The Bad Apple Spoils the Bunch - Rethinking the Way We Think About Each Other

 I wonder how many people that are part of a category that is often viewed as pretentious or holier than thou are actually pretentious or holier than thou. Take vegans for instance. I wonder how many of them are just trying to do what they think is right. Like, the percentage. I think only like 1% of Americans are vegan. Which is still a lot - over 3 million people. But shit, if only 1% of that 1% are loudmouth, pretentious, holier than thou douchebags, that’s still 320,000 people, right? All it takes is a handful of shitheads to make everybody else look bad. I’d say 320,000 is a little more than a handful. Especially considering an unequal distribution of those 320,000 shitheads live in and around Hollywood. If 20% of the 320,000 loudmouth shitheads giving vegans a bad name live in and around Hollywood, that’s 64,000. If even a tiny, tiny fraction of them are even the slightest bit influential or have any kind of public audience, it could totally skew the reality of the situation.

That logic doesn’t only apply to vegans either. Pick any category of people and you can find another category of people who hate them because of a false stereotype. It’s the same thinking that led Hillary Clinton to call Trump supporters a “basket of deplorables.” Hell, it’s the same logic that leads to entire ethnicities being unfairly labeled. A ridiculously tiny fraction of black people are gangster rappers but a ridiculously huge fraction of white people get the majority of their exposure to black people via gangster rap - further perpetuating a whole slew of racial stereotypes, misunderstandings, and roadblocks. 

The only real solution to these types of problems is for everybody to abandon all preconceived ideas, let their guard down, stop being triggered by everything, and just fucking talk to each other.  

Tell your story. Share your experience. Talk about your struggle. Open up and make yourself vulnerable. Others will follow suit. 

Surrounding the #metoo movement are some more good examples of the minuscule minority fucking things up for the vast majority. You’ve got the overflow of attention-seekers jumping on board and calling people out for things that just aren’t real issues - ruining people’s careers, reputations, lives. That’s on one side. They make the actual victims of sexual assault and misconduct seem less credible. Then on the other side, you’ve got the fact that a handful of just really fucked up individuals who are guilty of some heinous fucking acts are making an entire 50% of the population (men...) appear to be monsters.  

This applies to almost every facet of our culture. These are the dangers of categorizing people. We are messy, confusing, complex creatures with wide ranging experiences and knowledge base, perspective and experience. We’ve all got so much to share. We’ve all got so much to learn from each other. We limit ourselves when we categorize each other. We doom ourselves when we pick teams and relentlessly pursue victory over “the other,” whoever your particular “the other” may be. We fuck ourselves when we choose rigid ideology to latch onto and refuse any sort of discourse or communication with anyone who may have a different outlook or perspective. 

Four different people standing in four different corners of the same room will see that same room four different ways. None of them are wrong. They could either argue over which of their perspectives is the right one, or they could talk it out, paint a mental picture, and help each other to have a better understanding of how the room looks from their respective perspectives. Or better yet, they could meet in the middle of the room and have a nice little powwow. All of our experiences overlap in one way or another. We just have to figure out how, and build connections starting there. 

jake chrisman1 Comment