Monday, February 07, 2005

More dumb questions on handling people

Some questions on how to handle situations – (I don’t think I posted this before, but if I did go on, ignore it)
But first – OK, I admit it, I didn’t watch any of the Superbowl, or the pregame shows, or the postgame shows. And I really don’t care. I’m just sorry I missed the commercials. And from what I remember of past games, there were probably more commercials than game. What is the ‘clock’ time for a football game anyway, 60 minutes? So if it’s scheduled for four hours on the tv guide, how much room is there for commercials?
But Steve Wynn supposedly snuck in a Las Vegas commercial during the halftime (as reported in our local paper), standing over the big W on top of his new casino. Vegas has been having a feud with the NFL about advertising this sinful location. Wynn’s place is due to open in April. Lots of construction still going on, but it should be impressive.
Back to the topic, when I lived in San Diego for a while I used to go on morning walks. Seeing my neighbor across the street did the same thing I shifted my times and walked with him for a while. Eventually another neighbor joined in. Milt from down the street worked in the load department of a local bank.
The walks were OK for a while, and then something was mentioned about a house sale a few blocks over. Milt made the comment, ‘well, as long as the new neighbor isn’t Bbbbb (fill in any group here)’ and proceeded to tell us how bad people of THAT group were, how they couldn’t be trusted, how they cheated and brought down property values, and on and on and on. He then spread the wealth and went through several other groups and how he was glad that none of THEM were in our neighborhood. Strange, because Milt is in a minority group that historically has been very well stomped upon.
As Milt is in his early sixties I figured he was pretty well set in his ways, and could find no value in arguing with him. So I kept quiet. However, monologs of this style continued for the next several days and I just stopped walking with those guys.
My wife was recently talking to a neighbor here, the guy across the street with the triplets. He was raised in Michigan, but has been here in Vegas for quite a few years. She said he expressed the desire to move to a small town someplace else, as Vegas was too big for raising kids, and anyway there were getting to be to many Mmmmmmms here and things were going downhill. Again, my wife could not find anything to counter that with, and did not say anything about it. But to me she said that it would probably be pretty hard for him to move anywhere and not find minorities present.
Let me say that both my neighborhood in SD and here are kind of ‘upper middle class’ places. Nothing big or fancy (well, maybe a few homes here are over the top). Most people have OK jobs and seem to be reasonably well off. Both sections are plain white communities, almost devoid of minorities. At least if you don’t consider the gay guys across from us in SD, but they were both white. Oh, Milt had a lot to say about ‘those gays’ also.
I recently bounced around and found a web site that seemed well written but not very well visited. I stopped by periodically for a while, and interchanged comments with the host. I usually like to leave comments just to let people know that somebody is reading their stuff. But then one day there was a post that seemed really off – a cut and pasted section from some discussion group on the topic of ‘who God loves’ or something like that. There were quite a few back and forth comments by the site host presenting the opinion of why God hated people ‘like that’ and they didn’t deserve to live among us. I was quite surprised, and after seeing similar thoughts the next few times I visited I deleted the site from my ‘to visit’ list and stopped going back. No comments why, just redirected myself.
So, how should have situations like these been handled? What good would it do to tell people like this that they are full of Ssss? I’ve got to live across the street from that guy here, and do like to talk to him otherwise (and he is a big help with yard projects). I can avoid the web site with no problems. But is it best to just keep quiet? Brings to mind a story about some part in Europe in the 30’s – ‘they came for the xxx and I kept quiet, then they came for the xxx and I kept quiet, and eventually they came for me and there was no one left to say anything.’ Should I have said something? Do you say anything?
I don’t hear much from people complaining about those that are negative. I did read someone’s (thanks, L) stories about people who are always in the right. Their side is the only ‘right’ side, and the rest of you suck off. How do you tell them to get lost if they are your neighbors and you see them every day? How do you tell them if they work a few desks away from you and you need your paycheck? How do you tell them if 50.7% of the voting public put them in office and they are there for another sucking four years because of the great mandate? (OK, getting political again, but how do you?)
I just see more and more of this ‘we are better than them’ stuff and do not know how to handle it. More and more I see the attitude in the US going in a direction I don’t like. College students don’t know the Bill of Rights, and think freedom of speech is only for speech they agree with. How long do I ignore it, and what can I do if I want to speak up?
I tend to hang around with people that I agree with, as most people do. I read blogs and comment on ones that have interesting things to say, and don’t go back to those that rant about things differently than I do. (I don’t know, would I even keep reading this if I didn’t write it? But at least I don’t pick on too many people, except for those darned Republicans.) But how long do you stay quiet, and keep to yourself? Is it time to buy an old missile silo in Montana and lock myself away? Time to move to Canada, or New Zealand, but it’s like that there too, isn’t it? How’s Portugal, anyplace else I can hide?
Oh, and Miranda,

You are Debian Linux. People have difficulty getting to know you.  Once you finally open your shell they're apt to love you.
Which OS are You?

And I don't even know what Debian Linux is.

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