taken care of it. Then I could enjoy the punishment without the guilt of having served it.

B) I don't have a strong emotional attachment to the person.

C) I don't have any evidence that the person is angry or hurt...or if I knew they once had these feelings, by the time I realize I'm sorry, I don't know if they're still having these feelings.

I could look at it through the opposite lens. There are people in my life whom I feel owe me a Shame Apology.  I think less of them because I've never received one.  But do I feel they need to feel empathy for me?  No.  Because I'm no longer hurting over it. Well, I'm not hurting over the initial behavior. I do still feel hurt/anger over the reactions...such as gaslighting.

Even though I might no longer feel hurt over the initial behavior, I do look down at the persons for having the behavior. And I look down at them even more for either not apologizing and/or for using manipulative apologies.

Well, I was going to end this here, but I feel compelled to add in another apology. It's a not-so-good offshoot of the shame and empathy apology. This would be The Confessional Apology. This is where we feel compelled to come clean, but we should have just kept our mouth shut.

Example: When we were in high school, I thought you were really ugly. That's why I never wanted to hang out with you at school. I was embarrassed of being seen with you.  But I'm no longer superficial like that. Now I feel really bad about how I acted. I'm sorry.

If there's a secret and it might come out, or the person already suspects the truth, it might be best to come forward with an apology. If it's just in our head, it's probably best to just keep it hidden there.

Some of fall into the mindset that 100% honestly makes a relationship stronger. But I've come to learn that secrets can sometimes be a good thing.

Shit. I was about to end again, and I thought of something else.  What if someone suspects we feel a certain way, and confront us on it? Should we confess the truth?

Aaaah!  I don't know!!

Well....

I think if they have good evidence to support their idea, it might be best to be honest. Otherwise, it  can turn into a gaslighting situation. If our behavior is evidence of our secret feelings, we might try  to deny the behavior has happened. I think it's better to be hurtfully honest than to gaslight.

Example: You never text me anymore. Do you not want to be friends?  

I think it's better to say something like, I think we're just kind of growing apart. It happens sometimes, than to sit there and try to deny that there's been a reduction in texts.

On the other hand, if someone's suspicions are based not on action but on paranoia; even if their paranoia matches the truth, there's probably not much harm in pretending all is fine.

Okay. Now I'm going to shut up. For real this time. 

This is Us and Black Panther

Yesterday we went to see Black Panther. I think that, in the beginning of the film, there might have been a reference to the TV show This is Us.  Or it could have been a coincidence. Or I misread what I saw.

So, the last episode of This is Us, that we saw, was all about the family's beloved car—a Jeep Wagoneer. We see the family buying the car, and then we see various memories, throughout the next several years, featuring the car.

I was surprised by the 1990's family being so enthusiastic about the car, because to me it looked like something from the 1970's. Now if this was a bunch of nostalgic adults who liked vintage things, it would make more sense.

Despite the fact that I spent ten years in the 1990's, the car didn't look at all familar to me. That kind of makes sense, though. I've never really been into cars. No, that's kind of an understatement. I should really say that the subject of cars bores me enough, that if it starts happening, I want to escape the room.

I'm wondering if the Jeep Wagoneer was a popular car in the 1990's, and I'm just ignorant about that. Or was it just appealing to this particular fictional family?

Anyway, onto Black Panther.

Sterling K. Brown, one of the stars of This is Us, has a small role in Black Panther. In the beginning of the film, there's a dramatic 1990's scene with him in an apartment building. Outside the apartment building, I saw a Jeep Wagoneer or at least a car that had a similar decor.

Maybe I'm just being stupid and this car is in lots of movies that are about, or were filmed, in the 1990's. Maybe it's a big thing of the 1990's and I was ignorant about it.

It was just weird for me, I guess. First, the car itself seemed strange to me. Second, I had actually Googled the car when I saw it on This is Us.  I don't often use Google cars. Third, about a week later I see the same car, and it's near a scene that features an actor from This is Us.

I suppose it all could have been an inside joke. But I doubt it. It was probably a coincidence. And it's probably one of those things where the universe introduces you to something and then suddenly you keep seeing it.

That being said, there WAS another connection between This is Us and Black Panther...besides Sterling K Brown.

Minor spoiler warning (for This is Us AND Black Panther)....










In another recent episode of This is Us, Randall, Brown's character, buys an apartment building in a poor neighborhood, in order to help the community. The same thing happens in Black Panther...though not by Brown's character.  BUT Brown's character used to live in the apartment building. 













Sunday, February 25, 2018

Types of Apologies (Part 4)

I'm going to start with a type of apology that seems to be hated by most people. But I think there are times that it has it's rightful place.

This is....

9. SORRY-FOR-YOUR-FEELINGS-This apology is used when we don't regret our actions, but we do feel bad that they caused harm.

Of course, there are times where it is highly ineffective and offensive. For example, a rapist says to his victim, I'm sorry our date made you uncomfortable, or even a more upfront approach. I'm sorry you felt raped. Then again, there are times where there is disagreement over whether something equals rape or not. Our society is still crossing over from no-means-no to yes-means-yes. I think denying (gaslighting) that a rape occurred is different than disagreement over whether a rape occurred.  In the former, the person is saying, That never happened, or it didn't happen the way you said it happened. In the latter, the person is saying, Yes that happened. But I don't think it's rape.

Let's say a woman pressures her girlfriend into trying something kinky and the girlfriend reluctantly agrees. If it's later labeled as rape I can understand the woman saying, I'm sorry you felt raped. Later the woman might learn a lot about coercion and change her mindset on what happened. She might then reach out and say, Hey. Remember what happened between us a few years ago? I've been reading a lot, and I now feel what I did to you was really wrong.  I'm sorry. 

The thing about Sorry-For-Your-Feelings Apologies is they can later change into apologies that involve true regret over behavior. It's just sometimes we need time to decide whether we feel our actions were wrong or not. And sometimes we might continue to believe we did nothing wrong.

I'm thinking the difference between decent SFYF Apologies and not decent SFYF is black and white issues vs. grays.  If someone says something very obviously racist and then says, I'm sorry you were offended, it's like, Okay. Thanks for caring about my feelings. But you are still...VERY RACIST! 

Grays are in humor a lot. A joke may be funny to some people, not funny to some people, and offensive to other people.  If we tried to find jokes that were not-offensive and hurtful to 100% of the population, we'd have to just give up joking all together.

Let's say there's a dinner party. A guy tells a joke about a crocodile eating someone. It's dark, but funny.  Almost everyone laughs. One person doesn't. She looks sad. It turns out her uncle was actually killed by a crocodile.

So, should we stop telling dark jokes about rare, dramatic causes of death?  Should we stop humming the Jaws theme song in the pool, because someone there might have lost a family member to a shark attack? Should we not imitate Woody from Toy Story saying, There's a snake in my boot, because someone in our midst might have lost someone to a fatal snake bite?

I personally don't think we should stop any of these jokes. I think dark humor is a great thing.

However, I also don't think we should shame a person who is hurt by these jokes. I think saying, Sorry that joke caused you pain is much better than saying, Oh lighten up!  Or, Come on. It's just a joke.  Yet, I also don't think it's fair to demand that someone actually show remorse for making the joke.

Another area in which I think the SFYF Apology has merit is controversial opinions. Controversial opinions are pretty much the story of my life. I have a lot of them. I share a lot of them on my blog.  I've had a lot of interpersonal drama because of these opinions. I'm not sorry for my opinions. I'm not sorry for sharing them. But that doesn't mean I don't regret that I've hurt someone, made someone angry, or caused drama. I'm not sure how I reacted when these dramas occurred. Did I do a SFYF apology or variation?  I have no idea.  If I did, would they have accepted the apology?  I'm doubting it.  I think a lot of times when we show anger and/or demand an apology for an opinion, what we actually want is the person to show they've changed their opinion.

But this is unrealistic and unfair.  Instead of demanding that they change, it makes more sense to A) try to understand their opinion B) Try to get them to understand our point of view C) Agree to (peacefully) disagree or D) Conclude we can't like this type of person, and distance ourselves from them.

10. OLIVE BRANCH APOLOGY-This is where we feel there were wrongs on both sides, but we're going to be the bigger/better person and apologize first. If the other party, in return, apologizes for their behavior and is forgiving towards us, it's quite lovely.

Sometimes it doesn't go as well, though, as we plan.

I've had two incidents in the past few years where I extended an olive branch apology and the people  receiving it didn't apologize back to me. Their message was more along the lines of, We accept your apology; behave better in the future. Note: Same people in each incident, and one of these people is a gaslighter, so....

To be fair, though, I was thinking about it today and realized it's partly my fault.  If we're going to extend an Olive Branch Apology, it's probably better and more honest to say something like, I'm sorry we had that fight yesterday. I hate when we don't get along. That might get a better response than if we say, I'm sorry I yelled at you yesterday. I was in a bad mood.

I suppose another approach would be to apologize WHILE expressing your own grievances.  I'm sorry I yelled at you yesterday. I was in a bad mood. But it really bothered me when you gave me that bear hug. I've told you repeatedly that I don't like when people touch me that way.  

That apology might be confused with the victimhood apology I talked about in my previous post. I think one way to distinguish the two is that with the Olive Branch Apology, the apologizer initiates the conversation.With a Victimhood Apology, the apologizer brings up his grievances after being confronted.

The thing swarming through my head right now is the question of how we should respond to apologies and how I want people to respond to my apologies.

The worst response is probably, Sorry. I can't forgive you.  No wait. Below that would be, Go to hell or Fuck you.

But if someone says something like Apology accepted or I forgive you. Let's move on, I would feel a sort of rejection and coldness...even if my apology was NOT an olive-branch-apology.  Even if I truly felt I was the one to blame in the situation.

I think in most cases when someone apologizes to me, I end up saying sorry as well.  Even if it's something like, I'm sorry for getting so angry.  

I'm not sure why I do this. Maybe it's just because I like hearing that kind of thing when I'm the one who's done wrong and is apologizing. 

I think, in general, if someone apologizes to us and we've done nothing wrong in the situation, we're under no obligation to say sorry as well. We're also under no obligation to forgive them. If there's any kindness we can extend to the apologizer, that's a gift we are giving to them.  That gift should be appreciated but never expected.

If someone apologizes to us and we too have played a big part in creating the shit of the situation; then we should consider that the apology might be an Olive Branch Apology. Then, I think it's nice if we say sorry too.

I was just thinking there's probably extremes on both sides. There are probably people who don't recognize Olive Branch Apologies and also avoid taking any amount of blame in situations where they should. Then there are people who are horribly wronged and still take some blame.

I'm sorry I was driving while drunk and hit you with my car. 

Well, that's okay. We all make mistakes. And I'M sorry I was on the sidewalk that day. If I hadn't been daydreaming, maybe I would have heard your car coming towards me. 

11. FORCED-This is where someone apologizes because they are required to. An adult might have to do it to keep his job. A child might have to do it, because otherwise her parents might take her Netflix away.

I think forced apologies might have minimal value in terms of legal situations.  I don't think they add much value to interpersonal relationships. So...if a child shoplifts, it makes sense to me that the parents might force the child to return the item and say sorry to the shopkeeper.  If the child teases his cousin for her new haircut, I don't think a forced apology is going to help things.

Or...then again, maybe it will. Because the receiver of the apology might not know the apology was forced.They might take it as sincere.

It all seems a bit dishonest, though.

Also, if someone is forced to apologize, I think it's less likely they'll reflect on their behavior.  I think it's less likely there will be improvements in the relationship.

I'm more in support of pressure-to-apologize...pleading, maybe.  We might appeal to the child's empathy or if that doesn't work, practical issues. Well, if you don't say sorry, Jenny might not want you at her birthday party. And you know how you always love her parties.

Yikes. I think I'm saying that we should manipulate people into apologizing. Well, so be it.  As bad as manipulation is, it's probably better than direct force...in most cases.

OR...would that even be manipulation?  It's more like persuasion. Persuasion doesn't always have to be manipulative, does it?

I'm going off on such a tangent here.

Back to Forced Apologies. I think one of the worst kinds is when someone is forced to apologize to someone who wasn't even upset about the behavior. The enforcer does it because HE is offended by the behavior.  I'm trying to think of an example....

 Let's say a child burps at Christmas dinner.  This is done at the children's table.  All the children giggle hysterically.  His father gets angry, pulls the child aside, and forces the child to write an apology note to all the kids at the table.  Or even if it's done at the adult table...read the mood!  If most of the adults are laughing, there's no need for a formal, written apology. If one adult looks disgusted, maybe later point this out to the child and SUGGEST that she apologize to that particular adult.

Well....

I'm thinking more of the Olive Branch Apology. Is it a noble gesture as I've believed, or does it have a more darker, passive-aggressive purpose?

Should we apologize with an ulterior motive—an attempt to fish an apology out of the other person?

Maybe it depends on our feelings and intent.  If we truly feel both parties have misbehaved, and we are strong enough to initiate the reconciliation; then it's pretty noble. If we feel we are the ones who've been most wronged and are apologizing because we feel it's the one way to get the apology we seek: passive aggressive.  I'm pretty sure I've done the latter, a few times, in my life.

I'm trying to figure out what was going on in my head with the two Olive-Branch Apologies I mentioned earlier.  I think in the first, it was noble. I DID feel I was partly to blame. In the second, I think I was fishing for an apology from them.  I think I was slightly ashamed of my behavior, but the shame was much smaller than my lingering anger.  

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Health Insurance Companies Are Shit and Many Doctor Offices Are Too

I was just in the office with Tim as he called Ambetter our previous insurance company.  He was put on hold, and the recording told us the wait would be long.  Why? They say it's because of the popularity of their product. What?! Really?  You're using you're put-on-hold recording as an opportunity to brag about your popularity? Come on! Why don't they just be honest and say There's a long line of other people in front of you complaining, so get ready to wait and wait and wait. Or, We're very busy trying to argue with sick people about why we won't pay for their services. So it might be awhile. Get comfortable.  

We had to call the insurance company because we need my records and it's now not available online. For some mysterious reason, only Tim's records are available.

Now why did we need my records?

Well we just got a call from Jamie Inman's office. She's my PCP.  Or she was my PCP. I'm having to quit her, because we changed insurance again, and she doesn't take our new insurance.

According to Jamie Inman's office we owe three hundred something dollars. I just learned this from the voicemail on my iPhone.  It interrupted me as I was trying to watch an episode of Outnumbered, which coincidently deals with dentists and hospital visits. At first I thought it was spam/scam, because the iPhone transcript said it was Dr. Newman's office. As far as I could remember, I hadn't seen a Doctor Newman in the past few years.

Fortunately, I decided to listen to the message as well and not just rely on the transcript thingie. 

Anyway, this is the first time we're hearing about this three hundred dollar bill. You would think we've heard about it fifty million times, since the voice on the message says she's going to have to report us to collections. 

Tim says he has gotten small bills from the office. He's called to take care of it, and they tell him don't worry; we don't owe anything.  But now...we owe three hundred something dollars.  WHAT is that all about?

We think/thought it could be connected to a issue with labs we had.

In 2016, I had labs done. 

A few weeks later, I got a huge bill. I was very upset, because large medical bills make me furious, worried, depressed, etc.

Our insurance company didn't pay for any of the labs. Why? The doctors office filed with our old insurance company (US Health) rather than Aetna. Aetna will only pay for your labs if you do it with the lab they prefer. I don't get why. But okay. Whatever.

We talked to the doctor's office, because they're the ones who mixed things up.  From what Tim tells me, they pretty much apologized and said they'd take care of it.  I think maybe they gave us a credit or promised they'd give us a credit.

I'm not sure.

Anyway, it might not matter because the woman on the phone says it was NOT lab related. And also, we looked at the lab bills from Aetna, and it was not three hundred something dollars. I can't remember what it was exactly, but I think it's around 150-200 total.

So, what else could it be?

Well-check-ups are supposed to be free.

I did have one check up that was not a well-check-up.  I had been concerned because I had learned that no hair on your toes means you might have circulation problems.  I had realized that not only are my toes hairless, but my lower legs are pretty much as well.  I wanted to get that checked out. I also had yellow toes and some mysterious lingering rashes.  The doctor didn't seem concerned. She gave me that you're-a-cute-hypochondriac look and suggested that hairless legs could be a genetic thing.  To her credit, she did quickly check my ankle pulse.

Okay. But was all that really worth three hundred something dollars?

Why the hell do we push people to go to the doctor if they're going to end up being quickly examined and then quickly told that there's probably nothing wrong with them?

Even if Dr. Inman greatly impressed me with her brilliance and skill, I'd be pissed about being charged three hundred dollars.  But why am I paying that much to have a few minutes with someone who only makes me feel stupid for having a concern about my health?

Also, if that visit is the reason behind the three hundred dollars, why did our insurance company refuse to pay?  Are we not supposed to visit the doctor when we have concerns?  And shit. It's not like I'm the type of person who goes to the doctor every few weeks with a new complaint.  My body has been mysteriously jerking/twitching.  It took me eight months to finally get myself to a doctor about this.  And with the hair thing, I think there were several weeks between me being concerned and me getting myself to the doctor.

I HATE being made to feel like a hypochondriac. That's why I tend to avoid doctors. But it's awful that we have to worry about huge medical bills as well.  

Anyway, we'll see what happens. Hopefully we'll get some answers.

Personally, I think if a doctor's office calls and says we owe three hundred something dollars, THEY should be able to tell us exactly why. We shouldn't have to dig through our insurance records.

Tim thinks maybe they'll clear things up, and all will be okay.  They'll tell us we don't owe anything, or it was all a mistake.  Yeah. Like I'm going to believe them.  How many times have they told us that before?  They might say all is fine, but I won't be surprised if a few weeks later we get a letter from a collection company.  Or a call? Do they usually write or call?  I don't know....

Let's say that doesn't happen. All is fine. We never hear about the bill again. Well, it still pisses me off because we've had to go through all these hassles.  It shouldn't be like this.  

All in all, I AM glad we have a new insurance company that is forcing us to quit Inman.  Though, sadly, I seriously doubt we'll find anything better. Most of it is shit....expensive shit.  


Twitter: The Musical

Yesterday I was singing in the shower and decided that one day we will need to have a Trump musical.  But it couldn't actually have Trump in the title, because that would be giving the egomaniac what he desires.

SO....

I thought that we should have a musical about this time period  and base it all on Twitter.

Here are my ideas:

1. Have real Tweets from celebrities be read aloud and shown on big screens. The celebrities themselves could record the Tweets or impersonators could do the reading.

2. Tweets from the general population would be represented by singers/dancers. These could be real Tweets or inspired by real Tweets.

3. Have the American Tweets be represented by either red or blue costumes. Other countries could wear their flags maybe?  I'm not sure.

4. Have one or two main characters, and the action kind of happens around them.  Maybe they'll sit on their living room couch with their phone in their hand, and the Tweets will dance around the room.  

5. Maybe once in awhile the song battles can be interrupted by a dog, cat, or squirrel doing something funny or cute. Real animals won't be used. They can use people in costume or puppetry.  

6. Some songs can be focused on viral Retweets.  A bunch of singer/dancers will repeat the same thing, and every so often a line or variation will be added.  

7. Heavily liked Tweets could be represented by dancers showing adulation. The original Tweet can stand in the center, and then many dancers can kneel below him/her.  Maybe they'll throw rose petals or something like that.

8. I'm not a lyricist or composer, so I don't have any decent song plans.  But here's some song title ideas: "Snow Flake Parade", "My Cup of Liberal Tears"  "Build the Wall" "Find Your Safe Place" "MeToo" "Witch Hunt" "She's Woke" "If You Follow Me, I'll Follow You" "Are You a Bot?"  "The Russians are Coming, but That's Okay". "Why Can't We Be More Like Australia?" "How Much Are They Paying the Protesters?" "Grace vs. Aziz Ansari" "What Color are Terrorists?" "I Dare You to Go To Sweden" "Shit Hole Countries" "Welcome Norwegians" "Catching Paper Towels" "He Looked at the Sun" "Frederick Douglas is Dead, You Moron", "My Toddler Shot Me in the Back But I Still Support the NRA" "Choose your Pizza Wisely" "Finding Peace and Sanity With Netflix" "We Used To Hate George W. Bush"


I wish I could write songs.

Crazy People Should Not Have Automatic Rifles

Last night I watched some of the CNN special about gun massacres.

Teens and parents from Florida demanded answers and changes from politicians and an exasperating NRA spokeswoman.  

The NRA spokeswoman pushed the idea that the problem isn't about owning guns that can easily kill many people in a few minutes. The problem is, crazy people owning these guns.

Well, the thing is, if a civilian owns an automatic rifle, I think they ARE crazy.

Although I actually think every single person is crazy, nuts, mental...whatever you want to call it.

But I'll divide craziness into different types.

There's....

Fun Crazy

Quirky Crazy

Silly Crazy

Sad Crazy

Pathetic Crazy

Annoying Crazy

Scary Crazy

Evil Crazy.

If someone owns and automatic rifle, to me, they are Scary Crazy.  If this person also/or spends a large portion of their free time fighting for the rights of people to own such dangerous weapons, I think they're Evil Crazy. The NRA spokeswoman likely sees herself as some kind of mythical heroine—a champion of rights. To me, she's just an evil villain. I hope history has its eyes on her. And I hope those eyes are glaring and shooting out lasers.

The keywords that come to my mind when I think of my stereotype of automatic rifle owners: Selfish, Greedy, Show-off, Paranoid, and Racist.

You can argue that I'm wrong about those stereotypes—that you're not like that.  It's very unlikely that I'm going to believe you. Though I might pretend just to be polite.  Mostly I'm just glad that my blog comments are disabled...so I don't have to hear your bullshit.  

My suspicion is that many people who own these guns own them because they fear brown and black people are taking over, and they need to get ready for the big war that is coming.  

How many owners of over-the-top guns and/or gun collections are also shouting out, Build the wall!

How many of them own a Confederate Flag or at least get a warm feeling of pride when they see one?

How many of them are offended by Black History Month and think it's racist to have a TV show called Blackish?

How many of them are deeply offended by Idris Elba being considered as James Bond?

How many think the blacks should just get over slavery already?

How many equate protesting police brutality with hating on the military?

How many are horrified of gun owners losing their guns or being arrested but don't give a shit about black people being in prison for owning a few ounces of cannabis? 

It might not be all, but I bet it's a lot.


Types of Apologies (Part 3)

In the last two posts I wrote about manipulative apologies. These are apologies where the apologizer sacrifices the emotional wellbeing of the one she wronged in order to protect herself from shame, guilt, consequences, etc.

The apologies I'm going to write about today are more benign, although not necessarily noble. And in some cases, they could slip into darker territories. 

6. DAMAGE CONTROL-When someone uses some forms of this apology, they are probably more upset at being caught than they are ashamed about what they've done.  

The woman says to her serial killer kidnapper.  I'm sorry! I'm sorry I tried to escape!  I really am!  Please don't hurt me! I won't ever do it again! I promise!

A man gets caught by his child in the middle of the night. He's been eating her Halloween candy. I'm so sorry, Sweetie. You caught, Daddy. I'll go straight to the store in the morning and buy you new candy in the morning.  I'll even buy you extra.  

Poor Daddy doesn't know that damage control isn't always so easy, especially when you're dealing with a young child.  Daughter doesn't want NEW Halloween candy. She wants her exact same candy. Daddy is going to greatly regret his midnight chocolate craving.  

Sometimes Damage Control Apologies are not about getting caught but trying to smooth things over for practical reasons. For example, with workplace harassment. A man might believe the compliment he gave was actually very kind, but his coworker is upset and he doesn't want drama. He certainly doesn't want to face the prospect of losing his job. So he apologizes.

We might use or encounter damage control when there's a need or want for something.  

You totally think your cousin deserved that mean email criticizing her parenting, but now you've come to realize that one day you might need her husband's influence to help your daughter get a job.  

You argued with your aunt publicly on Twitter; then remember that Starbucks Gift Certificate she sends every Valentine's Day.  

Sometimes damage control apologies are used to keep the peace at times when we feel peace is especially important. 

You think your sister deserves every angry text you sent yesterday, but Thanksgiving is coming up.  Since Mom has cancer, it might be her last. You don't want grudges and drama at the table.  

7. COURTESY APOLOGIES-These apologies are for small things that are really not the fault of the apologizer.  

These are situations where it's rude not to apologize, but if the person receiving the apology is actually offended, they probably either are in a really bad mood, they have a psychological defect, or they're ignorant.  

It's like when your fart is louder or smellier than you anticipated. So you say sorry.

OR....

You are talking and accidentally spit in someone's face.

You're three minutes late to a dinner party.  

You're in line at Disney World with your two excited, rambunctious kids.  Though you try and try to get them to settle down; they end up bumping into the woman in line next to you.  

Your toddler has a tantrum at the grocery store. 

You step on a stranger's foot. 

You vomit on your friend after riding a roller coaster.  I probably WOULD get mad at this.  Because I have a vomit phobia.  I think that would come under the category of psychological defect.

Courtesy Apologies can also be used when we personally haven't done anything wrong, but we feel the need to apologize on behalf of someone else.  The toddler at the grocery store probably counts for that, as well as the rambunctious kids.  Though these are slightly different, because when it comes to parenting, I think many people believe that a child's behavior is 100% a reflection on the parent.  This is especially true with people who don't have kids of their own, and even more so, parents who have been blessed with a super easygoing child.  

Outside parenting, we might apologize for our other family members. We might apologize for people in our religious group, our ethnic group...or the insane, evil leader of our country.  

8. YOM KIPPUR APOLOGY- On the Jewish holiday, Jews are supposed to give this sort of blanket apology to people they know.  Or at least that's what I remember from when I was into being religious.  

Well...now I've just Googled, and I'm getting the idea that you're actually NOT supposed to just give a blanket apology. For example, this article talks about giving a genuine, decent apology.  

I'm not sure where I got the idea that Yom Kippur pushes for a blanket apology. I think maybe I encountered something in the past.

Anyway, I am guessing that some people do use a blanket apology on Yom Kippur. And people use it in other cases. Probably.

The basic idea behind this type of apology is you don't know what you might have done wrong, but if you did something wrong, you're sorry.  In cases where grievances don't exist or are minor, it's probably a nice thing to hear. When there are definite grievances, hearing a blanket apology is not particularly healing or helpful.

To be fair, sometimes someone might NOT know you are hurt or angry.  But if you feel they do or should remember, the blanket apology feels like a cop out.  

Okay. So I just Googled, Blanket apologies with Yom Kippur. The good thing is, I didn't dream it up.  They do exist. I think, though, that many people are against them. This blog talks about them, and why they kind of suck. The blogger says:

“If” I have done anything to hurt you — does not open any doors. It seems, rather, to shut them. To me, it seems to say: let us foreclose on anything I did over this last year and start with a fresh slate. Everything from the past is wiped out.

Later the blogger gives an example of a blanket apology that she DOES think is okay.  
If I have done something over the year that hurt you, tell me what it was; let us talk about it and see if there is a way to work it out and grow from it.

I like that. Though I'm not sure I'd be brave to use it.  I feel enough guilt and shame for the stuff I KNOW I did.

I also wonder...if someone said that to me, would I be honest and speak up, or would I pretend everything is okay?   In my experience, admitting hurt and anger can sometimes be healing, but other times it makes things worse. Because sometimes when someone says, Did I do something wrong? Are you mad at me? They're expecting you to say, No! Not at all! I'm fine. And if you don't, they might lash out, become manipulative, make you feel worse, etc.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Types of Apologies (Part 2)

In this post, I'm going to continue with manipulative-type apologies.  I think this will be the last very-negative post.  The future apologies will be more benign and in some cases even kind.

So...here we go.

Note: In order to avoid having to keep saying he or she, I'm just going to switch back and forth. Sometimes a man will be the bad guy and sometimes a woman will take the role.  

4. THE HERO APOLOGY-This is where the apologizer will admit (often reluctantly) to a wrongdoing, but he works hard to make sure his self-esteem and reputation remain in good standing.  

Yes. I did punch you that one time. You know how ashamed I am about that. I feel terrible. But can we ONCE dwell on the positive rather than the negative. Can you not admit that usually I'm incredibly gentle? Why can't you ever remember the good things I've done for you? When your brother died? Was I not there for you? Did I not stay home from work to comfort you? There is no one who loves you more than me, and there never will be. I wish you'd understand that.

And in my scenario, the receiver of the apology is NOT negative all the time. She has thanked her partner numerous times for being there for her. She usually does remember to show appreciation. He simply can't handle the opposite of compliments and appreciation.  

What if this was not the case? What if we have someone who is always negative and critical. Then I wouldn't blame the apologizer for having grievances about never being appreciated. But he should bring this up at another time, NOT when they're discussing the fact that he once punched her.  For example, he could bring it up when he buys her a box of her favorite chocolates and she rolls her eyes instead of saying thank you.  

There are other ways the hero apology might play out. The apologizer might actually take actions that she hopes will give her some brownie points. She might be a bit nicer. She might do a bit more work around the house. She might spend more time with the person she hurt. The receiver of the apology might also be a receiver of some gifts. 

This is not the same as when someone gives a genuine (non-manipulative) apology and then grovels by doing extra nice things.  I'm so so so so so so sorry.  I don't know how to make it up.  But how about this for now? The next five movies we see?  YOU pick them out. I'll see whatever you want to see. No complaints! And I won't hog all the popcorn.  

With the hero apology, there's no sense of groveling or trying to make things right again. It's more like the apologizer is trying to warp the memory of the victim by trying to create an improved persona. But the victim is not supposed to realize the persona has been improved. The trick is to get them to believe that this has been the true persona all along. I've ALWAYS been the wife who cooks homemade gourmet meals every night.  I'm ALWAYS super generous, buying you awesome gifts.  I'm ALWAYS the type of wife who comes home straight from work and spends time with her family.

Another tactic in the Hero Apology is for the apologizer to be good to other people and/or the community. The mother apologizes to her daughter for being bitchy and unsupportive of her artwork. Then a week later the artist's brother gets a spectacular birthday gift. The idea here is, Hey, you might think I'm an awful person. But other people are going to appreciate me!

Sometimes the apologizer might prove his worth by passing on compliments from others or bragging about good deeds they've performed. A man kicks his daughter's cat. Then a few weeks later, the dad forwards the daughter an email from her cousin in which the cousin thanks Uncle Awesome for all the times he's been there for her.  

While the apologizer might believe that he is improving his reputation, I think it ends up making the victim furious.  I think this is why people have recently lashed out when seeing celebrities virtue signaling about sexual assault and misogyny.  

In my own personal experience, this totally makes me lose my shit. Or it makes me want to lose my shit.  I don't think I've actually lost my shit yet.  

It hasn't been about sexual assault or misogyny.  But....yeah.  Someone, who had me watch a very inappropriate movie when I was young, much later spoke out, in front of me, about another parent doing a similar thing. And that other parent's sin was MUCH smaller. (child was older. Show was much less inappropriate. And child wasn't manipulated into watching it). Someone who has gaslighted me criticized Donald Trump for gaslighting. Someone, who was very unsupportive of me during my eating disorder, later boasted about a huge honor/position that partly involved helping people with eating disorders.

All this stuff makes me want to...SCREAM!!!!!!!

Here's the thing. It is totally okay and wonderful to realize we've made mistakes and then work to make amends.  You used to say really homophobic things to your teenage son, and now you feel bad about it? It's fine to donate to gay right causes and write blog posts about all the good you do for the gay community.  But if you haven't given your son a genuine apology for how you treated him, it really just looks like you're trying to hide your past. To your son, it's probably going to feel like an elaborate form of gaslighting.  

I would have felt much better about the person, in my life, being honored if the email was less braggy and more apologetic.  I now realize how I failed you when you were struggling with an eating disorder.  I wish I could turn back time to make things right. I can't. So I want to do this work so I can help other families who have been through similar things. I want to take my mistake and use it to help others.  

When someone does a good thing to mask the bad they've done in the past, are they in denial about their past?  Is it all done on some subconscious level? Or is it all more calculated? Also, are there times where a person believes their action actually equals amends?  If I donate money to this gay politician, my son will know it's because I'm truly sorry for the way I used to treat him. I think the latter is rarely the case. I think usually it's less about righting wrongs and more about righting self-esteem and reputation.  

5. THE SAVIOR APOLOGY-With this apology, the apologizer will reluctantly admit to wrongdoing but push the message that the real harm to the victim is being done by the victim.

I'm sorry I slept with your boyfriend. I REALLY am.  But I hate what this is doing to you. I hate seeing you depressed like this. I don't think this anger is healthy for you. I care about you.

A savior apologist might send you email forwards about the power of forgiving.

He might say things like:

 It's important to let go.  

It's not helpful to dwell so much on the past. 

How can we help you move on from this?

Let Bygones be Bygones

She might make hints or suggestions that the problem is more about you than it is about what she's done. She might suggest you suffer from a mental illness. She might suggest that you need medication. She might push you to see a psychologist.  

He might also push the idea that his wrongdoing might actually help you in the long run.  His teasing might have hurt, but he was trying to make you less sensitive.  He was trying to improve your sense of humor.  He's trying to teach you how to be strong, so you can later deal with much worse bullies in life.  

Okay. Well, I think I'm done with the manipulative apologies.  

I'm guessing many of us, at some time, in our lives have used some of these wicked tactics.  It doesn't necessarily mean we're wicked. We could have just been desperate to avoid shame, rejection, and anger. We might not have understood that we were causing our victim even more pain. That's understandable...and probably forgivable... if one tries to do better in the future.  For those who do it with conscious manipulative intent, and/or refuse to acknowledge the harm in what they're doing, that's...

Well, they might THINK that they are winning...their wicked game.  But if their victim is wise about manipulation techniques, the win is probably a mere delusion.  


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Types of Apologies (Part One)

In the past few weeks, I have been thinking about apologies.

I've thought about apologizes I've received and apologies I've given. I've thought about how some apologies are sincere and others are insincere. I've thought about how some apologies are an attempt to mend ourselves and our relationships, while other apologies are simply manipulative defense strategies.

I divided and came up with labels for thirteen different types of apologies. I was planning to do one big mega post with all of them but then decided it would be best to split my brilliancy into multiple posts. Well, because I'm sure I'm going to end up rambling on and on with almost every apology.

I'm going to start with the bad apologies and move my way up to the better ones.

So...here we go.

1.  GASLIGHTING APOLOGY- Gaslighting is in the news a lot lately, and I've blabbed a lot about it on this blog. But in case you don't know what it is.....

Gaslighting is when someone lies and/or denies reality. They do this to protect themselves, and it can lead to the victim questioning their sanity. Did it not really happen? Am I imagining things? Am I losing my mind? 

Not all gaslighting includes an apology. No I was NOT flirting with your cousin. I hardly even talked to her. Give me a break! How did you get to be so paranoid and controlling? Yet she personally witnessed him talking flirtatiously with the cousin...with her very own eyes and ears.  

With a Gaslighting Apology, there's a condescending apology along with denial. I do NOT remember screaming at you in the middle of the mall when you were a teenager. And why are you bringing this up now?  Anyway...are you sure you didn't dream it?  Maybe you read about it in a book?  But anyway...if you think it happened, I truly am sorry.  Of course there is a chance that the apologizer truly doesn't remember. But it's wise to be highly skeptical about that.  

2. VICTIMHOOD APOLOGY- This is where the perpetrator twists things around so he or she can place themselves in the victim-spotlight.  

They will either make themselves a victim of the person they hurt, or they will conveniently remember the many tragedies that have befallen them throughout their life.  

A man complains that his wife is always working late and almost all her free time is dedicated to her friends. He rarely sees his wife, and reluctantly opens up to her about this. She says, I'm sorry. Okay? But you are being so controlling. Am I not allowed to have friends?  Do you want to keep me prisoner in the basement. Do we really need to be around each other 24/7?  I wish I knew about your codependency issues before we got married. I think maybe you need to get some help.

The key here is exaggeration. You take a minor request and turn it into something crazy. I'd like you to spend a little less time with your friends and a little more time with me turns into, I want you to have no friends or freedom, and I want you to spend ALL your time with me.

Instead of this or along with this, the wife might bring up other hurts in her life. My parents were so strict and I wasn't allowed to go out with friends. I've just been so sad lately because I've been remembering how I was abused by a neighborI've been depressed lately, because I was demoted at work. I don't think I ever told you this, but I had a cancer scare when I was a teen. 

This can all be confusing for the receiver of the apology, because the problems are often real, so guilt is sometimes induced. When I've received apologies like this, I started to question myself. Am I a total bitch? Have I not been sympathetic enough? Am I selfish?  

I feel like the apologizer is being manipulative. They're bringing up these things to change my anger to pity. But I'm not completely sure. Yes, they've been cheerful the past few months. They have seemed totally okay. So it SEEMS like they are bringing up their hurts to distract me.  Yet some people hide depression. Could it be that they've been wearing a mask of happiness, and now that I've been confrontational with them, the mask is slipping? Have I just attacked a person in true pain?

I'm sure there ARE times where the latter is the case.  But I think often it's not the case, and the trick is to make us doubt ourselves. If we don't doubt ourselves; if we know for sure, that the person is crying crocodile tears; then we are dealing with someone who has very crappy manipulation skills.  

If we fully believe the apologizer and end up labeling ourselves as bitchy and insensitive; then we either have a very crafty manipulator, or we're simply uneducated and/or naive about manipulation.  

One thing I'd like to add is there are times where someone might be going through something difficult. They bring up their problems not as an excuse for what they've done but more as an explanation. How do you draw the line between explaining and manipulating? I'm not sure I know.

When I was bullied online about bloggers, I brought up the fact that I was currently having eating disorder issues. The bloggers had been furious because I spoke up against a fat-shaming post. I'm not sure if I apologized, but one of the ways I tried to ease the situation is by explaining that I was hypersensitive lately about weight issues.  I had recently brought up my eating disorder with my mom, and she had told me I never had an eating disorder. I had been very hurt and angry about this. That's one of the reasons I had responded to the fat-shaming post; though I hope I would have spoken out against it regardless.  

But anyway...I hope I wasn't trying to be manipulative with bringing up my own eating disorder issues. I want to believe I wasn't, but it could be I'm in denial?

Maybe I should try another example.

My sister and I got into a dramatic fight over Thanksgiving. She was strong enough and brave enough to initiate the apology, and I apologized in return. I think we reminded each other that we were both stressed. We both already knew the causes of each other's bad behavior. I had absolutely no suspicion that my sister was inventing or exaggerating stress to excuse how she behaved. And I know I hadn't invented stress to excuse my behavior.  

Ah! Maybe that's the difference between explaining and manipulating: exaggeration. With manipulation, there IS usually some kind of current or past hurt, but the victim exaggerates their distress, or the situation, to illicit pity.  With explaining (not excusing) there is no exaggeration.  

Let me give another example.

Let's say someone is rude to a friend via email. The rude person later reaches out and writes. I'm sorry I was rude in my last email. My boss has been giving me a really hard time, and I took it out on you. I shouldn't have done that. Sorry. In that story, the rude emailer really has been having a hard time at work, and it truly WAS the cause of her rude email.  

On the other end....

The friend writes to the rude emailer and expresses their annoyance and hurt. The rude emailer writes back. Yeah.I'm sorry about that. My aunt just died and I'm devastated. I can't stand all this pain in the world. I think I'm having major abandonment issues. The rude emailer wasn't at all close to this aunt, and the aunt was in her nineties, so it wasn't exactly a tragedy. But the emailer exaggerates the loss as an excuse for her rudeness.   

3. SHUT UP APOLOGY-In this apology, the sorry is just an alternative way of saying, shut up and/or leave me alone. It's a demand for the conversation to end immediately.  

A woman is angry because her wife broke her promise of cleaning the kitchen after her wild cooking adventure. Wife #1 confronts wife #2, and wife #2 says, I'm SORRY!  Okay? Can we drop it now?  

A woman brings up the fact that her husband hit her in the past. It's haunted her through the years. He says, For the fiftieth million time, I am fucking sorry. Okay? How many times do I have to say it?  Well, the thing is. He's never actually given a sincere apology. He's never shown regret. And he's never been open to discussing the incident with his wife.  

With the Shut-Up Apology, the apologizer will usually adopt an authoritarian tone—I'm the boss here. I get to decide what we do and don't talk about. YOU will be sorry if you try to cross that line.  

Anyway, that's it for now.

I shall write about more in a future post.  
  

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Get Out: My Thoughts

I finally saw Get Out.

I wanted to blab about my various thoughts.

Note: I am a white person, so I'll probably end up saying something stupid.  I think 45-year-old Dina is much more woke than 21-year-old Dina.  But I still have a long ways to go. And I'll probably never get to the top.  It's nice to try, though.

Let me tell you something about my 21-year-old self.  I was in my third year of college and had three black roommates.  One seemed to despise me...mostly because I was white. I'm not sure about the other two. I think maybe they were indifferent. I hated the feeling of being hated. At the end of the term, I requested that for my senior year I NOT have three black roommates. Why? I felt ganged up on.  I thought it would be much better if I had two black roommates, and then one that was not black.  I figured that would make things even.

The college wisely ignored my wishes, and the next year I was once again the only white person in our apartment.  I remember one of the roommates was super sweet. She had heard of my troubles and assured me this year would be better.  She was very generous. I appreciate that. The thing about ignorance is this. The victims of it don't owe us compassion, and we don't often deserve it. But we do NEED it, and anyone kind enough to give it to us should be appreciated.

If I could go back in time and talk to my past self, I'd point out certain things that are obvious to me now.  1) How often are black people forced into situations where they are the only black person?  How many times do they feel outnumbered? How many times do they feel ganged up on and hated?  And yes it does happen to white people too. But it's different when you're part of the group that has less power in society.  2) In my years of college I also had white roommates and Asian roommates.  I didn't get along well with them either. Yet I didn't request to have less white roommates or less Asian roommates.

Anyway, I should get to the movie.

There shall be spoilers, so if you haven't watched the movie and plan to, I'd advise stopping here.

A) I've heard that the movie is supposed to be about white-liberal-racism.

I don't feel that's right.  And yeah. I know. That probably shows I'm so not woke enough.  Maybe in twenty-years, I'll read this post and scold my past self.

The white people in the movie reminded me more of conservatives.

Well...no. Now I'm doubting myself.  I won't say it's conservatives. Nor will I say it's liberal.  It could be either, probably.  It's a type of people who mean well. They really don't want to be racist. But then they end up saying stupid things.  I'd divide the stupid things into two categories. One would be backhanded compliments. The other would be overcompensating for racism by saying something ridiculously positive.

An example of the first is a compliment I heard from a white person about a black person.  It was something along the lines of, She's really beautiful.  Wait for punchline....She almost looks white.  Then I've heard the second type in regards to me being Jewish.  I can't remember the where or when, or if it happened once or multiple time. But the general song is, Oh! I love the Jewish people. They're really focused on education.  Loving all Jewish people is much better than hating all Jewish people. But statements like that are still prejudice. They still make people sound ignorant.  That being said, I did have a time where I pretty much had a crush on every Australian person.  But I argue that this was different, because I understood the crush was about me being weird and not some belief that Australians have some kind of unique quality that makes them different or special.  Nor was it a psychological defense mechanism to hide a negative-prejudice from both myself and others.

Back to the white-liberal-racism. I want to believe that the majority of liberals are NOT like the white people in the movie. And for now I'm putting aside the fact that the white people in the movie were not what they were pretending to be.  I can agree that we are far from perfect. We're ignorant. We fail to understand. We fool ourselves into thinking we understand. We fail. We fail. We fail.  But I hope we're not failing as much as the people in the movie.

B) If we're going to judge the white people in the movie, do we judge them for who they pretended to be or do we judge them for who they really were?

They pretended to be liberals who were fans of Jesse Owens, Tiger Woods, and Obama. They seemed like people who try not to be racist but fail.

In reality, the white people were evil. They were as bad as slave owners of past centuries. They wanted to steal the bodies of black people and infect them with white minds.  I understand that many (some?) black people hate white people. I understand that they distrust ALL of us, no matter what we say and no matter what our political persuasion. I can accept that. But I hope they don't believe that most of us are secretly planning to do evil things like give them lobotomies.

C) (less about racial issues here). The movie's plot reminded me of an Ira Levin novel/movie.  I went through a stage of really liking his stuff. He's the one who gave us Rosemary's Baby, Stepford Wives, Sliver, and The Boys From Brazil.

If I was going to pinpoint the genre of the film, I'd match it with Rosemary's Baby. Both kind of have that theme of just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not after you. OR, in other words, sometimes people have a very good reason to feel paranoid. There's also the whole thing of having overly friendly people who are hiding something sinister.

D). I don't feel the movie really had a twist.  And I agree with the characters on The I.T Crowd and Master of None when they say learning a movie has a twist kind of ruins the movie a bit.

I knew there was supposed to be a Twist in Get Out, and this might be why I felt there wasn't one.  Maybe my expectation of being surprised led me to not being surprised. On the other hand, with season two of The Exorcist, I expected a twist and was still blown away when I got one.

From what I understand the twist of Get Out is that Rose (Allison Williams) was as evil as the rest of her family, and that she helped lure the black people into the trap. She pretends Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is her first black boyfriend. But towards the end of the movie, we see a box of photos that tells us otherwise. She brings black people home as her date, and then they get implanted with white brains.

I'm not sure I had any suspicions against Rose in the beginning. But I think as soon as Georgina (Betty Gabriel) was introduced, I suspected Rose of being in on it.  She acted all woke, yet she didn't seem to be bothered that there was a black woman working for her parents who acted like an abused, zombified slave?

One thing I asked myself about the movie is whether I would have expected anything amiss about the family if I hadn't known it was a horror movie.  What if I thought it was an interracial romantic-comedy?  Would I immediately judge the family as awful?  Would I think they were well-meaning but kind of creepy? Or would I have thought, Wait...these people are evil. Is this not a romantic-comedy after all?

I was going to say Georgina would have enlightened me.  But I might have thought she had some sort of disorder or that she was a victim of severe trauma. I might have thought the parents had been kind enough to employ her despite her extreme social awkwardness.

So, I think knowing it was a horror movie immediately prejudiced me against the family. But even without that knowledge, I think I would have found the family to be somewhat annoying and creepy.  Please note: I'm talking about the beginning, when they're first introduced.  As the movie progresses, it becomes pretty obvious that the family goes beyond slightly annoying and creepy.  The hypnosis scene was terrifying to me.

E) Before seeing the movie, I saw something on Twitter about the deer.  It's something like, if you see the movie with someone, and at the end they say, that poor deer, you saw the movie with a racist.

OR they could be a person who loves nonhuman animals, and doesn't give a shit about humans in general...no matter what the ethnicity.

But yeah. I get the point.

My feeling along those lines, though, is about the police car at the end.  I think if you watch that movie and feel relief when the police car shows up.

Well....

I won't say you're racist, but I will say you're even less woke than I am. You'd probably be close to the level or wokeness that I was in college.

I guess the exception would be if you somehow guessed/knew who was driving the police car.

For me, maybe that was the strongest scene in the movie in terms of race issues. That's one of the huge things that divides white people and black people.  White people, in a dangerous situation, see a police car and probably feel relief. They feel saved. Black people see a police car, and they probably feel there's a pretty good chance this might be the day they die.

F) I can never fully understand what it's like to be black, though I think it's good to try. Sometimes there are things we should keep trying even though we know it's impossible to reach full success.

One way I try to understand is by seeing similarities in the black-experience and the female-experience.

There were aspects of the movie that reached me in that particular way. I guess it's the feeling of having to tolerate shit from the dominant group.

There's that feeling of well, as long as you're not obviously hateful and violent towards myself and my group, I'll do my best to tolerate you.  I'll tolerate the jokes to prove I'm not hyper-sensitive and that I have a sense of humor. I'll tolerate your condescending demeanor and pretend it's respect. I'll tolerate your insistence that you're a victim of reverse prejudice. I'll pretend to believe you're a true ally.  I'll pretend to believe that you're different and better than the others.

The truth is, though, I'm getting less good at tolerating.

With the MeToo movement, it's gotten hard for me to have solid faith in any man.  I'm distrustful of all of them. It's no longer a division of good vs. bad. It's....Evil; Bad; Bad-pretending-to-be-good; ignorant-thinking-they're-good, and those that recognize they're inherently part of the problem, but they're striving to be better.

It's the men in the last category that give me hope about the future relationship between men and women.  If any black people divide white people in the same way I divide men, I hope that they see me as being in the last category.





Edited to add: I just realized I got totally sidetracked and forgot to explain why I thought the movie didn't have a twist.  Being able to guess the twist doesn't equal not-having-a-twist.

BUT...I'm not sure I can explain it.

I'll try.

OR....

Maybe not.

Maybe it is just a matter of me being able to know it before the big reveal.  It's like a surprise party. If you know your friends are throwing you a surprise party, is it still a surprise party?

I think maybe I should just say the twist didn't meet my expectations. To me, the ideal twist makes me think, Holy shit. What???? And then I have that desire to go back, watch it again so I can see all the clues or watch with the new interpretation.  I guess that sort of applies to Get Out. There's the police asking for the ID. Rose seems to be fighting police-racism, but she's really trying to avoid a paper trail.  Anything else?  I'm not sure....