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You Are Not Your D&D Character

I closed my last essay with a statement regarding how self-determination does not factually exist, certainly not in practice as any Palestinian can confirm, and that when applied at an individual level it forcibly becomes self-assertion. Which is a decidedly different thing as equality is synonymous with neither domination or special privilege. But this specific article is a thing I have been mentally rewriting for months and months.

My writings qualify me as a Luddite, but not in the “I don’t really follow politics” kinda way. I think quite adamantly that tech is a cult in every blessed sense of the term, but that’s not to say that I think poorly of all those in the club. Peter Sunde for one is on the very short list of persons alive today whom I would someday like to share a night of bourbon with (not really). Lauri Love is another (not really). On the morning of the High Court’s decision in his favor in regards to the USA government pushing for his extradition, instead of acknowledging the doubtless flood of interview requests Lauri was otherwise occupied on his twitter with graciously educating me about self-destructing e-currencies. For my three cents, such a thing is obviously the only possible non-scamming way that digital currency could ever work, if we must have currencies at all (which we absolutely do not). As with Peter, I have admittedly shared few words all in all with Lauri, but I admire their spirits and perseverance and approach to the physical world we do share. In my decreasing time spent on social media in recent years, mostly twitter, they were among my immediate follows, along with such minds as journalist John Pilger and space lord motherfucker Lord Buckethead; persons I view as genuine in their respective work ethics of intelligent uniqueness and provable creativity for ultimate aims other than lucrative. On some level they are aware of their irrelevance.

However, there is another techie whose work many unfairly admire, and because they get admired this person, mighty and high, unintentionally presented their filtered sliver of the noosphere a synchronicity of not one or two but three hardcore self-contradictions on their part. I am no stranger to quipping, and in person I have heard at least a thousand persons tell me over the years how my wit is the quickest draw they’ve ever witnessed. Short of world leaders though, I will not attack individuals. At least I try not to. I’ve a lot more interest in the bigger issues plaguing us than mere symptoms, and so I am rarely up for concerning myself with replaceable, inconsequential foot soldiers. I embraced long ago that I simply do not exist to make either friends or enemies. There’s just no time for it, not while indulging in either of their specifics brings unwanted color to my objectively understanding the broader ebbs and flows that abound.

Suffice to say, this person worked for a group predominately funded by the USA military. And though this person had personal reasons to find great joy in taking money from a government which previously complicated their life, the tech-cult bit meant they were wholly unwilling toward even remotely admitting where the questionable funding was sourced to the extent of arguing against established facts thereof on multiple occasions. That was the first strike. Within this group, this person and others weaponized identity politics to provoke dramatic roster changes, resulting in persons possessing both seniority and authority being flushed out. After parting with this group however, this person has unironically charged that same group of having always literally cock-blocked any and all attempts at equality. As though the anti-integration experiences actively co-developed by this person, perfectly valid though they were, never happened. Strike two. And more recently, this person publicly states half-joking how segregation should be enforced across the board against proselytizing, Cishet males. Using language that actually would allow the pan-sexual male rightfully accused by this person of sexual assault to be nearer than Martin Luther King Jr (were he still alive). As brilliant as this person is, no sense of irony or self-awareness spells strike three for me personally.

This bothers me, as I see their actions as emblematic of the broader disconnect oh so many whose hearts may or may not mean well are fallible of right now today all over the social landscape. They themselves, such personalities, never see things under this light where the reaction/repetition cycle of our culture, our public discourse, our news media and the arts all tirelessly contribute to “creative” being the most over-used and misused descriptive in the English lexicon. In the physical sense, Halloween costumes 24/7 are less a statement of independence and more a mask to hide behind, which I cannot help but to see as both cowardly and disingenuous.

And I suspect that much of this problem can be summed up by their willfully mistaking having dreams come true with basic survival. It is forever the minutiae of the human experience to see dreams turn real, but for the greater bulk of humanity actual survival is entirely unavoidable, no matter the frustrations, humiliations, outright pain and defeat and full-on death said battle invariably leads.

On that same note, congratulations to the #metoo movement for showing its independence by helping one of the most venomous institutions in the history of mankind to maintain relevance, by becoming the one-billionth set of editors to reinterpret the bible. Instead of creating anything new, or independent. When the most powerful nation in the history of the world is dying from sadomasochistic indulgence in diminished life expectancy, 50-year high suicide rates, pandemic overdoses (largely from legal addictions), and mass layoffs in a time of year which this article’s authors ignore is when most employers usually hire extras to keep up with the obsessive-compulsive holiday expenditures prompted so callously by proper society, some people insist on being so pampered that use by strangers of the adequate pronoun is somehow the battle worth fighting.

Public space should be accessible to all but rapists, murderers and bankers. Voting, housing and employment should be allowed for every adult citizen regardless of sexual preference or spiritual orientation. Everyone has the fundamental rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, because that is equality, but expecting others to ever go the extra mile and oblige in ways that they do not wish for themselves is intrusion. We absolutely must consider one another as equal human beings, but to demand for some to be treated any differently by any definition is not equality. I would love for what I love or hate to be agreed upon by more persons, especially the more rational beliefs I entertain, but I would never ask or insist for anybody anywhere to change themselves only to cater to my distinct whims. It is selfishness. Society will not be maintained without racial equality, sexual equality, etc, but fantasy equality is a past-time which most people will never be able to afford. The life-or-death things which everyone needs must be fulfilled, but personal fancy, no matter how personable, is asking for more, when clearly there are bigger issues of actual life-or-death importance than how we want others to acknowledge us.

And true individuality is by no means based on the perceptions of others outside ourselves. If nobody stops being teenagers then the collective world will never survive the road-trip to go anywhere. Getting everyone to agree to be in the car is difficult enough as vital as it is. To limit the soundtrack options is not permitting everyone to be on the same page, it enforces unification when in such a case unification is a trivial concern that will not enhance the experience of all parties equally. By all means self-identify however you wish, just as everyone should be enabled to determine their own life. To require that your self-perception is held by all others stops being a matter of self-perception altogether, replaced with the exact same logic of mass hallucination demanded by every fascist to have ever lived. Any conformity beyond equal rights to survival and self-expression is a bias originating in the personal whim of an individual. Nobody owes that to anybody. I won’t go out of my way to make friends or enemies, just as I avoid the digital socials, as I do not care to infringe or impede on how others conduct their lives, and because I can accept that how others address me has no effect on me either which way. It would be nice if that favor could ever be returned. If someone blockades my rights to life-or-death survival, then there would be an issue, but disparaging me to your heart’s content is your choice and your choice alone.

The idea that everyone is entitled to their opinion is a familiar take which most people themselves do not truly give much credit to, preferring instead to find exceptions in whomever they choose to look down on. But the egoism doesn’t make it less true. And as with opinions, all are entitled to their feelings as well, both the offended and the offender. Acting upon those opinions or feelings is another thing altogether. To really, really like a thing, whether it’s a belief or a style, a specific pronoun or a profoundly 2-dimensional comic book, does not magically make it flawless by the standards of others. Likewise, even the most detestable opinion is not necessarily wrong just by the personal offense taken. The Golden Rule is a two-way street.

We do not have to like one another. We do not have to agree on everything. But we do need to keep each other alive, not to micro-manage each other’s existence, but for you to then live as you wish and for me to then live as I wish. That is actual freedom. If it’s not enough for you, then you are wasting time and energy on inconsequentialities and sooner or later you must learn that your self-centeredness is holding you back far more than mean (or just clumsy) things said by strangers. Life is too short to catch every eye and failure to be loved is not discrimination, but mandating the court of public opinion to that end is.