Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Problems With Labels

One of the major problems with our political system is labels. They are not inherently evil, I don't think. They are often convenient shortcuts to generalize large amounts of information. Some generalization is simply statistical fact, some anecdotal experience and some merely prejudice. Of course, labels can be misused if one relies too much on the generalizations, true or not, and ignores the individual.

If someone is going to get to know me, personally, it will take a while. That process can be cliff noted with knowledge of my labels.

I am a Caucasian, though I know that I have a little American Indian, or my compromise with the politically correct, "Less Recently Immigrated American," in me. My father has told me that his side of the family is part Kraut-Mick, which makes me just like Tom Hagen in the Godfather.

I am a Christian. I am a member of a United Methodist Church, though I place less importance on that label than the label Christian.

I am a top tier small liberal arts college graduate, a top-100 state university law school graduate, an attorney, a "Greek" (I am a member of a national Fraternity) and politically I am probably best described as a neo-libertarian with a strong preference for rule utilitarianism, and I have been profoundly affected by 9/11 and believe that we are in midst of World War IV. In other words, the left hates me and certain factions of the right wish I would get with the program. That makes things easier now doesn't it?

Of course, it doesn't tell you about what my labels were 10 or 25 years ago, or about my journey to these labels. Depending on which label to which you attach, you may believe certain things about me that don't fit my personality or psyche. My dry sense of humor is easy enough to miss in person, much less in print. But people have to start somewhere and adjust.

As a pre-9/11 Dennis Miller said, "I am baffled by the concept of racial prejudice. Why hate someone based on the color of their skin when, if you take the time to get to know them as a human being, you can find so many other things to hate them for?"

A lot of these things will be fleshed out on this blog as ideas, current events and humor are used and discussed. But, if you don't have the time to get to know me, then just apply, generalize and hate me for my labels.


At 5:54 AM, Blogger Jehane said...

Look you right-wing whackjob, your time is just about up. The white man has oppressed womyn, minorities, and persons of flexible gender for too long: we're taking back this country.

And another thing: we've had just about enough of you knuckle-dragging, snake-handling, homophobic Red State Jesus phreaks telling us what to think. If the shoe fits, wear it :)

At 9:50 AM, Blogger KJ said...

Look here you America hating, treasonist satan worshiping, elitist, snobby coast living, pinko commie loving, baby killing soap difficient hippie scum, bite me!

My hope is that NGC will always have such good spirited, substantive discussion like this.

At 3:05 PM, Blogger Masked Menace© said...

I though labels were what you pulled off of beer bottles when you weren't getting any.

At 3:10 PM, Blogger Jehane said...

Any beer?

At 3:26 PM, Blogger Masked Menace© said...

What's your pleasure?

At 9:08 AM, Blogger Jehane said...

I was trying to be a smart a$$...

"I thought labels were what you pulled off of beer bottles when you weren't getting"

[thud] :)

At 3:35 PM, Blogger Masked Menace© said...

Well, they say us blond guys aren't too bright either. :-)

At 1:43 PM, Blogger Jehane said...

Well at least you have more fun.

Than what, we may never know.

At 3:59 PM, Blogger Masked Menace© said...

As long as it's more fun than a turd in a punchbowl.

At 11:42 AM, Blogger Jehane said...

You're setting the bar awfully low, unless you're into coprophilia, a word I would rather not have learned but can thank Frank Rich for.

I think you're safe.

At 4:09 PM, Blogger Masked Menace© said...

Well, as Frank Rich has plenty of experience wearing his posterior as headware, he would be distinctly qualified on that subject.


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