who the heck knows anything, anyway

Monday, April 22, 2024

apr 22 - some good ol' Monday intensity for you

My (arguably) most sympathetic pedantic annoyance is the use of a country's name instead of country's government. China can't spy on you. The Chinese government* can, or can pay private businesses to do it for them, but neither the geography nor the entire population is responsible for the government's choices. Remember how sad we liberals got when people said "Americans" during the Bush years?** It's the Government! we cried. It's less than half of the country, we promise! We're not villains!*** Sometimes even: Oh! No, I'm Canadian.

A country is neither a hero nor a villain. A country is full of individuals, as we USAers know very well. A government gets to make these consequential choices. If we're lucky, we get to vote for the people who make up the government that makes these choices (even then, things can be dicey, see *** again). Not every group of people in a specific geographic area is so fortunate. Some people can't vote because of access, and some can't vote because there are no elections. Some people can vote, but their ballot box is a trash can. Some people in some countries are killed just for existing, or protest their hearts out for what is right at their own peril. These people are not spying on us, or selling arms to other governments for use TBD. The Uyghur farmer in NW China is not going to be hacking TikTok; they are busy surviving.

We can still vote, and we have free speech. Despite many people's inclination to apparently not use these rights respectfully, this is an easy one, guys. 

I slip up sometimes, too. It's really difficult not to repeat the phrases we hear from politicians, journalists, podcasters, family members, etc. again and again. But we've changed our linguistic habits for the better many times before, and I think we can do it now. Mentally separating individuals from some faceless, threatening force can offer a lot of room for empathy, and rare is the person with too much empathy.

Oh, and Happy Earth Day!  Enjoy whatever (un)seasonable weather you've got going on over there! Not gettin' into any of those feelings right now! Too much for one day! Wooooo! 

*in case applying this political statement to this particular government is personally damaging in the future, we'll note that our government is allowed--by "temporary"/still standing order--to do the same. 
**oh, hey, speaking of that spying-on-citizens situation...
***Please! The electoral college and Supreme Court are outdated and have a bloated amount of power! It's not us! It's /sigh/ not us. (Don't get it twisted: I was--and continue to be--one of these people. Hopefully this, too, is not personally damaging in the future. November 2024 approacheth all too quickly.)