Culture Warriors category archive
At the link, George Danby, the cartoonist, points out that
In the span of six months, the country has gone from the mantra of “We’re all in this together” to cries of “You can’t make me wear a mask.”
I don’t remember a “we’re all in this together” period, nope, not at all.
And speaking of masks, I am again reminded of Professor Bill Shade’s mantra that history is irony.
Shannon Gillies documents a deception.
A recurring phenomenon during the Black Lives Matter protests has been the appearance of white supremacists and other far-right agitators at otherwise generally peaceful protests in order to foment violence.
At Psychology Today Blogs, Rosemary Sword and Philip Zimbardo explore the minds and motivations of white supremacists. They start by citing an interview with former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official Elizabeth Neumann, then go on to delve what motivates the embrace white supremacy and that embrace affects the behavior of the embracers.
It ain’t pretty.
Here’s a bit about the Neumann interview; follow the link for the rest of the discussion.
Nuemann believes the U.S. has become an “exporter of the (white supremacy) movement…On the world stage, they are coming to the U.S. and asking something to be done. But the president won’t call it out. He uses (the term) ‘domestic terrorism’ for Antifa but not the white supremacy movement. Historically lethal violent encounters happen with the white nationalists’ movement.”
Neumann states further, “White supremacy groups are emboldened by the refusal (of the president and vice-president) to condemn them. The extreme fringe on the right believes the country should be white and controlled by white men…As recruitment occurs, there’s more violence; which we’ve seen the last three years.”
At Psychology Today Blogs, Sara Gorman and Jack M. Gorman explore the reasons why persons choose to refuse to wear masks in these viral times. Here’s one of the possible reasons they explore; follow the link for the others.
Yet another psychological factor to consider is a sense of control. One thing we can certainly say about COVID-19 is that it makes us feel we are out of control. Although experts rightly tell us there are things we can do to control the pandemic (i.e. social distancing, wearing face masks, frequent handwashing, and getting tested), there is little we can do personally to affect businesses closed all around us, children not able to go to school, and people dying. Refusing to wear a mask may seem, paradoxically, like taking control of the situation. No, it is not a rational step because doing so will only make things worse. But to some, refusing the mask may seem like a major personal statement that re-establishes a sense of control.
Werner Herzog’s Bear takes a close look at Donald Trump’s base and suggests the economic anxiety is secondary to his cultural factors in his appeal thereunto. A nugget (emphasis added); follow the link for the rest.
His base is aged and rural as well. All of the talk of “economic anxiety” has failed to take into account how cultural anxiety is the dominant theme for his base, with the economy sort of slotted into it.
The fundamental issue beneath this cultural anxiety is that the country is changing in ways that Trump’s people don’t like. It’s becoming less white, less rural, less Christian. Trump voters are concerned that they will no longer be the unquestioned norm in American life. This is why “cancel culture” is such a potent meme for them. This is why my trip to an Italian deli in mid-June included an old white guy yelling a profanity-laced tirade at the owner about statues being toppled.
In related news, psychologist David Ley is an optimist. Here’s a bit of his article:
Out of this scandal, perhaps a kinder, more compassionate and less hypocritical view of human sexuality can be fostered in the halls of America’s evangelical communities, one that does not seek to suppress or demonize sexual desires, nor holds women responsible for their husband’s sexual decisions.
Perhaps. Maybe. Not likely.
Hypocrisy is the stock in trade of publicly pious poseurs.
Real. Big. Man.
A 75-year-old man was punched in the chest and knocked to the ground (in the parking lot–ed.) at a Publix Sunday after asking another shopper to stay six feet away, according to the Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety.
During the parking lot confrontation, the suspect accused the victim of holding up the grocery line and threatened, “One word and I’ll kill you” before walking away, the station reported.
At Psychology Today Blogs, Professor Colleen Sinclair explores why misinformation spreads so readily in times of stress. Here’s one of the five factors she identifies; follow the link for the others (emphasis in the original).
Social Risk Amplification. This negativity bias gets a boost when information is shared. In a recent interview, it was said that the spread of misinformation is like a “screwed up game of telephone.” In fact, using these “diffusion chain experiments” is a common choice in experimental studies examining the transmission of information. In a 2015 study researchers had strings of 10 participants pass along information about the risks and benefits of a controversial drug (i.e., triclosan). Overall, all messages became shorter and increasingly inaccurate. However, by the end of the “diffusion chain” information about the benefits had been relatively lost whereas information about the risks continued to spread.