I never fail to find it interesting that while most people claim to be fairly rational, open minded, accepting, non-judgmental and sensetive (read: pretty much everyone), they can, given the slightest chance, show themselves to be the beligerent, close-minded, judgmental cocks they really are.
I mean sure, it's a part of human nature and all that but it doesn't mean I have to like it, and it doesn't mean it won't disgust me to the core. Just like I realize shit stinks, but that doesn't mean I have to enjoy the smell either, right?
To put it another way, I try my best not to judge you if you're a judgmental, self-riteous asshole if that's just who you are (and there are a few people on my flist like that), but my point is it's not always easy.
For example, I've met people who claim they're okay with gays, but if I mention I know a few transsexuals in transition between sexes, chances are I'll see them freak out and go "OMGWTF, what freaks." Or equivalent. Granted, I live in India and most of my friends are or have been Christians, so I can't expect people to stretch that much... most of my friends haven't even ever met an openly gay person, forget a transsexual or a polyamorous individual, to pick two examples, so it's somewhat understandable considering what little they've been exposed to.
Gays and transsexuals are just an example.
But I don't even have to go that far. It's funny to me that people don't realize that pretty much all of what they accept to be "normal" is what someone else told them.
Tattoos and piercings are becoming more and more common nowdays, even in India, so it doesn't freak people out much. But still, the bullshit is there and not far below the surface.
Just for the record, I think tattoos and piercings are beautiful and that they're a form of self-expression. Not everyone understands them, but I don't think you should be quick to judge something you don't understand. I have three piercings all on one ear, I had a pierced eyebrow that didn't work out, and I've planned out a perfect tattoo that I may one day have the money to get done. I also had long hair, wore a gas mask and a black silk dress to art school for most of three years, had my hair dyed blue, violet, blood red and bleached, and had a mohawk as most of you probably know. Just for the record.
I lurk compulsively at modblog,
Shannon Larratt's blog covering the world of tattoos, piercings and unusual body modifications. He's at the very edge of what some argue is an artform and/or a form of self-expression. For example, he's one of the three nutcases that you may have heard about on the news that had their eyeballs tattooed blue, just to see if it could be done.
I don't want blue eyeballs, and I don't completely understand why they'd want so badly to do something so insanely dangerous... but that's not really my problem, is it? It's theirs. It's not my eyeballs being poked with a needle. Are they nuts? Maybe, maybe not. Who knows. But this isn't exactly my point. My point is, I'll respect another individual's choice and self-expression, even if I don't understand it completely or even agree with it. It's another human being's life and choices and that in itself is beautiful and fascinating to me. That's all.
Now take this admittedly terrifying looking bastard
Yeah, I don't get it either, but I'm not one to judge. It's not my face, it's not my life. At the very least, you have to admit he's devoted to whatever it is he believes in and he's trying to accomplish, damn the consequences. And I'm sure the consequences have been numerous. It's certainly not something I'd want to do to my face. But again, it's not my face, is it?
Way I look at it, unless he's breaking into my house with a piercing needle, holding me down and forcing piercings on my face, it's nothing I need to really get pissed off or worked up over, is it?
But you'd be surprised. I dare you, forward that link to most people you know, and see if you won't get responses along the lines of "ZOMG WHAT A FUCKING FREAK," "SOMEONE SHOULD CUT HIS BALLS OFF AND BEAT HIM TO DEATH AND KILL HIM," "WHAT A LOSER, HE SHOULDVE BEEN ABORTED" etc. etc. etc. (yes, I actually read comments like this when his pic was posted on one of the wtf communities on LJ and on other places online.)
It made me pretty sad, then angry. Way to judge a human being you don't even fucking know, based only on what you can see. Yes, what you can see does hint at more than a few possible personality traits and bizarre tastes; but that's really all you can get. You really honestly don't know what he's like. Granted, he could be a huge asshole.... but you're not hating him because of being an asshole, you're already hating him because he looks like a freak.
My point isn't that bizarre, odd people need hugs, or that we're all the same under the skin, or that people do or don't get tattooed or pierced for attention, or any of that bullshit... I'm just pointing out the ever-ready, vicious, blind judgment people have for anything that's a worthy target.
That blind, ever-present hate. Pure and simple. And that's what it is, because it's hardly rational. Anyone that's had colored hair, a mohawk, was a punk, a hippie, a cross-dresser, dressed different, was a skater, a biker... they'll tell you it's there and ever-present.
Sometimes I think people who are in any possible sense "freaks" have it lucky: They get to cause that hatred and judgmentalism to rise straight out to the surface in the plain light of day. Think about it, if you were more "normal" and socially acceptable, you'd never know how many assholes you hang out with on a regular basis. It's almost like a litmus test. They can just cut right to the chase: "If you have a problem with my tatts and piercings / my hog / my clothes / my hair / my skateboard / etc. then great, I can save all the time I would have to spend in getting to know you and finding out that you're actually a huge, collosal, tiny-minded asshole. So fuck you too, kthxbye."
It's actually kind of cool in a way.