Who is I, Abominable Snowflake

I was raised as a Jesus-loving country girl. That girl’s still in me now, decades later. Except I take Jesus’ message and actually go with it. I don’t cherry pick verses, boil them down to a literal interpretation to suit the ends of what, let’s say, Evangelical Christians want with their racist, classist, misogynist, unbridled capitalist ways. I simply don’t believe belligerent Americanism promotes our culture, I think it kills it and puts the entire human species at risk while at it.

That does not make me any less of an American, it makes me more of one.

I was raised to understand that “girls can do anything,” and then proceeded to learn as an adult that there are very powerful male egos that keep that from actually being true. I spent my childhood being asked to change my unladylike behavior or suppress my “rebellious spirit” to make the men in my community more comfortable. I was not to dare arouse them with my outfits or jar them into discomfort with my ideas. It was impolite to say how I really felt about anything and upsetting for my feelings to not be precisely inline with my church’s existing beliefs. Perhaps I acted out in my youth as a way to discern this conflict... and thus pushed them too far.

Growing up in the buckle of the Bible belt, I had inadvertently gleaned from our local cultural touchstones that black people had their freedom - now they just had to make something of themselves with it. Their inability to assimilate all these years later was really their faults so any sort of affirmative action or politically correct-isms that were demanded of us were inconveniences all the productive white people don’t deserve to indulge in.

Even though I had not been raised to be a racist, I was marinated in a racist culture that I later learned was systemic… codified and institutionalized in a way of which polite society did not speak. I had a hard time computing this and set out in my 20s to figure it out… What was that black urban welfare cliche that we were supposed to hate?

As a working person, I thankfully had a bachelor's degree, but was saddled with school debt. In my work-life, I endured the tech boom/crash, the aftermath of 9/11, the power grid failure in NYC of 2003, the 2008 recession hurricanes Katrina (2005) and Sandy (2012)… and now the 2020 pandemic. There was no post-WW2-like economic boom in my working lifetime of which for me to ride the wave… It’s been battle after battle as a relatively ambitious creative wanting a voice in the maelstrom of monotonous, very white, very male-skewing cacophony of white noise on top of all of that.

So then I got to thinking of it this way, when a culturally competitive society is broken down like this (I used 2010 numbers so to be consistent across the demographics):

308,745,538 citizens live in USA, we’re going to remove the following from our numbers:
- 11 million are undocumented workers
- 2 million are in prison
Starting at: 295,745,538 population...
62.9% are of working age, so that’s
186,023,943 citizens
Roughly 50% are female, so let’s subtract
- 93,011,972 citizens from the competition pool
Of the population of US citizens, 27% are black, brown, asian or foreign born, that’s minus
- 25,113,232 citizens
= 67,898,739 people are now available to compete viably. That went from everyone else to 21% of everyone else in the US.

Then logically, to whittle down the pool further, it would be a good idea to reduce the Middle Class. To tackle those kids who can potentially get a leg up with a decent education to become successful (aka competition). That’s the capitalist rationalization for not being inclusive. I think people in power saw this dynamic and slowed the growth of the middle class in order to keep their fiefdoms intact.

We’re talking about the United States, a country who in recent history, has not embraced new ideas, diversity of thought or variety of contributions despite the potential interest and consumption of them, because that exposure to ideas manifests pluralism, which counteracts long term efforts to remove women, POCs and others from the pool. 

There’s the dog and pony shows of “diversity programs,” or grants etc. but the reality is red-lining, the Drug War, gerrymandering, food deserts, unemployment, underemployment, pay gaps, harassment, violence and school-to-prison dynamics.

If you have to cheat to win at your ideas, maybe your ideas are not so great.

All of these contradictions burrow in under our social mores while fiercely championing this notion of "American exceptionalism". The irony of course is that this is our rallying cry as we routinely reap the rewards of the empire obtained by ousting native peoples, built on the backs of slave labor, and never fully giving way to female ambition.

Culturally in recent decades to reinforce this ideal paradigm, it proved beneficial for powermongers to hitch their wagons to the Evangelical Christian Right. Not only are there old timey threads of patriarchal authoritarianism to essentially define women as subservient and children as property - they also have a sub-sect of folks called Dominists who wished to riot against the “free-lovin’” 60s and civil rights accomplishments, by taking their kids out of school, gaining power in government and officially revision American history. This was all to reroute the progress being made to instead ensure social stratification - not unity (divided they fall).

All we had to do was sell Evangelicals on the unbridled capitalist part, which wasn’t hard despite it being counter to Jesus’ message of loving thy neighbor, helping the poor and other pesky ideals.

I’ll delve deeper into these concepts in upcoming posts, but the idea is what the Tea Party in 2010 and Rise of Donald Trump laid bare in 2016, proved very profitable to fan the flames of the culture war and win these unbridled capitalists what they want, the freedom to fly on whatever whims were available to them, no matter what victims were created or who it hurt.

For example, despite the inevitability of climate change altering the ecosystem and forever ending our ability to maintain agriculture to feed us - among other calamities - this anti-science/denialism was verifiably stoked by the oil and gas industries, embraced and preached to congregations in terms of God’s doomsday plan. The result was that these denialist’s claims were culturally supported by the people and the politicians they elect and the legislation they do and don’t sign into law. And wah-lah, the markets are rigged to rather reinforce no evolution in the alternatives that could save our lives as we know it.

Note: When the upper middle class folks have millions of their 401ks invested in these industries… That also impacts their opinions and votes on such matters. When those particular people are the ones with power and influence, guess what decisions about our economy get made? Certainly ones that do not benefit the 79% of Americans who feel the brunt of their bad decisions and poor planning.

The 2018 Tax Cuts congress passed are a testament to the power these folks achieved. While promising jobs and investments, a year later reports showed that companies instead spent their extra bucks on stock buybacks, which is to say, instead of necessarily spending the extra money on research, development, employee retention or a rise in their wages, they spent it on themselves.

Think of it evolutionarily, via genetics. Rarely do populations do well when homogeneous. Salamander populations forced to bottleneck due to geography changes result in deformities. Human lineages with incest develop birth defects over time. We know that if we don’t introduce new genes into the gene pool to be mutated for beneficial adaptation possibilities… There’s no actual good, long-term result. Yet, to benefit the power of the few, we buy into cloaked concepts of white supremacy and patriarchy - a culture code that is driving us off the cliff.

You can see it phenotypically as well, or anthropologically, when there’s no diversity of thought. There are many lessons from history, the most pertinent one being the Enlightenment, from which the seed of American democracy was born. When there’s no pluralism, exposure to cultural differences or ideas… those societies tend to also die out eventually. Need I bring up the Nazis? To me it’s evident white supremacy and misogyny operates much like a blight does. It will eventually deprive us of oxygen or other necessary needs for survival, literally and figuratively and choke us to death.

What the 2020 Pandemic shows is that these people who have all the sway, all the purchased power in DC and investment power in entrepreneurship; the guys who make calls, make decisions, make you or break you based on how well you fit into their way of operating and thinking, as evidenced in their desperate scramble to keep their business as usual: it’s not sustainable. And it hasn’t been for centuries. But we’re now at a breaking point and the decisions are still projected from this ruling class of old white men who think they know better, but do not.

Colonialism, imperialism, war, blood, sweat, tears - that got us here to where we are today with this current version of the American Dream. While we may want to even thank them for their service, for where we’ve arrived is into this sophisticated technological wonderland that knows no bounds… this dreamscape is only for the select few right now and it’s not working out. It’s okay. We know they didn’t mean to be so brutal. But we’ll be taking it from here now. Go ahead and take a break. We got it.

This blog by me, the Abominable Snowflake, is infused with all the humanity in the world, as preached by Jesus Christ. Primarily, however, the point of view is from that of survival. Racism, misogyny, hate have no place in our future since it doesn’t apply to our survival. Here, we’ll question those who have power over us, not just the ones that disagree.



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